The radio industry roared onto the American scene a century ago, filling the nation’s airwaves with music and news, but also with commercials, wave piracy, and technological chaos. Radio quickly affected all corners of society, changing the nature of the national conversation, how products were marketed, and speeding up cultural trends with its instantaneous reach. Radio no doubt helped make the Roaring Twenties roar. Virtually nobody listened to radio in 1920. By the late twenties, practically all Americans were tuned in. Concerns grew for what this newfangled medium meant for the nation. Nobody really knew what kind of power was suddenly in the hands of the booming radio corporations. Into this setting rode President Coolidge’s Secretary of Commerce, Herbert Hoover . Hoover had a background in engineering and was fascinated by the new medium. He was also concerned about the potential influence of the electronic media and its unregulated growth. Hoover invited scientists, … [Read more...] about We need a Herbert Hoover to reel in Big Tech
For over a decade, a simple rule of thumb predicts the outcome of most cases before the Supreme Court that impact intellectual property rights: Just select the outcome that will advance the interests of tech platforms. Wrapped in the flag of “information wants to be free,” tech platforms have repeatedly persuaded the Court that robust enforcement of IP rights is bad for consumers and innovators. This is the Silicon Valley equivalent of “What’s good for GM is good for America.” In fact, there is strong reason to believe that the Court’s continuous dilution of IP rights is not good for America. The Court’s decision last week in Google v. Oracle illustrates its predilection for endorsing the weak-IP policies advanced by tech platforms . The Court applied the fair use doctrine to shield Google from liability for having copied over 11,000 lines of code from Oracle’s copyright-protected Java programming language. The end-result: Google owes nothing to the first mover in an … [Read more...] about Have tech platforms captured the Supreme Court?
W hat makes a perfect entrepreneur? Sadly, no one can give you the full recipe, so many and varied are the stories of those on this list. But a rundown of The Telegraph’s Tech Hot 100 does reveal a lot of common ingredients in the make-up of Britain’s start-up leaders. First: be bold and disruptive in established sectors which may have grown used to easy margins. Britain’s top tech entrepreneurs have not been afraid to give old ideas profound new twists. The fintech industry, for example - represented by a remarkable 39 founders on this list - has deployed apps and machine learning to shake-up mortgages, pensions, saving and lending - and protect against money laundering. Second: Show no Fear. It can be hard to take on entrenched establishment players, or see new ways of doing business, but even Google can be beaten at some games - as Lyst has shown. Though it can be disheartening when one of the world’s biggest tech names launches a rival to the site you are building from a shed, … [Read more...] about Anatomy of a tech titan – what it takes to make it big
T here’s no doubt, it is disheartening to see so few women on the Tech 100 list. Only 13 have made it this year, led by Romina Savova at PensionBee and Joanne Smith of Recordsure. What explains the gender imbalance ? Campaigners still point to the fact that fewer young women than men sign up for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) courses. Only around one in four graduates in core STEM subjects are women . But that is not the whole problem. This list reflects a wider issue in the business community, highlighted by figures last year which showed that just one in five businesses in the UK are run by women. A new Government review will focus on examining the barriers women face when starting a business and identifying ways of harnessing female business talent. Indeed, Robert Jenrick, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said that untapped female entrepreneurship “may be the greatest economic opportunity of the 21st century”. In tech, the gap is particularly … [Read more...] about ‘There were few women then, there are few women now’ – Tech must do better to address sexism
T oday we publish an eight-page supplement revealing the 100 most successful technology entrepreneurs in Britain at present. They and their companies represent so many things that The Telegraph champions – determination, imagination, hard work, and wealth and job-creation. They also show, as the Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright notes in the supplement, that technology has an enormous capacity to do social good as well as fuel economic growth. Indeed, as so often, the two go together. Encouragingly the list also reveals a growing maturity in the UK tech ecosystem. Previously, many successful start-up founders were happy to sell up as soon as foreign buyers came calling. These days they want to hold on and build their companies into global heavyweights with valuations in the many billions. … [Read more...] about Tech can create wealth and improve lives