Is Mark Zuckerberg Getting Ready to Run for President?

Is Mark Zuckerberg Getting Ready to Run for President?

Is Mark Zuckerberg Getting Ready to Run for President?
Zuckerberg took a new year resolution to visit all 50 US states
Zuckerberg also said that he no longer considers himself an atheist
Some people have started believing that he may run for President
As America changes presidents, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is doing something. This week, he did something in Texas: He went to his first rodeo. He wore a hard hat and a safety vest. He thanked police officers in Dallas for their hard work. He helped plant a community garden.

So what, exactly, is Mark Zuckerberg doing? Well, even without a peep from the man confirming any interest in the job, some have started to believe that Zuckerberg is running for president.

The reason people think that is, well, because whatever it is that Zuckerberg is doing looks a lot like what presidential hopefuls do:

In this case, Zuckerberg was in Dallas to testify in a $2 billion (roughly Rs. 13,616 crores) lawsuit. The Facebook-owned Oculus VR company has been accused of corporate theft by ZeniMax – an accusation that Facebook has denied. But the chief executive managed to make the most of his trip on Facebook itself by looping it into an unrelated personal project.

Zuckerberg’s New Year’s resolution this year is to make sure that he has visited each of the 50 states by the end of the year. He has been to several already, (for instance: Hawaii, where he owns a house and is suing some of his neighbours), so the resolution will mean making sure he visits about 30 additional states by December.

“My work is about connecting the world and giving everyone a voice. I want to personally hear more of those voices this year,” Zuckerberg wrote in his Facebook post explaining the resolution.

But that resolution wasn’t the first thing Zuckerberg that sounded a bit presidential to some. Over the holidays, Zuckerberg said he no longer considers himself an atheist and that religion is “very important” to him. He also hired David Plouffe, President Barack Obama’s former campaign chair, to work for the philanthropic organization that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, created.

Once again, it is important to emphasize that while the above sure does make you go “hmm,” Mark Zuckerberg has not said that he is running, or would like to run, for president.
One other reason that Zuckerberg might want to spend 2017 meeting Americans could have to do with, you know, Facebook. This year, the company was accused of having a bias against conservative news sources and topics in its trending topics bar. That accusation had a lasting impact on Facebook’s reputation in conservative circles. And after the 2016 election, the company faced repeated interrogations from the media about its influential role in spreading fake news and hoaxes. As a result, Facebook announced changes designed to improve its ability to discourage the sharing of outright false information.

Zuckerberg’s business model depends on its users believing that the platform is a newsworthy and trustworthy place where they might feel comfortable posting lots of things from their personal lives. Both perceptions have been threatened over the past year. Going out and talking to people, particularly those who have recently lost trust in the company, could be helpful PR for Zuckerberg – for reasons that have nothing to do with running for president.

With someone like Zuckerberg, it can be hard to separate signs of insatiable ambition from those pointing to a specific political goal. Take this passage from Nick Bilton, who outlined the case for at least thinking about the possibility that Zuckerberg might run over at Vanity Fair:

“If he does want the job, Zuckerberg definitely has the personality for it. When Facebook went public in 2012, I co-authored a profile of the young C.E.O. During the reporting, I heard from several friends about his penchant for playing world-conquering board and video games. Early childhood pals told me that one of Zuckerberg’s favorite video games as a boy was Civilization, the game in which you have to “build an empire to stand the test of time.” Others have told me that, to this day, Zuckerberg loves to play Risk, a strategy board game where you have to essentially take over the world.”

Interesting. Except, my dudes, I too really love playing Civilization, and I would never want to run for president. Other things pointed to in that Vanity Fair story are more concrete – like the fact that a Facebook proxy statement from April said Zuckerberg could leave Facebook to serve in a government office but still keep control of his company. Hmm. (In a long statement about those changes in April, Zuckerberg said he was “committed to our mission and to leading Facebook there over the long term.”)

Zuckerberg would be 36 by the time the 2020 election rolls around, which is one year over the minimum required age to be president (by contrast, incumbent President Donald Trump would be 74). But even if the rumors of a Zuckerberg run are true – which, again, is not something that has been confirmed in any way – Bilton says that the prevailing thought in Silicon Valley is that the still completely hypothetical Zuckerberg run for office would happen in 2024.

© 2017 The Washington Post

Tags: Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook, Social, Oculus, Donald Trump


Hardware as a Service: HP Gets Ready to Lease Computers to Businesses

Hardware as a Service: HP Gets Ready to Lease Computers to Businesses


  • HP to offer hardware products on lease as PC demand weakens
  • Will monitor its device’s health and offer replacements accordingly
  • Promises to ensure that all data is wiped-off post device’s use

HP Inc., the second largest PC-maker in the world after Lenovo, on Thursday said that it will start offering computers and other hardware products on lease going ahead as it prepares itself to tackle the problem of weak PC sales.

HP’s corporate customers will be now able to pay a fixed monthly fee per employee for the equipment by the company, enabling them to use their capital elsewhere instead of paying for the hardware upfront.

HP will be using its software to manage how its devices will be deployed. The company hopes tight software and hardware integration will enable it to find out if its customer’s employees have hardware that is sophisticated enough to meet their processing or storage needs.

This will also allow the company to monitor the health of its components and provide replacements if need be. The company has further said that it will ensure that all data is erased from the devices once they go out of service and that the hardware is also recycled.

This would be done in order to make sure that sensitive information does not land up in wrong hands once the devices are taken back from the employees.

In April, research firm Gartner came out with a report that said that worldwide PC sales saw an year-on-year decline of around 9.6 percent in Jan-Mar 2016. The research firm said,” This was the sixth consecutive quarter of PC shipment declines, and the first time since 2007 that shipment volume fell below 65 million units.”

According to the report, HP had 17.6 percent of PC market share in Jan-Mar, only behind Lenovo with 19.3 percent of the total market share.

In November last year, Hewlett Packard Co was split into two separate entities i.e. HP Inc and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.

Tags: Computers, Hardware Leasing, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, HP, Laptops, Lenovo, PC

Freedom 251 Maker Says 2 Lakh Rs. 251 telephones ready, Will launch ‘cheapest’ HD LED television

Freedom 251 Maker Says 2 Lakh Rs. 251 Phones Ready, Will Launch 'Cheapest' HD LED TV

we are ready with nearly two lakh ‘Freedom 251′ handsets’ – Ringing Bells
according to Goel, he is facing a lack of Rs. 140 – Rs. a hundred and fifty in keeping with Freedom 251 unit.
organization is likewise making plans to release a 32-inch HD LED tv in July.
the arena‘s cheapest phone at Rs. 251 (less than $four) is right here, eventually. Its makers, the Noida-primarily based startup Ringing Bells Pvt Ltd, say they have made it feasible no matter allegations fromdiverse quarters that the sort of telephone might not see the light of the day. Even an FIR was lodgedtowards the enterprise.

in step with Ringing Bells’ Founder and CEO Mohit Goel, sitting easily in his area 62 office in Noida, theorganisation has been capable of keep its promise to customers.

we are equipped with almost two lakh ‘Freedom 251’ handsets. we are able to start shipping from June 30,” Goel instructed IANS, including that once he’s carried out with this primary section of transport (oftwo lakh phones), he’ll open registration once more for those who want to buy the handset.

(additionally see: Freedom 251: Ringing Bells Says Will begin cellphone Deliveries From June 28)

The organisation had in mid-February this year planned to supply 25 lakh handsets earlier than June 30.but, it obtained over seven crore registrations before its charge gateway crashed within three days.

“We learned from our mistakes and determined to move silent till we come out with the product. Nowwe’ve got a 4-inch, twin-SIM smartphone ready for delivery. I sense vindicated,” he stated in a singlebreath.

consistent with Goel, he’s dealing with a loss of Rs. one hundred forty – Rs. one hundred fifty in line with unit, however hopes to make profit on volumes. “we can have a loss, however i’m satisfied that the dream of connecting rural and terrible Indians as part of the ‘digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives has been fulfilled with ‘Freedom 251’,” Goel stated.

The 3G tool has a 1.3GHz quad-middle processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of inner garage and supportsexternal memory playing cards of as much as 32GB. No device become, however, given to IANS.handiest a photo become allowed to be taken.

(additionally see: Freedom 251 in pix)

The employer has supplied an eight-megapixel number one digicam with flash, a 3.2-megapixel frontdigicam for selfie and an 1800mAh battery. It runs on Android 5.1 (Lollipop).

The phone is to be had in colors – black and white – with centrally aligned rear digital camera and brandingat the back panel. It has a speaker just alongside the branding.

The device shows the Indian Tricolour when you turn it on. The business enterprise has integrated all the basic Google apps in the handset.

“Our gadgets are absolutely ‘Make in India’ and have been synthetic at our Haridwar-primarily basedproduction unit. We plan to promote two lakh gadgets each month,” he stated.

The agency is likewise making plans to launch a 32-inch excessive-definition LED tvalso called“Freedom” – in the first week of July.

those will be the cheapest tv units in India and may be to be had for much less than Rs 10,000. insidedays, the delivery could be made and we can sell them on line,” Goel stated, adding that theorganisation currently has one lakh such portions in inventory.

In contrast, the cost of 32-inch HD LED tv sets usually starts offevolved from Rs. thirteen,000.

Ringing Bells launched “Freedom 251” in February in the presence of veteran BJP chief Murli Manohar Joshi.

It dispensed a few “prototypes” of the product to the media which became out to be handsets from every other domestic handset maker Adcom.

but, the enterprise maintained that the tool were advanced “with monstrous aid” from the authorities.

“Our humble starting to provide a high-tech system with a purpose to benefit all in the hinterland and bridge the large hole that sincerely exists between the metros and semi-urban/rural regions is consistent with the government‘s tasks,” Ringing Bells President Ashok Chadha had in advance told IANS.

Doubts have been raised over Ringing Bells’ handset after some specialists stated no telephone might besynthetic for much less than Rs. 2,000.

download the devices 360 app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with the modern tech information, product opinions, and extraordinary offers on the popular mobiles.

Is Ritesh Agarwal ready to grow up?

OYO Rooms founder Ritesh Agarwal. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

OYO Rooms founder Ritesh Agarwal. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

On 24 January, Manoj Thelakkat, a Bengaluru-based recruitment professional, took to social networking platform Facebook to share his experience of being an OYO Rooms customer. The roughly 1,400-word post, headlined ‘The Ordeal called OYO Rooms’, details his frustrating experience of first being denied a pre-paid room at a Mumbai hotel, OYO’s shoddy customer service when contacted for a solution and, ultimately being checked into a room that (going by the photos posted) was uninviting, to put it mildly.

Thelakkat’s experience isn’t an anomaly. Rather, judging from the even longer comments thread that follows the post, it’s par for the course.

OYO is among India’s celebrated consumer Internet start-up brands. It is owned by Gurgaon-based Oravel Stays Pvt. Ltd. The company aggregates budget hotel rooms and claims to offer a standardized staying experience under its brand across the country. Something like an Airbnb. Its founder, 22-year-old college dropout Ritesh Agarwal, has charmed frontline investors such as Sequoia Capital and SoftBank Corp. into pumping a reported $125 million into the company in less than three years. In August, a CB Insights report for The New York Times put OYO on a list of the next 50 companies tipped to enter the coveted start-up unicorn club.

Unicorn, as we all know, is the universal term used by venture capitalists for start-ups that are valued at a billion dollars or more. In order to get into that club, OYO will have to raise more money. It will also have to convince the next investor that comes calling to write a large cheque at a hefty valuation. Its existing backers will naturally want a more-than-generous premium on the valuation they paid when they bought stakes in the company.

But there’s a small problem. It isn’t much fun being a unicorn in India these days. In fact, it hasn’t been for a good six-eight months. New York hedge fund Tiger Global Management, chief benefactor to the country’s consumer Internet start-ups, is beating a retreat from the market. It has a reported $2 billion-plus invested in start-ups here and most of it locked in three unicorns—e-tailer Flipkart, cab-hailing service Ola and classifieds platform Quikr. The firm is concerned that while a lot of money has gone into India, not much has come back out and it may have a longer wait than anticipated to see any profits.

Unlike Tiger Global, venture capitalists are still interested in Indian start-ups. So are a bunch of strategic investors such as Japan’s SoftBank and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. Between them, there’s still a lot of money in the system. However, it isn’t going to be easy to get to them to hand out the greenbacks either. They will wait for the ongoing correction in the two-year fund-raising frenzy to play out and let valuations settle a bit before deploying fresh capital, especially in the later stages.

This is already happening. Mint reported this week that Alibaba is sniffing around for a stake in Flipkart, but is unwilling to pursue a deal at the latter’s current valuation, reported at $15 billion. The Bengaluru-based e-tailer is currently reportedly in the market to raise a massive $1.4 billion funding round. Several folks in the venture capital industry familiar with developments at the company say with Flipkart’s largest investor, Tiger Global, unwilling to participate meaningfully in large funding rounds, the $1.4 billion round is likely to be a down round (where the valuation is lower than the valuation in the last funding round).

The January numbers for venture capital investments are further evidence of the ongoing correction. According to data compiled by VCCEdge, early investors put about $145 million to work at the Series A, B and C stages across 13 deals against $297 million across 27 deals in January last year. That’s a 51% and 52% drop in value and volume terms, respectively. Notably, in each of the three stages, the total value of deals concluded have declined more than 50%.

Of course, it is early days. Venture capitalists are just warming up for a new dealmaking season and the overall numbers may look different at the end of the first quarter. Still, it looks unlikely that fund-raising levels will jump back to the merry days of 2014 and early 2015 any time soon. Investors would first like to see companies, especially the celebrated unicorns where annual cash burn rates range between $30 million and $70 million, bring capital efficiency into their businesses and show a path to profitability.

That’s going to take time. And that spells big problems for companies such as OYO. If the current generation of unicorns is struggling to attract investors, future aspirants such as OYO can ill afford to alienate customers such as Thelakkat on account of misplaced priorities and badly managed businesses.

Are the Ritesh Agarwals out there ready to grow up?

Snigdha Sengupta is a freelance journalist in Mumbai and founder of StartupCentral. She contributes stories on private equity and venture capital toMint.