In August: SoftBank’s Vision Fund, Target’s Vision Connect App & Investors’ Crypto Awakening


target app

Milkos/iStock via FastCompany.com

Here are some very interesting summer reads I would like to spread the word about. A cool portrait of a Japanese star-investor, a fabulous co-creative tool used by the American supermarket chain Target, a rather sad article about deceived crypto investors and more. I still enjoy reading about tech, growth and the challenges brought along by success and growth. It’s so easy to look at companies and their policies in hindsight and/or from the outside, criticizing their choices and policies. But one ought to remember that people build companies, and that people are limited, biased, imperfect trying to make the most of themselves and the organizations they work for.

A cool portrait of Masayoshi Son, the founder of SoftBank and “key force” behind the Vision Fund (investor in Uber, WeWork, Flipkart, SoFi…), who “meets with every founder of every Vision Fund investment in person before a deal is signed.” An interesting article about mentoriship and creating a sense of belonging within a fund (“family“).

It’s not that much about the topic than about the writing style. Forget Gwyneth, it’s Taffy Brodesser-Akner who is the start of this article. The American journalist, whose profiles of celebrities have won her many awards, reports about Goop as much as she wonders about Gwyneth Paltrow’s life and doubts about herself.

This resonated with me because I deeply believe in constant customer dialog to create a company’s value proposition. Not only because I wrote a thesis about it – that would be the wrong reason – but also because we apply it in our work at WiSEED. I’d love to have a “secret app for superfans” like Target, especially if designers directly talk to consumers! But you can start small, like we did: an active blog, a closed Linkedin group and/or private events with select customers will get you loads of insights too.

I briefly worked with Rob during my stint at eYeka. This got me to click on the article in my Linkedin feed… but it’s the content that got me sharing it. A great gathering of life experiences, a cross-cultural journey across adland. Thanks Rob and Mumbrella for sharing this – and long life to Japanese creativity!

We surveyed our community about crypto assets and, after phenomenal response, the results brought to light that it was not seen a promising way to invest. Even though our clients saw it as a good innovation to be tested. In this NYT article, the shares some stories of hungover investors who put way too much needed money into cryptocurrencies. Not that it can’t go up again… but a reminder that investing sould be done wisely.

A good piece about the growth of a business, the evolution of a community of contributors, and the inevitable challenges that come with managing it. “In promising a faithful portrait of the world, TripAdvisor has, like other tech giants, found itself in the unhappy position of becoming an arbiter of truth [and] how free speech on their platform should be,” Linda Kinstler writes. I also love the humorous illustrations 🙂

In this great article, former Apple designer Imran Chaudhri, who worked on many of the brand’s successful products, discusses “how we can regain control over our devices–and how Apple can do better” as the sub-title says. But I found the passages about working for a big organization, the ethics of design decisions and the struggle with marketers much more insightful.

Thanks for reading!

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