Perkbox + more things

4 minutes estimated reading time


Perkbox raises $8.6 million for its employee engagement platform | – well deserved funding round that isn’t Tech City BS. Disclosure: Perkbox was co-founded by my friend and former colleague Chieu. They pivoted the business a few times and managed to land on a formula that works with Perkbox. I can vouch for the Perkbox service, as I used to have a ‘friend’ account thanks to Chieu.


US and European leaders finally agree on something: suspicion of Chinese takeovers | Quartz


France wants hardest Brexit, says City envoy to EU | FT – makes sense. At least some countries would see the negotiations as something closer to a zero-sum game for a few reasons. Holding the EU together, and the opportunities for at least some new jobs in their country. As the UK economy slows down, the country becomes less attractive as a market for exports. So the calculus moves from partnership to strip mining. Finally, it will be traumatic for supply chains so there is an incentive to rebuild them in your favour (paywall)

China’s economy grows 6.9 per cent in second quarter, beating market expectations | South China Morning Post – mixed news here. Top line number is good, the problem is that it’s reliant on steel production (where China has a glut in capacity) and construction – further inflating the property bubble. Coal production also picked up – again contrary to the direction the government has outlined in terms of high value growth


This Is Why China Hasn’t Jumped on the Smart Speaker Bandwagon – Bloomberg – interesting comments on conversational Chinese, AI also struggles with many variants of conversational English

Most popular iPhone models in the wild: CHART – Business Insider – a couple of things on this. The iPhone is obviously a durable item, many of these handsets will be secondhand or hand me downs. Many people’s upgrade will be a newer secondhand model

Apple’s ‘installed base’ of iPhones has stopped growing, says Deutsche Bank (AAPL) | Business Insider – basically the market is saturated and has reached its equilibrium


What was it like to be at Xerox PARC when Steve Jobs visited? – Quora – I hadn’t realised that Alto and the other Xerox PARC technologies had been so widely discussed in the mainstream media prior to the visits by Microsoft and Apple respectively


The iPhone Is an Ideal Machine for Exerting Intellectual Property Control – Motherboard – interesting piece to read, with valid points BUT diminishes itself by playing fast and loose with some of the facts


Paris-Based “it” Store Colette to Close its Doors | The Fashion Law – this is sad. I love their carefully curated website and shop.

Weak pound helps bring record tally of tourists | Business | The Times – so basically tourism hasn’t improved the country is an arbitrage play for travellers


brandchannel: Mercedes-Benz and SXSW Bring meConvention to Europe – is it just me or does this feel like marketing festivals have jumped the shark?

Under the Hood of Shell’s $100 Million Loyalty Program | CMO Strategy Columns – AdAge – interesting read, especially on the decline in geographic penetration at the pump of (other) oil companies (reg wall)

Confessions of a former agency innovation head: ‘It’s all smoke and mirrors to get more money’ – elements of the truth with a dose of skepticism


How Baidu Maps Leads People to a Privately Owned Hospital | Whats on Weibo – Baidu can’t catch a break

Publishers are switching affections from Snapchat to Instagram | Digiday – similar moves with creators

The Influence of the KPM Music Library | WhoSampled – great guide to the famous library music label

The music industry according to super-producer Jimmy Iovine | FT – no amazing business insights but interesting commentary on Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run album – which Iovine engineered. Apparently getting the drum sound perfect had been an issue. Born To Run ended up being Springsteen’s breakthrough album


Amazon Prime does more for northern food security than federal subsidies, say Iqaluit residents – North – CBC News – positive PR for Amazon, the question is whether it is worth their while providing Prime as a universal service or not?


Hard Drives Started Out as Massive Machines That Were Rented by the Month | Vice – and the industry is moving back to this approach with cloud services. A number of PC era technology executives had their first computing experience on time-sharing computing services

Web of no web

Facebook Plans to Unveil a $200 Wireless Oculus VR Headset for 2018 – Bloomberg – scaling down from the gaming PC powered rig to compete with Google Daydream and the myriad VR headsets out of Shenzhen

QR code takes a baby step in world conquest as group adopts global cashless payment format | SCMP – interesting counterpoint to NFC solutions from Google and Apple