el producto #63 👉 a weekly round-up of Tech and Product goodness

Agile failure patterns, Orbitz CC breach, Lyft subscription plan, Stack Overflow 2018 Dev Survey, Google’s instant games, Dropbox’s IPO & more.

Welcome to another week full of fresh ideas and innovation at el producto!

🎰 The week in figures

880.000: The potential breach at travel booking website Orbitz earlier this week may have given hackers access to 880,000 credit cards. The company was acquired by Expedia back in 2015.

$5.7B generated by music streaming services in 2017, +43 % YoY. Sales of downloaded music fell below that of CDs, vinyl, and other physical media (for 1st time since 2011); digital download reached $1.3B; physical $1.5B.

$14M grossed by YouTube iPhone app in the US; makes it the top grossing App in that market; made $14M last month; since YouTube launched in-app monetization in 2015, the app has generated more than $200M globally.


📰 What’s going on

YouTube plans to deliver more ads between music videos in order to drive users to a coming premium subscription service; the ads will primarily target users who listen to music for long periods of time; the new service will offer exclusive videos and playlists.

Google launches Google Play Instant, enabling Android users to try apps and games in Google Play without installing anything; previously offered Instant apps in search; the expansion makes Instant apps and games available via Google Play Store, the Google Play Games app, and shared links.

Dropbox to price its IPO at $21 per share, which values the company at $8.2B; will raise $756M, the biggest tech IPO since Snap went public last year; debuts on the Nasdaq on Friday under the symbol DBX.

Instagram is testing a manual refresh button, so the user isn’t involuntarily pushed to the top of the feed by automatic refreshing; has also updated the feed algorithm, so newer posts are more likely to appear at the top.

Instagram expands its Shopping feature to 8 more countries (Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Australia); first launched in the US last year, the tool lets business accounts add price details and e-commerce links to posts.

Medium now pays cash bonuses to members of its partner program who publish what Medium editors determine to be high-quality posts on important topics; also pays authors based on audience engagement.

Amazon surpasses Alphabet to become the 2nd most valuable publicly listed US company; Amazon had a market cap of $768B on March 20, while Alphabet’s market cap was at $762B. Apple is leading the rank.

Amazon files a patent for a delivery drone that can react to voice commands and a range of hand gestures; the technology would allow a person to guide the drone to a landing point.

Lyft is trying out a monthly subscription plan for people who use the service frequently. One plan costs $199 upfront to get 30 free rides worth up to $15 per ride. Another plan costs $399 a month for 60 rides.

Uber suspends autonomous vehicle testing following a pedestrian death in AZ; one of Uber’s self-driving cars, with safety driver present, struck a woman in Tempe on Sunday night while in autonomous mode. Officials in AZ say there are no plans to restrict the testing of autonomous cars following the accident.

Toyota suspends its testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads.

Apple has almost doubled the size of its autonomous vehicle fleet since January; now has 45 self-driving vehicles registered.

Facebook plunged on a bombshell data-harvesting scandal. Its shares dropped the most in four years after multiple regulators called for hearings on reports that Cambridge Analytica illicitly used social media data from 50 million users.

Facebook announces changes to the data 3rd-party developers can access; Facebook Login will now provide apps with a user’s name, profile photo, and email address only; if an app wants more data, they will have to get permission from the social network; Facebook will also turn off data access three months after a user has stopped using an app.

Mozilla suspends its advertising on Facebook following the Cambridge Analytica scandal; Mozilla says Facebook’s current default settings leave a large amount of user data open to third-party developers.

Facebook to test a feature that enables creators to accept recurring monthly payments from fans; will also launch a feature that connects creators with advertisers for branded content opportunities; also testing a badge and leaderboard system that identifies a creator’s most engaged fans.

Facebook updates Messenger with optional administrator privileges for group chats; administrators can require that new group members be approved before participating; admins can also promote, demote, and remove members; also rolling out Admin privileges in Workplace Chat.

Netflix introduces its own font, Netflix Sans; will be used globally by the firm and promises to save them millions of dollars per year in licensing fees.

GitLab makes its continuous integration and delivery features available for GitHub projects; enables a developer to set up a project on GitLab and connect it to a GitHub repository; when the developer pushes code to the GitHub repository, GitLab can handle automated builds, tests, and deployments.


📚 Stuff to think about

Stack Overflow’s 2018 developer survey. Quincy Larson’s comments on the main insights from the survey. Full results here. The one thing that made me sad about the results:

Agile failure patterns. Stefan Wolpers presents a series of scenarios that make Agile transitions harder, slower and ultimately more expensive.

The user research tecnique to gain deeper insights: research with couples. Chris Spalton explains his experience involving couples and their own dynamis in user research. The result: real, human insights.

Quartz on quitting Facebook. Quartz dedicates its deepdive Obsession section to the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, bringing figures and reasons to stay or leave.


🍄 #offproduct

How having your phone nearby pays a toll on your attention. HBR presents the results of a research in which participants were asked to perform mental tasks with or without their phones at hand. The results are striking.


📜 From the archives

Starting up a product that customers love: 5 lessons by Monzo. This week I’m saddly saying au-revoire to Monzo. After their move to bank accounts and my relocation to The Netherlands, I can no longer keep using their services. Here are my thoughts on why and how they are building a great product.


📬 If you enjoy el producto, you can subscribe to get it in your inbox every week.

el producto is a curated selection of Tech&Product happenings within the last few days from a curious and frequently skeptical Product Owner’s perspective.