Home Forums Silicon Valley Study Tour – August 2019 Trento Silicon Valley 2019

38 replies, 7 voices Last updated by Michele Baldo 4 years, 7 months ago
  • Marcus Vukojevic

    Hey, I noticed that i accidentally posted 3 times the same thing ahaha, because i was trying to delete the HTML tags in the text(the last one is the correct one). Does someone know how to delete them? Maybe @paolomarenco or @lucabaldessarini can help me! Thank you very much.

    Michele Baldo

    “I’ll go even if i have to swim across the Atlantic Ocean!” this is absolutely true @marcusvukoejvic , these are amazing words, I’m working night and day to go there!!

    You are right about Musk, I also believe him to be one of the most influential person of this century.

    Having said that, I don’t think this can acquit him. I can guess we all agree he is using Twitter as part of his marketing strategy (as I wrote in the previous post), but as I was asserting in the first post, being at the lead of a company it’s not a game. Furthermore public companies have even more responsibilities compared to a private company. There are millions of investors who believe in the company and even if rumors are good for marketing, it’s not good a 20 million dollars fine, loosing the chairman position and having a significant loss in the shares price. And in the last four months Tesla is experiencing again a decreasing trend in share price. It’s not good for investors and it’s not good for anyone who depends on the company.

    Going public is a great opportunity for a growing company. It’s a win-win situation. VCs and investors will make their investments profitable and the public market will help the company rising more money to finance their business and grow bigger.

    However, with big opportunity comes big responsibility. Going public is a big opportunity, but with it there are some rules which need to be followed. Current public markets are made in a way that are not perfect and easy to fool, moreover the whole economy depend on public market nowadays. That’s the reason SEC was born and regulations were made: to protect investors from frauds and to prevent the ecosystem to fall, because if the ecosystem fall all the economy will fall with it. Thus, it’s important keeping in mind that if you want the benefits and advantages of going public you also need to be sure to comply with the rules which follow with this decision. “You can not have your cake and eat it too”.

    Marcus Vukojevic

    So @michelebaldo thank you very much, by tagging me I noticed that i misspelled my surname ahah.

    I totally agree that the role of a leader/CEO is pretty serious. His employees are vulnerable and they depend on Elon’s actions and that he should follow the “rules of the game”.

    But I don’t think that the loss in share price is due to bad Twetts. Since February 2014 the total share price has grown by just 7.44% (in five years!! link), how is this possible? Maybe there is a deeper problem concerning Tesla, than Elon’s silly Tweets!

    Maybe Tesla’s cars are overpriced. I mean…for Italy at least, the cheapest product that you can buy costs 70K(the basic model). How can you sustain all the costs (talking as a company) that you have, when just a small portion of the market is willing to pay for the product? I get that, all his costumers are willing to pay(and they have the chance to do so), but by going public you need at least a product for the middle class. So what they did? They cutted the price on some of the models(link), now we’ll see how the market will answer.

    But another perspective, the market is too narrow. How many direct competitors do they have?BMW? Just for the Model 3. Maybe Faraday Future can compete(link).

    So what did they do for solving this issue?

    They are trying to put their own tecnology opensource, so there will be the possibility that new companies will arise from the darkness and compete with the giant (link). As we like so much the similarities with the cakes…They’re trying to eat the the same percentage but from a bigger cake, and I think that this is really a great strategy. They are showing us how much they fell confident about winning even if there will be more people working on the same direction. Good job Tesla!

    Michele Baldo

    Hi @marcusvukoejvic, nice to hear from you.

    I understand your point of view, but it makes no sense to consider data from 2014 because the tweet blamed by SEC was written on 7th August 2018 ( https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1026872652290379776 ). At that date share price was 379.57USD and now is 279.86USD ( https://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/tsla ). It’s a negative trend and a -26,27% lost.

    But the general trend is not the only problem with Tesla stock. The main problem with Tesla stock is the volatility. And surely tweets are involved with that.

    Financial decisions should be rationally and carefully taken, but at the end of the day we are all humans, so emotions and feelings play a big role in our decisions. And this phenomenon is even more pronounced if the company is a public company, where a big percentage of investors is the general public, which include also a lot of occasional investors who bet with their gut feeling without an appropriate experience in the finance world.

    The value of Tesla is high compared to other car companies (e.g. Tesla have a market capitalization more than double of FCA and a little more than BMW, in contrast with the fact that both companies mentioned are much bigger, higher revenues and historically leaders in the car manufacturing sector). This overvaluation is due to the trust that investors have in the future prospective of Tesla’s achievements. The value of Tesla is not correlated with the value of assets which Tesla own nor even with the cash-flow that they can make in the short run. Tesla is not selling a product but is selling a vision. That’s the reason why the share price is so high. But if the share price is correlated only with trust and not with the value of assets nor revenues of the company, it’s important to keep this trust alive and be sure to keep investors reassured.

    Having said that, it’s clear why Tesla stock is highly volatile and correlated with CEO’s tweets. It’s because people invest in Tesla mainly because they trust the vision and the company. Trust – in contrast to tangibile assets and revenues – is easily to be lost. Reading a tweet that is not appropriate or which worries investors can lead them to sell their shares and consequentially the share price will fall.

    Moving on, the strategy proposed by Tesla of a shift to online-only sales is very interesting ( article linked by @marcusvukoejvic https://www.bbc.com/news/business-47410636 ). By following this business model they will be finally able to drop the costs of their electric cars and make Tesla’s car available for more people. Moreover, the customer direct sales strategy used right now it’s very expensive, needs a lot of capital and doesn’t comply with the franchise laws of many U.S. states which prohibit auto manufacturers from making sales directly to consumers. Instead, selling mainly online will definitely put off some customers, but it will drop costs drastically, making Tesla’s cars more affordable and making more money available for growth.

    Tesla open-sourced their patents, that’s true but their made their ad hoc “open-source license” which it’s not so fair for the counterpart. The main disadvantage is that if a company use just one Tesla patent, Tesla can use any patent of the other company ( https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=ca6c332f-2cc5-401b-b80d-36473d0754c7 ). That’s not a big matter for a startup which have few patents, but it’s unacceptable for an established companies with an extensive patent portfolio. To prove this, you notice no other car manufacturing is using Tesla’s patents, but just some unknown little companies are. Therefore, the right legal way of open-source patents need to be improved, but this pioneer action of Tesla is important and should be an example for other big companies.

    Andrea Guccione

    Hi everybody!

    I would like to thank you for your valuable insights that provided me some interesting food for thought. Given that It has been some days since nobody writes in the forum, I would like to introduce a topic I am particularly interested in, in order to hear from you about it. That is autonomous vehicles.

    Autonomous vehicles are not yet quite ready to operate without human supervision then, but they have made rapid progress in recent years thanks to recent developments in computer vision and other machine-learning systems.
    They will definitely redefine automotive industry and carmakers have started to realize that. AVs will bring not only innvation in terms of product and process, but also, and more importantly, in business models, since they are likely to undermine the logic of car ownership. In fact AVs are still to expensive to be bought by private owners and their geographical range has to be limited to places that have been mapped in detail. It is likely to be many years before Avs are cheap for individuals to buy them and capable enough to operate outside predefined aread. So carmakers have understood that, in the future, they will sell rides, not cars. Once the car becomes autonomous, the relevance of car ownership disappears, since automation will dramatically cut the cost of ride-hailing. This is why the players of this emerging industry are of three kinds: carmakers, bringing mechanical expertise, technology firms, providing computer vision and machine learning competences, and ride-hailing companies, who have already established the network.
    The combination of ride-hailing and autonomous-driving confronts carmakers with a profound challenge to their business models. This shift offers carmakers a big opportunity, but it also exposes them to new competitors. Pricing models will be depply affected too.
    It will not just be carmakers that change shape. A shift from car ownership will bring difficult challenges to overcome for car dealers. The expected reduction of car accidents brought by AVs will make repair shops, partsmakers and insurers suffer.  People who drive taxis, delivery vehicles and trucks are threatened too.
    However, the consequences of AVs will not stop here. AVs will have also wider social and cultural effects and will transform our everyday life and reshape our cities.

    I think driverless vehicles will change the world, just as cars did before them, in ways good and bad.
    The main benefits expected form AVs are reduction of car accidents and road deaths, emissions and congestion. But AVs are also raising concerns about safety, cyber-security and liability.

    Let me know what your ideas are about the topic.

    Marcus Vukojevic

    Hey @andrea-guccione , i would like to answer michele’s post first and then to yours.

    So @michelebaldo , I quoted tesla’s stock from 2014 just because i think that before model 3, tesla’s vehicles weren’t for the public mass (and we can all agree on this). Tesla announced the model 3 in 2016, in a week they revealed that there where 325,000 reservations for the car with a potential revenue over US$14 billion. So the mood was positive, investors where happy, the share price was increasing and was all good. But then production problem started to arise. Musk couldn’t produce enough cars (by august 2017 the reservations where around 500K) because of some problems in the pipeline production. Tesla’s factory is one of the most technological on the planet, and even Musk said that this could lead to seriuos problems and that they should hire more humans(is he one?). Passed the “production crisis” they moved on a “delivery crisis”. People now where angry because of the missed delivery. Investors and the market where afraid the Musk couldn’t deliver such a number of cars in time affecting the total revenue from the sales(link). And from that point Tesla’s stock began going down: from 383.5(the peak) they’ve lost almoust a 28% value.

    So yes, i agree with you that the Tweets are correlated in a way with Tesla’s stock price. But i don’t think that they are the major factor of loss. Maybe is the fact that half a million people have not received their car in time! Tell me your thoughts about this!

    So thank you @andrea-guccione for the interesting topic! As computer scientists this is a really hot topic for us.

    Yes AV’s will change the world as we know it now. If you haven’t read it, i suggest you guys to read Homo Deus from Yuval Noah Harari that is focusing on describing how our world will be in the future bringing examples from algorithms, AI and of course AV’s. So there are around 1.5 billion vehicles in the world, damaging the athmosphere and encreasing our environmental footprint. So imagine a scenario where you take your car and you would like to go to the university. What happens during the process? You drive your car, you park it and that’s it right? The car just sits in the parking and does nothing. In a AV scenario your car will no longer sit in the parking, but will move and drive other people around. You’ll no longer own your car in a way. So yeah, less smog, less cars, more recources, we win. I think that now the price is affordable: it doesn’t cost as an app from the app store, but the price is aroud 3K euros/dollars and is reasonable knowing that this software will drive you around(link). So yes, the advent of AV’s will defenitly change the market and the world in a positive way.

    But from AV’s car arise some serious problems. If you don’t know there’s a mental experiment called the trolley problem that goes like this: You see a runaway trolley speeding down the tracks, about to hit and kill five people. You have access to a lever that could switch the trolley to a different track, where a different person would meet an untimely demise. Should you pull the lever and end one life to spare five? And what should do an AV’s? I’ll link you guys the article from MIT that will explain what they found. But this case is just one of many. How can an algorithm now what is right or wrong? Even we struggle with finding a common answer to this. So yeah the AV’s industry is not ready yet to take over the market, and we need to control it in order to make it 100% safe.

    What do you think about the moral problem? Should the car kill 1 or 5 people?

    Andrea Zuccotto

    Hi everybody!

    My name is Andrea Zuccotto and I’m studying Mechatronic Engineering at University of Trento. Last year I also attended Innovation Olympics at CLab.

    Even though I have an engineering background I always been fascinated by Economics and Entrepreneurship for their crucial role in the innovation process. I consider myself as a tech enthusiast and I’m amazed by how creativity, passion and hard work can produce some product or service significantly better with respect to what was already there. In fact there’s no place in the world better than Silicon Valley where these ideas are not only imagined but also realized. The number of big tech companies is just astonishing and the results they have been achieving for 30 and more years speak for themselves. That’s why I would love to go and see with my very eyes this amazing place where…

    I also took part at the presentation held at CLab on March, 19th and this even motivated me even more knowing that you not only visit companies from the outside like the average tourist but in fact you are given the unique chance to talk with the amazing people working there. I apologize in advance for joining the discussion this late but so far all your insights have been very informative and I’ll try to do the same as well.

    I’ll leave here my LinkedIn address just in case you are interested:


    Andrea Zuccotto

    So, concerning the topic, I consider Elon Musk a key figure of our times as well. He’s incredibly talented but what really amazes me is his ambition: he used all the money coming from PayPal to found SpaceX in 2002 and later Tesla Motors in 2003, so really ahead of time. With SpaceX he managed to bring new life to the American space industry and Tesla begin to sell EV before any other car company, creating an incredible rush towards this new electric mobility. He took a product with promise, and crafted that product into a modern-day myth. The first problem is in fact that Tesla is indeed a really ambitious project: it is a company trying to sell a completely new idea of car and it is playing this game in a market full of big and experienced players that of course are not letting new companies in that easily. In fact at the moment Tesla has a huge debt used to built the well known GigaFactory massive facilities in the United States and in China. This new facilities are crucial because at full regime they would allow the company to produce up to 35 GWh/year of batteries only from GigaFactory 1. To achieve this result Tesla has also designed a new production process with the target to drop the cost for every KWh produced under 100$ which is considered the critical value to make EV affordable and ready for mass adoption. Despite this huge commitment, Tesla still struggles to have cars delivered to customers and so at the moment the sales are not enough to cover its problem. On the other hand the market capitalization is still very high, in fact more than companies like FCA and Nissan for example. This suggest how is still kind of risky to invest in a public company that surely has potential but not quite yet the figures. In addition as many of you pointed out, being a public company means that Tesla has to publish quarter reports and so to be heavily exposed to stakeholders short-termism, while the company’s plans tend to refer more to the medium-long term; in this sense I totally agree with @michelebaldo when you talk about Tesla selling a vision before than a product. But the biggest problem the company is facing is still the low and in general not sufficient number of sales: while the European market seems yet not ready for mass adoption, the Chinese one turned out to be less accessible for foreign car manufactures (and that is the reason why the GigaFactory 3 is being built in Shangai) but even more hard to conquer due to the local EV companies (like for example https://www.nio.io/, https://www.byton.com/ or http://www.byd.com/en/car.html ). Also the decision of closing 100 stores seems not entirely understandable for a company selling cars: this decision was made considering the fact that 78% of the orders have been placed online, but this also could hamper the customers to have a test drive of the car.

    In all this chaos there is also Musk’s unpredictable behaviour on his Twitter account coming out of nowhere with the idea of switching from public to private alongside with many others that caused him to be placed under observation by the Security and Exchange Commission. In particular the SEC accused him of posting “False and Misleading” tweets and more importantly to have broken the settlement’s rules in February when he tweeted that Tesla would make 500,000 cars in 2019, while the company itself declared a lower projection of at the best 400,000 units. This issue got so serious that on Thursday this week Musk had to show up in Manhattan to stand in open court against the SEC, which was ordering Musk to stop making material claims about the company. Luckily the judge didn’t charge him with contempt of court, forcing him to make a deal with the SEC. Unfortunately Tesla is about to publish the Q1 balance very soon, maybe creating even more chaos over the company financial situation.

    I hope to give you some interesting ideas such as you did to me with your insights. Let’s keep in touch.

    Michele Baldo

    Hi guys, it’s nice to listen so many points of view!

    First I would like to answer @marcusvukoejvic , yes sure, I agree with you, the main loss in share price is not due to tweets, but it’s due to problems with production. However you agree with me that tweets are correlated with the share price and I personally think that it doesn’t matter if it’s a minority or a majority part of it, in any case the CEO should be aware of it. Even if it is a minority part. The CEO should always play for the best outcome of the company. Furthermore, tweets are not marginal for the company if you consider implication with SEC.

    Nice to hear from you @andreazuccotto and thank you for quoting me. The facts you brought here about GigaFactory are really detailed. GigaFactories are really an ambitious and amazing project. I’m looking forward seeing the evolution of it and what come next!

    Thank you @andrea-guccione to bring this new topic. Autonomous vehicles topic is really contemporary and it’s very fascinating. And thank you @marcusvukoejvic for the suggestion of the book Homo Deus, its already in my list and I’ll read it soon!

    I definitely agree with you guys, AVs will change the world and will be a winning solution for us and for the environment.

    Clearly it’s normal to have some problems with the adoption of a new technology, it’s common for every revolution, but here advantages are more than disadvantages and with the right amount of work any problem can be solved. So it’s up to our generation to find the best solutions for the new world that’s coming!

    As you have already pointed out, there are many advantages about AVs: easier mobility in big cities, less traffic, less car accident, less parking problems and many more. In particular car accidents will drastically decrease and many lives will be saved. Moreover traffic will be more efficient, especially in large cities, since cars will be able to connect and communicate with each others. This technology will be even more needed in view of recent trend where the population of the world is increasing and megalopolises are becoming bigger and bigger.

    To cover all aspects of the topic, there are also some problems to point out. Cybersecurity and ethics to name a few. The first is more technical and we, as computer scientists, are already working on it since few decades. The problem with cyber-security is not new. Cars are already connected to the internet and controlled by dozens of digital computers coordinated via internal vehicular
    network. Cyber attacks to cars are already happened in the past. I suggest you to read this article of 2015 about some hackers testing the security of a jeep ( https://www.wired.com/2015/07/hackers-remotely-kill-jeep-highway/ ). Obviously the size of the problem will increase and more efforts will be needed to protect this new industry from this kind of attacks. Many researchers are already working on the topic and if you are interested here below you can find some scientific papers to read: http://feihu.eng.ua.edu/NSF_CPS/year1/w9_1.pdf , https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266780575_Potential_Cyberattacks_on_Automated_Vehicles .

    Now, let’s analyze the trolley problem. This dilemma is very common when talking about AVs. There are various version of the dilemma, there is also a version where you have to choose between a child or an elder, or between a person and a famous one, or crashing against a wall killing the driver on the vehicle instead of killing a person crossing the street. We need to solve this dilemma considering that local legislation play a big role in the decision. Moreover when people talk about this dilemma usually very few think about what would do a human. Or better what would decide a human in a fraction of a second, that is the time frame in which this decision has to be made. Will he think about something or just react instinctively? What would do him/her? Will be a rational choice? In any case, I think that only the fact that we are talking about these problems is an example of what technology can enable us to do. With normal cars we have many more problems, as for example getting sleepy or distracted while driving and many more. These are all example of problems that will disappear with AVs. Technology allow us to reduce car accidents and make driving safer. Yes, there will be other problems, but this technology will enable us to solve much more serious one that cause the death on roads of many people each day. We still have a lot work to do, but the work that we are doing is always improving the current state, making driving much safer.

    In the end, I would like to listen your point of view on another problem that will arise with AVs. The number one job in the U.S.A. is still the trucks driver ( https://www.rtsfinancial.com/articles/why-trucking-still-america-s-number-one-job ). Can you imagine the impact on economics, wealth distribution and on unemployment rate that will follow to the automation of trucks? What do you think about? Do you have any solution for this problem to propose? We are approaching a new era comparable with the time when horses were substituted by cars. I’m looking forward to hearing your point of view on this very hot topic!

    Stefania Tibiletti

    Hey Guys!!

    Nice to meet you all, from now on I’ll take care of this Forum until its closure – by the end of the month.

    If you have attended the presentation of the SVST at the Clab, you already know me. If not, here my LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stefania-tibiletti/

    I don’t want to spend too much time on my profile, if you have questions please feel free to reach me out on Facebook/LinkedIn as well as via email (stefania.tibiletti@gmail.com)


    Here something new from you, let’s change the topic in something that can be quite “old” but still very actual even if not so much in the spotlight as some years ago.


    Also, feel free to keep the tone that you are already using, you’re doing a great job.

    Michele Baldo

    Hi Stefania,

    Thank you for introducing us this new topic, yes I agree with you since I also think it’s very actual.

    I totally agree about the value of data. Nowadays data are as much valuable as oil and traditional assets. With data companies can predict behaviors and manipulate people decisions, thus having data give to companies a huge advantage in marketing and efficiency of products and services. Moreover having a big amount of data means that big companies will become even bigger in the future and they’ll put out of business small players. As an example of that it’s the incredible growth of Amazon which is expanding widely and quickly in every kind of market.

    Centralizing data and power makes easier for the company providing a better service with lower costs. But monopolies kill competition and draw money and power in the hands of few. And what about innovation? We should trust them to make the interest of customers forever even when their profits are not increasing anymore? And what will be left for small businesses?

    We are witnessing a world where titans of business are not paying any tax even if they are making billions of dollars in profits. Meanwhile small business are be eaten as seafood.

    Maybe broke up them could work, but it’s important to make the right division. There are some services that are unbreakable and work properly just because of data centralization. Can you imagine two Facebook were half people are in Facebook1, the other half are in Facebook2 and the two groups can not communicate with each others? Instead you could divide easily Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, or Amazon Web Services and Amazon e-commerce.

    Anyway, there are also other solutions to consider. First of all taxes. Big companies should pay some taxes on their super high profits. Some of these titans are paying very little taxes compared with small businesses. Data, robots and automation should be taxed properly to compensate with the lost of job’s positions and these taxes should be paid by big tech companies, not by small businesses. Second we need to consider data property and privacy. Having big data means having information about millions or billions of people. Those data are property of the company or they are property of the people who provided those data? In this area many legislators are doing a great job in particular here in Europe, but we still lack a global agreement about the topic. Moreover, we could reflect on inducing big companies to provide when possible some of their non-sensitive data and models in a open-data format, so even small businesses could benefit from it. Third we can consider to force big companies to collaborate with small businesses. A global small businesses commission should regulate the trade between big and small businesses otherwise big businesses can play an unfair game. For example Amazon is a retailer and a platform for third party retailers at the same time and it’s playing an unfair competition with his clients. Moreover he also has all data about the “competition” and data of sales and it uses those data at his advantage to sell the best products of his clients but with the Amazon logo.

    Fortunately technology always come to help us. Many developers are already working on a new technology that in the future could end the centralization of big data and enable us to be the real owners of our data. The more promising technology which is aiming to decentralize data is blockchain. Many startups started already to work on this new technology and we are building new concepts that will be explored in the next decade. There will be also many problems to solve, but innovation will bring us a lot of great new incredible things. The future that’s coming it’s really exiting!

    Marcus Vukojevic

    Wow! Thanks Stefania, a really nice topic!

    I’ll start by saying that in this century data is the most valuable currency that we have, and we give it for free in exchange of cute cats videos. Is this really worth it?

    Everything that we do, say or buy is translated into bits that are saved into big datacenters and analyzed. As @michelebaldo said in the previous post, this data is the used to improve the service from both parts: from a company perspective our data will give a competitive advantage, and from our side we’ll get a better user experience and personalized ads.

    I think that in this case there’s a good and a bad side:

    From the positive part, there’s this example on how google searches are used to monitor illnesses around the world. They basically analyzed how many searches where done in a particular period of time, and if the search was the symptom of a particular disease they would know exactly where it started and inform in the quikest way as the public institutes. But what if this possible desease is from an under developed country? There’s an example how they track Dengue (transported by mosquitoes) and informed the local government(1, 2). As another example, imagine if some company(or goverment) had all your genome data (even your parent’s) and doctors could use this data to provide a customizable drug for curing your desease. Every human body acts differently when using clinical drugs, maybe customizing them will improve the efficency and save more lives.

    So here i just provided some examples, but the point is that there are INFINITE applications when all the data is freely used. Everyone can benefit from this, and the quality of life would be much higher. But why are we not still there? The answer could be that the system itself cannot allow such a thing.People are not providing freely their data because they don’t trust the companies. We know that our data is used everyday to train some artificial intelligence, or sold to somebody. Is this really right? Do they ask us if we what allow this? Yes, but when you deny, the service will not work(or they track us anyway). What could be the solution? A lot of people are using new platforms that allow users to have control of their data whitout selling them to someone else. An example could be the Browser DuckDuckGo, that is not tracking everything you click on the display. A lot of people that i know are using it, and the company is making money through ads and donations. Furthermore exists some extreme solutions to the data problem. A lot of people are using the deep web for the everyday life. If you need anonymity the deep web is the perfect place for you. Is the same as the browser that we use everyday but is decentralized, so no one owns it and no one regulates it. A lot of tech companies realized that a lot of their users are not willing to share their data, so they also provide a service in the deep web. Facebook for example has his own page there! (i’ll put here a link for a really nice Ted talk about this topic)

    But i think that what we really miss is trust in companies and the government. If we have trust, maybe we can see ourselves in the first scenario. If the system is fair to every player than you really don’t care what happens to your data because you know that are used for the good of humanity. But at the moment i cannot see anything like this. Big companies earn billion of dollars every year for exchanging and using our data, do we get our part in cash or cat videos?

    At this moment we have no options. We feed the big tech monsters or we dont. But this is our choice.

    What do you think? Do you trust Google or not? Do you care about your data?  What do you think could be some possiblle solutions? I’m really curious how you will reply, because the answer could be different for each one of us 🙂


    Michele Baldo

    Nice thoughts @marcusvukoejvic , I’m really impress about the success of the browser DuckDuckGo.

    I personally don’t use it, but I’ve many friends who are using it. The value proposition of DuckDuckGo is really cool, simple and privacy oriented. They don’t track the user and as privacy concerns are growing, more users are giving up Google to find an alternative. DuckDuckGo team was really good at addressing this niche, which is now expanding rapidly, and solving the user’s need properly.

    But how they make money? Their business model is pretty simple: untracked advertising and affiliate marketing ( https://help.duckduckgo.com/company/advertising-and-affiliates/ ). They sell ads as Google do, but their ads are chosen based on the key words of your search and not on your personal data. Moreover they use affiliate marketing to increase revenues, mainly with Amazon and eBay affiliate programs. When users buy after getting on those sites through DuckDuckGo the company collects a small commission. So, is this business model sustainable? Yes, it is. It’s profitable and the number of users is growing fast.

    However, right now Google still provides more accurate searches because it knows what you need even before you are searching. But sometimes this comes with a big downside: filter bubbles.

    A filter bubble is a state of intellectual isolation that happen when the users become separated from information that disagrees with their viewpoints, due to personalized searches and personalized social media feed. Users will see only what they like to see and only what match their beliefs. Thus they will be even more influenced and convinced about their viewpoints. Some effects and consequences of filter bubbles are extremist movements, populism, conspiracy, vaccine hesitancy and contribution to the fake news ecosystem.

    In this area DuckDuckGo is helping to solve the problem providing unbiased results outside the filter bubble, since their searches are not based on the search history. This help to reach better quality information.

    What do you think about? Are you already using DuckDuckGo?

    Here some references:
    https://duckduckgo.com/ , https://duckduckgo.com/spread , https://help.duckduckgo.com/company/advertising-and-affiliates/ , https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-revenue-of-DuckDuckGo , https://fourweekmba.com/duckduckgo-business-model/ , https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/duckduckgo.com , https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filter_bubble , https://fs.blog/2017/07/filter-bubbles/

    Marcus Vukojevic

    Hey @michelebaldo nice hearing form you! I personally use DuckDuckGo just because they don’t keep track about everything that I click. But when it comes to details (as you said) Google is winning whitout any doubt. if you need to translate something you dont go to D.D.Go, you just use Google right? I didn’t know about the “filter bubble”, those articles where very interesting!

    But what if Google had access to all our data? What could happen? I’m taking as an example China. They’re tracking every person that lives in there, and by machine learning and face recognition they can prevent robberies, rapes and murders. Isn’t that great? I think that there are endless possibilities combining Big Data and the Public Sector. Our society could be a better place. They are using this tecnology just because is the government that has insterest in collecting this data (and because they are a “democracy”). They know which person is “dangerous” for the society and “correct” their behaviour through some penalties, such as paying more taxes and the withdrawal of the passport. Maybe this methods are wrong, maybe they are not politically correct but are showing us that this method is effective!

    So, could this method be applied to our society? Of course not, we are willing to protect our privacy and at the same time we are using Google services. Isn’t this nonsense? Please let me know what do you think about it! Do you think that, if there’s our Government that is managing our personal data, can we trust them? Is China doing it right?

    Happy Easter to all of you! 🙂

    Stefania Tibiletti

    Hey Guys,

    Good development, here another article to foster your discussion: http://time.com/5568815/amazon-workers-listen-to-alexa/

    Moreover, I would like you to consider also the GDPR when speaking about the legal part of this topic!

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 39 total)
  • The topic ‘Trento Silicon Valley 2019’ is closed to new replies.