John Lilly, the venture capitalist and prolific tweeter, recently cited a friend who categorizes colleagues into buckets, based on the number of tech-industry downturns they’ve experienced. He divided them into three groups, those who’d seen things go south once, twice, or never, with the two in question being the years after 2000 and 2008. Lilly went on to write that the majority of this friend’s co-workers had experienced no downturns in their professional lives. They’re too young.
This will seem odd to those outside Silicon Valley, a metaphorical rather than strictly geographical place where the tech mindset rules. Yet for those who regularly deal with young entrepreneurs, including greying venture capitalists (like Lilly, who works at Greylock) and journalists (like me), it sounds about right. Silicon Valley is a youth movement, partly because the energy levels and naiveté needed to succeed here favor the young.
Still, at least to those of us who have seen the dark side, it’s fairly obvious advantages experience brings in times like these. I was reminded of this when Fortune’s Dan Primack wrote recently about layoffs at Angry Birds maker Rovio:
It reminded me a bit about a conversation I had with someone very close to the company around the time of its VC funding in 2011, who told me that Rovio viewed Angry Birds as the equivalent of Super Mario Brothers. When I asked about his confidence in Rovio being able to create a largely unrelated hit based on a similar character — given that Super Mario was based on Donkey Kong — he expressed ignorance of that basic gaming history. To me, it was a big enough red flag that it stuck in my mind for the past four years.
There’s no rule that inexperienced management teams will fail when times get tough, just as it’s not a given that seasoned managers will succeed in tough circumstances. But volatile markets certainly favor those who’ve seen them before—or at least those who have the humility and prescience to surround themselves with those who have.
Your usual curator Heather Clancy is away on vacation. Fortune reporter Robert Hackett here, subbing in. You can reach me on Twitter (@rhhackett) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Feedback welcome.
Tesla car awarded highest-ever Consumer Reports score for a vehicle. The Model S P85D sedan initially received a score of 103 out of 100. The product reviewer reset its scoring system and marked it as 100. Read Fortune‘s own Stacey Higginbotham on her review of a Tesla ride here. (Consumer Reports, Fortune)
Facebook hits 1 billion users—on a single day. “On Monday, 1 in 7 people on Earth used Facebook to connect with their friends and family,” wrote CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a post on the social network. The achievement represents a new milestone for the social network, which claims around 1.5 billion monthly users. (Facebook, Wired)
Apple loses key streaming exec. Ian Rogers, architect of Apple’s Beats1 online radio strategy, has resigned two months after the service’s launch. The former Beats executive’s departure surprised colleagues. (Financial Times)
Mylan shareholders vote on Perrigo takeover. The drugmaker may buy its rival for $33 billion if half of the company’s shareholders approve of the deal. A vote will occur today. (Bloomberg)
Instagram goes vertical. The photo app will now allow users to upload portrait and landscape shots. The service previously permitted only square photos. (Recode)
Intel invests $60 million in drone maker. Intel Capital, the chip maker’s venture capital arm, has poured $60 million into the Hong Kong drone maker Yuneec. CEO Brian Krzanich says he believes the technology has many possibilities for the future. (Fortune)
Uber China closes $1 billion round. The ride sharing service’s Chinese arm has raised $1 billion from search giant Baidu and other investors, sources say. The round will help it compete with rival Didi Kuaidi, which raised $2 billion last month. (Reuters)
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Fortune senior editor Stacey Higginbotham explains why Intel will buy chip-maker Altera for nearly $17 billion.
“Three months ago Intel said it would buy chip maker Altera in a deal valued at $16.7 billion. It was a significant investment for the world’s largest chip company and much was made over the consolidation in the semiconductor industry. On Thursday however, we got a lot more color on why Intel plans to plunk down a considerable hunk of money for Altera.” Read more on Fortune.com.
BITS AND BYTES
Psych! Most studies are irreproducible. (Atlantic)
Netflix and chill? Er, not what you think it means. (Fusion)
“Pwnage.” Is now officially a word. (Fortune)
Who’s your sugar daddy? Read this—if not just for the hilarious aliases. (GQ)
Redditor King. Meet the Internet’s viral gif guy. (The Awl)
ALSO ON FORTUNE
A concierge’s black book: Copenhagen by Adam Erace
The only all-female MBA program is closing—could it have been saved? by Valentina Zarya
ONE MORE THING
When everyone is doing design thinking, is it still a competitive advantage? Yes, and mastery will set you apart. (Harvard Business Review)
“We believe that the SO’s preliminary conclusions are wrong as a matter of fact, law, and economics.”
Google senior vice president and general counsel Kent Walker, responding for the first time to the “Statement of Objections” (or SO) published by the European Commission’s antitrust division. The April complaint alleges that Google has used its search algorithm for unfair business practices. Google, unsurprisingly, disagrees. (Google Europe Blog, Fortune)
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
VMworld: The virtualization ecosystem. (Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, 2015; San Francisco)
Gartner Customer 360 Summit: Strategies for digital engagement. (Sept. 9 – 11; San Diego)
- Executive Insights: Leveraging technology to improve business growth. Data Sheet readers get $200 off registration with promo code EXFRTN15 (Sept. 15-16, 2015; Las Vegas).
Dreamforce: The Salesforce community. (Sept. 15 – 18; San Francisco)
.conf2015: “Get your data on” with Splunk. (Sept. 21 – 24; Las Vegas)
Cassandra Summit: Largest gathering of Cassandra database developers. (Sept. 22 – 24; San Francisco)
nginx.conf: The modern web. (Sept. 22 – 24; San Francisco)
AppSec USA: Application security principles. (Sept. 22 – 25; San Francisco)
BoxWorks: Cloud collaboration solutions. (Sept. 28 – 30; San Francisco)
Workday Rising: Meet and share. (Sept. 28 – Oct. 1; Las Vegas)
Minds+Machines: GE’s annual industrial Internet event. (Sept. 29 – Oct. 1; San Francisco)
HP Engage: Big data, big engagement. (Oct. 4 – 6; San Diego)
Gartner Symposium ITxpo: CIOs and senior IT executives. (Oct. 4 – 8; Orlando, Florida)
AWS re:Invent: The global Amazon Web services community. (Oct. 6 – 9; Las Vegas)
I Love APIs: Apigee’s annual conference. (Oct. 12 – 14; San Jose, California)
Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing: World’s largest gather of women technologists. (Oct. 14 – 16; Houston)
DevOps Enterprise Summit: Lean principles meet technology management. (Oct. 19 – 21; San Francisco)
Tableau Conference 2015: Tableau’s annual customer conference. (Oct 19 -23; Las Vegas)
Dell World: Global conference for customers and partners. (Oct. 20 – 22; Austin, Texas)
Virtuous Circle Conference: Internet policy in the round (Oct. 12-13, Menlo Park, California)
CX San Francisco: Forrester’s forum for customer experience professionals. (Oct. 22 – 23)
Oracle OpenWorld: Customer and partner conference. (Oct. 25 – 29; San Francisco)
TBM Conference: Manage IT like a business. (Oct. 26 – 29; Chicago)
eBusiness Chicago: eBusiness and channel strategy. (Oct. 29 – 30)
QuickBooks Connect: SMBs, entrepreneurs, accountants and developers. (Nov. 2 – 4; San Jose, California)
CMO+CIO: Forrester’s summit on strategy collaboration. (Nov. 2 – 4; Sarasota, Florida)
Oktane: Identity management trends. (Nov. 2 – 4; Las Vegas)
FutureStack: Define your future with New Relic. (Nov. 11 – 13; San Francisco)