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Archivos mensuales:mayo 2019

885 Million First American Financial Records Exposed Online

Real estate giant First American left Social Security numbers, tax documents, and more publicly available.
Source: Wired

Uber’s first employee Ryan Graves resigns from board

Ryan Graves, a longtime Uber employee and former chief executive officer, has resigned from the company’s board of directors, effective Monday.

The newly-public company announced the departure on Friday afternoon. Ron Sugar, the company’s independent chairperson of the board, wrote in the filing that Graves was key in shaping what Uber is today. 

“As a thoughtful and engaged director, Ryan has continued to add value to Uber, offering insights and judgments that have helped us navigate the ups and downs of the business as we have grown over the past decade,” Sugar wrote. “While this is a bittersweet moment, we accept his personal decision that this is the right time for him to step down. Dara and I are grateful for his contributions to Uber’s success and wish him all the best going forward.”

Graves, who currently leads the investment firm Saltwater Capital, joined Uber in 2010 after co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick tweeted that he was “Looking 4 entrepreneurial product mgr/biz-dev killer 4 a location based service.” Graves responded to the request and the rest is history.

Graves served as the up-and-coming ridehail business’s CEO for a brief stint in 2010, helping officially launch the service and raise its first round of capital. He was the company’s senior vice president of global operations from 2011 to 2017, before stepping down nearly two years ago, mere months after Kalanick resigned.

News of Graves board resignation comes weeks after Uber completed a long-awaited initial public offering. The business (NYSE: UBER), valued at $72 billion by venture capitalists ahead of its float, priced its stock at $45 apiece in an early May offering. Uber began trading at $42 per share and has since floundered on the stock market. Uber closed down 2.6 percent Friday trading at just over $41 apiece.

According to Business Insider, Graves, a board member for nearly a decade, was expected to take home some $1 billion from the company’s IPO.


Source: TechCrunch

Comcast will launch Hitz, an on-demand movie service – CNET

The commercial-free service will replace Cinemax in some packages when it rolls out in July.
Source: CNET

Thoughtful Father’s Day gifts in 2019 – CNET

Perfect presents to give Dad this Father’s Day.
Source: CNET

Chinese chip giant delists from NYSE following Huawei ban – CNET

China’s largest chipmaker, SMIC, has decided to delist from the New York Stock Exchange.
Source: CNET

Snapchat might follow Instagram by letting you add music – CNET

The company is reportedly working with major record labels for rights to their catalogs.
Source: CNET

Uber's first employee Ryan Graves steps down from board of directors – CNET

Just two weeks after the ride-hailing company went public, it’s board is getting a shakeup.
Source: CNET

First American site bug exposed 885 million sensitive title insurance records

News just in from security reporter Brian Krebs: Fortune 500 real estate insurance giant First American exposed approximately 885 million sensitive records because of a bug in its website.

Krebs reported that the company’s website was storing and exposing bank account numbers, statements, mortgage and tax records, Social Security numbers and driving license images in a sequential format — so anyone who knew a valid web address for a document simply had to change the address by one digit to view other documents, he said.

There was no authentication required — such as a password or other checks — to prevent access to other documents.

According to Krebs’ report, the earliest document was labeled “000000075” — with newer documents increasing in numerical order, he said.

The data goes back at least to 2003, said Krebs.

“Many of the exposed files are records of wire transactions with bank account numbers and other information from home or property buyers and sellers,” wrote Krebs. First American is one of the largest real estate title insurance giants in the U.S., earning $5.8 billion in revenue in 2018.

First American spokesperson Marcus Ginnaty told TechCrunch:

On May 24, First American learned of a design defect in one of its production applications that made possible unauthorized access to customer data. Security, privacy and confidentiality are of the highest priority and we are committed to protecting our customers’ information. Therefore, the company took immediate action to address the situation and shut down external access to the application. We are currently evaluating what effect, if any, this had on the security of customer information. We have hired an outside forensic firm to assure us that there has not been any meaningful unauthorized access to our customer data.

Although the website was down, many of the documents are still cached in search engines, security researcher John Wethington told TechCrunch. We’re not linking to the exposed data while the data is still readable.

It’s the latest breach of sensitive mortgage data in recent months.

TechCrunch exclusively reported in January a trove of more than 24 million financial and banking documents were left inadvertently exposed on a public cloud storage server for anyone to access. The data contained loan and mortgage agreements, repayment schedules and other highly sensitive financial and tax documents that reveal an intimate insight into a person’s financial life.

Updated with remarks from First American.


Source: TechCrunch

Gadget Lab Podcast: Samsung’s Innovation Dilemma

David Eun, president of Samsung’s innovation arm NEXT, says younger consumers are shifting towards experiences, not things. What does that mean for a company that makes devices?
Source: Wired

How to see another company’s growth tactics and try them yourself

Every company’s online acquisition strategy is out in the open. If you know where to look.

This post shows you exactly where to look, and how to reverse engineer their growth tactics.

Why is this important? Competitive analysis de-risks your own growth experiments: You find the best growth ideas to adopt and the worst ones to avoid.

First, a warning: Your goal is not to repurpose another company’s hard work. That makes you a thief. Your goal is to identify other companies who face the same growth challenges as you, then to study their approaches for solutions to draw from.

As I walk through uncovering a competitor’s tactics, keep in mind which competitors are worth looking at: For instance, you should rarely over-analyze early-stage companies. They’re unlikely to be methodical at growth.

Meaning, if you blindly copy their site and their ads, it’s possible you’ll be copying tactics that are not actually responsible for their growth. Their success may instead be from network effects or other hidden factors.

Instead, it’s safest to get inspiration from companies who’ve sustained high growth rates for a long time, and who face the same growth challenges as you. They’re likely to have sophisticated growth operations worth studying deeply. Examples include:

  • Pinterest
  • Airbnb
  • Amazon
  • Facebook
  • Uber

If these aren’t your direct competitors, don’t worry. You don’t need to audit a direct competitor’s tactics to get incredibly valuable insights.

You can look past direct competitors.

You’ll gain useful insights from auditing the user acquisition funnel of any company who has a similar audience and business model.

Examples of audiences:

  • Wealthy consumers
  • Enterprise businesses
  • Middle-class adults who use Chrome
  • Dog owners
  • And so on

Audiences matter because their behaviors and needs differ wildly. Each requires its own growth strategy. You want to audit a company whose audiences is similar to yours.

You also want to ensure the company shares your business model. Examples include:

  • A high-touch sales process with multiple phone calls
  • A consumer ecommerce site with easy checkout
  • A self-serve SaaS signup with a freemium plan
  • A pay-to-play mobile game
  • And so on

Each model may necessitate different ads, landing pages, automated emails, and sales collateral.

The process

Never implement another company’s tactics blindly.

There’s an effective process for growth analysis, and it looks like this:

  1. Source potential growth ideas.
  2. Prioritize them.
  3. A/B test them.
  4. Measure if an A/B variant significantly outperformed its baseline and whether the cost of implementing the winner would be worthwhile.
  5. Only then should you implement it.

An example

Here’s a brief example before we dive into tactics.

Let’s pretend we’re a SaaS company offering consumer banking tools, and that we’re struggling to get users to onboard our app. Our hypothesis is that visitors are bouncing because they don’t trust us with their sensitive information.

Our first step is to define both our audience and our business model:

  • Audience: Tech-savvy, adult consumers.
    Business model: SaaS freemium funnel.

Our next step is to look for companies who share those two aspects. (We can find them on Crunchbase.)

Once we have a few in hand, we look for how they handle customers’ sensitive information throughout their funnel. Specifically, we audit their:

It’s time to learn how we audit all that. I’ll share how our marketer training program teaches marketers to do this on the job.

Tactic #1: How to see a company’s A/B tests


Source: TechCrunch