The First Half of 2020 — According to 35 Featured Hacker Noon Stories by@natasha
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The First Half of 2020 — According to 35 Featured Hacker Noon Stories

July 1st 2020
9 min
by @natasha 717 reads
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As of today, we've had 50,273 confirmed cases of Covid-19, and 6,113 deaths. The curve appears to have been successfully flattened: In India, they're on 585,000 confirmed cases, 17,400 deaths. In Ukraine, where Software Development Editor Arthur Tkachenko lives, they are on 44,334 cases, and 1,159 deaths, on a steady upward curve: In the United States, where Linh and David Smooke share a home and a daughter, and where 84% of Hacker Noon's readers are located, you have 2,860 million confirmed cases and 129,000 deaths.

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Natasha Nel

👋 I'm the VP of Growth Marketing here at Hacker...

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Hey there, Hackers. I'm writing to you from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where—as of today—we've had 50,273 confirmed cases of Covid-19, and 6,113 deaths. The curve here appears to have been successfully flattened:


In India, where Hacker Noon's VP of Biz Dev & Blockchain Editor, Utsav Jaiswal is based, they're on 585,000 confirmed cases, 17,400 deaths, and their curve looks like this:


In Ukraine, where Software Development Editor Arthur Tkachenko lives, they are—according to Google—on 44,334 cases, and 1,159 deaths, on a steady upward curve:


In the United States, where Linh and David Smooke share a home and a daughter, where Dane and Austin hack away all day, and where 84% of Hacker Noon's readers are located—again: according to Google, anyway—you have 2,860 million confirmed cases, and 129,000 deaths. This is the curve:


I remember the sweet, innocent optimism of our first proper All-Hands on Deck meeting this year.

It was a Thursday, in February.

I was traveling in Rio, Brazil (!) for Carnival at the time; David made a really stupid joke on the slide deck cover; everybody laughed.


Within a month, the whole world changed.

Fortunately for us, a global pandemic makes for an interesting time to work: Hacker Noon's community of 12k+ contributing writers took to their laptops in unprecedented numbers—we're still working to clear the story submission backlog created in the first month of lockdown.

If there's one thing most of us appeared to agree on in the first half of this insane year, it's that things will probably never be "the same" again.

Whether that's a good, bad, or nuanced thing, is for you to read up on and decide.

Here are 35 top stories featured on the homepage of over the past few months. Link me to your favourites in the comments?


Covid 19: The End of Politics?

By Bernard 
There are already two cliches when it comes to op-eds on the post-Covid future. One is obvious: the claim that the pandemic has “changed everything.” Analysts in many fields, from Fintech to branding to politics, have all seen the current crisis as a millennial moment. Some have even claimed that it will finally usher in the era of post-humanism that techno-utopians have been predicting for decades. 

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On The (Failed) Digitization of Our Social Lives

By Owen Auch 
If you told me two months ago that today would be the first day of quarantine that I would digitally get pen to paper, two-months-ago-me would have been outraged at quarantine-me. With no competition for my attention, I assumed that every creative pursuit that I’d put off for lack of time would come bursting out of me in a personal Renaissance like Bob Dylan producing The Basement Tapes. If Shakespeare wrote King Lear during plague quarantine, surely I could do something during my quarantine.

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18 Hard Truths About the Corona Recession

By Ras Vasilisin 
Truth doesn’t care about your feelings. 

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Interview With CEO of Industry 4.0 About Raising Funds During COVID-19

By Andrey Sergeenkov 
Believe it or not, the investment world is restructuring to cope with the economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though some experts have predicted narratives that will hold sway over this sector, there is, however, no definite projections regarding the magnitude of these changes and how much it will affect Founders and investors. Due to these uncertainties, Venture Capitals, Angel Investors, and Founders might tweak existing fundraising mechanisms to withstand new challenges.

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Fintechs vs. Incumbents vs. COVID-19: Who Wins?

By Rita C Waite 
Incumbent Banks and financial technology startups (Fintechs) face very different challenges as they navigate the COVID-19 crisis. Despite sharing customers and offering similar products, their business models, how they operate, their balance sheets and culture vary tremendously. Each one of these differences impacts how they will perform during and after the crisis. 

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Is Bitcoin Really A Safe Asset During the Coronavirus Pandemic? [Deep Dive]

By MoA.Finance 
The outbreak of the coronavirus has disrupted our daily lives. Places that we enjoy our everyday life have become deserted, and we have had restrictions imposed on our day-to-day existence.

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How Startups and SMEs Can Prepare for the Looming Massive Recession

By Andrej Kovacevic 
For months, financial experts around the world had been predicting an end to what has been the longest economic expansion in American history. That expansion propelled US startup activity to new heights, with near-record levels of new business creation for successive years, and cemented the US's place as the premier startup ecosystem in the world. Many believed the economists' warnings to be alarmist, at best.

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Could COVID-19 Help Bring About The Media Revolution We Need?

By Anthony 
On friday 20th of March, I and many thousands of UK business owners, self-employed workers and unemployed workers eagerly tuned into the 5pm news, hoping to catch a vital update on whether the government would be offering us the essential aid that we need to survive the coming 3 months. What followed was an ‘unprecedented’ broadcast (I’m going to take a shot every time Rishi Sunak says this word from now on) promising support.

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How to Build a Bar Chart Race on COVID-19 Cases in 5 Minutes

By James N 
Using the new Tableau version 2020.1 onwards.

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Will the Travel Industry Bounce Back From Covid-19 Like it Did From 9/11? [Interview]

By Ishan Pandey 
"While Q2 2020 is expected to recover slowly, I’m personally expecting the major recovery to take place from Q3 mainly for domestic travel with a full recovery, including international travel, towards Q4."

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Our Data-Driven Approach to Making Sense of the 2020 Presidential Election

By Frederik Bussler 
In less than five months, the world’s attention will be drawn to the outcome of the US Presidential election.

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The CEO of my company, Genius, must be Black

By Mahbod Moghadam 
When Tom and I started Genius in 2009, we wanted to build something that would grow bigger than rap lyrics. The first 4 songs I annotated on RapExegesis, as it was originally called, were rap songs. However, the 5th one was Elton John's "Rocket Man", the 6th was The Eagles' "Hotel California", and the 7th was a poem, the first non-lyrics post on the site - Emily Dickinson's "I'm Nobody! Who Are You?"

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White Employees Are Heavily Over-Represented In Tech Leadership

By Justin Greet 
I collected and analyzed employment data by race for 57 of the biggest tech employers in the US (1). Here are the top level conclusions:

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Hey Employers: Do Black Lives Matter?

By Pariss Athena 
As you know (I hope), the murder of George Floyd has caused protests and violent riots in Minneapolis, and many other cities around the United States. Yet again, another Black man was murdered by those hired to protects us. Four policemen pinned George to the ground after being called by a store clerk about disorderly conduct. An officer, by the name of Derek Chauvin, kneeled into George’s neck with extreme pressure, digging it into the ground to the point that he struggled to breath. As George was suffocating, he stated that he could not breath multiple times, but Chauvin did not let up. The other officers just stood by allowing it to happen, which makes them just as guilty. George died later that day. It took days just for Chauvin to even be arrested. He’s now been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. If you’re unaware of the story, please head here.

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If #ACAB, FTP, 1312, or 'F*ck 12' Make You Uncomfortable, Let's Talk

By me
The concept of Policing came about in the 17th century—unsurprisingly—around the same time as Capitalism. Even way back then, We, The People, sensed this was probably a shit idea.

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Why Hacker Noon Dedicated Our Site Wide Banner Placement to #BlackLivesMatter

By linh
Over the weekend, instead of our usual "taking a break" from work mode, we at Hacker Noon have been talking among each other about the heaviness of past weeks events, and how we as a company can do anything meaningful in response to them.

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Why Cryptocurrency Doesn’t Need to Compete With Government Money

By Mark 
As the global financial crisis accelerates, cryptocurrency has returned to mainstream public discourse. You know bitcoin has reached some level of legitimacy when Bloomberg Radio quotes its price.

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Helicopter Money, Inflation, and the Bitcoin Standard

By Abhay Aluri 
Bitcoin was created in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis, and the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic are setting the stage for Bitcoin’s greatest test yet.

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Which Sectors See Growth During Adverse Global Conditions?

By Igor 
Financial crises are like human fingerprints – they may look the same and yet under ultraviolet light, there are very dramatic differences. The reality is, every crisis differs in its nature and intensity and will require a different action plan.

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Cryptocurrencies and Loki's Part in the Current Global Financial System

By Thomas Kuhn, CFA 
It has been God backing the global financial system, if US Dollars can be trusted. The medieval sentiment ‘In God We Trust’ snuck into the original 1776 design of the Great Seal of the United States and was raised to adorn the currency during the height of the United States economic power in 1956.

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Trump’s War on Social Media is an Opportunity for Decentralized Platforms

By Mehran Muslimi 
We are surrounded by battles, if one wants to use the language of war that seems to be the default setting of a number of political leaders. For some months the world focused on defeating Covid-19, but as interest in that wanes, President Trump, and indeed the USA, have all too readily provided us with two other touchpaper moments that have claimed our attention, and they are intertwined: the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Trump’s executive order targeting social media platforms.

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The Monetization Model for A Decentralized Web/dWeb [Deep Dive]

By paul arssov 
This is a second article in the ‘Decentralized web / dWeb’ series. To get an idea on what the dWeb is please check — this article.

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How’s That Open Source Governance Working for You?

By Nathan Schneider 
Isn’t it weird that the radically democratic miracle of open-source collaboration is so full of monarchical dictatorships?

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Uber to Netflix: The Basics of Billion Dollar Business Models

By johnslezak
Do you know what distinguishes Billion-dollar companies like Uber, Amazon, Netflix, Airbnb, etc. from other companies? Their effectively created & implemented business models. Business models that are flexible. Revenue generation models that react to the varying needs of customers. 

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Ageism in Tech: How It Feels To Be The Oldest in the Room

By L.B. Lewis 
The phone interview started with the founder explaining the format, followed by the standard “tell me about yourself.” Before the interview, I had done research to know he wasn’t yet 30. It seemed to be his first startup and publicly available information about this venture was minimal. I was excited that I got the phone interview because I knew my previous marketing experience was a perfect fit. I kept my story short by including only relevant startup marketing projects.

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Zoom's Nine Year Path to Overnight Success

By Amit Singh 
Zoom has been in news a lot lately. It has gone from being an enterprise solution to a household name pretty fast.

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What Is “Zoombombing”: an Exaggerated Phenomenon, not a Vulnerability

By Ax 
Why is the exclusive focus on Zoom, when the same “flaw” impacts almost all popular video conferencing apps?

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How Wikipedia Lost 3 Billion Organic Search Visits To Google in 2019

By SimilarWeb 
Since Wikipedia was founded in 2001, people worldwide rely on the online encyclopedia to expand their horizons and read information on just about anything. As true as that is today, however, the site’s traffic trends tell a very different story.

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Why Apple Will Become More Powerful Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

By David Deal 
Apple will emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic as an even more powerful and important company. Indeed, COVID-19 may prove to be Apple’s finest hour. During the first 30 days of the pandemic’s escalation in the United States, Apple stepped up in significant ways, the most notable example being the formation of a relationship with Google to contain the virus with contact-tracing technology. In addition, Apple has, among other actions: 

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The Meaning of Anonymity in The Surveillance Era

By Savannah Lee 
Is there such a thing as true anonymity anymore? 

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Will the Robots (Finally) be Arriving?

By Rizwan Virk 
Exploring the role of consumer robots before, during, and after the current pandemic

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Long Term is an Illusion

By Austin Pocus 
As the ever-eloquent Linh Dao Smooke put it, in Slack: “In the end, don’t we all die? Long term is an illusion.” This was in reference to butter, but could easily apply to a multitude of concepts. I’m seriously fucked up over this. In this essay, I will...

Just kidding.

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Three Lessons We Can Learn from George Floyd’s Case and Its Impact.

By Amirsan Roberto
There is always a breaking point in anything that tests people’s limitations. Some take action to make a change. Others become tolerant. Still, some become wiser. We saw this happen in the face of the merciless pandemic (in this case COVID-19), which broke plans for billions and deprived millions of their family members, friends, relatives, and loved ones.

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Governments Pressuring Tech Giants Isn't Going to End Well (for Governments)

By Becka Maisuradze
The world has come a long way in terms of its relationship with technology and knowledge. It’s almost universal that people are often afraid of new inventions that are supposed to improve their lives. We feel threatened by what’s out of our intellectual grasp.

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Why CRISPR Deserves the Hype

By Frederik Bussler
The emergence of remarkable technologies like the Internet, the iPhone, and Bitcoin have left us all in constant search of "the next big thing."Is it Uber? Airbnb? Everything-as-a-service? Tesla? Gartner formalized this frenzied questioning with the "hype cycle."

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Looking back on the first half of 2020, which stories stick out for you?


or browse more top tech stories by tag.

Natasha Nel HackerNoon profile picture
by Natasha Nel @natasha.👋 I'm the VP of Growth Marketing here at Hacker Noon. I also make podcasts and write stories.
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