H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (25 October 2018) – At 34, Akiko Naka Gone From Goldman to Failed Artist to Startup Queen in Wantedly + Escaping the Two Foes of Happiness

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (25 October 2018) – At 34, Akiko Naka Gone From Goldman to Failed Artist to Startup Queen in Wantedly + Escaping the Two Foes of Happiness


  • At 34, Akiko Naka Gone From Goldman to Failed Artist to Startup Queen in Wantedly (Bloomberg)
  • China’s Top Selfie Touch-Up App Isn’t Looking So Pretty For Investors; This year, Meitu’s Hong Kong-listed shares have dropped more than 60% since hitting their peak in January, wiping out $4.4 billion in market capitalization. Investors appear to be increasingly disenchanted with Meitu’s future prospects, as the Xiamen-based company struggles to fend off rising competition and rein in mounting losses. (Forbes)
  • Chinese Automotive Marketplace TuanChe Files $150M US IPO (CMN)
  • Who dares wins: Catch or Kogan.com? (AFR)

BATTSS – Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, TSMC, Softbank, Samsung

  • Alibaba Used Shoppers’ Data to Invent a Spicy Snickers Bar; The e-commerce giant is vacuuming up data from people shopping, searching and sharing online and providing it to companies like Mars. (Bloomberg)
  • Alibaba vs. Amazon: The Battle Of Disruptive Innovation Beyond Traditional E-Commerce (Forbes)
  • China’s Pause on Videogame Approvals Expected to Drag Into Next Year; The halt, in place since March, is said to have cost companies such as Tencent and NetEase roughly $1.4 billion in lost revenue (WSJ)
  • Tencent teams up with ParknShop, Yonghui Superstores in latest bid to shake up China’s bricks-and-mortar retail market (SCMP)
  • Did Pony Ma just crowdsource Tencent’s future R&D direction? (SCMP)

FAANNMG – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Nvidia, Netflix, Microsoft, Google

  • Megacap FAANG Bloc Collapses as Growth Stocks Lead Sell-Off (Bloomberg)
  • The Problem with Facebook and Virtual Reality (Stratechery)
  • Facebook Ad Demand May Be Waning, and Analysts Are Worried (Barron’s)
  • Microsoft’s Cloud Strategy Pays Off; Even with deceleration, Azure’s growth remains robust as sales rise 76% in the fiscal first quarter (WSJ, Reuters)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Stirring up the hornet’s nest, travel startup Mafengwo accused of copying reviews from rivals; Chinese travel website faces public scrutiny in the lead up to an imminent fundraising. (KRA)
  • Fujifilm Holdings will sell a Chinese plant that makes lenses for automotive cameras to smartphone industry supplier O-film Tech as competition squeezes profit margins in a field primed for growth (Nikkei)
  • Workers in Japan to be able to receive salaries via smartphones; Digital money options will make it easier to compensate foreign workers (Nikkei)
  • Dailyhunt: Betting on vernacular video; By harnessing the power of video on its app and using machine learning to serve personalised content, news aggregator Dailyhunt plans to touch 200 million users in 2020 (Forbes)
  • Uber Rival Grab Challenges China’s Tech Giants With Mastercard Deal; The ride-hailing firm is launching a new payment card after ousting Uber from Southeast Asia (WSJ)
  • Smartphones emerge as bright spot for Indian manufacturing (Reuters)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • A fascinating interview with SingularityNET CEO Ben Goertzel; What is exponential impatience? And how can we teach robots empathy? (e27)
  • Does virtual reality need a dash of magic? ‘We’ve been waiting a long time for VR to enter everyday life’ (FT)
  • Investors Are Craving Food Delivery Companies; Runup in valuations is reminiscent of meal-kit bubble, some market watchers say (WSJ)
  • Artificial Intelligence Faces Age-Old IT Challenge: Data Standardization; ‘AI starts with data, and if the data is lousy … ‘ (WSJ)
  • Chip Stocks Extend Worst Rout in Decade as Slowdown Fears Mount (Bloomberg)
  • Algorithms to Boldly Go Where No Scientist Has Gone Before; Researchers tend to cluster and mine the same familiar territory. AI can overcome that tendency and point to new questions. (Bloomberg)
  • Lyft Acquires Blue Vision Labs To Elevate Its Moves In Self-Driving (Crunchbase)
  • Cloud Stocks Dip, Dragging SaaS Valuations Down (Crunchbase)
  • Goldman-Backed Travel Booking Start-Up GoEuro Is Said to Be Valued at Up to $1 Billion (Bloomberg)


  • Escaping the Two Foes of Happiness (DL)
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