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People who doubted Facebook



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    1. Vint Cerf

    The Google vice president and chief evangelist said in 2011 that Facebook would go the way of AOL. Yup, the man nicknamed the “Father of the Internet” said the site was becoming a “closed walled garden” and would fail to keep up with audiences.

    Image: Flickr, Joi Ito
  • 2. Warren Buffett

    When Facebook held its IPO in 2012, record numbers lined up to buy in to the social media giant – but Warren Buffett wasn’t one of them. The billionaire and his business partner, Charlie Munger, avoided it, and actually advised people against the decision.

    Buffett didn’t deny that Facebook could have a brilliant future, but admitted, “I just don’t know.” During an interview with CNBC, he said, “I’m an agnostic on a company like Facebook…it’s obviously an extraordinary business, but they’re the hardest ones to value, because the question is whether five or 10 years from now that they will be as extraordinary as they are now.”

    Video: YouTube, WarrenBuffettBlog
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    3. Charlie Munger

    Munger, on the other hand, was a bit more acidic in an interview with CNN.

    “I don’t invest in what I don’t understand. And I don’t want to understand Facebook,” Munger said. “I don’t want people putting all this personal stuff into a permanent record when they are 15 years of age. I think it’s counterproductive…I just basically don’t like it.”

    Image: Flickr, Nick Webb
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    4. Evan Spiegel

    An air of drama has always surrounded the Snapchat CEO. Zuckerberg sensed Snapchat’s potential, however, and offered to buy the company for $3 billion cash. Spiegel refused the offer.

    “I think trading that for some short-term gain isn’t very interesting,” he told Forbes.

    Image: Flickr, TechCrunch
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    5. Sean Parker

    In a lengthy article for TechCrunch, Sean Parker (former president of Facebook and founder of Napster) communicated his dislike for the social media movement. (According to Parker, the press relentlessly covered his wedding to Alexandra Lens, due to its hefty price tag and lavish decor.)

    Though he mainly directed his article toward journalists, Parker shared personal opinions about the world of oversharing.

    While he doesn’t anticipate Facebook will sink as a company, he believes its creation prompted a seismic shift in journalism. He says people “will experience a violation of their privacy, will find their reputation besmirched publicly, and may even find their sanity challenged.”

    “By some process of karmic retribution, the mediums I dedicated my life to building have all too often become the very weapon by which my own character and reputation has been mercilessly attacked in public,” he wrote.

    Image: Flickr, Andrew Mager
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    6. Alexis Ohanian

    Reddit cofounder Alex Ohanian had some very strong words about Facebook’s IPO:
    “If Facebook continues to make bad decisions about user experience — about disrespecting privacy — you have the potential for this to become something like the social networking fads of yesteryear,” Ohanian told Shira Lazar. “The value of a site that is community-driven is in the community. … My concern is, if Facebook continues to make bad decisions for the community, those could mean bad things for the business.”

    Image: Flickr, Ketchum PR
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    7. Aaron Sorkin

    Famed Hollywood writer Aaron Sorkin nabbed his first Academy Award for penning The Social Network script, a dramatization about the founding of Facebook.

    While promoting the film on talk show The Viewhe said, “It’s a device that’s meant to connect us, to bring us closer together. I think, and I know I’m in the minority, at minimum there are 500 million people who disagree with me, I think it’s pushing us further apart…I think socializing on the Internet is to socializing what reality TV is to reality.”

    While he admitted it could positively impact people’s lives, he didn’t relent on the wider negative effect.

    Image: ABC/The View
  • 8. Mark Zuckerberg

    Back in the site’s early days, Facebook was a fledgling startup that catered to college kids on a handful of campuses.

    In a 2005 interview, then 21-year-old Mark Zuckerberg was asked about the future of Facebook, but struggled to see how it could get any bigger.

    “There doesn’t necessarily have to be more,” he said. “There is a level of service that we could provide when we were just at Harvard that we can’t provide for all of the colleges, and there’s a level of service that we can provide when we’re a college network that we wouldn’t be able to provide if we went to other types of things.”

    Oh, to be young and unaware that you’re about to be a billionaire.


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Advancing technology has collided with longstanding customer issues to create a series of deep, lasting, systemic challenges for insurance. How will these trends impact insurers’ businesses and the industry overall?

The rise of fintech, changing consumer behavior, and advanced technologies are disrupting the insurance industry. Additionally, Insurtechs and technology startups continue to redefine customer experience through innovations such as risk-free underwriting, on-the-spot purchasing, activation, and claims processing.

The report from Deloitte Global examines forces that are disrupting the insurance industry and presents four possible scenarios for the future. We explore:

  • Changing the channel: Partnerships with product makers and distributors, and embedding insurance into other products and services may enable customers to select products that best fit their lifestyle.
  • Underwriting by machine: Technology advancements including AI innovations and algorithms will likely individualize risk selection and pricing, and customers can select products based on a wider range of price points.
  • Rise of the flexible product: Time-flexible, event-driven, modular and adjustable coverage may evolve to accommodate life stage, lifestyle, and wellness changes among consumers.
  • E-Z life insurance: Given the growth and shopping patterns in emerging markets, insurers who introduce flexible term products, and master digital distribution without compromising underwriting are likely to win in the marketplace.

Read the report to understand what the future holds for the insurance industry.

Key Contact

Neal Baumann

Neal Baumann

Global Insurance Leader

Neal leads Deloitte’s Global Insurance practice and is the US insurance consulting leader. He has 20 years of experience advising financial services and insurance company clients on corporate and comp… More

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A team from EY triumphed in a 48-hour European Investment Bank (EIB) hackathon designed to find ways to use blockchain technologies to redesign the transaction processing of commercial paper.

The EIB brought together 56 coders from 15 countries in 12 teams for the hackathon, run alongside the bank’s annual forum dedicated to treasury issues.

While the conference was running, the coders were locked in an adjacent room, trying to prove that blockchain tech can improve the transaction process of commercial paper – a short-term financing instrument that is used worldwide in treasury operations and still relies on an ‘archaic’ and complex process.

In the pitching session, the EY team won the contest with an effort that taps a combination of blockchain, robotics and business AI tools to optimise the issuance process and reduce the number of exchanges between the EIB and its counterparties while maintaining each one’s role within the ecosystem.

The EY team won a EUR5000 cash prize and a contract with the EIB to further develop its solution into a proof of concept.

Alexander Stubb, vice president, EIB, say: “There will be major gains from the use of new technologies such as blockchain, generated from the simplification and streamlining of existing financial processes. The new perspectives opened up by digitalisation and Distributed Ledger Technology must be assessed and we must all be ready to make use of them and embark on this new venture.

“As the EU’s financial arm, we decided to be on the active side, learn by experience and make things happen, to be a facilitator and join with our banking partners to pave the way for tomorrow’s financial industry.”

Separately, Barclays is planning a hackathon that will see coders use blockchain technology for post-trade processing of derivatives contracts. The event will take place over two days in September in London and New York, according to Coindesk.

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More information is leaking out about just how Google is planning to re-enter the Chinese market with a mobile search engine application that complies to the country’s censorship laws.

The Intercept first broke this story when a whistleblower provided them documentation detailing the secret censored search project (codenamed Dragonfly). According to them, an overlooked Google acquisition from 2008 — — has been quietly laying down the foundation for the endeavor.

In order to run a business in China, tech companies are required to obtain a Internet Content Provider license from the Chinese government. As it’s difficult for foreign businesses to obtain this license, Google has long partnered with Chinese IT company Back in the early years of, Google actually operated directly off of’s license, even claiming the Chinese company was temporarily running its search engine. Facing intense scrutiny from the Chinese government and the media over this license arrangement, in 2007 Google formed a legitimate joint venture company with — the Beijing Guxiang Information and Technology Co.

Because of the necessity of that license, Google has maintained that joint venture and has been operating in China under the name Beijing Guxiang Information and Technology Co. ever since. Even after the shut down of, Google’s Chinese advertising enterprise has been operating under the joint venture company as well as, low and behold, A whois search of the domain name, which provides a record of the current domain registrant information, pulls up Beijing Guxiang Information and Technology Co. as the registrant organization.

A significant number of Google employees are reportedly none too happy about Google’s project complying with Chinese censorship laws. This most recent news, that the company has long been collecting data for a moment just like this, surely won’t make morale among these workers any better.

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