Business News

The Aggregate: the B&F edit of top stories from around the web 31.05.17

By Business & Finance
31 May 2017
According to Benedict Evans, “Electric and autonomous cars will change cities, virtual and mixed reality will change the entire computing experience”

B&F’s pick of the top stories from around the web, from the politics of blockchain to Europe’s biggest company, and moving forward after a difficult work conversation or a PR disaster.

TECHNOLOGY: Mobile is dead, long live mobile

Wondering what the next big thing in tech will be?

Benedict Evans, a partner at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz predicts: “Electric and autonomous cars will change cities, virtual and mixed reality will change the entire computing experience, and machine learning is changing the kind of questions that computers can answer.

But each of these is also just beginning, especially relative to their potential – they are at the bottom of the S-curve where smartphones are now getting towards the top.”

Read more at Quartz.

MANAGING TEAMS: How to get past the awkward moment… part 1

You’ve just had a difficult conversation with someone at work. Now what?

Over at the Harvard Business Review, Dolores Bernardo, an expert in leadership and team development, reveals specifically what you should do and say to make things less awkward and to move forward, while also making sure that you’re actually making some progress on the points that were discussed.

Read more at Harvard Business Review.

BUSINESS RISK: How to get past the awkward moment… part 2

When social media bites back, and a PR disaster goes viral, how do you turn it around?

United Airlines’ double whammy of PR disasters provides the perfect case study. Award-winning UK business journalist Charles Orton-Jones discusses the key lessons, the fallout, and dispenses some golden advice from PR pros.

“When disaster strikes the impact can be crippling. FTI Consulting recently examined 100 high-profile PR catastrophes, such as the VW emissions scandal and TalkTalk’s hacking disaster, in a report called ‘Anatomy of a Crisis’. The report shows that 23% of companies never recovered their pre-crisis share level and 14% went out of business.”

Read more at Raconteur.

CORPORATE NEWS: Shell tops list of Europe’s largest companies 2017

Kristin Stoller, Forbes staffer, relates, “Though sales at Royal Dutch Shell have been declining, the company’s profit more than doubled in the past year – catapulting it to the top of our 2017 list of Europe’s largest companies.” Shell is one of 469 Europe-based public companies on Forbes’ Global 2000, their annual ranking of the world’s largest public companies.

The number 1 and 2 spots on the global list are taken by Chinese companies, ICBC and China Construction Bank, with the US company Berkshire Hathaway claiming the number 3 ranking.

Read more at Forbes here and here.

FINTECH: The politics of blockchain

Over on The Atlantic, blockchain deciphered. Or is it?

The possibility of an anarchic libertarian cryptocurrency may in fact consolidate the power of governments and big corporations rather than diluting it.

“In his book, Radical Technologies, the urban designer Adam Greenfield calls cryptocurrency and blockchain the first technology that’s ‘just fundamentally difficult for otherwise intelligent and highly capable people to understand.’” Author and tech-head Ian Bogost admits, “I was relieved when I read this, because I have been pretending to understand cryptocurrencies—digital money based in code-breaking—for years.”

Get on the chain gang here.