The recent bankruptcy of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), a major financial institution has sent shockwaves throughout the startup world, particularly for those in the ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) and blockchain/cryptocurrency sectors. The impact of this bankruptcy could have far-reaching consequences, affecting not only startups but also venture capitalists and pension funds.
One of the major risks associated with this bankruptcy is the domino effect it could have on venture capitalists and pension funds. For example, Vanguard Group has 11.2% of its holdings in SVB, which has a significant stake in the ESG and blockchain/cryptocurrency industries. If SVB were to suffer from bankruptcy, it could have a ripple effect on investment firms, followed by a temporary loss of trust in the market.
Furthermore, its collapse could erode investor confidence in smaller regional banks and drive investment toward larger, “safer” banks. This shift in investor sentiment could make it more difficult for startups to secure funding and could hinder the growth of ESG innovations and DeFi initiatives.
It’s important to note that investors with significant influence in the markets, such as Peter Thiel (co-founder of PayPal), can have a major impact on market psychology. Whether right or wrong, their opinions can sway investor sentiment and potentially exacerbate the negative effects of downfall.
In light of these developments, startups should be vigilant and prepare for potential challenges in securing funding. Investors should also carefully consider the risks associated with investing in these industries and the potential impact of external factors such as bankruptcy cascade. Overall, the effects of this financial earthquake serve as a reminder of the interconnectedness of the financial world and the importance of being mindful of potential risks and challenges.
I was busy with professor Gytek when a high-priority notification arrived, so I ask my AI family assistant for a voice reading.
“Good morning Yannick, you’ve spent 1704 CU this semester. The consumption is unusually high by 27% compared to the previous period.”.
I guess it is because my grandchildren are living with us since ‘that’ incident. And my work with professor Gytek is certainly for something. Sometimes I feel I turned like my old folks, thinking my civilian bills is a high priority!
It feels like ages ago when, in 2034, Europe voted for the General Digital Access Regulation or GDAR. The GDAR has invited country members to the standardization of digital facility services for all European citizens. The implications were multiple with some bonuses. It became mandatory to provide access to the Internet to residents. Therefore, at least a device was to be given for truly digital equality and sustainable civilization development. Hence all citizens could study, work, buy, and vote online free of “access fees”.
Today, each and everyone is connected, could it be brain-wired, phygital reality glasses, in-bone sensorial devices, you name it. Not that it is necessary, holographic coating comes by default now. Wall paints, object textures, and glasses contain diamond-shaped optical picobots that give the illusion of depth without wearing anything. Actually, holographic surrealism is the latest design trend! Consequently, it has created an outstanding dependency on Decentralized Cloud Computing and Centralized Cloud Computing Networks.
The first sign of significant transformation was post-COVID-19, which revealed the need for remote work.
The intense need started really in 2032 when governments realized they could not be relying only upon Google, Amazon, and Microsoft for the future of digital expansion. The main reason is that GDAR states the following foundation principle:
Article 3. Pursuant to legal principles of ownership and privacy, it is hereby declared that all data, computing resources, and services shall be considered the personal property of the individual to whom they belong. Any access to or utilization of said property by any third party must be fully authorized by the owner and must be recorded in the EU Secure Non-Repudiable Ledger for the purposes of personal auditing and consumer accountability. Any unauthorized access or use of such property shall be deemed a violation of the owner’s rights, and may subject the offending party to legal action.
The negotiation with US and Chinese companies demonstrated the frail adherence to these requirements. Sometimes there were even reluctant to do so, which, considering the balance of the tripolar world order, was already quite an achievement. In parallel, to ensure national intelligence security, and intellectual property preservation, the only option left was to rely on a European Cloud.
This is when GAIA-X also became a so-called superunicorn company, switching from a federated cloud project to a single organization of a new kind: a European company, managed like a private company, with an obligation of result, but publicly owned by all state members, and, that’s a first, explicitly owned by the people. As a result, GAIA-X became ATHENA, and Octave Klaba, the founder of OVH Cloud, its CEO. What made it truly unique was the redistribution of benefits to the population; Indirectly, of course, but still, the business model was innovative, sustainable, and fair to citizens. The only thing you need to get started is your wallet!
During the same period, a new kind of Trade Exchange has been created: the EU Sovereign Trade Exchange, where only state citizens could buy and sell ATHENA’s shares and Computing Units tokens (CU). The latter serves as the foundation for receiving your free volume of TPU to satisfy your basic need as an individual and to extend the growth of enterprises based on how citizen wishes to invest in their business expansion.
The real benefit and the paradigm shift, at least for me, was computing becoming a utility resource like electricity and water. It changed everything:
Secondly, individuals can be CU providers when they have devices and servers producing more computing units than they consume. Nowadays, Cloudfluencers are the real deal!
Thirdly, all dwellings, devices appliances, were by default connected to your dHome Network, which is your dedicated network for privacy compliance. In 2034, the first GDAR amendment was issued in Luxembourg, where it forced all new construction and existing construction to incorporate a pluggable dHome network. Thus, the civil architecture standards and IT digital standards were upgraded and propagated throughout Europe. As a consequence, private-to-public Internet gateways were included in all housing plans by design.
Fourthly, connection to the Internet is also included. The network is software-generated and the adaptive routing is part of the civil infrastructure coming by Satellite’s PolyLight technology (which is the advanced distribution network using directed polyphasic beams of light, and each “column building” is a piece of architectural art), distributed electric grid network, where each device and vehicle act as a distribution node, or air using the old school 10G network used by the purists and the developers. Underground internet distribution is forbidden nowadays. You only had to select your Cloud Computing Providers for additional services, like on-demand Entertainment Services, the same way you used to subscribe to Netflix!
Finally, you had a single billing system where your utility invoices were sent directly to your EU Citizen One Stop Shop portal, the dHome, while payments were performed automatically (see Banking in 2060)
The security of ATHENA’s distributed network was the best.
The Core Network, BREW, was virtually inaccessible. The reason was simple, it was located in space. Its data center was a giant polyhedron, entirely built by machine. It is not that, nowadays, we do not trust humans, it is just that people trust the public and the unbias aspect of machine-generated code.
The most impressive was the servicing of qCPU. Each of them is unique, embedding in its core a set of private metamorphic keys only known and bound to the citizen. Then, the qCPU is printed on demand inside BREW autonomous factory. Furthermore, the qCPU is destroyed, recycled, then replaced periodically to ensure maximum security. Finally, human interventions, if any, are performed remotely, from ATHENA Earth Control Center, using a repair drone, which was shipped from the daily Falcon Cargo Shuttle.
“Where was I again… Ah, yes. Professor Gytek, we need to work out what is happening to you. This cannot happen again…”
I am sitting in my garden watching my granddaughter, Aleïs. She is playing with one of her advanced robotic toys, a Tyranausore Rex, and a ghost diplodocus. Yes, an invisible diplodocus. At least, this is what it looks like with my naked eyes. She is seeing more things despite she wears corrective glasses. In reality, she is playing with another digital dinosaur that only exists in the digital world. Glasses come with augmented reality by default, even for kids now. I remember when Apple launched them for the first time for the mainstream. I was just before the 5th digital revolution came, the age of the Phygital Internet
First, it was a gadget, it became rapidly a social advantage, to conclude as a social divide. It became indispensable when Apple partnered with major Glassmakers. Wearing glasses was no longer a sign of disability but a sign of “Augmentation”.
Suddenly Alëis sees virtual options popping atop The T-Rex. Some of them are locked and can only be obtained as “in-thing” payment. This kind of payment is sneaky but convenient, but sneaky! Of course, she wants to see the brand new flame animation coming out of her toy, and she wants to download cool dance moves like in Fortnite back in the day. She is into robotic animal engineering. She is much more skilled in information technologies than I was at her age. Like me, she is thrilled by trying and messing with new techs. I am so proud of her.
She taps on the menu to buy it. She is 14, and at this age, she cannot buy anything without the consent of one of her parents. One of the good features was family group management and sharing of financial assets and digital rights. Because I am an elder of her family, I receive her authorization to buy.
My Smartphone displays a notification. I smile because now they are holographic. And even when I am still amazed to see holograms popping out of the screen, smartphones are nowadays considered a relic from the past. Never mind, I am old anyway, I too am a relic. I should have died a long time ago. But they print organic lungs now, turning pneumonia into vintage flu. I put my finger on the notification and I approve with my face and my voice.
It reminded me of something. I say to Aleïs “There you go. You’re lucky, 15 years ago you couldn’t buy this option yourself”.
And she replied, “What do you mean, Papi Yannick?”.
“You see when I was younger, my mother had to go to the bank to open my account. I had to fill out some paper, present a printed copy of my national id card, and sign the paper with a pen. Later on, we could do it with our smartphones. Digital Onboarding was the coolest thing. We struggle to make it happen due to the strict regulations of the financial industry. Cyber fraud was high, and trust in the system was low. Eventually, the governments decided that laws had to be strictly enforced by code. You know, IT programming. Actually, this was the birth of the now famous expression “In Code We Trust”. Now everything is different. I mean normal for you but different for me. Ever since financial matters entered the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it did change a lot for the good. Now each human has a bank account the moment they land on planet earth. It is a birthright. Of course, they have to pay if they want more options, like your T-rex! If I recall correctly, Mankind agreed on changing the law after the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Now look at that. You can ask permission to pay with your glasses. Then I can approve it with my relic. You get the right to spend the money from your bank account. Finally, you get a T-rex spitting flames and dancing like Justin Bieber!”
“Justin Bieber? Papi, you are soooooooooo old”
“Yeah… I know”
“But I know things that you don’t”
“Ok tell me! Tell me pleeeeaaaassseeeeee!”
“Did you know that, in fact, you are not paying directly? It is your T-Rex that sends a payment to Amazon?”
“Seriously??? How come???”
“Ok. When I was still working at the bank, we figured out that autonomous cars were always connected to the internet because they needed specific cloud resources. As you know, the management of a fleet of cars is completely reliant upon the vehicle’s intelligence and collective intelligence. To operate correctly, each car needs to dynamically allocate computing power. I mean significant computing power. Now everything is quantum computing and photonic memory, it was ridiculous compared to now. The allocation is performed by buying volumes of TPU in the Financial Stock Exchanges. Funny story though, this is how Nvidia came to dominate by far the NASDAQ.
Besides, these cars were expensive to make. Thus, they needed to come with insurance from a third-party company. So what we decided at the bank is to create a bank account for Things. Nowadays, we generalized this concept to almost all objects. Fridges, washing machines, carrybots, you named it. So, in your case, the T-rex you received on your birthday has:
a bank account
a 10 years insurance bound to it
a return policy that mummy and daddy can use if they want, and the list of features unlocked
There is also a piece of information that says “this T-rex belongs to Aleïs Huchard”. Thus even if you lose it, someone can bring it to the nearest Post office and a delivery drone will bring it back to you. Isn’t that great?”
“How does the bank knows that it is mine?”
“Actually the bank does not know. The bank information system request the Worldwide Identity Service — a blockchain so to speak — to verify that this object is yours and it is safe to send a payment to Amazon. And since the monthly spending limit on your toy that your parent has set is not reached, you can buy your options. I mean the T-rex can pay for its hot upgrade, ah ah ah!”
We are both laughing loud together.
I continue with “ What do you want for your upcoming birthday? I was thinking about a trip or something”.
“Yes, I’d like to go to Senegal. You find the best Agrotech schools there.”
“You’re already thinking about university? Geez, you’re growing so fast.”
“Indeed. According to my personal finance advisor, we all have to save €20 per month on our “special event group account”. Annnnnd, this is me supposing I’ll receive €50 from you, Granny, Mummy, Daddy, and auntie Azea at my birthday!”.
“Yeah, sure you can count on that…. When did you become so good at finance?”
“I simply asked my personal financial advisor.”
“Can you show me?”
“Sure, here it is”. She looked at me with her glasses and made a swipe gesture in the air like I used to do on my NotSoSmartphone.
A hologram pops up. I was expecting a dude in suit-and-tie, like… a banker. How cliché. Instead, it was an oldish robot covered with rust. And says “How may I help you, Yannick”.
“Show me your list of features, please?”
“Sure, here it is”
A mind map of all features floats in the air. Then I say “I get it, this is an upgraded version of mine. I guess I should ask questions more often to my own personal advisor to train it with my needs. Or even better, I am going to ask your personal finance advisor to train mine. Although mine looks much more friendly. Why this robotic face, Aleïs? It looks like a half-baked Optimus Prime!”
“Don’t you like this skin, Papi? If you don’t like it, just change it. You can replace skins and voices. Check the marketplace.”
“Hmm… Open the marketplace please”
Now I am checking the marketplace. I see a lot of stuff produced by independent artists. Ever since ING came up with the “Platform Bank” idea, all Banks built their own “Financial Auchan”
See that, I can buy ad spaces on social media… Buy games on Playstation XR… Hmm… Buy tuition to the Elon Musk School of Technology… And, oh, even get me the avatar of Gary Vee for defining my attention strategy. Sweet.
Oh, you can even buy Investment Strategies too !? “The Warren Buffet Strategy by Eleanor Neetz”… “The Silent Investor, by the Wall Street Journal”… “The Sustainable Index Strategy” is currently trending. And they even have a leaderboard now. Wow, did you know that the top performer of the month won €34023! Little one, your friends, and you should buy this strategy to fund your trip!”
And she replies “You prefer Social Network Investments to cool Skins, Papy? Your so oooooooooold!”
There are many job careers to “step up” or “side step” from IT Dev Engineer. The following introduces 14 jobs to which you can start planning your next career move.
Join an ICT consulting company to provide technology consulting. The goal is to specialize in a dedicated technology or focus your attention on a specific technology stack. You are selling your expertise, methods, and best practices.
Thus, your activities will mainly be: installation, configuration, integration, performance tuning, security hardening, and guidance. For example, ELK Stack specialist, Neo4J expert, Microsoft Azure Cloud champion, etc.
Your expertise will be mainly focused on planning, coordination, communication, and budget management. Your experience in IT will also help you to identify pitfalls and manage delivery and expectations. You could also be specialized in Agile Delivery and get a Scrum Master certification.
In addition, you will develop financial acumen. Keeping spending in check is an important part of project management. Decisions, such as hiring contractors, conducting RFP, and cloud service consumption optimization, have an impact on the overall project investment.
You will focus on your functional expertise in the frame of an industry vertical, such as Banking, Healthcare, or Food services, to provide an in-depth analysis of functional and non-functional requirements.
Then, leverage your IT experience to increase the feasibility of the solutions.
Provide thought insights on product feature prioritization
Discover new business trends
Provide expert-level internal support and customer support.
You have a different flavor of architect roles here. To name a few, Software Architects, Infrastructure Architects, or Solution architects will move into the realm of architectural design and increase the scope of your actions and the weight of your decisions.
The end goal is to continuously deliver high-level plans and detailed plans that have been worked out with product managers, business analysts, IT engineers, etc. so that product implementations fit completely to expectations given the resources and constraints.
As a side step, you can focus on other IT jobs such as Ops Engineer, or specialized System Administrators (Sys Admin), where you will focus more on platform automation, reliability, and observability. There is more configuration, administration, forensics, and less coding.
But you will still code. Shell (Bash, Powershell, etc.) and scripting will be your best friends!
You will abide by the good practices of Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) and ITIL governance, most specifically within Change Management, Incident Management, and Problem Management.
If your mind is more driven by probing things and ultimately driven by quality, this job is for you.
Test engineers focus on elements that are not in line with requirements and the expected “correct” behavior. In addition, they will bend the product until it breaks.
It is all about detecting as early as possible the elements that will go against the fulfillment of the functionality, or hamper the user’s experience. It is a continuous practice as each change has the potential of breaking working features.
They are highly useful advisors as they guide you in the right choice, and the valuable tradeoffs, as IT delivery is often about the decisions between quality, timing, and costs.
It takes another way of thinking, almost reversing the IT developers’ mindset. As a security engineer, you work in the realm of “what if” and “be ready when”.
It is about playing defensive, thinking in terms of security zones, trust limits, sometime in trustless systems (Zero Trust Architecture), and managing identity and access rights.
The ultimate purpose is to erect an unshakable foundation because a crack in your fortress will be undoubtedly disastrous.
Like Tower Defense games, it is a fun job, and Cybersecurity jobs are in high demand.
If you are sensitive to ergonomics, aesthetics, and customer behavior, and you are already acquainted with frontend development, a jump to UX design, and regularly extended to UX/UI design.
UX, as User Experience, focuses on the events leading to the experience, the beginning of the experience, the path the user walks, and the end of the journey.
UX designers will focus on making the moment “enjoyable”, “frictionless”, and sometimes, “memorable”. Hence, the user’s feelings will be considered a critical piece of data during the design exercise.
Alternatively, the UI (User Interface) Design concentrates on the aesthetics, the action of polishing, turning something common into a unique piece that links to brand identity. Masters in this area are considered digital artists.
Then, if you feel the need to lead, coach, mentor, organize, and decide about the next step: walk the path of the IT Manager.
First and foremost, understand that it is primarily about the people as your job continuously focuses on ensuring your colleagues are in the optimal state for fulfilling their job in the most enjoyable way possible, moving away obstacles, and sources of confusion or disorganization.
Start with learning how to manage a team, a small one (1 to 3) to start with. It takes a different kind of skill set for managing people. It is not because you are a sound engineer that you will be a good people management.
Finally, management truly shines when you learn how to be a leader, and even more when you teach leadership.
Data Management Expert
In this case, it is all about the data. Designing Data models, managing existing data (consistency, integrity, etc), releasing new schema, improving query performances, patching data, performing data migrations, managing reference data, etc.
You will perform a lot of data analysis and forensics. Mastery of the meaning will be key and you are highly valuable to your company / to the industry for these skills.
Your sole purpose is to find gold in your data, hence your job is to be a researcher using advanced tools such as statistics, graph visualizations, machine learning, deep learning, etc.
This job is perfect for explorers and pioneers. You will navigate the sea of data (Data warehouses, Data Lake, Data Mart, etc.) often to seek an answer to a question, or in pursuit of pieces of information unseen before.
You will find correlations, clean the data, aggregate them, practice feature engineering, create models, and, to some extent, reuse or create new A.I. architecture.
IT Risk Engineer
This discipline consists in transforming the organization by incorporating risk elements inherent to bad practice and non-compliance to industry standards (HIPAA, ISO 9001, BIAN, …), regulated framework (GDPR, NIS, …), practice standards (ITIL, COBIT, …), and corporate standards.
As an IT Risk engineer, your activities are:
Designing and enriching the risk management methodology
Running day-to-day operations, controls, and governance to ensure the enterprise stays in adequation with compliance.
Coding IT programs that guarantee automatic compliance by design.
Actively mentoring other colleagues in developing risk awareness
Typically, IT risk elements are subject to compliance checks run in the scope of audits.
IT Auditors are the ones verifying compliance with standards and regulations. You can work as an internal auditor or an external (independent) auditor.
You will work within a control framework and an IT auditing methodology to highlight compliance findings and gaps with respect to a standard or a regulation.
For the latter, you will likely represent a body of regulation or a body of certification. Either way, you will more often find a job in the top tiers consulting firms, such as EY, BCG, Infosys, Cap Gemini, or large companies that are either mandated by the regulator to have an internal audit organization, such as in Banking.
Technical writers are experts in writing professional documentation. Your purpose is to engineer documentation in such a way that it will holistically be understood by a specific audience, could it be an end user, an administrator, or a developer.
You structure your documentation so that its information architecture is easily grasped by the reader. In addition, the progression is engineered in such a way that the reader will learn throughout its journey what concepts mean, how they are related to each other, and how to repeat tasks to become autonomous.
A technical writer deeply understands that documentation is part of “the product definition”, therefore it must be polished, finished, visually designed, and user-focused.
Typically, the best documentation promoted by the best ICT companies is written by these experts. They work with Content Management Systems, proof-writing systems, templates, reader-friendly fonts, and rich illustrations, within the consistency of a design system created by a UX/UI Designer.
Understand what new business models, organization models, like DAO, and features the Web 3.0 is bringing with respect to Web 2.0. Then research how Web 2.0 and 3.0 complement each other.
Select one Blockchain technology and stick to it, in the beginning, to understand how Dapps are being built, distributed, and promoted in the ecosystem. Some of the most popular depending on your areas of interest: Uniswap (DeFi), OpenSea (Digital Art, NFT), Axie Infinity (Gaming), …
Understand token economics and how it is possible to have such a huge valuation and market capitalization.
Learn to use blockchain tools like Etherscan and Bitcoin Explorer, to see all Ethereum Blockchain transactions. And now is the time to look up your own wallet!
Then, you could fund your wallet using the most popular and safest Crypto Trade Exchanges like Kraken, Coindesk, or Crypto.com. Notice that you can buy cryptocurrencies with Paypal, but you currently cannot transfer them to your own wallet. Paypal is holding bitcoin for you.
Follow the various companies and foundations expanding the web 3.0 (tech websites, Twitter) to grasp how the ecosystem is expanding. Then, ask yourself how these companies are regulated.
Interact on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Reddit with knowledgeable people and enthusiasts.
If you are an IT engineer, start programming with Solidity. I find the Truffle Suite genuinely good to build Smart Contracts and NFTs in an easy way.
The European Data Act has recently been published.
It aims at clarifying and strengthening the governing framework of the #dataeconomy.
In the nutshell (extract):
“The Data Act will give both individuals and businesses more control over their data through a reinforced data portability right, copying or transferring data easily from across different services, where the data are generated through smart objects, machines, and devices.”
For example, a car or machinery owner could choose to share data generated by their use with its insurance company.
Such data, aggregated from multiple users, could also help to develop or improve other digital services, e.g. regarding traffic, or areas at high risk of accidents.”
Some thoughts on this
1️⃣ I wonder to what extent the boundaries of your data ownership can be explicitly defined, then transparently coded in IT systems, so that a “data asset” is legally bound to you as your property.
2️⃣ After this, you could ask Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to share a piece of the cake: % of the revenue generated from your data. Let’s face it, it looks like a game-changer, if it can really be implemented.
3️⃣ Ultimately, you can capitalize on GPDR architecture. It pushes the concepts of data ownership, consent management, data counters, data KPI, data censorship management, IAM, data expiry management, etc.
4️⃣ Beyond multicloud oversight solutions, this is an excellent use case for permissioned blockchain, like Hyperledger Fabric. (e.g. Infrachain )
5️⃣ Innovative business models to arise like “Mutual Data Funds”, or Open Data Lakes”, where a set of businesses or individuals would provide a set of qualified and certified data sources to act as “Value Added Data Sources”, something similar to Bloomberg or Reuters for financial News.