Fireside Fridays #3: e27 staff picks

This week, we feasted on reads about poverty, betrayal and proper representation of a particular gender. Go ahead, be our guest

firesidefridays

It was a particularly exciting week for all of us at e27! Echelon 2014 is officially over. It’s always a joy to connect with old friends and meet new ones. Do keep in touch via our Facebook page, Twitter account or inbox (email us at writers[at]e27[dot]co)!

Furthermore, it’s Friday the 13th today! We aren’t that superstitious, but we would love to hear from you. Has anything unlucky happened to you – technologically?

The Creator’s Project: Sewable Circuit Boards in Mexico / VICE

A worthwhile look at the power of technology to enable and economically empower people as a way out of poverty. In a world of million-dollar exits, acquisitions and a portrayal of glamour, people tend to forget about the digital divide that exists all around the world, especially in places such as rural India, Western China, Central Asia and parts of Southeast Asia.

This story highlights the power of technology to enable social change and economic empowerment, using a combination of science, technology and engineering. This is wearable technology with a meaningful, beneficial effect.

Entrepreneurship is not just technological or commercial, but it can also be social. This project illustrates that possibility.

- Shiwen Yap, Correspondent (Southeast Asia)

It’s Getting Better: I Spent An Entire Day At E3 Playing As Women Characters / Polygon

“I remember sitting at home on the couch watching the Ubisoft press conference where Aveline was revealed as the protagonist of AC: Liberation. As cynical as I was about her initially getting relegated to a handheld title, it was hard to snark with the tears in my eyes. She’s a woman! She’s brown! Her nose looks like mine! It’s hard to describe this to an audience that likely grew up with games that always presented heroes that looked like them. For me it’s not so simple, and much more rare. It’s an event that’s rare, and worth celebrating.”

My past experiences with the Electronic Entertainment Expo can be summed up as this: an overblown celebration of a presumably male-dominated culture. While I wasn’t able to go this year (due to our awesome Echelon event and a Southeast mobile gaming panel I hosted), I am happy to hear that this year’s show floor had a good amount of games featuring main female characters of diverse colour who were more than cutboard eye candy and/or supporting casts. Not just indie ones; high-profile mass market games with big budgets such as the Borderlands and Dead Island franchises!

This piece from Polygon by guest writer Elisa Melendez (@ElisaRockdoc) proved that despite the pre-E3 live streams catered to an arguably privileged demographic, there’s a good level of progress made in a mainstream trade show. Let’s keep it up, worldwide games industry!

- Jonathan Toyad, Gaming Editor

When investors turn into bullies / Rita Nguyen

“With all the lessons and contacts I’ve already made, it will take me far less than a year to get to where MySQUAR is today.  As an entrepreneur you learn very quickly to move on from “sunk costs” and to not let it colour your decisions.  From that angle, I’ve lost a year and some money, both of which I can deal with. My pride was also bruised and confidence shaken but I’m surrounded by amazing people who have reached out in an overwhelming show of support.”

Imagine being ousted from your company — one that you painstakingly built with your own two hands — without being given an explanation or prior notice. Radio silence from shareholders. A plethora of lies.

Hell, imagine receiving a press release stating that you have officially “stepped down”.

Two days ago, Rita Nguyen, the ex-CEO of MySQUAR, a social networking site in Myanmar, wrote this blog post detailing how she was kicked out of her apartment, and threatened with lawyer letters, and lastly, lost her company to bullies in investors’ clothing. As heart wrenching as it was, it also speaks of resilience and the sort of courage a founder needs to go through such ordeals.

- Elaine Huang, Correspondent (Southeast Asia)

Other Reads:

Can this Chinese phone giant make it in America? / The Verge

Echelon 2014: Asia isn’t for grantrepreneurs / e27

Why Does Friday the 13th Scare Us So Much? / National Geographic

Featured Image Credit:  Andreas Saldavs / Shutterstock

e27 Editorial Staff

Keeping a pulse on Asia's emerging technology and business sectors, e27 brings users the latest news, analysis and events that impact Asia's tech industry.

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