Dropbox about to go public
It's expected Dropbox will IPO today, after more than ten years as a private company, and its shares were priced higher than expected by investors at a solid $21.
Dropbox is a big deal because investors, and the wider industry, were beginning to wonder if many aging unicorns (companies with a valuation of $1B or more) could ever go public at all.
Surprisingly, Dropbox is in decent shape: it made $1 billion in revenue last year, has 500 million users and seems on track to reinvent itself. In 2017, the company pivoted heavily to focus more on businesses rather than personal users as the market became saturated and it found itself playing against free storage built into both Windows and macOS.
Storage is a commodity game, and Dropbox struggled to differentiate as every operating system out there began shipping with a blob of free storage. Dropbox did a great job of reinventing its brand, cutting costs through dumping public cloud and building great new services -- but time will tell if the company is able to defend ground against new upstarts.
As Recode points out Dropbox is also a big deal for another company: it's YCombinator's first IPO, which is surely welcome after such a long wait on such an enormous bet.
Further reading: Dropbox S1 - the king of freemium
The US closes its doors to overseas tech
Sometimes technology and politics blur (this week, a bunch of times). The U.S. is set to impose heavy tariffs on technology products built in China, specifically about 1,300 products that have yet to be named.
The move is designed to punish China for forcing technology companies to give up their secrets in return for operating in the country, or stealing them otherwise. It also includes a new law that will follow, banning Chinese technology investment like the the Broadcom deal that was struck down.
More when we have the list of products, but it'll have an interesting knock-on effect for consumer prices in the American market.
DNC hacker ousted by VPN slip-up
You can have the best security in the world, and then you forget to flip on your VPN. It appears that Guccifer 2.0, the 'lone hacker' of the Democratic National Committee in 2016, is a Russian officer, but we only know this because he forgot to use a VPN once.
Computers are getting insanely good at real-time CGI
Watch these videos from the latest Unreal engine and then try to chill when you realize a computer rendered these in real time... yeah.