A World Of Unicorns Where Billions Of Dollars Are At Stake

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Every Monday morning at 7:10 am, I am a guest contributor on CHOM 97.7 FM radio broadcasting out of Montreal (home base). It’s not a long segment – about 5 to 10 minutes every week – about everything that is happening in the world of technology and digital media. The good folks at CHOM 97.7 FM are posting these segments weekly to SoundCloud, if you’re interested in hearing more of me blathering away. I’m really excited about this opportunity, because this is the radio station that I grew up on listening to, and it really is a fun treat to be invited to the Mornings Rock with Terry and Heather B. morning show. The segment is called, CTRL ALT Delete with Mitch Joel.

This week we discussed:

  • Just Rob Kemp and me this morning.
  • We live in a world of unicorns. A “unicorn” is a startup with a market capitalization of $1 billion or more. Most recently in Canada, Ottawa’s Shopify hit unicorn status (can you name another Canadian startup besides BlackBerry? There are not many). But, just last week, everyone’s jaws hit the floor when it was announced that Uber plans to raise another $1.5 – $2.0 billion. This means their market capitalization is a staggering $50+ billion. There are few companies like this (Facebook is one of them). Uber’s massive market value surpasses 80%+ of all S&P 500 companies, many of which have been around for 20, 30, 50 or more years (Uber was started in 2009). Do you think it’s worth it? 
  • There was a lost Mitch on the call… my mobile device from Florida failed… I do come back.
  • Are video games a real sport? It’s not a joke. The University of Illinois in Chicago just launched a video game program… and it’s the nation’s first varsity eSports program. It is driven out of the sports program. These students (some on scholarship) practice at least five hours a day. The focus for now is a game called League of Legends (a massive multiplayer online battle arena game). It’s big business. More people watched the League of Legends world championship finals last year than they did Game 7 of the World Series or the last game of the NBA Finals, according to ESPN. Illinois emerged as the first varsity team in the United States. But the University of Pikeville in Kentucky is following suit, offering its own gaming scholarships come fall, and numerous other schools have reached out to RMU to explore developing varsity eSports programs. RMU itself is expanding its program in the fall to include two more games: Dota 2 and Hearthstone. So, what do you think? Are video games a sport? 
  • Google Glass. You thought it was dead. It’s not. Quietly, Google has relaunched Google Glass, but don’t worry, you’re not going to suddenly see everyone wearing them at the local mall and on the red carpet. They’re being much more tactical about it. The relaunch will be strictly for business… and this makes a lot of sense. The device will now be aimed at industries such as healthcare, manufacturing and energy. Imagine your doctor having information in this manner, while checking to see what’s wrong with you. Yes, this is a good, good thing (as long as they’re not Periscoping me ;): 
  • App of the week: Gallery Doctor.

Listen here…