Globally, this year has seen a lot of action in the tech space. These people have made contributions or decisions that had crucial impact on tech companies and products.
In this global roundup, we will bring to the fore individuals like Jack Ma and Donald Trump who created ripple effects in the tech space in their own unique ways. The list also includes Elon Musk and his tireless pursuit of innovation in Tesla, Neuralink, SpaceX and his other ventures.
Facebook has had quite the turbulent ride in 2019, and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg is included in the list because of Facebook’s response to hate speech and other major challenges the social media giant faced in the course of the year.
Let’s meet them.
Jack Ma’s Alibaba and his new African Focus
Jack Ma resigned from his position as the Chairman of Alibaba months ago. Since then, his focus has shifted to organising philanthropic activities in Africa through his Jack Ma Foundation. His company, Alibaba Group listed in Hong Kong last month and the company has recorded major cash flows this year especially during the Black Friday sales.
Through the Jack Ma Foundation’s ‘Netpreneur Prize’ that was launched this year, Ma is making good on his promise of providing funding aid to entrepreneurs in Africa.
“As a fellow entrepreneur, I understand the importance of getting support during the early days, I am inspired and encouraged by these entrepreneurs who, together, will help build a sustainable, inclusive economy for Africa and for the world.”Jack Ma
Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook’s trials
2019 has been a challenging year for Zuckerberg and the Facebook Group with an onslaught of petitions, court orders and congressional hearings. However, 2019 has also seen Mark Zuckerberg lead his team in a determined effort to eliminate hateful posts before they surface on Facebook.
It would seem that Facebook met with obstacles at major turns, from Libra to end-to-end encryption, to the Cambridge Analytica scandal that resulted in a US$5 billion fine. Zuckerberg and his team have kept Facebook moving in spite of the trials, releasing Viewpoint and Facebook Pay to keep users connected to the social web of Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook itself.
Elon Musk and his diverse innovations
Elon Musk contributed to 2019 with his space projects, Neuralink’s Brain-Machine Interface (BMI) project, and Tesla’s car innovations.
Musk’s BMI project involves having tiny microchips implanted in the human brain to optimise certain functions of the body. According to Musk, this also could one day help man achieve man-machine intelligence.
Musk gave people something to think about earlier this year with his announcement that in the future, Tesla cars would have customised horns that made sounds from bleating goats and farting humans to coconuts.
Serena Williams and her tech investments
Serena surprised the business public earlier this year when she revealed that she was an Andela investor through her firm: Serena Ventures. Apparently, since 2014, Serena has had vested interest in a number of firms which include Tonal, Lola and Masterclass.
According to Williams, she launched Serena Ventures with the mission of giving opportunities to founders across an array of industries.
“Serena Ventures invests in companies that embrace diverse leadership, individual empowerment, creativity and opportunity.”Serena Ventures
Donald Trump and his Twitter storms
US president, Donald Trump, caused quite a ruckus this year in the tech space with his superfast tweet responses and executive orders which have been a pain for many. Earlier this year, he banned Huawei and restricted the company’s dealings with tech companies in the US including Alphabet’s Google.
Bitcoin’s price dropped significantly sometime in July after Trump declared his standpoint on the crpytocurrency on Twitter and Facebook’s Libra was not unaffected by Trump’s standpoint as well.
Trump concludes our list of individuals who have made defining moves on the global tech space this year. With news of Trump’s impeachment and Musk’s AI efforts making progress here and there, 2020 promises to be exciting.
Enjoy the ride!
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