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This Thriving City—and Many Others—Could Soon Be Disrupted by Robots - WSJ
Feb. 9, 2019 | WSJ | By Christopher Mims.

In and around the city of Lakeland, Florida you’ll find operations from Amazon, DHL (for Ikea), Walmart , Rooms to Go, Medline and Publix, a huge Geico call center, the world’s largest wine-and-spirits distribution warehouse and local factories that produce natural and artificial flavors and, of all things, glitter.

Yet a recent report by the Brookings Institution, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and McKinsey & Co., argues that the economic good times for Lakeland could rapidly come to an end. Brookings placed it third on its list of metros that are most at risk of losing jobs because of the very same automation and artificial intelligence that make its factories, warehouses and offices so productive......As technology drives people out of the middle class, economists say, it’s pushing them in one of two directions. Those with the right skills or education graduate into a new technological elite. Everyone else falls into the ranks of the “precariat”—the precariously employed, a workforce in low-wage jobs with few benefits or protections, where roles change frequently as technology transforms the nature of work......One step in Southern Glazer’s warehouse still requires a significant number of low-skill workers: the final “pick” station where individual bottles are moved from bins to shipping containers. This machine-assisted, human-accomplished step is common to high-tech warehouses of every kind, whether they’re operated by Amazon or Alibaba. Which means that for millions of warehouse workers across the globe, the one thing standing between them and technological unemployment is their manual dexterity, not their minds.... “I think there will be a time when we have a ‘lights out’ warehouse, and cases will come in off trucks and nobody sees them again until they’re ready to be shipped to the customer,” says Mr. Flanary. “The technology is there. It’s just not quite cost-effective yet.”
artificial_intelligence  automation  Christopher_Mims  cities  clusters  disruption  distribution_centres  Florida  geographic_concentration  hyper-concentrations  precarious  productivity  robotics  warehouses 
8 days ago by jerryking
Meg Whitman: ‘Businesses need to think, who’s coming to kill me?’
January 18, 2019 | Financial Times | by Rana Foroohar 7 HOURS AGO.

Whitman has just launched Quibi, a $1bn start-up of which she is chief executive (entertainment mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, her co-founder, is chairman). The venture, backed by a host of entertainment, tech and finance groups including 21st Century Fox, Viacom, Alibaba, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, has the lofty aim of becoming the Netflix of the mobile generation, offering high-quality, bite-sized video content for millennials (and the rest of us) hooked on smartphones......Whitman's experience has left her with plenty of advice for chief executives struggling with nearly every kind of disruption — technological, cultural and geopolitical. “I think every big business needs to be thinking, ‘Who’s coming to kill me?’ Where are the big markets that for regulatory reasons, or just because things are being done the way they always have been, disruption is likely? I’d say healthcare is one,” ...... a “Quibi”, is the new company’s “snackable” videos, designed to be consumed in increments of a few minutes....“You have all these in-between moments, and that’s what inspired the length of the content,” she says. “Very few people are watching long-form content on this device,” she says, holding up her iPhone. “They’re spending four to five hours a day on their phones, but they’re playing games, watching YouTube videos, checking social media, and surfing the internet. And although [people] pick up their phones hundreds of times a day, the average session length is 6.5 minutes.”.......Whitman’s hope is that just as people now binge on hour-long episodes of The Crown or House of Cards at home, they’ll do the same on their smartphone while in the doctor’s office, or commuting, or waiting for a meeting to start. As Whitman puts it, “every day you walk around with a little television in your pocket.” She and Katzenberg are betting that by the end of this year, we’ll spend some of our “in-between moments” watching micro-instalments of mobile movies produced by Oscar winning film-makers or stars ... interviewing other stars. ....The wind was at her back at eBay, where she became president and chief executive in 1998, presiding over a decade in which the company’s annual revenues grew from $4m to $8bn. “It’s hard to change consumer behaviour. We did that at eBay. We taught people how to buy in any auction format on the internet, how to send money 3,000 miles across the country and hope that you got the product.”

Quibi, she believes, doesn’t require that shift. “People are already watching a lot of videos on their phones. You just need to create a different experience.” She lays out how the company will optimise video for phones in ways that (she claims) will utterly change the viewing experience, and will leverage Katzenberg’s 40 years in the business.

..
CEOs  disruption  Meg_Whitman  Rana_Foroohar  start_ups  women  bite-sized  Hollywood  Jeffrey_Katzenberg  mobile  subscriptions  web_video  high-quality  Quibi  smartphones  advice  large_companies  large_markets  interstitial 
4 weeks ago by jerryking
Collaborative transport model aims to disrupt the disrupters
January 14, 2019 | Financial Times | by John Thornhill.

Liad Itzhak, head of mobility at Here Technologies, is certainly planning on it. His parent company, majority owned by the German carmakers BMW, Audi, and Daimler, has created a “mobility marketplace” that aims to tackle the problems of fragmented transport services, including the ride-hailing companies. “We are here to disrupt the disrupters,” he says.

More than 500 service providers, with 1.4m vehicles, have joined Here’s mobility marketplace in 350 cities — although it is not yet operational everywhere. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week, Mr Itzhak announced the expansion of the company’s services and the launch of its SoMo app.

Here’s model differs from traditional ride-hailing companies in two critical respects. First, it acts as a platform for all collaborative transport services, public or private, ranging from bike rentals to taxi firms to bus companies. It will recommend the optimal route for travelling from A to B, even if that means walking, rather than highlighting the one that generates the most revenue for any company. “We are the first and only one to create a neutral global mobility marketplace,” Mr Itzhak says.

Second, it is attempting to introduce a social networking element to transport services. Its SoMo, or social mobility, app will connect people who are going to the same destination at the same time for the same purpose. So, for example, parents taking their kids to football will be better able to co-ordinate travel.
disruption  platforms  ride_sharing  transportation 
4 weeks ago by jerryking
Ghost kitchens : the next disruption in the restaurant industry ?
8 Jan, 2018 | intotheminds | Posted By Pierre-Nicolas Schwab.

(1) https://www.restaurant-hospitality.com/operations/ubereats-nudges-operators-toward-virtual-restaurants
(2) https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/oct/28/deliveroo-dark-kitchens-pop-up-feeding-the-city-london#img-3

ghost kitchen make perfect economic sense : margins are thin in the restaurant industry, driven by high employees-related costs, rent, expensive equipment and variability in demand. Setting up a restaurant is a bet with a 5 to 20-year time horizon depending on myriad factors : your positioning, the location, and many exogenous factors out of your control. Eliminating all those risks seems like a logical move :

how to make a restaurant less location-dependent ?
how to adapt quickly to demand ?
how to reduce fixed costs (renting and equipping a place) ?
The bright sides : 3 major advantages of ghost kitchens

**The 3 major advantages of ghost kitchens are their answers to the 3 problems listed above :

the restaurant is not location-dependant anymore. If there is an event likely to generate massive flow of potential customers, you can move
ghost kitchens can adapt quickly to demand : the standardized kitchen unit just has to be multipled, which is not possible with street food vans unless you own several of them (which brings us to the 3rd advantage).
ghost kitchens, because they are rented from online platforms like Uber Eats and Deliveroo, transfom fixed costs into variable ones. This is great to test your idea and is a cheap way to do market research and test traction on a market.

** The dark sides of Uber’s and Deliveroo’s ghost kitchens
1. Why would one still rent a place to operate a restaurant ?
Good question indeed. If all hurdles and risks of operating a brick-and-mortar restaurant can be removed, why would you still want to rent a place (fixed costs), buy the equipment (fixed costs), hire employees (fixed costs) and wait on patrons to come in (variable revenues) ? If a platform like Uber or Deliveroo can provide you with customers’ orders, the need to have a brick-and-mortar place would vanish.
But if every single restaurant owner adopts that posture, how will city centers look like on the long run ?

2. Dependence towards platforms
What happened with the hospitality sector may well happen on the middle-term in the restaurant industry too. Uber eats, Deliveroo have disrupted the way we consume food. This is a new societal change that is most to be felt in Europe (urban Americans use already to get food delivered to their homes, most restaurants in US cities proposing at home delivery) : it has become easier than ever to get food delivered at home.
If enough restaurant owners make a significant percentage of their revenues through those platforms, they will eventually become dependent on them and will struggle like hotels are now struggling with Booking.com. Using platforms is a wise strategy to grow revenues but it can also become a very dangerous one if your dependence to them increases.
cold_storage  disruption  fixed_costs  kitchens  platforms  restaurants  variable_costs  Deliveroo  Uber  asset-light  event-driven  experimentation  test_marketing  pop-ups  on-demand  dark_side  virtual_restaurants  bricks-and-mortar 
5 weeks ago by jerryking
The opportunities left behind when innovation shakes up old industries
November 28, 2018 | The Globe and Mail | GUY NICHOLSON.

early meetings and phone calls were casual conversations with a couple of landscape photographers who specialize in golf.

The very nature of their business had changed fundamentally...After the Internet disrupted print magazines and media, they recast themselves as digital marketers, selling online rights to images created with high-tech arrays of digital cameras, drones and processing software. But even while embracing technology to take their work to new artistic heights, there were dramatically fewer places left for golfers to come across this art in print......Had their little corner of publishing been so thoroughly disrupted and abandoned that it now had more demand than supply? .....Technological innovation can be extremely disruptive and painful – and in the digital era, capable of changing entire industries seemingly overnight. But when creative destruction puts good things in peril, slivers of opportunity can emerge. After the masses and the smart money have flocked to newer technologies, formerly ultra-competitive spaces can be left wide open for innovation – abandoned fields for small businesses, start-ups and niche players to occupy.

It helps to offer a level of quality or service the bigger players consider uneconomical. Look at the travel industry, which has been thoroughly remade under waves of innovation: cellphones, digital cameras, GPS, Google Maps. Between internet comparison shopping and Airbnb, travel agents could have gone the way of the traveller’s cheque. But in the wake of all that disruption, tiny bespoke agencies specializing in advice, unique experiences, complicated itineraries and group travel have re-emerged to offer services too niche for the big digital players.....Similar things are happening in industries such as gaming, where video games have cleared the way for board-game cafes, and vinyl music, which survived the onslaught of MP3s and streaming music on the strength of nostalgia, millennial fascination and sound quality. As the rest of the industry moved into digital, neighbourhood record stores and small manufacturers picked up the pieces, catering to an enthusiastic subset of music buyers.

“We were growing very rapidly, not because vinyl was growing, but because a lot of pressing plants were going out of business,” Ton Vermeulen, a Dutch DJ and artist manager who bought a former Sony record plant in 1998, told Toronto journalist David Sax in his 2016 book The Revenge of Analog. Vinyl is back in the mainstream, but its disruption cleared the field for smaller players.

Abandoned fields aren’t for everyone. Building a business around an off-trend service or product can be a tough slog for fledgling businesses and entrepreneurs, and risky. In the case of the golf photographers, two dozen artists signed up to create a high-end subscription magazine. It’s beautiful, but with two years of work riding on a four-week Kickstarter campaign, there’s no guarantee this particular field will prove to have been worth reclaiming.

Of course, risk has always been part of small business. But a market waiting to be served – that’s a precious thing. As long as there is disruption, it will create opportunities for small businesses to reoccupy abandoned fields
bespoke  David_Sax  disruption  high-risk  high-touch  innovation  niches  off-trends  photography  print_journalism  small_business  start_ups  travel_agents  creative_destruction  new_businesses  opportunities  abandoned_fields  counterintuitive  Kickstarter 
11 weeks ago by jerryking
The Prime Effect: How Amazon’s Two-Day Shipping Is Disrupting Retail
Sept. 20, 2018 | WSJ | By Christopher Mims.

Amazon.com Inc. has made its Prime program the gold standard for all other online retailers... The $119-a-year Prime program—which now includes more than 100 million members world-wide—has triggered an arms race among the largest retailers, and turned many smaller sellers into remoras who cling for life to the bigger fish.

In the past year, Target Corp. , Walmart Inc. and many vendors on Google Express have all started offering “free” two-day delivery. (Different vendors have different requirements for no-fee shipping, whether it’s order size or loyalty-club membership.)

Amazon and its competitors are often blamed for the death of bricks-and-mortar retail, but the irony is that these online retailers generally achieve fast shipping by investing in real estate—in the form of warehouses rather than stores. To compete on cost, the vendors must typically ship goods via ground transportation, not faster-but-pricier air. The latest to offer free two-day delivery is Overstock.com , which claims it can reach over 99% of the U.S. in that time frame from a single distribution center in Kansas City, Kan.

But the biggest online retailers aren’t the only ones building massive fulfillment centers and similar operations. Fulfillment startups and large companies from other sectors are hoping to scale up by luring smaller sellers who want alternatives to Amazon’s warehousing and delivery operations.
Amazon  Amazon_Prime  arms_race  delivery_times  disruption  e-commerce  free  fulfillment  retailers  same-day  shipping  third-party  warehouses 
september 2018 by jerryking
Why big companies squander good ideas
August 6, 2018 | | Financial Times | Tim Harford

.....Organisations from newspapers to oil majors to computing giants have persistently struggled to embrace new technological opportunities, or recognise new technological threats, even when the threats are mortal or the opportunities are golden. Why do some ideas slip out of the grasp of incumbents, then thrive in the hands of upstarts?.....“Disruption describes what happens when firms fail because they keep making the kinds of choices that made them successful,” says Joshua Gans, an economist at the Rotman School of Management in Toronto and author of The Disruption Dilemma. Successful organisations stick to their once-triumphant strategies, even as the world changes around them. More horses! More forage!

Why does this happen? Easily the most famous explanation comes from Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School. Christensen’s 1997 book, The Innovator’s Dilemma, told a compelling story about how new technologies creep up from below: they are flawed or under-developed at first, so do not appeal to existing customers. Holiday snappers do not want to buy digital cameras the size of a shoebox and the price of a car.

However, Christensen explains, these technologies do find customers: people with unusual needs previously unserved by the incumbent players. The new technology gets better and, one day, the incumbent wakes up to discover that an upstart challenger has several years’ head start — and once-loyal customers have jumped ship.
............Within academia, Rebecca Henderson’s ideas about architectural innovation are widely cited, and she is one of only two academics at Harvard Business School to hold the rank of university professor. The casual observer of business theories, however, is far more likely to have heard of Clayton Christensen, one of the most famous management gurus on the planet.

That may be because Christensen has a single clear theory of how disruption happens — and a solution, too: disrupt yourself before you are disrupted by someone else. That elegance is something we tend to find appealing.

The reality of disruption is less elegant — and harder to solve. Kodak’s position may well have been impossible, no matter what managers had done. If so, the most profitable response would have been to vanish gracefully.

“There are multiple points of failure,” says Henderson. “There’s the problem of reorganisation. There’s the question of whether the new idea will be profitable. There are cognitive filters. There is more than one kind of denial. To navigate successfully through, an incumbent organisation has to overcome every one of these obstacles.”

......Henderson added that the innovators — like Fuller — are often difficult people. “The people who bug large organisations to do new things are socially awkward, slightly fanatical and politically often hopelessly naive.” Another point of failure......The message of Henderson’s work with Kim Clark and others is that when companies or institutions are faced with an organisationally disruptive innovation, there is no simple solution. There may be no solution at all. “I’m sorry it’s not more management guru-ish,” she tells me, laughing. “But anybody who’s really any good at this will tell you that this is hard.”
Apple  blitzkrieg  disruption  ideas  IBM  innovation  iPod  missed_opportunities  MPOF  Rotman  Steve_Jobs  theory  Tim_Harford  upstarts  large_companies  WWI  Xerox  Walkman  Clayton_Christensen  organizational_change  organizational_structure  militaries 
september 2018 by jerryking
Apple sceptics are looking at the wrong metrics
Tien Tzuo APRIL 30, 2018.

.....When Apple reports its earnings on Tuesday, analysts will be watching closely to see what it says about smartphone sales. The big tech group’s shares are down more than 7 per cent in the past 10 days amid concerns about soft demand for the latest iPhones.

But investors are focusing on the wrong numbers. Apple may be the world’s most valuable company, but its future depends on more than product sales. It must adapt to a profound shift that is changing consumer behaviour. We are witnessing the end of ownership as we know it.
.......With every day that passes Apple cares less about how many iPhones it sells, and more about how many Apple IDs its customers create and how it can make money from those IDs.
.....The end of ownership is disrupting nearly every industry: from retail and entertainment to heavy equipment and healthcare. It is a fundamental shift not just in the way we work and live and accumulate things, but in the way we value ourselves and each other.......Knowing the customers, their preferences, buying habits and how much they are willing to spend are the price of entry in this new economy. Once those relationships are forged and cemented, the data collected, the insights drawn, the real work starts — to anticipate the products and services customers will want next.
.....Volvo understands this. Its latest advertising encourages customers not to buy cars but to subscribe to them instead. The Chinese-owned company is rethinking everything from payment structure and auto design to sales centers and partnerships. Other big automakers including Ford and Porsche are also preparing for the shift away from ownership.....Amazon continues to school all of its rivals in the power of subscriber relationships. A case in point: it recently raised the price of its US Prime membership service by nearly 20 per cent, and its customers didn’t even blink.

That said, many investors are still evaluating companies based on the outdated idea that the number of products they produce will make or break them. But change is coming. The end of ownership is happening whether Wall Street wakes up or not.
Apple  Caterpillar  customer_insights  disruption  end_of_ownership  metrics  shifting_tastes  services  Shazam  subscriptions  Texture  Amazon  Amazon_Prime  Apple_IDs 
may 2018 by jerryking
Ticketmaster’s New Challenger: Your Face - WSJ
By Anne Steele
Updated May 4, 2018

The industry is ripe for disruption. People are spending more than ever on experiences, even as concern is rising about security at crowded live events. At the same time, artists and teams today have little control over how, to whom or for how much their tickets are sold.
entrepreneur  start_ups  disruption  Live_Nation  live_performances  facial-recognition  sports  arenas  Ticketmaster  Rival  Andreessen_Horowitz 
may 2018 by jerryking
AllianceBernstein’s Nashville move threatens New York and London
May 3, 2018 | Financial Times | Gillian Tett 10 HOURS AGO.

AllianceBernstein’s Nashville move is highly symbolic — and revealing — of the current state of finance. It highlights rising cost pressures on traditional asset managers, as investors abandon expensive, actively-run mutual funds for low-fee, passive trackers. The shift also shows how technological disruption is forcing top executives to rethink their assumptions. One obvious factor that has made it easier for a company such as AllianceBernstein to shift its physical headquarters is that the internet makes it possible to trade securities and do research anywhere in the world.

However, another, less-discussed, issue is that as financial services move into cyber space and the sector throws money at technology, companies also need to build digital facilities and hire computer technicians. That is tough to do in New York: competition for digital workers is high and it is hard to build cutting-edge computer hubs in densely packed historic buildings.

There is a third point about boardroom psychology: as executives toss those “d” words around — digital disruption — the conversations allow them to question all manner of taboos, including many that have nothing to do with computers. The idea of leaving a hallowed financial centre thus becomes easier to embrace, as costs keep rising in America’s coastal hubs.
Gillian_Tett  relocation  asset_management  cost_of_living  quality_of_life  Nashville  war_for_talent  digital_strategies  disruption 
may 2018 by jerryking
BlackRock co-founder warns on complacency over Chinese tech
Owen Walker in Davos 2 HOURS AGO

“Apple was not in the music industry, Google was not in the mobile phone industry and Amazon was not in the groceries business — until they were,” he said. “Tech companies are going to enter the financial services market in a very, very aggressive way.” 

Ant Financial’s sprawling portfolio of businesses includes one of the world’s biggest credit scoring systems, a bank, an insurer and a lending platform for small businesses. It was reported last week by the FT and other news organisations that Ant Financial is seeking to raise at least $9bn in its latest private fundraising ahead of an initial public offering....“You have to expect there will be a threat from [Chinese] technology companies to financial services,” ....“But I would say Amazon is equally a threat to doing that.” 
BlackRock  Ant_Financial  complacency  threats  disruption  Alibaba  asset_management  financial_services 
april 2018 by jerryking
Technology has upended the world’s advertising giants - Mad men adrift
March 31st, 2018 | The Economist |

The world’s advertising giants are struggling to adapt to a landscape suddenly dominated by the duopoly of Google and Facebook. Some of their biggest clients, such as Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Unilever, are also being disrupted, in their case by smaller online brands and by Amazon. They are cutting spending on advertising services, and also building more capabilities in-house. Consultancies with digital expertise such as Deloitte and Accenture are competing with agencies, arguing that they know how to connect with consumers better, and more cheaply, using data, machine learning and app design.......This month Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer of P&G, criticised their (i.e. the ad giants) model as a “Mad Men” operation that is “archaic” and overly complex in an era when campaigns and ads need to be designed and refined quickly across lots of platforms.

Technological forces are buffeting this model.

(1) The first big challenge is disintermediation. Despite the growing backlash against the tech giants, Google and Facebook make it easy for firms big and small to advertise on their platforms and across the internet via their powerful ad networks.
(2) The second headache is the rise of ad-free content for consumers, especially on Netflix, and the corresponding disruption of ad-supported television, which has declining viewership globally.
(3) Third, Amazon’s e-commerce might, and the growing clout of internet-era direct-to-consumer upstarts, have weakened the distribution muscle and pricing power of the advertising giants’ biggest clients.....cost discipline among clients is driven partly by the influence of thrifty private-equity investors like 3G, the Brazilian owner of AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer......Sir Martin argues that the budgetary pressures that have forced his clients to cut back on advertising are a cyclical problem, not like the structural challenges posed by technological disruption.

In private, however, a senior executive at a rival ad-holding firm rejects much of this optimism. Technological disruption and disintermediation, he says, will only deepen. The efficiency of targeted digital ads means companies can spend less for the same outcome in branding. ....The advertising firms are responding by hiring away talent, acquiring businesses (in 2015 Publicis bought Sapient, a digital consultancy, for $3.7bn) and gradually changing how they make money. Their plans mostly boil down to two things: investing in digital services and consolidating their collections of businesses so that they can provide a range of services to one client more cheaply under one account.
advertising  economics  marketing  advertising_agencies  Martin_Sorrell  digital_strategies  WPP  Google  Facebook  Amazon  competitive_landscape  P&G  Unilever  disruption  Deloitte  Accenture  Publicis  Omnicom  via:sparkey  ad-tech  programmatic 
april 2018 by jerryking
The joy of boring business ideas
April 11, 2018 |FT| by JONATHAN MARGOLIS
Slippers, razors and even gas boilers offer ripe pickings for profit and disruption.

Simon Phelan and his online gas boiler installation company, Hometree, are “aiming to replicate the success of online estate agent Purplebricks in an equally large, albeit more boring market: boiler installations.”......Start-ups doing anything new, cute or plain off-the-wall often struggle. .....Boring may be the new interesting.......Mahabis, a carpet slippers start-up, has sold close to a million pairs of its £79 product....another boring domestic product, razors, have proved to be a lucrative market for what are essentially tech companies, such as Dollar Shave Club (bought by Unilever for $1bn) and Harry’s.....It is not just products: dull-sounding online services also seem to pay off. London start-up ClearScore, a millennial-focused fintech company which offers users free credit scoring and personal finance guides, sold to Experian last month for £275m, after just three years in business......Phelan is pursuing gas boilers, not because he was interested in them, but because he was looking for a way into the growing smart-home sector. He wants to build a slick way to modernise boiler installation, so that by the time newer, more eco-friendly home heating technologies become standard he will already have a loyal customer base. This is why Hometree has more in common with tech companies than with local plumbers.

“Where I think people go wrong in entrepreneurship is building a product, rather than a business for the future,” says Mr Phelan....Making a neglected category simple and elegant is attractive.”

“All you have to do,” he concluded, “is not to see it as a gas boiler business, but a much bigger play......Phelan’s idea that new businesses need to be strategic rather than excitable about this or that gimmicky new product is one that other entrepreneurs would do well to follow.
disruption  unglamorous  smart_homes  eco-friendly  reinvention  home_based  new_businesses  new_products  millennials  fin-tech  credit_scoring  personal_finance  boring  buying_a_business 
april 2018 by jerryking
Singapore experiments with smart government
January 22, 2018 | FT | by John Thornhill.

Singapore has a reputation as a free-trading entrepôt, beloved of buccaneering Brexiters. ....But stiff new challenges confront Singapore, just as they do all other countries, in the face of the latest technological upheavals. Is the smart nation, as it likes to style itself, smart enough to engineer another reboot?.....Singapore is becoming a prime test bed for how developed nations can best manage the potentially disruptive forces unleashed by powerful new technologies, such as advanced robotics and artificial intelligence...Naturally, Singapore’s technocratic government is well aware of those challenges and is already rethinking policy and practice. True to its heritage, it is pursuing a hybrid approach, mixing free market principles and state activism.

Rather than passively reacting to the technological challenges, the island state is actively embracing them....“The real skill of Singapore has been to reverse engineer the needs of industry and to supply them in a much more cost-effective way than simply writing a cheque,” says Rob Bier, managing partner of Trellis Asia, which advises high-growth start-ups...To take one example, the country has become an enthusiastic promoter of autonomous vehicles. The government has created one of the most permissive regulatory regimes in the world to test driverless cars.....GovTech’s aim is to help offer seamless, convenient public services for all users, creating a truly digital society, economy and government. To that end, the government is acting as a public sector platform, creating a secure and accessible open-data infrastructure for its citizens and companies. For example, with users’ permission, Singapore’s national identity database can be accessed by eight commercial banks to verify customers with minimal fuss. A public health service app now allows parents to keep check of their children’s vaccinations.

By running with the technological wolves, Singapore is clearly hoping to tame the pack.
Singapore  autonomous_vehicles  dislocations  traffic_congestion  aging  smart_government  disruption  robotics  automation  artificial_intelligence  test_beds  reboot  city_states  experimentation  forward-thinking  open-data  privacy  reverse_engineering 
january 2018 by jerryking
Silicon Valley disrupts your light switch on its return to the smart home
OCTOBER 27, 2017 | Financial Times | Tim Bradshaw in Los Angeles.

Noon’s $400 “smart lighting system” is one of those hoping to tap into Amazon’s Alexa platform. Its “Room Director” incorporates an OLED display — the same kind of touchscreen technology used in the new iPhone X — and bulb-detecting algorithms to create “layered lighting”, with an array of scenes and moods. 

Noon’s $50m funding is large for a company that, until Thursday’s debut in US stores, had not begun to sell any products. Its backers argue the sum reflects the capital costs of building a high-quality consumer product, as well as the scale of the opportunity: 144m residential light switches are sold every year, Mr Charlton notes. 

“It is one of these unloved, overlooked products that has relatively boring incumbents that haven’t paid attention to the needs of the market,” says Rob Coneybeer, partner at Shasta Ventures, one of Noon’s earlier investors. “You probably hit a light switch at least 10 times a day. The only other product that has that level of engagement in your life is your smartphone.” 

There are few simpler technologies in the home than the humble light switch, which for most people works reliably without the addition of WiFi or Bluetooth. 
smart_homes  Amazon_Echo  Nest  Silicon_Valley  disruption  Google_Home  in-home  unglamorous  smart_lighting  obscure_markets  overlooked  high-quality 
november 2017 by jerryking
Disney’s Big Bet on Streaming Relies on Little-Known Tech Company
OCT. 8, 2017 | The New York Times | By BROOKS BARNES and JOHN KOBLIN.

For two days in June 2017, Disney’s board of directors wrestled with one topic: how technology was disrupting the company’s traditional movie, television and theme park businesses, and what to do about it?.....Cord cutting was accelerating much faster than expected. Live viewing for some children’s programming was in free fall......Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chief executive and chairman, proposed a legacy-defining move. It was time for Disney to double down on streaming..... bet the entertainment giant’s future on a wonky, little-known technology company housed in a former cookie factory: BamTech.....Based in Manhattan’s Chelsea Market, the 850-employee company has a strong track record — no serious glitches, even when delivering tens of millions of live streams at a time. BamTech also has impressive advertising technology (inserting ads in video based on viewer location) and a strong reputation for attracting and keeping viewers, not to mention billing them.....BamTech grew out of Major League Baseball Advanced Media, or Bam for short, which was founded in 2000 as a way to help teams create websites. By 2002, Bam was experimenting with streaming video as a way for out-of-town fans to watch games.

Soon, Bam developed technology that attracted outside clients, including the WWE, Fox Sports, PlayStation Vue and Hulu. HBO went to Bam in 2014 after failing to create a reliable stand-alone streaming service on its own. Could Bam get HBO up and running — in just a few months? Bam built HBO Now for roughly $50 million, delivering it just in time for the Season 5 premiere of “Game of Thrones,” which went off flawlessly. “They were nothing short of herculean for us,” said Richard Plepler, HBO’s chief executive.

In 2015, Bam decided to spin off its streaming division, calling it BamTech. With an eye toward its own direct-to-consumer future, particularly with ESPN, Disney paid $1 billion in 2016 for a 33 percent stake and an option to buy a controlling interest in 2020. To run the stand-alone company, M.L.B. and Disney recruited Michael Paull, 46, from Amazon, where he oversaw Prime Video and the introduction of Amazon Channels.....Disney contends that a big part of BamTech’s value has been overlooked. Down the road, as other media companies move toward streaming, BamTech intends to sign them up as clients.....Though BamTech has proved its streaming bona fides, it still lacks the algorithms and the personalization skills that have helped propel Netflix to success. To fill that gap, Mr. Paull recently hired the former chief technology officer of the F.B.I. to be the head of analytics.....The level of engineering required for that enormous volume of content is no small matter. Each bit of streamable content has to be made to fit a dizzying number of requirements. Start with web browsers, ranging from Safari to Chrome or Explorer, all of which have slightly different demands. It also has to fit every iPhone and Android phone. And then there are connected living room devices like Apple TV.
algorithms  Disney  streaming  boards_&_directors_&_governance  disruption  cord-cutting  CEOs  theme_parks  BamTech  big_bets  game_changers  entertainment  personalization  Quickplay  sports  sportscasting 
october 2017 by jerryking
The Decline of the Baronial C.E.O. - The New York Times
By NELSON D. SCHWARTZJUNE 17, 2017

General Electric is just the latest storied name in corporate America to show its leader the door. Ford’s chief executive, Mark Fields, had been in the job for less than three years when he was fired in late May. Two weeks earlier, Mario Longhi of U.S. Steel abruptly stepped down. With these departures, the American era of the baronial chief executive, sitting atop an industrial dominion with all the attendant privileges, is drawing to a close.....Jeffrey Immelt tried to change G.E., yet couldn’t react quickly enough to the forces affecting companies like his......[(Amazon + Whole Foods) shows how] the digital age has upended the competitive landscape, pitting companies in vastly different industries against one another.

These include the rising power of activist investors, who buy up stakes in companies and then demand changes. Activists are now hunting much bigger game, demanding double-digit annual earnings growth in a stagnant economy. Or else.....Boards, too, have changed, evolving from country-club-like collections of the same familiar faces into a much more diverse and demanding constituency.....for most of the Fortune 500, the unquestioned power and perks, the imperviousness to criticism from the likes of shareholders, and the outsize public profile that once automatically came with the corner office have gone the way of the typewriter and the Dictaphone.....[today] ...wading into bitterly partisan public debates offers little upside for corporate leaders, and risks damage to their company’s reputation.

As a result, while companies in many ways have more economic and political power than ever, “chief executives now shy away from weighing in on the policy level or broader societal issues,” Mr. Sharer said. “They’re more focused on running their companies.”......Mr. Immelt’s exit leaves a void at the intersection of business and public policy,.....“If you start fooling around in Washington with the Business Roundtable or writing op-eds, activist investors will ask what you’re doing,”....[GE] became a natural target for activist investors. One of those was Nelson Peltz, a onetime corporate raider who relied on Michael R. Milken’s junk bonds for financing back in the 1980s.
CEOs  GE  executive_management  shareholder_activism  digital_disruption  Jeffrey_Immelt  disruption  technological_change  decline  Vijay_Govindarajan  boards_&_directors_&_governance 
june 2017 by jerryking
Amazon Is Leading Tech’s Takeover of America - WSJ
By Christopher Mims
June 16, 2017

The impact of all this is clear: Existing businesses that can’t respond by becoming tech companies themselves are going to get bought or bulldozed, and power and wealth will be concentrated in the hands of a few companies in a way not seen since the Gilded Age. The rest of us will have to decide how comfortable we are buying all our goods and services from the members of an oligopoly.

Think about it: Apple, a computer company that became a phone company, is now working on self-driving cars, original TV programming and augmented reality, while pushing into payments territory previously controlled by banks, moves that could make it the first trillion-dollar company in the world.

Facebook , still seen by some as a baby-pictures-and-birthday-reminders company, is creating drones, virtual-reality hardware, original TV shows, even telepathic brain-computer interfaces.

Google parent Alphabet Inc., still largely an ad company with a search engine, built Android, which now runs more personal computing devices than any other software on Earth. It ate the maps industry; it’s working on internet-beaming balloons, energy-harvesting kites, and ways to extend the human lifespan. It’s also arguably the leader in self-driving tech.

Meanwhile, serial disrupter Elon Musk brings his tech notions to any market he pleases—finance, autos, energy, aerospace.
Amazon  disruption  oligopolies  Facebook  Google  Apple  Gilded_Age  Elon_Musk  augmented_reality  Christopher_Mims 
june 2017 by jerryking
U.S. Cyberweapons, Used Against Iran and North Korea, Are a Disappointment Against ISIS - The New York Times
By DAVID E. SANGER and ERIC SCHMITT JUNE 12, 2017.

In 2016, U.S. cyberwarriors began training their arsenal of cyberweapons on a more elusive target, internet use by the Islamic State. Thus far, the results have been a consistent disappointment......The effectiveness of the nation’s arsenal of cyberweapons hit its limits against an enemy that exploits the internet largely to recruit, spread propaganda and use encrypted communications, all of which can be quickly reconstituted after American “mission teams” freeze their computers or manipulate their data..... the U.S. is rethinking how cyberwarfare techniques, first designed for fixed targets like nuclear facilities, must be refashioned to fight terrorist groups that are becoming more adept at turning the web into a weapon......one of the rare successes against the Islamic State belongs at least in part to Israel, which was America’s partner in the attacks against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Top Israeli cyberoperators penetrated a small cell of extremist bombmakers in Syria months ago, the officials said. That was how the United States learned that the terrorist group was working to make explosives that fooled airport X-ray machines and other screening by looking exactly like batteries for laptop computers......ISIS' agenda and tactics make it a particularly tough foe for cyberwarfare. The jihadists use computers and social media not to develop or launch weapons systems but to recruit, raise money and coordinate future attacks.

Such activity is not tied to a single place, as Iran’s centrifuges were, and the militants can take advantage of remarkably advanced, low-cost encryption technologies. The Islamic State, officials said, has made tremendous use of Telegram, an encrypted messaging system developed largely in Germany......disruptions often require fighters to move to less secure communications, making them more vulnerable. Yet because the Islamic State fighters are so mobile, and their equipment relatively commonplace, reconstituting communications and putting material up on new servers are not difficult.
ISIS  NSA  security_&_intelligence  disappointment  Israel  encryption  disruption  London  London_Bridge  tools  cyber_security  cyberweapons  vulnerabilities  terrorism  Pentagon  U.S._Cyber_Command  campaigns  David_Sanger 
june 2017 by jerryking
Art market ripe for disruption by algorithms
MAY 26, 2017 | Financial Times | by John Dizard.

Art consultants and dealers are convinced that theirs is a high-touch, rather than a high-tech business, and they have arcane skills that are difficult, if not impossible, to replicate..... better-informed collectors [are musing about] how to compress those transaction costs and get that price discovery done more efficiently.....The art world already has transaction databases and competing price indices. The databases tend to be incomplete, since a high proportion of fine art objects are sold privately rather than at public auctions. The price indices also have their issues, given the (arguably) unique nature of the objects being traded. Sotheby’s Mei Moses index attempts to get around that by compiling repeat-sales data, which, given the slow turnover of particular works of art, is challenging.....Other indices, or value estimations, are based on hedonic regression, which is less amusing than it sounds. It is a form of linear regression used, in this case, to determine the weight of different components in the pricing of a work of art, such as the artist’s name, the work’s size, the year of creation and so on. Those weights in turn are used to create time-series data to describe “the art market”. It is better than nothing, but not quite enough to replace the auctioneers and dealers.....the algos are already on the hunt....people are watching the auctions and art fairs and doing empirics....gathering data at a very micro level, looking for patterns, just to gather information on the process.....the art world and its auction markets are increasingly intriguing to applied mathematicians and computer scientists. Recognising, let alone analysing, a work of art is a conceptually and computationally challenging problem. But computing power is very cheap now, which makes it easier to try new methods.....Computer scientists have been scanning, or “crawling”, published art catalogues and art reviews to create semantic data for art works based on natural-language descriptions. As one 2015 Polish paper says, “well-structured data may pave the way towards usage of methods from graph theory, topic labelling, or even employment of machine learning”.

Machine-learning techniques, such as software programs for deep recurrent neural networks, have already been used to analyse and predict other auction processes.
algorithms  disruption  art  art_finance  auctions  collectors  linear_regression  data_scientists  machine_learning  Sotheby’s  high-touch  pricing  quantitative  analytics  arcane_knowledge  art_market 
june 2017 by jerryking
J.Crew’s Mickey Drexler Confesses: I Underestimated How Tech Would Upend Retail
By Khadeeja Safdar
Updated May 24, 2017

For decades, fashion was essentially a hit or miss business. Merchants like Mr. Drexler would make bets on what people would be wearing a year in advance, since that’s how long it took to design and produce items. Hits guaranteed handsome returns until the next season.

Now, competitors with high-tech, data-driven supply chains can copy styles faster and move them into stores in a matter of weeks. Online marketplaces drive down prices, and design details such as nicer buttons and richer colors are less apparent on the internet. Social media adds fuel to the style churn—consumers want a new outfit for every Instagram post. “The rules of the game have changed,” said Janet Kloppenburg, president of JJK Research, a retail-focused research firm. “It’s not just about product anymore. It’s also about speed and pricing.”

Mr. Drexler’s plan is to emphasize lower prices, pivot toward more digital marketing and adopt a more accessible image........Mr. Drexler didn’t appreciate how the quality of garments could easily get lost in a sea of options online, where prices drive decisions, or how social media would give rise to disposable fashion. Online, price has more impact than the sensory qualities of clothing. “You go into a store—I love this, I love this, I love this,” he said. “You go online and you just don’t get the same sense and feel of the goods because you’re looking at a picture.”.....Amazon.com and other algorithm-based websites can change prices by the hour based on demand, and the variety of options makes it easy to mix and match brands.

“The days of people wearing head-to-toe J.Crew are over,”......Today, with nearly two billion people using Facebook every month, he feels differently: “You cannot be successful without being obsessed with the product, obsessed with social media, and obsessed with digital,” he said. “Retail is now about all that.”

Mr. Drexler said he hasn’t given up on quality. Instead, he is now lowering prices on about 300 items and creating an analytics team dedicated to optimizing prices for each garment......TPG co-founder David Bonderman recently acknowledged J.Crew and its peers are struggling with declining mall traffic and the shift to online shopping. “The internet has proven much more resilient and much more important than most of us thought a decade ago,” he said at a conference earlier this month.
retailers  e-commerce  Mickey_Drexler  J.Crew  fashion  apparel  LBOs  private_equity  hits  copycats  social_media  Instagram  data_driven  supply_chains  Clayton_Christensen  disruption  brands  Old_Navy  Banana_Republic  Madewell  digital_influencers  TPG  fast-fashion  disposability 
may 2017 by jerryking
Oak View Group – We are here to be a positive disruption to business as usual in the sports and live entertainment industry.
Messrs. Irving Azoff and Tim Leiweke could use conferences to help Oak View Group, their venue-management company, which collects annual fees from about two dozen arenas in exchange for sponsorships, event booking and other services.
disruption  back-office  sports  live_performances  sponsorships  events  arenas  Tim_Leiweke  entertainment_industry 
april 2017 by jerryking
Dancing with Disruption - Mike Lipkin
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By Mike Lipkin
#1. Become someone who knows.....a secret is a formula or knowledge that is only known to a few. If you own a secret, you have the power to share it so you can turn the few into the many. Secrets are everywhere – hiding in plain sight. The difference between someone who knows and someone who doesn’t is the willingness to do the work, find the information, talk to the people and formulate one’s strategy. Be a source of joy and not a source of stress!! Disruption begins long before.....Mastering other people's emotions....Add in a way that thrills and delights others!! Prospective of Personal Mastery....industry connection + internal influence.
# 2. Have an audacious ambition. If you want to be a disruptor, you can be humble, but you can’t be modest. You have to dream big....dream bigger than anything that gets in its way.
#3. Be simultaneously analytical and creative. There may be a gap in the market, but is there a market in the gap? ...Disruption demands left and right brain firing together. Your intuition may alert you to the opportunity but it’s your intellect that builds your business case. That’s why you need wingmen or women to complement your capacity. Fly social not solo.

HBR September 2016
Value Hierarchy
Functional >> Emotional >>Life changing >> social

#4. Be prolific. The more you lose, the more you win. 1.0 is always imperfect. You will hear the word “no” hundreds of times more than the word “yes.” The best way to get ready is to do things before you’re ready. The best you can do is get it as right as you can the first time [i.e. "good enough"] and then get better, stronger, smarter. Disruptors try a lot more things than disruptees. They fail fast and they fail forward. [Practice: repeated performance or systematic exercise for the purpose of acquiring skill or proficiency.
#5. Communicate like magic. If you want to be a disruptor, you must be a great communicator. ... the right words generate oxytocin – the love hormone, whereas the wrong words generate cortisol, the stress hormone. .... tell your story in a way that opens people’s hearts, minds and wallets to you. Create a vocabulary.
#6. Be a talent magnet. Disruption demands the boldest and brightest partners....The best talent goes where it earns the highest return. Reputation is everything. [What would Mandela do?]
#7. Play like a champion today. Disruptors may not always play at their best but they play their best every day. They bring their A-Game no matter who they’re playing....you feel their intensity and passion. How hard are you hustling on any given day? Everything matters. There is no such thing as small. They’re all in, all the time.
disruption  personal_branding  good_enough  uncertainty  hard_work  Pablo_Picasso  creativity  intuition  intensity  passions  talent  failure  partnerships  reputation  Communicating_&_Connecting  storytelling  thinking_big  expertise  inequality_of_information  knowledge_intensive  imperfections  audacity  special_sauce  prolificacy  affirmations  unshared_information 
april 2017 by jerryking
Artificial intelligence is too important to leave unmanaged
September 26, 2016 | FT | John Thornhill.

Investors are scrambling to understand how technology will enable wealth to be created and destroyed

In the 60-year history of AI, the technology has experienced periodic “winters” when heightened expectations of rapid progress were dashed and research funding was cut. “It’s not impossible that we’re setting ourselves up for another AI winter,” says the co-founder of one San Francisco AI-enabled start-up. “There is a lot of over-promising and a real risk of under-delivering.”
One of the more balanced assessments of the state of AI has come from Stanford University as part of a 100-year study of the technology. The report, which brought together many of AI’s leading researchers, attempted to forecast the technology’s impact on a typical US city by 2030......Apart from the social impact, investors are scrambling to understand how such applications of AI will enable wealth to be created — and destroyed.
Suranga Chandratillake, a partner at Balderton Capital, a London-based venture capital firm, says “AI is the big question of the now” for many investors. The clue, he suggests, is to identify those companies capable of amassing vast pools of domain specific data to run through their AI systems that can disrupt traditional business models. [Large data sets with known correct answers serve as a training bed and then new data serves as a test bed]
artificial_intelligence  investors  disruption  data  training_beds  test_beds  massive_data_sets  wealth_creation  wealth_destruction  social_impact  venture_capital 
march 2017 by jerryking
White House Echoes Tech: ‘Move Fast and Break Things’ - The New York Times
Charles Duhigg
ADVENTURES IN CAPITALISM MARCH 8, 2017

It remains to be seen, however, whether Mr. Trump will successfully transition from a start-up to a mature commander in chief. Just as Uber and other young tech firms have stumbled while growing, so Mr. Trump seems, right now, in over his head at the White House.

But understanding these early missteps — and how start-up thinking vaulted Mr. Trump into power — is important, because it gives us a lens into the strengths and weaknesses of management techniques that are increasingly being imitated by other industries around the world.

Put differently, the president’s success has demonstrated the strength of the start-up philosophy. But is it a good or a bad thing if Mr. Trump becomes the first political unicorn?....The Trump team’s embrace of Silicon Valley philosophy goes much deeper. As Mr. Trump’s campaign gained steam, for instance, top officials began a dedicated effort to study the tactics of successful digital advocacy groups, particularly the left-leaning Moveon.org, as well as #BlackLivesMatter, to reverse engineer methods for rapidly mobilizing voters.....The influence of start-up philosophy on Mr. Trump’s team extends to day-to-day management. The campaign and the White House have looked to tech industry management techniques to empower staff members to start policy initiatives, to conduct rapid digital tests, and to push fund-raising and advertising campaigns without seeking authorization from senior officials.....
White_House  Campaign_2016  disruption  Silicon_Valley  Donald_Trump  Sam_Altman  reverse_engineering  Y_Combinator  digital_advocacy  Black_Lives_Matter  missteps 
march 2017 by jerryking
Costco set to open its first Canadian office, business supplies store - The Globe and Mail
MARINA STRAUSS
RETAILING REPORTER — The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016
Costco  big-box  disruption  e-commerce 
december 2016 by jerryking
I took an unconventional path after graduating from Harvard Business School and it made my career | Charlene Li | Pulse | LinkedIn
December 8, 2016F | LinkedIn | Charlene Li.

During the first ten years of being an analyst, I had briefings from a total four women CEOs, none of them women of color. While women still face tremendous discrimination in tech, I’m seeing progress but it’s not enough. To help change this, when I meet women CEOs of start-ups, I take them aside and ask how I can personally help them. I especially reach out to women of color in any position who are contemplating making a move out of their comfort zone. After all, I know what it's like to be different, to be first.

My hope is that my ideas and words provide people with a roadmap of how to manage disruption in their organizations and their lives. And I hope that my life and career serves as an inspiration especially for women of color for how to pursue and manage disruption in their lives.
HBS  Charlene_Li  women  CEOs  start_ups  unconventional_thinking  Asian-Americans  roadmaps  disruption 
december 2016 by jerryking
Inside the mind of a venture capitalist | McKinsey & Company
August 2016 | McK | Steve Jurvetson is a partner at Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Michael Chui,
(1) entrepreneurs who have infectious enthusiasm.
(2) sector of the economy believed to be experiencing rapid growth/ massive disruptive change.
(3) wide range of industries, from synthetic biology to rockets to electric cars to a variety of sectors that weren’t ripe for venture investment in prior decades but now are becoming software businesses.
(4) attributes and people somewhat similar to what I look for in the team at work: enough self-confidence to be humble about what it’s proposing and respect for the team over individuals
How should large companies respond? The large companies that are most exciting to me are the ones that innovate outside their core. big companies need to innovate outside their core businesses. The biggest start-up: Space.
Steve_Jurvetson  McKinsey  DFJ  venture_capital  teams  vc  disruption  space  large_companies  software  core_businesses  Moore's_Law  machine_learning  passions  Elon_Musk  accelerated_lifecycles  space_travel  innovation  self-confidence  humility 
august 2016 by jerryking
Why It’s Not Enough Just to Be Disruptive - The New York Times
By JEREMY G. PHILIPS AUG. 10, 2016

Short-term success may be driven by exceptional execution; long-term value creation requires building a defensible model.

Any microeconomics textbook will tell you there are limited sources of competitive advantage. The most valuable companies combine several reinforcing strands, like scale and customer loyalty.....

While it is hard to stay ahead solely through superior execution over an extended period, it is sometimes enough in the short term to draw a deep-pocketed buyer where there are strong, immediate synergies. Creating enormous value over the long term requires turning a tactical edge into some form of durable advantage....Superior tactical execution can still create real value, particularly where it provides ammunition for a bigger war (like Walmart’s battle with Amazon). And in the long term, value is created not by disruption, but by weaving together advantages (as both Amazon and Walmart have done in different ways) that together create a barrier that is hard to storm.
disruption  endurance  value_creation  Gillette  competitive_advantage  execution  books  slight_edge  Amazon  Wal-Mart  microeconomics  short-term  long-term  barriers_to_entry  compounded  kaleidoscopic  unfair_advantages 
august 2016 by jerryking
How The New York Times lost the internet, and how it plans to win it back - Vox
What's Page One? What's digital first?

The first page of the print edition of the newspaper is known as Page One with capital letters. The report details the extent to which Page One is the heart of the daily routine of the newsroom, with the most important editorial meeting also being called Page One, and reporters and editorial groups assessing themselves largely in terms of their ability to score Page One stories. This remains the case even though digital is not just the future of the New York Times but largely its present. The Times' digital audience dwarfs its print subscriber base, but the editorial workflow is built around Page One and the newspaper.

The report urges a "digital first" strategy and emphasizes that this means more than literally putting a story on the internet before it appears in a print newspaper. Digital first is a state of mind in which the job of the newsroom is to deliver an excellent digital product, which a relatively small team would then repackage as a daily print product. Today it's largely the reverse. Deadlines are structured around the pace of print, incentives are structured around Page One, and then teams of producers build a website out of what's really a print workflow.
newspapers  digital_media  digital_first  NYT  disruption  perspectives  mindsets  digital_strategies 
may 2016 by jerryking
From terrorism to technological disruption: Leaders need to tackle risk - The Globe and Mail
DAVID ISRAELSON
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016

“Not only do they have to think about and worry about economic changes and what their competitors are going to do, they now have a whole new level of political and regulatory risk,” Ms. Ecker says.

“You can’t predict in some cases how a policy maker is going to move. We’re seeing that in China now.”

At the beginning of 2016, as markets began a steep slide in China, that country’s regulators twice activated a “circuit breaker” mechanism to halt trading, only to abandon it after it appeared to make the drop in the market even worse.

The lesson is that sometimes “business practices and even business products that seem acceptable today, for whatever reason, when something happens can be considered things you shouldn’t be doing. There’s more policy unpredictability than ever before,” Ms. Ecker says.

“In an increasingly risky world, a CEO needs to be increasingly flexible and adaptable. You also need to have a team and know what the latest threat might be.”

That isn’t necessarily easy, she adds. “There’s no rule book. When I was in politics, people used to ask me what we should anticipate. I’d tell them, ‘Read science fiction books.’ ”....CEOs in today’s risky world also need people skills that may not have been necessary before, says Shaharris Beh, director of Hackernest, a Toronto-based not-for-profit group that connects worldwide tech companies.

“CEOs have always needed strong skills around rapid decision-making and failure mitigation. In today’s hypercompetitive startup business climate, leaders need two more: pivot-resilience and proleptic consensus leadership,” he says.

“Pivot-resilience is the ability to tolerate the stress of gut-wrenching risks when dramatically shifting strategy. In other words, be able to take the blame gracefully while still warranting respect among your team members.”

Proleptic consensus leadership is especially important for startups, Mr. Beh says. “It’s the ability to garner the team’s support for taking big risks by giving them the assurance of what backup plans are in place should things go sour.”

This consensus building “is how you keep support,” he adds. In a volatile economy, “people can jump ship at any time or even unintentionally sabotage things if they’re not convinced a particular course of action will work.” So you have to constantly persuade.
law_firms  law  risks  CEOs  risk-management  disruption  people_skills  BLG  leaders  pivots  resilience  consensus  risk-taking  contingency_planning  unpredictability  political_risk  regulatory_risk  policymakers  flexibility  adaptability  anticipating 
february 2016 by jerryking
Where Value Lives in a Networked World
Mohanbir SawhneyDeval Parikh
FROM THE JANUARY 2001 ISSUE

In recent years, it seems as though the only constant in business has been upheaval...Business has become so complex that trying to predict what lies ahead is futile. Plotting strategy is a fool’s game. The best you can do is become as flexible and hope you’ll be able to ride out the disruption.
There’s some truth in that view…..We have studied the upheavals and concluded that many of them have a common root--the nature of intelligence in networks. The digitization of information, combined with advances in computing and communications, has fundamentally changed how all networks operate, human as well as technological, and that change is having profound consequences for the way work is done and value is created throughout the economy. Network intelligence is the Rosetta Stone. Being able to decipher it will shape the future of business.
value_creation  networks  HBR  turbulence  uncertainty  flexibility  resilience  digitalization  disruption  turmoil  collective_intelligence 
november 2015 by jerryking
Why law and accounting firms struggle to innovate - The Globe and Mail
Oct. 06, 2015 | The Globe and Mail | RYAN CALIGIURI.

Why is it that professional service firms, especially accounting and law firms, find it so difficult to embrace innovation in order to build a stronger future?...The biggest factor is that professional service firms are driven primarily by billable hours and any time someone is not billable they are seen as not adding value. This means that in order to innovate someone has to “stop adding value” by not being billable. There is far too much focus on “today” in professional service firms and not enough on the future – this mentality will continue to hold back firms and do more damage in the long run....Most professional service firms also don’t have a system for driving innovation in an efficient manner so they often waste a great deal of time getting caught up in details that don’t matter. ...Many of the law and accounting firms I worked with were doing very well so they didn’t see a need to innovate. ....Firms are often not good at implementing new services or products, they don’t have a culture that supports, fosters, or encourages innovation, and they are often too smart for their own good and get overly complex with their innovation initiatives......First, a firm’s overall corporate strategy needs to incorporate an element of innovation as one of its top long-term goals. Without a strategic focus and investment in innovation, any efforts will often fall flat as they will be approached loosely or in a silo that eventually gets overtaken by billable work.....Next, get a quick win by surveying or researching your client’s business, their industry, and even their own clients. Looking deeper into your client’s business and understanding their problems and opportunities will help you find ways to add value through a new product or service and will enable your firm to get off on the right foot.....Insights from clients can drive new products, services and systems that will fill a need.
However, professional service firms that are looking for a leap in innovation need to go beyond customer insights and explore future trends, industry experts, and, yes, even patent databases for further stimulus to drive new ideas.
This is the difference between firms that innovate and those that die. If you’re in a professional service firm and believe that there is no threat, quite frankly, you are crazy to think so.
innovation  professional_service_firms  law_firms  accounting  challenges  billable_hours  disruption  complacency  Ryan_Caligiuri 
october 2015 by jerryking
Tech City News: London to host first Food Tech Week
Weblog post. Newstex Trade & Industry Blogs, Newstex. Oct 1, 2015.

ProQuest Central: hackathon and food and distribut*

October will see the launch of London's first ever 'Food Tech Week' which will be celebrating all things food and facilitating tec...
London  United_Kingdom  product_launches  food  technology  hackathons  disruption  ecosystems  brands  fresh_produce  innovation  food_tech 
october 2015 by jerryking
High-tech Singapore rides into the future
6 June 2015 | Financial Times|Louise Lucas in Singapore

Singapore has seen the future - and is busily putting it into practice.

From crowdsourced buses, designed to do for public transport what ...
Singapore  sharing_economy  massive_data_sets  disruption 
july 2015 by jerryking
How Ubernomics can transform Canada’s legal diseconomy - The Globe and Mail
MICHAEL MOTALA
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jul. 10, 2015

Technologists from other industries hope Ubernomics is a generalizable business model. This month, the MaRS Discovery District launched LegalX, an industry cluster aimed at promoting local entrepreneurship, driving industry efficiency and pioneering new business models. One of its first startups is a service called LawScout. Like Uber, it offers a simple digital platform aimed at connecting small businesses with local lawyers on a fixed-rate basis. Beagle, another product launched at the event, performs rapid contract analysis using a sophisticated algorithm, while providing a platform for social media-inspired collaboration among decision-making teams....Ubernomics is not a panacea for the legal sector. Rather than disrupt it, it will transform. Big firms are here to stay if they embrace innovation. Digital technologies promise more efficient work flows and higher productivity. The shortcomings of the consensus-driven decision-making structure, exemplified by the fall of Heenan Blaikie, suggests more strategic thinking, stronger leadership and a heavier investment in R&D is needed to make legal work more efficient and cost effective......We live in an absurd legal diseconomy. There is an ever-widening gap between supply and unmet demand. Following the Ontario government's tuition deregulation in 1998, University of Toronto law led the charge, raising tuition by 320 per cent under dean Ron Daniels. Other law schools followed suit and continue to do so. This year, U of T law is unashamed to charge incoming students more than $30,000 a year. Not to be left out, the Law Society of Upper Canada recently doubled its licensing fees. The legal academy is aggravating the access to justice crisis by imposing ever-higher rents on the most vulnerable entrants to the profession. A false and parasitic empiricism has evidently burrowed itself in the minds of our country's greatest legal thinkers.

Ubernomics is not a panacea for the legal sector. Rather than disrupt it, it will transform. Big firms are here to stay if they embrace innovation. Digital technologies promise more efficient work flows and higher productivity. The shortcomings of the consensus-driven decision-making structure, exemplified by the fall of Heenan Blaikie, suggests more strategic thinking, stronger leadership and a heavier investment in R&D is needed to make legal work more efficient and cost effective.........
Businesses like fixed-cost projections. The billable-hour model introduces a lot of uncertainty into the equation. Software such as LawScout is unlikely to undermine the legal industry’s biggest players, but it signals that an economic culture shift lies ahead.
Uber  law  uToronto  law_firms  disruption  arbitrage  sharing_economy  start_ups  invoicing  billing  law_schools  fees_&_commissions  digital_disruption  lawtech 
july 2015 by jerryking
In the age of disruptive innovation, adaptability is what matters most - The Globe and Mail
May. 13 2015 | The Globe and Mail |by EAMONN PERCY.

William Gibson, who coined the term Cyberspace, “The future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet.”

It is not the innovation itself that matters, but its implications during this transition. For the individual, the key will be how to take advantage of these changes, while protecting one’s family, business, career, investments and way of life.....In 2013, a study authored by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McFee at the MIT Sloan School of Management argued that advances in technology are largely behind the sluggish job growth and flattening median incomes over the last 10 to 15 years. They believe that the recent rapid advances in technology are destroying jobs more quickly than they are being created, contributing to the recent stagnation in income and the growth of inequality in the U.S. ... However, around the year 2000, this correlation diverged, with productivity continuing to rise but employment levels stagnating. They call the gap between increasing productivity and employment ‘the Great Decoupling,’ and the authors believe technology is behind it....the best way to both survive and then thrive in this coming transition is simple; embrace it as an Age of Adaptability. There is nothing an individual can do to stop these massive global trends in technology, economics, and demographics, other than adapt. Even reacting to the trends is insufficient, since their scale and velocity are will leave you scrambling to catch up, not mind getting ahead. The only solution is to adapt by becoming a lifelong learner, failing fast if necessary, and learning to get ahead of the changes.

This ability to adapt starts with a mindset that the status quo is not a safe haven, but the place of greatest risk. It means accepting complete responsibility for your destiny, rather than subordinating your well-being to other groups or people. It requires you to take 100 per cent control of your circumstances, particularly if you are responsible for a family, or other people in the form of a business. It entails moving to a state of absolute clarity and awareness of the coming onslaught of change, and then taking a personal leadership role in making incremental, but permanent, changes to your life now.
mindsets  information_overload  disruption  the_Great_Decoupling  Erik_Brynjolfsson  MIT  Andrew_McFee  economic_stagnation  adaptability  innovation  William_Gibson 
may 2015 by jerryking
Cisco’s CEO on Staying Ahead of Technology Shifts - HBR
John Chambers
FROM THE MAY 2015 ISSUE

Mr. Chambers said that customers are the best indicators of when to make investments in new technology. “That’s one reason I spend so much time listening to CIOs, CTOs, and CEOs during sales calls,”
HBR  Cisco  anticipating  ksfs  transitions  listening  market_intelligence  John_Chambers  IBM  layoffs  sales_calls  CIOs  CTOs  CEOs  market_windows  disruption  customer_relationships 
may 2015 by jerryking
Kleiner Perkins, Disrupted - NYTimes.com
By DAVID STREITFELD MARCH 9, 2015.

The last decade has not been as kind to Kleiner. Entrepreneurs have less need of venture capitalists and their cash, because it is cheaper to start a company and they now have other funding sources. Kleiner also had self-inflicted wounds: An ambitious bet on alternative energy companies, also known as green tech, did not work out as well as hoped, and many opportunities were missed in consumer Internet companies. When the events at issue in the trial took place — roughly 2008 to 2012 — the firm downsized.

A struggling firm in a struggling industry is, as all connoisseurs of digital disruption know, bound to be filled with unhappiness....Kleiner was a firm in flux, Mr. Hirschfeld recalled. One woman he talked to said Kleiner “seemed to be moving from a brand called KP to a brand of individuals that are part of KP. It was now becoming more of a cult of personality, and each personality had its own brand.” ...Kleiner is coming off at the trial as a place where, whatever its undoubted excellence, the loudest people win, the most aggressive win, and those who can find a mentor by sucking up win. This does not sound like a family, a meritocracy or even a place that is a successful investor over the long term.

Why didn’t Kleiner realize this in 2012, when Mr. Hirschfeld submitted his 26-page report?

Perhaps the firm was focused on the narrow issue: whether Ms. Pao was the subject of discrimination. Mr. Hirschfeld’s answer was no, and so maybe the details did not matter.
venture_capital  Kleiner_Perkins  disruption  gender_discrimination  women  personality_cults  self-inflicted  Silicon_Valley  Ellen_Pao  John_Doerr  personal_branding  lawsuits  unhappiness  digital_disruption 
march 2015 by jerryking
Taxi trouble: Disruptive technology claims another victim - The Globe and Mail
TODD HIRSCH
Taxi trouble: Disruptive technology claims another victim Add to ...
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Nov. 21 2014
Uber  taxis  Todd_Hirsch  disruption 
november 2014 by jerryking
The Fallacy of ‘Disruptive Innovation’ - The Experts - WSJ
Nov 6, 2014 | WSJ | by Karl Ulrich,vice dean of innovation and CIBC professor of entrepreneurship and e-commerce at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Disrupt is perhaps the most misused term in entrepreneurship.

Successful new companies can indeed disrupt an industry. Amazon disrupted book retailing. Its ascent caused the failure of the incumbent Borders.

Two conditions are required for disruption.

First, a substantial fraction of the market must prefer the product or service of the new company.

Second, the incumbents must be unable to respond and replicate. When those conditions are met, a new entrant can gain sufficient market share that existing firms fade into irrelevance.

But disruption is rare, and it’s not required for entrepreneurial success....listen to the elevator pitch of essentially any startup in a business plan competition and the template is mind-numbingly standard: [ new company ] will disrupt the [ established industry ] by [ new company technology or business model ].

Yet, most of them will not.

If they are successful, they will find an underserved market segment, deliver a great product, garner some share, and achieve positive cash flow.

That’s a great outcome that will result in the creation of value. It is not disruption.
disruption  innovation  start_ups  Amazon  cash_flows  underserved  booksellers  incumbents 
november 2014 by jerryking
Disruptors are just pirates on the high seas of capitalism - The Globe and Mail
DAINA LAWRENCE
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Nov. 05 2014

Often portrayed as criminal pursuers of riches, pirates don't have the best of reputations. But is there something that can be learned from them?

Jean-Philippe Vergne thinks so.

Last January, the assistant professor at the University of Western Ontario's Ivey Business School introduced a course entitled Lessons From The Dark Side Of Capitalism: How Pirates Help To Shape New Industry. The course aims to help his students see the innovative impacts these fringe-dwellers have on the marketplace.
piracy  disruption  Ivey  Uber  Bitcoin  Airbnb  ride_sharing  new_industries  sharing_economy  mobile_applications  dark_side 
november 2014 by jerryking
Securable Market | Strategyn
In all the traditional market definitions, the size of a market hinges on the number of buyers who might exist for a particular market offer. But we know that market offers (i.e., products) are merely point-in-time solutions that help customers get jobs done. The jobs customers are trying to get done do not change over time. They are stable.

In contrast to traditional methods based on products and price, Strategyn uses jobs, outcomes, and the opportunity algorithm to calculate the size of a market opportunity and the market share that can be captured by a new solution. Strategyn calls the resulting number the securable market to distinguish it from traditional addressable market definitions and to highlight that it is calculated with different inputs.
market_sizing  market_segmentation  market_opportunities  Theodore_Levitt  disruption  customer_experience  hiring-a-product-to-do-a-specific-job 
november 2014 by jerryking
Nokia a lesson for backers of Canada’s nanny state - The Globe and Mail
Oct. 17 2014 | The Globe and Mail | BRIAN LEE CROWLEY.

How did it all go so wrong? And what might Canada learn from Finland’s downfall?

One obvious conclusion is not to put all your eggs in one basket, but it goes well beyond that. There was a time when economic change worked slowly enough that you could get a generation or two’s employment out of an industry before it was overtaken by innovation. Detroit dominated automobile manufacturing for many decades before its own complacency and the innovativeness of European and Asian producers came into play. In a similar vein, Nokia allowed itself to believe in its own infallibility, and Finland meekly followed suit. But the forces of change are now so powerful and lightning fast that sometimes a single product release from a competitor can signal the death knell of a previously healthy company or industry....Canada is rife with industries with their heads stuck in the sand, almost invariably because they believe they can shelter behind a friendly bureaucrat with a rulebook.

Examples abound in fields as diverse as telecoms, dairy, airlines, broadcasting, taxis and transport. Could there have been a bigger farce than the CRTC’s attempt to manhandle online content provider Netflix?...The real lesson of Nokia’s demise was that there is no substitute for being driven by what customers want, which is quality products and service at the lowest possible price...Every deviation from this relentless focus on what customers actually want makes your market a tasty morsel for the disrupters.
concentration_risk  Nokia  Finland  mobile_phones  disruption  Netflix  Uber  CRTC  complacency  accelerated_lifecycles  protectionism  nanny_state  customer_focus  change_agents  Finnish  demand-driven  lessons_learned  automotive_industry  downfall  change  warning_signs  signals  customer-driven  infallibility  overconfidence  hubris  staying_hungry 
october 2014 by jerryking
Technology will hurt the banks, not kill them
October 15, 2014 | FT.com |John Gapper

Does Silicon Valley really want to blow up retail banking and create an entirely new financial system, or would it prefer to ride on the existing one?...Mr Andreessen, a partner of the venture fund Andreessen Horowitz, added in an interview with Bloomberg Markets magazine last week: “To me, it’s all about unbundling the banks. There are regulatory arbitrage opportunities every step of the way. If the regulators are going to regulate banks, then you’ll have non-bank entities that spring up to do the things that banks can’t do.”...There is no doubt that the infrastructure of retail banks is antiquated, and is built in a way that invites competition from peer-to-peer networks. Nor is there a doubt that banks make themselves vulnerable by how they price – offering core deposit services cheaply or free while squeezing customers on ancillary products such as overdrafts and currency exchange....what is the best way to compete with an industry that makes little from a capital-intensive, regulated service with formidable barriers to entry, and a lot from less protected add-ons? The question answers itself, which is why Silicon Valley focuses on payments while talking about disrupting lending....US laws made it impossible to establish a national credit union open to any customer....One growth area in UK finance has been online payday lending by companies such as Wonga, which promised to extend banking to the underserved. ... tech companies can improve on credit scoring by scanning search histories and social network data...The biggest barrier to competition is that the core business of taking in deposits and keeping them safe is not very profitable in a low-interest world....A start-up bank that has no branches and spends less on patching up legacy software might do this more efficiently – and good luck to those that penetrate the regulatory thicket and try. But it is much less risky to attach a new service to the existing banking infrastructure, and it absorbs less capital....Technology may eventually change the infrastructure of banking but it will not happen soon....“is a long-term threat that will play out over decades, not months or years”...Silicon Valley will compete at the edges, where banks make their best profits.
banks  Silicon_Valley  Marc_Andreessen  arbitrage  Andreessen_Horowitz  disruption  fin-tech  start_ups  Bitcoin  financial_services  underserved  unbanked  regulators  P2P  payday_lending  credit_scoring  low-interest  branchless  capital-intensity  legacy_tech 
october 2014 by jerryking
It’s time to be honest: Netflix is parasitic - The Globe and Mail
SIMON HOUPT
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Oct. 03 2014,

Most industrialized countries subsidize domestic television and film production, partly because of scale: It costs a lot of money to make shows look even half as glossy as the stuff coming out of Hollywood, and if there’s a limited audience (say, because you’ve set your miniseries in the shipyards of Gdansk because you think it’s important that your fellow Poles know about their history), you’re probably not going to make your money back. American film and TV studios have global marketing machines to get their shows in front of consumers.

As it happens, Canadians do watch plenty of homemade TV, and not just hockey: Last month’s season finale of The Amazing Race Canada on CTV was the most-watched show of that week, with more than three million viewers. (Necessary disclosure: CTV’s parent company BCE Inc. owns 15 per cent of The Globe and Mail. Unnecessary disclosure: I’ve never watched The Amazing Race Canada.) Scripted dramas and comedies are popular, too – though they certainly don’t pull in the numbers here that Big Bang Theory does. Millions still tune in to domestic news and current affairs shows. And just try telling Mike Holmes, Sarah Richardson, Debbie Travis and, frankly, Ben Mulroney that Canadians don’t watch Canadian-made TV.

If you’re fine with all that disappearing because hey, Netflix is awesome and a sexy disruptor, so be it: That’s your choice, and you’re free to make it. Plenty of people love their weekly pilgrimage to Walmart and Costco, too.

But please, at least be honest with yourself and recognize that Netflix, like the retail disruptor Walmart before it, is a parasitic enterprise. Netflix is currently pocketing an estimated $300-million a year from Canadian consumers. Its total investment in original Canadian programming so far? One season of Trailer Park Boys: 10 half-hour episodes of cheaply made TV.
Netflix  CRTC  Simon_Houpt  television  disruption  Wal-Mart  parasitic 
october 2014 by jerryking
Gossip site TMZ extends its reach with sports scoops on Rice, Sterling - The Globe and Mail
Sep. 10 2014 | The New York Times News Service | JONATHAN MAHLER.

Based in Los Angeles, TMZ is the brainchild of Harvey Levin, a 64-year-old Southern California native with a law degree from the University of Chicago. The letters stand for Thirty Mile Zone, a reference to the radius around Hollywood where most of the studios are based.

Levin, who declined to be interviewed for this article, worked for years as a legal specialist on local radio and TV before achieving a measure of prominence during the O.J. Simpson trial. In 1997, he became the host and legal analyst on a revival of The People’s Court. Several years later, he created and produced his own newsmagazine show, Celebrity Justice, about the legal issues facing the famous.

When Celebrity Justice was taken off the air in 2005, Levin started developing TMZ for what was then AOL-Time Warner.
TMZ  gossip  celebrities  sports  athletes_&_athletics  entertainment  Ray_Rice  websites  Hollywood  tabloids  digital_media  disruption 
september 2014 by jerryking
A hacker mindset for success, the accelerated way - FT.com
September 10, 2014 | FT | By Emma Jacobs.

Cedarbrae: Book Nonfiction In Library 650.1 SNO

Shane Snow’s book Smartcuts....too many of us are mired in dated ways of doing things, argues Snow. Traditional thinking goes something like this: if we pay our dues and take our time, we might earn great success. What Snow suggests instead is that we learn from people such as Groupon's Mr Mason, who “buck the norm and do incredible things in implausibly short amounts of time”.

Snow, a tech journalist in New York and co-founder of Contently, which provides content for brands, believes we all need a hacker mindset to become successful. He is not advocating criminality or even the skills of a coder but suggests applying lateral thinking to careers and business problems. Rather than shortcuts, he advocates ethical “smartcuts”, hence the book’s title. Classic success advice, he writes, is “work 100 hours a week, believe you can do it, visualise, and push yourself harder than everyone else. Claw that nail out with your bare hands ‘til they bleed if necessary”. He dismisses this as “the hard way”.
He argues, for example, that mentors do not work because they are stiff and formulaic.
hackers  books  career_paths  disruption  attitudes  lateral_thinking  thinking  hacks  mindsets  shortcuts  speed 
september 2014 by jerryking
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