All posts in “Events”

Talking the future of media with Northzone’s Pär-Jörgen Pärson

We live in the subscription streaming era of media. Across film, TV, music, and audiobooks, subscription streaming platforms now shape the market. Gaming and podcasting could be next. Where are the startup opportunities in this shift, and in the next shift that will occur?

I sat down with Pär-Jörgen “PJ” Pärson, a partner at European venture firm Northzone, to discuss this at SLUSH this past winter. Pärson – a Swede who now runs Northzone’s office in NYC – led the top early-stage investor in Spotify and led the $35 million Series C in $45/month sports streaming service fuboTV (which has roughly 250,000 subscribers).

In the transcript below, we dive into the core investment thesis that has guided him for 20 years, how he went from running a fish distribution to running a VC firm, his best practices for effective board meetings and VC-entrepreneur relationships, and his assessment of the big social platforms, AR/VR, voice interfaces, blockchain, and the frontier of media. It has been edited for length and clarity.

Eric Peckham:

Northzone isn’t your first VC firm — Back in 1998, you created Cell Ventures, which was more of a holding company or studio model. What was your playbook then?

Talk Lyft’s stock market debut with TechCrunch writers

After much anticipation, Lyft stock hit the public markets last week, with a nearly 10% pop on its first day of trading. However, concerns over the company’s lofty valuation, deep losses and uncertain path to profitability have caused the stock to fall flat in the days since.

TechCrunch’s resident transportation expert Kirsten Korosec and venture capital ax Kate Clark have been on the case, closely following the market’s reaction and the evolving theses around Lyft’s business… Today at 11:00 am PT, Kirsten and Kate will be helping Extra Crunch members understand how investors are thinking about Lyft and will be offering their views on where the company goes from here.

Tune in to join the Lyft debate as it unfolds, as well as for the opportunity to ask Kirsten and Kate any and all things Lyft, transportation, or venture.

To listen to this and all future conference calls, become a member of Extra Crunch. Learn more and try it for free.

Expert Panel: What even IS “tech ethics”?

It’s been a pleasure, this past month, to launch a weekly series investigating issues in tech ethics, here at TechCrunch. As discussions around my first few pieces have taken off, I’ve noticed one question recurring in a number of different ways: what even IS “tech ethics”? I believe there’s lots of room for debate about what this growing field entails, and I hope that remains the case because we’re going to need multiple ethical perspectives on technologies that are changing billions of lives. That said, we need to at least attempt to define what we’re talking about, in order to have clearer public conversations about the ethics of technology.

Fortunately, I was recently able to gather a group of three whipsmart thinkers who are each emerging as leaders in the tech ethics field, and who each do “big-picture” work, looking at the (enormous) field as a whole rather than being limited to knowledge of a single narrow technology or sector. As you’ll see below, none of the three offers a one-size-fits-all definition of tech ethics, which is a good indicator of why their perspectives are particularly trustworthy. If you want to understand a field this big and this new, always look to the kind of thoughtful, introspective leaders you’ll find below, rather than settling for quick and easy answers.

Kathy Pham is a computer scientist, product leader and serial founder whose work has spanned Google, IBM, Harris Healthcare Solutions, and the federal government at the United States Digital Service at the White House, where she was a founding product and engineering member. As a Fellow at the Harvard Berkman Klein Center, Kathy co-leads the Ethical Tech Working Group and focuses on ethics and social responsibility with an emphasis on engineering culture, artificial intelligence, and computer science curricula. Kathy also is a Senior Fellow and Adjunct Faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Hilary Cohen, a former Program Strategist at the Obama Foundation and analyst at McKinsey & Company, is currently leading a new initiative on Ethics and Technology at Stanford University’s Center for Ethics in Society. She recently managed the process of creating a popular new, team-taught Stanford course, “Ethics, Public Policy, and Technological Change.”

Jessica Baron holds a Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science and is a prolific and widely read freelance writer and educator on the ethics of technology, among other issues. I am a big fan of her regular tech ethics writing, for Forbes.


Greg Epstein: Thank you all so much for joining me. I have been really looking forward to this conversation, because I find myself after a year of somewhat immersing myself in the subject, still trying to figure out exactly what tech ethics actually is.

14th Annual Summer Party

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