What we've been reading: VC's, blue collar and North Korea

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Francois Badenhorst
Deputy editor
BusinessZone and UK Business Forums
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And here it is, another wonderful Friday. To celebrate, please enjoy some of our favourite articles from around the web!

VC’s are not your friends, they’re frenemies

Your investors, says the legendary entrepreneur Steve Blank, are not your buddies. It sounds obvious, but when you’ve got a good working relationship it can be easy to forget.

In Blank’s case, he grabs lunch with his two lead investors expecting a social call. It’s a lapse of judgement.

The lesson? Never meet your investors - even socially - without knowing the agenda.

The Next Big Blue-Collar Job Is Coding

Coding, to paraphrase Zoolander’s main antagonist Mugatu, is “so hot right now”. It’s a profession that’s in high demand.

And despite the popular image of coders being a Zuckerberg-esque savant, the profession has become, in a way, a blue collar profession.

“Politicians routinely bemoan the loss of good blue-collar jobs,” writes Clive Thompson. “Work like that is correctly seen as a pillar of civil middle-class society. And it may yet be again. What if the next big blue-collar job category is already here—and it’s programming?”

The Fall of the House of Uber

Guys, give Uber some space - they’re really struggling. Already racked by labour strife, Uber has now become embroiled in President Trump’s travel ban.

And it’s odd, Uber hasn’t gotten into trouble in its usual way. The ride sharing app, known for its <ahem> robust attitude towards regulation, has landed in hot water due to its tepid, misguided response to anti-travel ban protests.

Not that long afterwards #DeleteUber was trending. In 2017, everything is political.

North Korean Defector Says Kim Jong-Un’s Control Is Crumbling

Speaking of politics: entrepreneurialism is transforming North Korea. Kim Jong Un’s fiefdom is known as one of the most secretive, oppressive states in the world. But even in these hostile conditions, life finds a way.

A North Korean defector told the New York Times:

“Unofficial markets in North Korea where women trade goods, mostly smuggled from China. The vendors used to be called ‘grasshoppers’ because they would pack and flee whenever they saw the police approaching. Now, they are called 'ticks' because they refuse to budge, demanding a right to make a living.”

 

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