5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

It’s important to understand how Uber is disruptive. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty

Here’s what you need to know in tech today.

1. Brisbane’s tech hub is gaining steam. Fortitude Valley already plays host to Uber, Defiant Games and Black Sheep Capital. Now Brisbane-based startup hub River City labs is expanding, planning to double in size in a move to the heritage-listed TCB building.

2. Wickr downloads have increased 700% since Malcolm Turnbull said he uses it. The encrypted messaging app has grown seven fold in the few months since Malcolm Turnbull revealed he uses it to bypass data retention and other snooping.

3. One of Australia’s first venture capitalists is the new head of Innovation Australia. Bill Ferris founded the first venture capital firm in the 1970s, and chaired AusTrade and the Garvan Institute for Medical Research. Now Ferris has been appointed head of Innovation Australia for three years.

4. An emoji is the word of the year. Oxford Dictionary’s official word of the year is an emoji, and a crying emoji at that. Apparently it “best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015”. You can read more here.

5. Uber isn’t “genuinely disruptive” says the creator of disruption theory. Harvard Professor Clay Christensen has written an article, clarifying what makes a company disruptive and pointing out that Uber doesn’t fit the bill. The concept is important so we can fully realise the potential of disruptive companies.

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