Find the problem, fund the solution, fix the world: Arielle Zuckerberg
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Arielle Zuckerberg, Humin Senior Product Manager, at MaGIC Academy. Photo Credit: e27

Arielle Zuckerberg, the 26 year old sister of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Senior Product Manager of Humin, shares her thoughts on the biggest tech trends to look out for in 2016.


Arielle Zuckerberg, who is visiting Asia, will never pretend to be a regional expert. But as the Senior Product Manager of Humin, Zuckerberg is deeply embedded in Silicon Valley, and her predictions and advice are invaluable for the Asian market.

Predicting 2016

The hot topic for the tech space in 2016 will be mobile battery life, and internal phone storage keeping pace with user behaviour, the 26 year old sister of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told e27, as we caught up with her on Wednesday at Malaysia’s MaGIC Academy. “So I have recently done some user testing on American college campuses and students are very concerned about battery life and storage on their device. They love to take photos, they love to keep photos. I see students deleting apps to make room for photos. They shut off Bluetooth or location access to save the battery in their phone,” said Zuckerberg.

And when the trend is teased-out, because mobile is the vehicle for climbing Internet penetration numbers, it seems to be an issue companies will have to resolve. Especially if they want to take advantage of what an aCommerce report from February 4 called “A grand leapfrog of mobile potential”.

“Southeast Asia has hundreds of millions of people with smartphone penetration about to hit a tipping point but there is still room to grow. People are accessing Internet for the first time through smartphones so it is a huge opportunity for these mobile-first companies to grow in this region,” said Zuckerberg.

The impact of ride-sharing on a culture

Zuckerberg said she sees a noticeable difference in American (a notably car-centric society) attitudes towards motor vehicle ownership because of the disruption created by ride-sharing apps. “I think with the popularity of both Uber and Lyft in the U.S. you are given the choice of access versus ownership and people are choosing access. Instead of buying a car [Americans] will supplement taking Ubers and renting Zipcars. They didn’t have that choice a few years ago and now they do. Anecdotally, people do prefer access over that large fixed cost of owning a car,” she said.

No reports point to Asian ride-sharing apps hindering the automobile market, but they are certainly stirring debate in the taxi industry.

Advice on seed investing

Zuckerberg has seed investments in four companies — Bitty Foods, Loco’l, Partender and Tiny Farms. For startups wondering what may catch an investor’s eye, Tiny Farms is a learning opportunity. The company is a cricket farm, with technology to help it raise insects efficiently. Because Zuckerberg has researched food sustainability, she does not believe that the current model of poultry or beef farming can supply our growing population.

“I do believe insect protein will drive the world’s food supply,” she said. So Tiny Farms has two things going for it — the company is trying to solve a problem Zuckerberg finds important and it has a product giving it a step-up on the competition.

“So [for potential investees] I look at what are the biggest unsolved problems in the world [and who has an] understanding of how those problems will be solved. I then find those people and giving them as much money as possible. That is how problems are solved,” she said.

She also pointed to a problem in the Silicon Valley, suggesting it as something Asian investors should avoid. “Silicon Valley has a huge diversity problem. And I think if you instill the importance of diversity and acknowledge that it is good for business…then you create a better business,” she said. “If your product is trying to appeal to everyone, probably at least 50% of your customers will be female and it is important for your company to look like your users,” she added.

She ended the talk by saying that she is interested in investing outside of the U.S. and that the trip was an eye-opener.

This post was originally published on e27.

Featured Image Credit: e27

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Kevin McSpadden

About Kevin McSpadden

Kevin (apparently) decided moving out of the Bay Area to cover the tech startup scene was a good idea. Proven correct, the man seems to enjoy paying bills as he moved basecamp from Hong Kong to Singapore. When not writing about start-ups, Kevin is probably yodelling on top of some mountain.

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