On Sunday, June 7, the New York Times Magazine held it’s first live discussion over Design and Technology with founders of various companies. The guest speakers included Ayesha Barenblat founder of REMAKE, Wences Casares founder and C.E.O of Xapo, Jalak Jobanputra founding partner of FuturePerfect Ventures, Mike Krieger co-founder of Instagram, and Stephan Thomas C.T.O. of Ripple Labs.
The discussions were broken up into different sections concerning the professions of the speakers. The first panel discussion was hosted by Nathaniel Popper, Business Reporter for the New York Times, was concerned about the growth of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a service that allows people to send and receive money through an address that is only used once for security reasons. Wences and Stephan both agreed about the strength of the cryptographic translation of Bitcoin. The Bitcoin site was successful when, according to Stephan, 6 out of 10 professors said it was impossible. Wences mentioned Bill Gates was skeptical of Bitcoin because of the criminal implications he associated to the currency. Wences attempted to persuade Bill Gates on the security and the practically of the crypto currency.
The second discussion over design secrets hosted by Farhad Manjoo, State of the Art Columnist for the New York Times. Mike Kieger discussed the popularity of hashtags in America and the interesting ways in which global users used Instagram. Mike found an interesting trend in Japan where users photograph everything but their faces. Instagram could also be used as a service where people can buy and sell various goods. Mike spoke about a fascinating user that sold sheep. Instagram was a Silicon Valley development but it has expanded and is now 70% international users.
The final discussion, hosted by Jenna Worthman, Technology Writer for the New York Times, was about how businesses succeed overseas. Ayesha spoke about the importance of knowing the people who create the clothes you’re wearing. Her company encourages connectivity between consumers and the individuals that produce their goods, which she calls digital storytelling. Jalak spoke about enabling innovation with limited resources that under-served markets can produce. These innovations are created by different types of technology that give different markets a competitive advantage.
The discussions on design and technology were very insightful and engaged a diverse audience. Jake Silverstein, the Editor in Chief for the New York Times Magazine, mentioned that NYT Mag Live will host events in Los Angeles and New York soon so look out for a talk in your area.