Believe it or not, but this is actually my first Soundbyte since joining Luminis over five years ago. Somehow I always got away with it. I’ve read all the previous 277 ones, and now finally it is my turn. After reading so many of them, I guess I figured out the formula. When reading a Soundbyte, I’d like to start with the words first. I tried the other way, but then got distracted by the YouTube videos or by the song. Anyway, for this particular Soundbyte I highly encourage you to read the text first. The music will be kinda “loud”.
So here we go…looking back at last week in tech:
The Dutch hotels, restaurants, and catering industry as represented by Koninklijke Horeca Nederland, or KHN for short, showcased another classic complaint scenario in which they whined about the dominant market position of booking and review websites such as IENS and Booking.com. It is a prime example of a classic business model calling accusations upon the digital world which they do not fully understand. Let alone see the potential of. Instead KHN decided to come up with an outcry to the Government to come up with more rules and regulation. A few days later IENS retaliated by calling the accusations from KHN as false claims, threatening them with legal action.
Meanwhile Takeaway.com, the parent company of thuisbezorgd.nl, the premier Dutch home delivery service for (fast)food, reported a stunning increase in sales over the last year. To me this all proves that also in this industry, software is literally starting to ‘eat‘ the world. So for KHN it is about time to embrace this fact instead of fighting it.
Instead of fighting change and digital disruption, an open API economy can also help making our cities smarter. Utilizing so-called “urban intelligence”, Uber announced a new initiative called Uber Movement. It offers to share traffic information with local authorities and urban planners in over 350 cities where the ride-sharing service is active. Using anonimized data which is not traceable to personal information, Uber wants to help cities make informed decisions about traffic flows. The new service provides insights in how to optimize certain parts or neighbourhoods. I think this is a great example of where the digital disruption feeds back into the real world.
In other news, startups worldwide collected less investor money over the past year. Hopefully this should be regarded as a sign that investors stopped throwing money at every stupid idea. Maybe instead they are becoming more selective in what they will fund. Applying some sanity to what they think is actually a sound businessplan or at least has some sort of potential. All in all 2016 was still good for about 132 billion euro of investments in startups, which is just a tad more than I use to carry around on any given day of the week.
Also, a new Nokia phone was released. While a couple of years ago this would have been breaking news, the demise of Nokia has largely rendered this news obsolete today. The only newsworthy fact about this, is that it is the first new phone released after Nokia got rid of the Microsoft stranglehold. The company has been rebooted after they’ve been completely sucked dry of patents, talent, and money. For those reminiscent of phones that just worked and had a battery life of at least a week, don’t keep your hopes up, as this phone will only be sold in China for now.
Besides tech news there were some interesting other things as well:
Last Thursday we had our New Year’s reception in Lieren. With Luminis being a distributed organization you sometimes forget just how much talented coworkers we actually have. Even under threats of blizzards and piles of snow, many showed up to toast on the year ahead. Seeing a large part of them in the same room always makes me feel proud. While we are always looking for more talented people to join us, we already do have a fine collection of individuals, and I’m honoured to be a part of that.
This weekend marked the finish of the epic Dakar rally. Although the rally still bears the name of its original destination, it is currently taking place in South America. Mostly due to unsafe circumstances in Africa. The 10,000 kilometre route from Asunción to Buenos Aires, via La Paz, covers some of the most inhospitable terrain on the planet. For the last two weeks I have been amazed once more with the footage of cars, trucks, and motorcycles plowing their way through the most insane areas South America has to offer. Meanwhile battling scorching summer temperatures and nosebleed inducing altitudes. The wear on man and machine is just insane. The heroic battles that some of them have with either time or nature makes this event a highlight of the beginning of each new year for me.
I can’t let the chance pass to stress that we still have an open call for papers for Luminis DevCon. If you haven’t done so already, please pour yourself a nice glass of wine (or some other beverage of your choice) and take some time to think of at least one presentation proposal. Let’s give the program committee a really hard time deciding which sessions are best for this year’s edition of our developer conference. You have ’till the end of the month to come up with proposals. The final program will be compiled in February. The DevCon website is already live for some time now. We even sold the first bunch of early bird tickets without having a program at all. This shows the level of trust that some attendees have in us, so let’s not disappoint them!
And finally, we just survived the first Friday the 13th of 2017. Now that we’re past that milestone, I think it is safe to say the new year is well underway!
And now for the music… Many of you probably know that I have a bit of a guilty pleasure enjoying particular styles of metal. Since this is an underrepresented category of music in Soundbytes, my New Year’s resolution is to bring some change to that 🙂
But hey, before you turn away… There is much more to this genre of music than beer, men with long hair, and leather pants. The former are just for people refusing to grow up, which sometimes is not such a bad idea after all. Anyway, long hair and leather never really appealed to me. I just try to enjoy the music and the energy that is part of it. There is much more to heavy metal than just loud music. If you start to carefully listen at the patterns and scales used for the rhythm and solos, you will see that if any of the great composers would stil be alive, they would certainly compose metal, I’m pretty sure of that 🙂
Therefore this week’s choice of music is a real treat. Performed by an epic band that sold over 100 million(!) records and made the (trash) metal genre to what it is today. Coming from their recently released new (and final?) album “Hardwired…to Self-Destruct”, this is simply a masterpiece. It has everything in it that made the genre: classic tight and intense drum work, ferocious, high paced, dual riff guitars, an extended solo, and a runtime of about 6 minutes. Get ready to be energized for your week with Metallica and make sure to play it LOOOUUUD!