Current category: Silicon Valley

Wisdom of the Crowd: Wikipedia’s hoax hunters strike back after more than ten years

Till Zier » Wisdom of the Crowd: Wikipedia's hoax hunters strike back after more than ten years

I still remember when I used to study in college that our profs didn’t allow us to use Wikipedia as a scientific source. I guess nowadays this is no problem anymore?

Anyway, the argument was that because of the user-generated content anyone could manipulate articles on Wikipedia. Of course, there have been several studies about the accuracy of Wikipedia and comparisons between its former rival Encyclopædia Britannica, but those are pretty boring reads IMHO. Just for the sake of completeness you can dig deeper into this here and here.

But is it really that simple to change an article on Wikipedia? Anybody who ever tried to change an article for fun has experienced that the change didn’t last long. But those are clumsy attempts from amateurs. How well do the editors hunt down sophisticated attacks by people who really try hard to infiltrate false information into Wikipedia?

That’s what I asked myself when I stumbled upon this article by Kim Renfro and Gus Lubin which gives an excellent in-depth look into the stunning work of Wikipedia’s hoax hunters. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. For the complete list of all busted hoaxes click here.

BTW: What actually does concern me are not the hoaxes on Wikipedia but the hoaxes I see every day on my Facebook timeline, shared by people who do not know how to check and evaluate the reliability of a source/link. Sadly, this is getting worse every day. Have you experienced this phenomenon, too?


Slack’s valuation measured per user is ridiculous

Till Zier » Slack's valuation measured per user is ridiculous

Slack is the fastest-growing corporate messaging app right now and with a valuation of whopping $2.8 billion a legit member of the elite Unicorn Club.

Quartz columnist Alice Truong broke down this valuation on a per user basis and figured out that each of Slack’s users is worth $2,545. No other tech company has such a high per user valuation. LinkedIn is the runner-up but far behind with a valuation of $282 per user. For further details click here.

To get a job at Facebook you need to answer these tough interview questions

Till Zier » To get a job at Facebook you need to answer these tough interview questions

Maya Kosoff from Business Insider UK has compiled a top list of the most difficult interview questions recent candidates had to answer to get a job at Facebook.

Besides some really tough discipline-specific questions there are quite a few smart and creative ones. Have a look at the entire 29 questions here.

I would’ve been keen on the answers to these questions:

“I was asked what I was least proud of on my resume.”
– Media Solutions Specialist candidate –

“If you were an animal what kind would you be and why?”
– User Operations Analyst candidate –

“How would you design a simpler TV remote control?”
– Product Designer candidate –

“If you were going to redesign an ATM machine, how would you do it?”
– Product Designer candidate –

“How would you build Facebook for blind people?”
– Product Manager candidate –

“Should Facebook continue to add features or rely on 3rd party apps?”
– Product Designer candidate –



Eric Schmidt tells his inside story about his years as Google CEO

Till Zier » Eric Schmidt tells his inside story about his years as Google CEO

In an entertaining talk at Stanford University, Eric Schmidt gave an in-depth look behind the scenes of his term of office at Google. Besides funny anecdotes about mere chance, technical and organizational obstacles, HR strategies and Google’s future as Alphabet he tells several more details about his legacy and the history of one of the most influential companies in our digital age.

Chris Yeah was so kind to write down a summary of the interview. These paragraphs caught my attention:

“Great products happen when people build a product for themselves.”

“In all my issues at Google, I knew I had no idea what to do, but I knew that I had the best team ever assembled to figure out what to do.”

“The people that you hire make your culture. We’d hire people who were special in some way.”

“So we came up with a new rule — if someone is really, really smart, hire them anyway.”

“We never stop hiring engineers; properly deployed, they can always generate enormous returns above their salary.”


You can watch the full 1h 22min interview on YouTube: