Channel Surfing with Kris & Mike - June 3, 2016

This week, Kris Blackmon and Michael Cusanelli discussed the most recent developments in the case of Peter Thiel vs. Gawker, drone workers at Walmart and Apple and Google's attempts to take over the world of media.

Kris Blackmon, Head of Channel Communities

June 3, 2016

4 Min Read
Channel Surfing with Kris & Mike - June 3, 2016

KRIS: I don’t know about you, but I’m never sure on the Friday after a three-day weekend if the extra play day is worth trying to cram five days of work into four. (She says as she already starts looking forward to Labor Day.)

MIKE: If I were president, the first thing I would do is put forth a strict three-day weekend policy for every week.

KRIS: I’d vote for that! Despite this being a shorter week, there was plenty of interesting news to keep us on our toes, namely new developments surrounding billionaire and all-around standup guy Peter Thiel’s efforts to destroy Gawker. While rumors of a potential sale of Gawker have been swirling for some time now, Fortune recently reported that Gawker founder Nick Denton has been busy shopping around for other potential buyers, just in case his company is forced to pay the whopping $140 million settlement for exposing Hulk Hogan’s sex tape.

MIKE: Yikes. This story is so action-packed, I can probably cancel my Netflix subscription. I’ve got all the drama and excitement I need coming straight to my inbox.

KRIS: That’s ridiculous—you would never cancel your Netflix subscription. Thiel also caused a stir when he failed to show up for this week’s Code Conference in LA, where several other attendees, including Denton himself, had some interesting comments to make about his lack of presence. All of Thiel’s vitriol surrounding Gawker has even led some individuals to question whether or not he should step down from his board position at Facebook, since Gawker is a Facebook customer and supplier.

MIKE: I can’t wait to see where this rollercoaster ends up. In other news, we may have landmark court case involving some of the nation’s biggest technology companies if American technology companies and international government organizations can’t come to an agreement about how and where Silicon Valley can operate. According to The New York Times, the massive growth of companies like Google, Apple and Facebook are causing trouble for foreign countries, many of which are being flooded by American media and entertainment. This is leading to a so-called “fragmentation” of cultures as these companies create virtual monopolies both in the US and abroad.

KRIS: It’s hard to argue with countries whose businesses are forced to play second fiddle to American tech giants, but it will be interesting to see whether or not anything can rein these juggernauts in from operating internationally.

MIKE: Situations like this never seem to have an easy resolution. It reminds me of how corporations were destroying mom and pop businesses back in the late 19th and early 20th century, before the creation of antitrust laws.

KRIS: Thanks for that history lesson, old-timer! Was this back in your day, when you had to walk ten miles to school, uphill, both ways, in the snow? While you’re stuck in the past, Walmart is moving full speed ahead into the future. It said it’s less than a year away from being able to utilize drones to improve inventory tracking at its distribution centers. The big box store showed off some of the potential features of its drone workers ahead of the company’s annual shareholders meeting, so it’s likely we’ll be hearing about Walmart’s new line of robotic factory workers a lot more in the coming weeks.

MIKE: Yikes. Walmart is scary enough without the knowledge that a faceless army of drones is counting thousands of boxes of Cheerios in a distribution center a few hundred miles away. Maybe I’ll stick to shopping at Target from now on. I always did like their mascot better.

KRIS: The future is here, luddite. You might as well embrace it.

MIKE: And now for a real head scratcher: Despite a Delaware court ruling that Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners cut investors out of $6 billion in shares when the company went private in 2013, there were no confirmed cases of fraud involved, causing many people to give a resounding “huh?” in response. While the ruling initially sounds sour, the Delaware court said none of the Dell officers or board members were found to have breached any fiduciary duty to shareholders.

KRIS: That’s right. So despite the contradictory messaging, it turns out Dell didn’t actually do anything wrong, according to the Delaware court. Fortune has a pretty good breakdown of the case, and it sheds some light on why exactly everything Dell did was on the up and up.

MIKE: I really should have gone to law school instead of journalism school. Sheesh.

KRIS: You’re just now coming to that realization?  At least we have the weekend to try to understand the whole thing. Talk to you Monday!

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Kris Blackmon

Head of Channel Communities, Zift Solutions

Kris Blackmon is head of channel communities at Zift Solutions. She previously worked as chief channel officer at JS Group, and as senior content director at Informa Tech and project director of the MSP 501er Community. Blackmon is chair of CompTIA's Channel Development Advisory Council and operates KB Consulting. You may follow her on LinkedIn and @zift on X.

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like