This week, the unthinkable happened: Myspace got cooler. But other stories were also told: from the turning fortunes of under-appreciated startups and the murky future of the world’s biggest social network, to the little known history of the compound shattered in almost every drop test video on YouTube. Here are our picks for the best of the week.
Ok, so Twitter isn’t actually bigger than Facebook in user numbers or total revenue, but the microblogging site is already thumping Facebook in a number of areas. Number one is, you guessed it, mobile. Even though Facebook has around seven times more users, it’s predicted that Twitter will pull in almost double its mobile ad revenue this year: it’s already cracked the market Facebook is hurriedly trying to adapt to. Add in the fact that Twitter could soon have even more information available to advertisers, and is just that little bit cooler, and you may start thinking Zuck might have a problem on his hands in the near future.
She’s been called the Queen of the Internet — and when Mary Meeker presents her annual internet trends report, people sit up and listen to her words. Steven Levy spoke to the woman who manages to encapsulate where tech is now and where it’s going in the future with both insight and a high level of accuracy. She explains how she puts together her reports, why Mark Zuckerberg said the most arrogant thing she’s ever heard, and how she’s finding her new job as a venture capitalist. What has she learnt so far? “Venture capitalists work harder than I thought they did.”
It seems that all of the startups we hear about are consumer-focused enterprises run by young twenty-somethings in hoodies. The… uh… older folks who are founders of more business-directed startups have generally been side-lined as the tech press, investors and conference organisers fight over the younger teams with the snazzier, simpler products. But it seems things are changing: the investors who wouldn’t even return their calls are now attending their parties and handing out free gifts in an attempt to woo them. A few of Silicon Valley’s former wallflowers and venture capitalists explain how the tide is turning in the wake of the former favourites’ disappointing stock performances.
If you own a smartphone, tablet, notebook or TV, chances are high that your product is made with Corning’s Gorilla Glass. It’s on everything from the Galaxy Tab to the HTC One X — but how did this long-suffering composite come into being? It’s a long story — but it’s worth the read. Wired details the evolution, from its birth in a faulty furnace in 1952 to the day it hit the smartphone circuit after Steve Jobs requested an almost impossibly super strong, thin glass for the original iPhone.