8/5 — Friday Fun Reading — Six Links Worthy of your Attention

1.Network effects — where a product or service becomes more valuable to its users as more people use it — are one of the key ways software businesses maintain a better product and more defensible market position. This is especially true of messaging apps like WeChat — which, is not just a messaging app but is actually more of a portal, a platform, and a mobile operating system. However you label it, WeChat is an entire ecosystem in and of itself, especially as it’s used in Asia.

2. Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 7, actually the sixth main entry in its popular series of gigantic, stylus-equipped phones. The Note line usually builds on the Galaxy S series, applying Samsung’s latest technologies to a larger canvas; with the S7 and S7 Edge setting an impressive precedent, expectations for this year’s model will be high.

How will Samsung match them? Kim Gae-youn might have an idea. He’s the man who heads up smartphone planning at Samsung, making the calls about what goes into each model and how they’re positioned in the market. I spoke with him at Samsung’s headquarters in Suwon, South Korea just after the release of the S7, and he had a lot to say about exactly how the company goes about making its decisions — from screen size, to software customization, to the amount of bloatware

3. Over the last year or so in the US, a lot of the plastic credit cards we carry around every day have been replaced by new one with chips embedded in them. The chips are supposed to make your credit and debit cards more secure — a good thing! — but there’s one little secret no one wants to admit:

The US’s transition to chip cards has been an utter disaster. They’re confusing to use, painstakingly slow, less secure than the alternatives, and aren’t even the best solution for consumers

4. Our real-like Tony Stark/Iron Man has published his master plan for the next ten years. Last week, Tesla’s Elon Musk unveiled his Master Plan, Part Deux. He also looked back on his first Master Plan (and the progress was astounding to read). What’s next for Elon, Tesla… And our collective future? 1. Create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage. 2. Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments. 3. Develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning. 3. Enable your car to make money for you when you aren’t using it. And, that’s just for Tesla. Let’s see what’s next for SpaceX!

5. Beyoncé is unique. (It helps to be one of the world’s great singers and performers.) But that doesn’t mean we all can’t learn from her moves. Not unlike Steve Jobs during his triumphant stewardship of Apple, Beyoncé offers a window into a new, more modern way of approaching the marketplace — make your own lemonade

6. Finally, Pokemon Go continues to capture everyone’s imagination. This past week, Brooklyn-based Nick Johnson became the first player to publicly confirm that he had caught all 142 Pokémon that are available in the US. It took a lot of work, including hiring an Uber to drive him in circles to catch one of the last Pokémon he needed. Desperate times call for desperate measure.

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