Not the Usual Suspects
In true winner-takes-all fashion, most tech publications focus mostly on the usual FAANG/MAMAA-type of company: large-cap, U.S.-based.
If you’re bored with that singular focus, here’s a non-exhaustive list of resources offering some variety.
Internyet — A History Of The Russian Internet (TV Series)
The title says it all. With Yandex, VK and the Mail.ru-group, Russia has its fair share of powerful (albeit mostly domestically operating) internet companies. This documentary series covers the early adoption of the internet in academic circles and continues to depict the companies mentioned above.
Shenzen — Future Cities Series by Wired (YouTube)
Well-produced documentary about Shenzhen, “China’s Silicon Valley”. Focuses on hardware startups, the maker movement and the history of the city itself. The main takeaway for me was that if you start a consumer electronics company, and you don’t at least have a solid contact in Shenzhen, you’re at a significant disadvantage compared to companies based there. Supply chains, local hardware talent, and capital all converge in Shenzhen, more so than anywhere else.
Stratechery on Xiaomi (Podcast Episode)
A great podcast in many respects, this is one of my favorite episodes. Years old by now, it hasn’t lost any of its relevance, covering one of the most exciting Chinese companies today.
China’s Disruptors by Edward Tse (Book)
Focuses on the biggest present-day companies based in China — so, if you want to learn more about Alibaba, Tencent, Haier or Xiaomi, this is a great read. I would have loved to learn more about lesser-known Chinese companies and the way they operate, but it was nevertheless an entertaining book.
Telegram Contests (Website)
Sadly, there’s not much written about Telegram. In my view, they are one of the best product companies today. If you want to get a glimpse into how they operate, there isn’t a better place than their contest page, where they organize contests centered around new features and give feedback on submissions.
Valve Employee Handbook (PDF)
While a U.S. company and relatively well known, nowhere near as talked about as FAANG companies — even though the company has a remarkable track record of success. This is their handbook for new employees, issued in 2012.