Greetings from Aspen, Colo., where the weather is beautiful, the altitude means one glass of wine may as well be four, and the attendees of Fortune’s 15th annual Brainstorm Tech conference spent their first day soaking up new ideas from a variety of tech luminaries.
Dropbox CEO Drew Houston dissed Box. A panel of artificial intelligence experts declared that “data is the new oil.” General Motors’ president explained how he thinks self-driving cars will become a reality. Lyft’s president discussed the company’s financials. WeWork’s CEO talked up that he’s not afraid to take the coworking office startup public.
One thing that struck a chord with me was an investor discussion about how Theranos happened. They issued a warning: What happened at the blood testing company is not an isolated situation.
“People are not doing their diligence in this sellers’ market,” said David Trujillo, a partner at investment firm TPG. “Companies don’t have to share quite as much as they would outside of the bubble we’ve been in.” What’s worse, they manufacture attractive figures to put into their pitch decks and make it difficult to dig deeper into the numbers, he said.
Bill Maris, CEO of GV (formerly Google Ventures), noted that Theranos didn’t have data or peer-reviewed journals to prove its technology works. “This is what happens when people invest in the idea and not the execution.”
The takeaway: No matter the altitude, don’t get drunk on ideas.
BITS AND BYTES
Facebook just became a Microsoft Office 365 customer. The social network plans to use the email and calendar apps from the cloud service but not its chat tool Yammer or its Skype for Business collaboration application. Both of those apps compete with Facebook’s own social business offering, Facebook at Work. (Wall Street Journal)
Tesla in the hot seat? When the electric car maker notified federal transportation safety officials about a fatal crash in May, involving its autopilot technology, it didn’t disclose the issue to investors. That may have been a breach of securities regulations. (Wall Street Journal)
Twitter’s political connections. The social media company will share live video from both the Republican and Democratic national conventions in collaboration with CBS. The feed will also contain real-time commentary in the form of tweets about the proceedings. (New York Times)
PC sales are off, but not as much as feared. Worldwide sales fell by an estimated 4.5 to 5.2% during the second quarter—but they actually grew in the U.S. market, according to prominent market research companies IDC and Gartner. But there’s bad news for Apple: It lost share. (Wall Street Journal, Fortune)
Bernie Sanders, other senators push for Internet privacy. The group of six Democratic lawmakers think certain consumer information should be protected such as Internet usage, online activities, and service payments. (Fortune)
Social media smackdown. The Federal Trade Commission took issue with a Warner Brothers’ marketing campaign in which it paid popular YouTube celebrities to comment about a new video game. The payments weren’t the problem; it was the fact that the studio didn’t disclose them. (Fortune, Wall Street Journal)
IBM bets on blockchain again, this time in Singapore. The tech giant has established a new fintech innovation center in the city-state, in collaboration with local economic development agencies. (Reuters)
Rumors buoy GoPro stock. The digital camera maker’s shares got a 13% boost on Monday to $12.43, as investors processed scuttlebutt about the next edition of its flagship product plus GoPro’s highly anticipated drone. Both are due before the end of the year. GoPro has lost almost three-quarters of its value over the past year. (Fortune)
Xerox in merger talks? A Bloomberg report suggests that the huge document management company, set to split later this year, is contemplating a plan to buy R.R. Donnelley & Sons and merge it with its copier division. (Bloomberg)
Amazon Prime members outnumber nonmembers. There are 63 million people who stand to benefit from deals Tuesday during the online retailer’s second annual Prime Day. They account for more than half of everyone who shops there. (Fortune)
Why data is the new oil. Companies that want to use artificial intelligence techniques like machine learning algorithms to improve their businesses will need to either have or acquire copious amounts of data, which will only become more valuable as the field of AI advances.
“Data will become a currency,” said David Kenny, the general manager of IBM’s Watson data crunching service, during a panel discussion at Fortune Brainstorm Tech 2016. Right now, approximately 80% of the world’s information is held privately by companies and organizations, he estimated.
Read more coverage of the AI debate. Plus, here are three other Brainstorm Tech highlights:
- It’s Google’s Time to Shine in Big Business
- The Best Protection Against Disruption Is a Great Story, Says Disney CEO Bob Iger
- Uncle Sam Wants You to Join This Digital Startup
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
What Elon Musk Misses About Self-Driving Cars, by Erin Griffith
Here’s Upstart Infor’s Latest Strategy for Competing With Oracle and SAP, by Heather Clancy
E-Book Sales From Major Publishers Are Plummeting, by Aaron Pressman
Money Flows Into Batteries for Buildings, Power Grids, by Katie Fehrenbacher
This May Be What the iPhone 7 Looks Like, by Don Reisinger
ONE MORE THING
Oops! Pokemon Go’s creators didn’t mean to spy. Those using a Google email to sign in to the wildly popular game—which is actually the only way new users can register right now—may be exposing more of their account information than they realize. (Recode, Fortune, Time)
This edition of Data Sheet was edited by Heather Clancy.