Last Week's Tech, Today

In this blog series, Skookum’s Director of Development, Mark Flowers, shares a sampling of news stories that caught our attention last week. Check back every Monday for a quick rundown, in case you missed it.

Data Backup on Cell Phones

How many times have you been at a store and unable to pay because the payment processing system is down? To avoid this, Uber is using drivers' smart phones as the source of truth if there is a data center failure. This allows the drivers to continue to operate and keeps Uber's customers from knowing that there is any problem at all. Sounds like a really complicated problem that could be prone to data issues, but it also allows Uber to take on the pain rather than the drivers or customers.

Lessons from Five Years of Instagram

Instagram is already 5 years old and is one of the best examples of what a small and focused team can do. When Facebook acquired Instagram for $1B, it was a team of only 13 people running a service with millions of users. They describe their simple approach to product direction:

By determining the most important problems to solve, and choosing the simplest solution, we were able to support our exponential growth.

YouTube Red

Google announced a paid plan for Youtube that eliminates the ads on videos on their site. This follows quickly after streaming service Hulu announced a commercial-free plan. This marks a huge step toward a future where entertainment is provided by silos on the Internet rather than bundled together by cable companies. Also realize, Youtube and Netflix are the primary video source for kids these days, and you can begin to see a future where online video rules all.