Here goes our weekly magazine of stories curated from around the world. In this edition: Story of Neal Mohan, The Man Google Paid $100 mn To Keep and other beautifully written stories from around the web.
New new world
A Game development love story: Maintaining a job, a marriage and the spare-time creation of an RPG threatened to be too much for one man — until his wife decided to step in. This is a love story. It’s a tale about two people who meet, fall in love, share their lives and — through the seven-year making of a video game — find that the unique qualities which separate them as individuals are just as important as that which binds them together. More here.
OK, Cupid: giving your love life to Google Glass and the hive mind: Artist Lauren McCarthy explores the terrifying and fascinating world of augmented dating. More here.
Ain’t It Cool’s Harry Knowles: The Cash-Strapped King of the Nerds Plots a Comeback: The founder of the once-renegade movie site, who earned the admiration of Peter Jackson and Steve Jobs, is struggling for money and relevance in the wild media landscape he helped to create. More here.
From two-person team to Activision workhorse: the rise and rise of Vicarious Visions: How a couple of ill-fated indie games led the Bala brothers and Vicarious Visions to mainstream success. More here.
Google Paid This Man $100 Million: Here’s His Story: Two years ago, Twitter was in disarray. On April 14, 2011, Fortune’s Jessi Hempel blasted Twitter for failing to launch exciting new products, generate meaningful revenues, or hang on to executive talent. None of this was news to Twitter’s board members or CEO Dick Costolo, of course. They’d spent the months prior trying to turn Twitter into “a real company” after years of neglectful management. More here.
Hacking an Airplane With Only an Android Phone: So it looks like someone could hack a jetliner. With an Android smartphone. Awesome. At the Hack In The Box conference in Amsterdam, security consultant Hugo Teso demonstrated PlaneSploit, an app he developed that he claims can take control of certain systems aboard an airplane and cause it to change direction or just crash itself into the ground. More here.
Disruption Junction: The Internet’s Vulnerable Undersea Cables: Three fiber-optic cables off the coast of Egypt were cut in March, leaving about 1 billion people in Europe, Africa, and Asia with up to 60 percent slower Internet connections. See the garphic here.
Leadership Tip: Hire the Quiet Neurotic, Not the Impressive Extrovert: Most leaders are attracted to the guy or woman who seems confident and outgoing, unafraid in any situation or facing any challenge. They expect an extrovert to infuse any team with energy, to push ahead on projects and to motivate colleagues to do their best work. Meantime they have low expectations of anyone who appears neurotic, who seems withdrawn and too anxious to live up to their potential. Leaders expect neurotic employees to contribute little and to drag down colleagues’ morale. More here.
How Sales Reps Can Succeed in the Social Era: Social media is clearly a disruptive force for business. Although many companies started with social media monitoring and customer service, it’s exciting now to see a growing number go beyond the reactive and harness Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter for sales and customer engagement and service. More here.
Why Foursquare’s Growth Story Is Better Than You Think: Here’s how it’s supposed to go for hot social apps: Stage 1: Hype. Stage 2: Hockey-stick growth. Stage 3: Surprisingly robust monetization. Stage 4: Insanely lucrative exit. More here.
Foursquare’s Latest Funding Raises Valuation Questions: Foursquare announced this week it raised $41 million. But there’s a catch: a good portion comes in the form of convertible debt from existing investors in the local check-in network. And that’s a form of financing that sends mixed signals about the company’s prospects. More here.
The Happiest People Pursue the Most Difficult Problems : Lurking behind the question of jobs — whether there are enough of them, how hard we should work at them, and what kind the future will bring — is a major problem of job engagement. Too many people are tuned out, turned off, or ready to leave. But there’s one striking exception. More here.
Come and get it: how sperm became one of America’s hottest exports: I’d been friends with Chris for years when he mentioned, casually, that he’s a father. Or probably is — as a sperm donor, he has no way of knowing when a woman decides to buy what he has to offer, much less where she is, whether she actually got pregnant, or whether her pregnancy was successful. His only information about the status of his paternity comes when he gets additional checks from the sperm bank, which let him know that past donations have come out of quarantine, certified as high quality, disease free, and ready to go on the market. More here.
An Illustrated History Of Bitcoin Crashes Wednesday saw one of the largest declines in Bitcoin prices in the cryptocurrency’s lifetime. Many commentators declared the fall the beginning of the end for Bitcoin. More here.
Unfazed By Bitcoin’s Wild Swings And Mysterious Origins, Silicon Valley VCs Place Their Bets: Bitcoin’s record highs and the ensuring surge in hacking attempts and thefts may be grabbing headlines. However, beneath the chaos, Silicon Valley’s best-known venture firms are finally starting to make real bets around the crypto-currency. More here.