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Mic Wright

Columnist

Mic Wright is the founder and CEO of The XX Corporation, a new kind of media company. He was previously Chief Tech Blogger at The Daily Telegraph, held staff roles at Stuff and Q Magazine and has written for almost every British national newspaper. He currently lives in Dublin and tweets at @brokenbottleboy. ///Read Mic's column every week at Tech City News
crocodile

Evolve or die: TwitPic’s demise is a timely reminder to startups

The Egyptian Plover is known for picking decaying meat from between crocodiles’ teeth but despite tales stretching back to ancient Greek historian Herodotus, no one has ever got a picture of one in the act. There’s probably a good reason for that. Basing your existence on flying into the mouth of a much larger animal is…

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Software will change the world – but is it one we want to live in?

A robot’s piercing blue eyes stare out from the page. Below the picture the message reads: Dear Students & Graduates, One day my friends and I will take you jobs. For now, you can go to Web Summit for FREE on Wednesday evening, November 5 to learn about the future of jobs. And yes, software…

Westminster

Politicians need to think smarter but techUK’s proposals don’t go far enough

You only have to watch the latest government IT initiative slide past its deadline and way over budget to see the perils of public sector tech projects. The Universal Credit system started out with a projected cost of £2.2bn but has cost an estimated £12.8bn so far with just 0.2% of benefits recipients likely to…

Wonga

Whether it’s Wonga or The Downtown Project, tech needs to wean itself off wishful thinking

It’s odd to think now that Wonga was once the darling of the tech press with concerns about its business model shoved to one side in favour of paeans honouring its awesome algorithms. Last week’s news that the firm will have to write down £220 million in debts for 330,000 customers is just the latest…

ello

Ello should have got its story straight from the start

LinkedIn is already littered with blog posts purporting to teach you the marketing lessons to be learned from Ello, the latest social network to seize the meaningless title of “Facebook killer”. The real lesson for startups in its fast rise to minor media obsession is to get your story straight and beware of making promises…

minecraft

What the Minecraft story teaches us about building startups

It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity. It would be easy to roll your eyes at the final line of Markus “Notch” Persson’s blog post announcing that he’s leaving Mojang after it was acquired by Microsoft for $2.5 billion. Saying a decision isn’t about money from a position of immense wealth is always…

dream big

Startups, can you please dream a bit bigger?

I opened up ProductHunt this morning as I started to write this column. The first three ideas I saw are typical of the limited dreams of a lot of entrepreneurs today: yet another productivity app, another dating app and an app promising to be “Tinder for apartment hunters”. Meanwhile Elon Musk has said he won’t…

iWatch

Fashion won’t be what sells the Apple Watch

It’s ugly. It’s beautiful. It doesn’t matter. The Apple Watch will sell millions in 2015 when it finally ships. 200 million people already own iPhones that are compatible. The complaints of left-handers, Android-lovers and devotees of the current swathe of smart watches won’t count for much once the device is out in the world. Tim Cook reiterated the…

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The rise in corporate accelerators is a cause for celebration

Accelerators are far from a new idea. IdeaLab, the first of the type we’ve become used to, was founded in 1996 by Bill Gross and is still going. But the approach is now starting to be picked up by companies far outside the startup world. The latest and most intriguing comes from Bayer Healthcare, making…

Travis Kalanick

Why Uber could power our on-demand future

Back in June, I wrote about the widespread criticism of Uber’s $17 billion valuation. I pointed to the potential for the company to become far more than a platform for taxis. Investors have placed their confidence in Travis Kalanick and his team because of a bolder vision to become the underlying architecture for on-demand deliveries…

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When the Crush is over: King shows the peril of a one product strategy 

It may seem odd to point to a company which just reported second quarter revenues of $594 million as a cautionary example but the latest stumble for King, the maker of Candy Crush, highlights the problem with building success on a single product. While King had been making games for a decade before the sweet…

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Is originality in tech overrated?

The brilliant idea is prized above all else in Silicon Valley but the success of Berlin-based Rocket Internet highlights something else – it’s execution that matters most. Rocket Internet’s accelerator programme has often been dismissed as a clone factory and last week sold a 10% stake to PLDT the largest telecoms provider in the Philippines,…

Editors picks

Coinjar

Coinjar: UK relocation is crucial for our survival

Lendable

Lendable raises $4m as peer-to-peer lending continues its rapid rise

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UP accelerator launches in heart of Manchester’s MediaCityUK

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Northzone Ventures unveils $325m fund, its largest to date

Carwow

carwow raises $7.2m for easy car comparison