The 5 Minute Tech Break : Apr 19

Happy Good Friday

Another glorious day of sunshine in London for our holiday weekend.

Before we get out the sun loungers and turn on the BBQ, time for our weekly "5 Minute Tech Break"


Jason & Andrew

Book of the week : Innovation and its enemies

November 2016 and I was attending the Web Summit in Lisbon, when news emerged that President Trump had been elected.  

Coming hot on the heels of the Brexit result, the tech glitterati were seen incredulously scratching their heads in bewilderment ...

"We thought everyone was benefiting from the power of tech and globalisation?"

Clearly not, which is why I found 'Innovation and its enemies : Why people resist new technology' such an interesting read.

It explores deeper meanings behind the fear of technology.

The author considers debates surrounding technology and how technology changes the culture, economics, social order and more, also studying cases of human innovations like the printing press, electricity, refrigeration and music recording to research how these world-changing technologies were adapted into human lives.

From this background, he looks into why people are so resistant to new technologies, like artificial intelligence and robots, making the case for political leaders, scientists and engineers to work together and create a unified and happy environment with technology.


Questions To Ask People Who Report To You

Tim Jackson is a UK based tech entrepreneur and angel investor.  who writes some terrific articles, often focused around management and team issues.  Whilst he tends to write from the perspective of the CEO, the articles should be of interest to anyone in (or aspiring to) the CTO role. 

This week he wrote about which questions to ask people who report to you.

He looks at a list of things that senior managers can cover in one-on-one meetings with their managers and "gentle ways to open up the discussion", based around five ingredients in good management - selection, coaching reliability, involvement, monitoring.

The article is here.  If you want to read more from Tim, check out his linkedin profile.

Recode Podcast :
Self-Driving Cars are a Hard Tech Problem

Ford CTO Ken Washington appears on the latest episode of Recode Decode with Kara Swisher, looking at why, autonomous vehicle prototypes are a rarity in most cities outside of San Francisco, and humans are still vital to companies like Uber and its first-to-IPO rival Lyft.

Seems that self-driving is a really, really hard technological problem.

“You may see some earlier ones in 2020, but we believe in taking the time to work with the cities,” Washington says. “If you just put a bunch of autonomous vehicles in the city without designing it to make life better in that city, you’re gonna have problems"

With Ford testing its self-driving cars he explains that in order to be ready for regular consumers, the “robo-cars” need to have a pre-existing 3-D scan of every street they might drive on.

Interesting conversation, listen here

Quote of the Week

“A man is about as big as the things that make him angry.” 
 Winston Churchill

Some Tech Escapism : Learn About Clara Bow

Clara Bow was a cinema sensation, who broke box office records whilst becoming one of the greatest stars of the silent screen.

Amid scandal and ill health, she retired for good at the age of just 28. Once the Queen of Hollywood, now largely forgotten - this magnificent documentary from the BBC asks 'whatever happened to Clara Bow?'.  

It's a wonderful bit of escapism into an amazing, lost Hollywood era.  Turn off the tech for an hour and tuck into something a little different.

Newsletter done and dusted.  We're off for some Easter sun. 

Stay happy, healthy and curious.