Not only was my flight from Newark to SF not delayed, it arrived early despite snow in New York and rain in San Francisco. And, as a bonus, I also got to share it with Crisis Text Line and Loris.ai CEO Nancy Lublin.
Wojcicki, speaking Tuesday at SXSW. Photo: Jason Bollenbacher/Getty Images for SXSW
YouTube's latest weapon to crackdown on crackpots is to link people on an entirely crowdsourced encyclopedia. And yet, it's not as crazy as it sounds.
What's happening now: YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced at SXSW on Tuesday that it will include links to Wikipedia articles when showing videos on known conspiracy theories. Per the Verge:
"When there are videos that are focused around something that’s a conspiracy — and we’re using a list of well-known internet conspiracies from Wikipedia — then we will show a companion unit of information from Wikipedia showing that here is information about the event.”— Wojcicki on a SXSW panel Tuesday evening
Meanwhile: YouTube also plans to limit the hours to four for the part-time contractors who screen for inappropriate videos, The Verge reports. The move comes amid criticism over the mental health impact of such work.
Box CEO Aaron Levie. Photo illustration: Axios Visuals
Box CEO Aaron Levie gives rival Dropbox credit for building a strong business, but tells Axois' Dan Primack that the two companies differ quite a bit.
"Despite the fact that both of our companies share files and despite the fact that they added 'box' to their name, the underlying structures of the (business) couldn't be more different," Levie says.
One difference: Box's financial metrics look a lot more like a typical enterprise software vendor, Levie says, than they resemble those of Dropbox.
"I was a little surprised that the paid user numbers [for Dropbox] was as low as it was, and I thought their upsell rate on the end-user product would be a little higher. But, at the same time, I also think it's impressive what they've done on the consumer side," Levie says.
Bonus fun fact: Levie went to the same high school as both the Box CFO and the Dropbox CFO.
Vivino's wine-scanning app. Photo: Vivino
Wine-curating app Vivino has hired former StubHub president Chris Tsakalakis to be its new CEO. He replaces founder Heini Zachariassen, who'll remain on the company's board and serve as "chief evangelist."
"Chris took over StubHub when it was just starting to change the way tickets for events were bought and sold," Zachariassen tells Axios. "During his 8 years as CEO, he grew tickets sold from $400 million to $3.1 billion, increased operating profit 15 times and expanded StubHub outside the United States."
The bottom line: Zachariassen says Vivino has similarly big growth ambitions, hoping to reach $1 billion in wine sales per year sometime "in the near future.” (Vivino said it has sold more than $100 million in wine since 2016.)
Three years after his live video app Meerkat was all the rage at SXSW festival, Life on Air co-founder and CEO Ben Rubin can deal with its short-lived success (they later pivoted to Houseparty app). It was simply one of his company’s many steps in figuring out how to help people connect with each other and be present, he tells my colleague Kia Kokalitcheva.
Why it matters: While chatting with Axios at SXSW this weekend, Rubin discusses the current state of the social media market and problems facing companies. Many have been criticized for exploiting human psychology and having harmful effects on people’s mental health, something Facebook has begun to admit recently.
Social media is being drawn into the gun debate, and one of the industry's top lobbyists will be grilled by lawmakers at a Senate hearing today, David McCabe and Haley Britzky report.
Why it matters: The Parkland shooter reportedly made violent references in social media messages before the shooting. Exploring the role of web platforms or video games in gun violence lets Republican policymakers direct the conversation away from new firearm restrictions while tapping into general rising concerns about the effects of tech on society.
Expect Michael Beckerman, who represents Google, Facebook and Snap as head of the trade group Internet Association, to defend the industry’s record on child safety issues. Via a statement, Beckerman said:
"The tragedy in Parkland had many warning signs, and we welcome the opportunity to highlight the proactive ways our platforms work with law enforcement to prevent tragedies and after they happen.”
Go deeper: Find more detail, including what some senators are saying, here.
I still think the Super slo-mo mode on the Samsung Galaxy S9 is largely a party trick — but it's a darn fun one. I've used it to capture skateboarders doing tricks, a bird making a getaway and, most recently, to take a little bit of snow home from New York.
More: You can get a flavor for it in the GIF above, but it's better appreciated in video form. (Here's a YouTube video of it.)
As my colleague David Nather points out, only in D.C. would Sen. Mark Warner get swarmed and Apple CEO Tim Cook could travel unnoticed.