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The last days of the middle-class world citizen
October 3, 2019 | Financial Times | Janan Ganesh.
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what I think Janan Ganesh is talking about; the divide between the globally mobile elite and the locally restricted peasantry is getting increasingly stark, and the middle class is being hollowed out.
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'10s  Big_Tech  climate_change  decline  deglobalization  disposable_income  downward_mobility  dystopian_futures  frictions  future  globalization  Janan_Ganesh  lifestyles  middle_class  millennials  pessimism  societal_choices  subtractive  The_One_Percent  thought-provoking  travel 
6 weeks ago by jerryking
The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be
June 17, 2019 | WSJ | by Andy Kessler.

Founded in 1867, the Keuffel & Esser Co. commissioned a study of the future for its 100th anniversary. If you’re of a certain vintage, you might have used a K&E slide rule. Their “visionary” study was a huge dud, missing completely the electronic-calculator boom that came a few years later. They shut down their slide-rule engravers in 1976. As Mark Twain said, “It’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.” Or was it Niels Bohr? Maybe Yogi Berra?

My father was a proud member of the Book of the Month Club. Bored on a visit home in 1989, I devoured that month’s selection, “Megamistakes” by Baruch College professor Steven Schnaars, where I read about K&E’s study. The book’s message was simple: Don’t be fooled by prevailing opinion, and don’t extend trend lines into the future. Mr. Schnaars chronicles how 1950s jet-age thinking morphed into ’60s dreams of a space-age utopia. A 1966 study by conglomerate TRW forecast manned lunar bases by 1977, autonomous vehicles by 1979 and intelligent robot soldiers by the ’90s. AT&T ’s Picturephone service, ultrasonically cleaned dishes, cheap energy forever, future shock everywhere—all wrong.

Of course, the 1973 oil embargo changed everything. But by the end of the ’70s, expensive oil was considered permanent and the future was about scarcity and energy saving and we’d all be driving small cars with CB radios and living in R. Buckminster Fuller-inspired geodesic domes. General Electric even ramped up production of small refrigerators. Mistakes!Im-82150

Then the ’80s came along. A bull market and cheap oil lifted the ’70s fog, but everyone believed the Japanese would soon rule the world since they were kicking our butts in manufacturing and the Imperial Palace in Tokyo was worth more than all the real estate in California. Personal computers were mere toys. Oh, and the Soviet Union was a world superpower. Megamistakes!

After the ’87 crash and first Iraq war, the prospects for economic growth in the ’90s were dim. Then Netscape and its browser went public in 1995 and we were off to the races again. By 1999 techno-utopia was in full swing, and all you needed was a good name like burnmoney.com to raise millions and be worth kazillions. Gigamistake!

The Nasdaq’s dot-bomb implosion and 9/11 changed the mood quickly. In 2003 I tried to pitch a book about Silicon Valley and Wall Street and was told nobody would care about them ever again and asked if I knew anything about bioterrorism or Islamic fundamentalism. Uh, no. But I wish I knew about house or derivative flipping - that’s what the aughts were about, until the Great Recession. The 2010s were about holding cash, maybe in your mattress, vs. owning stocks. Oops— Apple , Amazon and Microsoft would soon flirt with trillion-dollar valuations. Teramistake?

Mr. Schnaars advised discounting extrapolations, playing down historical precedent, challenging assumptions, and distinguishing fads from growth markets. Easier said than done. The future happens, just not the way most people think. How you pick your investments, your job and even where you live can end up a dead end or the most vibrant upside imaginable. Choose carefully, but as Mr. Schnaars suggested, think for yourself.

Today low interest rates mean risk is on and caution is old-fashioned. Companies sell at 20 times revenues instead of earnings (Note: Beyond Meat is at 43 times its 2019 sales forecast, and Tableau Software recently sold for 16 times its 2018 revenue.) Politically, populism and nationalism have won the day. Internationally, China is the new U.S.S.R. Economically, the future is now. Will any of it last?

For a while, Tesla was valued as if every new car would soon be electric. The 2020s are still blurry, but apparently that doesn’t cloud the pundit class’s clear vision on climate change, drones, autonomous vehicles and the effect of artificial intelligence. We’ll all share cars, bikes, scooters and even pogo sticks. WeWork is valued as if we’ll all share offices. What’s next, communes?

My experience is that people tend to overestimate the absurd, like Elon Musk’s dreams of building a hyperloop and colonizing Mars, and underestimate the mundane, like improvements in messaging and shopping. I’m usually bullish until dreams become hallucinations. Technology develops in S curves: Things start slow, go into hyperbolic growth, and then roll over. That’s why “the singularity”—self-improving, unrestrained artificial intelligence—probably won’t happen. Don’t extend the trend.

The tempests of change blow hard. Reading the prevailing winds, we’re all about to become robot-replaced, drone-delivered-synthetic-meat-eating, augmented-reality-helmet-wearing, bitcoin-spending, fruit-flavored-vaping, neutered democratic socialists chirping “Comrade” and streaming “The Handmaid’s Tale” Season 10, “Dystopia’s Discontents,” on our watches while collecting universal basic income. You don’t need a slide rule to calculate the megamistakes.
Andy_Kessler  forecasting  future  linearity  mistakes  overestimation  predictions  S-curves  straight-lines  underestimation 
july 2019 by jerryking
What tech hasn’t learnt from science fiction
APRIL 3, 2019 | Financial Times | Elaine Moore.

Never mind the future: where are the books tackling Silicon Valley’s current challenges?

There is a myth that Silicon Valley is stuffed full of nerds who have never picked up a book in their lives. Like a lot of tales about the Valley, it is not true. The tech industry is acutely aware of the value of storytelling.......Whenever a tech founder is asked about their favourite novel it is usually worth paying attention. Uber founder Travis Kalanick’s admires Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.....Jeff Bezos’s is taken by the quiet despair of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Remains of the Day......and Theranos' Elizabeth Holme is attached to Moby-Dick.

It’s true that reading lists on the West Coast tend to skew towards science fiction.......For Silicon Valley, the genre seems to offer both inspiration and validation. .......But the connection between tech companies and sci-fi novels runs deeper. To make their futuristic projects reality, some seek the help of the authors themselves......Less is made of its focus on the downside of humanity interacting with a virtual world (jk: sci fi doesn't pay enough attention to the the downside of humanity interacting with a virtual world). .....The affection tech founders feel for sci-fi often seems to lack this dimension.....If founders are not paying too much attention to cautionary sci-fi themes, at least some people are. Amazon Go shops can feel like a vision of the future as you pick up milk and walk away, without scanning anything. But cities such as San Francisco have begun to wonder whether cashless shops will end up marginalising the country’s poorest citizens, who do not have access to online bank accounts......does any sci-fi novel offers a way to think about Silicon Valley’s present, as well as its future? The singularity and inter-planetary travel are well covered in literature..... are there book out there that address privacy scandals, electric scooters and $100bn IPOs?
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* Counting Heads' (2005) by David Marusek is a novel set in 2134.
* Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson.
* Idoru" by William Gibson.
* Count Zero" by William Gibson.
* "Black Mirror" TV series Charlie Brooker.
* The Circle by Dave Eggers.
* ‘Minority Report’ Phil K Dick.
* Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
* Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.

People who don't read science fiction (SF) are handicapped in today's world really, because usually they form part of the 99% of humans who are unable to look ahead more than a few months or so and see where society is going. ......Or the people that think Elon Musk is a visionary. He is not a visionary! He is just a smart person, which necessarily includes reading SF, and taking things from there. People who do not read SF think that Musk is the only person on the planet thinking about and developing our future society on Mars...  But there are millions - it's just that he is one of a few billionaires working concretely on it. For example, if you read the Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson, you'd realise that one of the reasons that Elon Musk now has a tunnel boring company is that we will NEED tunnels on Mars... You'd also realise that the TV rights of the trip to Mars will pay for (most of) the cost of the trip... etc. etc. etc.
Amazon_Go  augmented_reality  Ayn_Rand  authors  books  cautionary_tales  Elon_Musk  entrepreneur  fiction  founders  future  futurists  novels  pay_attention  reading_lists  San_Francisco  science_fiction  Silicon_Valley  start_ups  storytelling  virtual_reality  William_Gibson 
april 2019 by jerryking
Andrew Marshall, Pentagon’s Threat Expert, Dies at 97 - The New York Times
By Julian E. Barnes
March 26, 2019

Andrew Marshall, a Pentagon strategist who helped shape U.S. military thinking on the Soviet Union, China and other global competitors for more than four decades, has died. He was 97. Mr. Marshall, as director of the Office of Net Assessment, was the secretive futurist of the Pentagon, a long-range thinker who prodded and inspired secretaries of defense and high-level policymakers.......Marshall was revered in the DoD as a mysterious Yoda-like figure who embodied an exceptionally long institutional memory.......... Marshall's view of China as a potential strategic adversary, an idea now at the heart of national defense strategy....Through his many hires and Pentagon grants..... Mr. Marshall trained a coterie of experts and strategists in Washington and beyond.....he cultivated thinking that looked beyond the nation’s immediate problems and sought to press military leaders to approach long-term challenges differently......His gift was the framing of the question, the discovery of the critical question..... always picking the least studied and most strategically significant subjects....Marshall’s career as a strategic thinker began in 1949 at the RAND Corporation, where his theory of competitive strategies took root. Borrowing from business school theories of how corporations compete against each other, Mr. Marshall argued that nations are also in strategic competition with one another. “His favorite example was if you can pit your strengths against someone else’s weakness and get them to respond in a way that makes them weaker and weaker, you can put them out of business without ever fighting,”....He had early insight into the economic troubles the Soviet Union was having, and helped develop strategies to exacerbate those problems and help bring about the demise of the Soviet Union....In 2009, Robert M. Gates, the defense secretary at the time, asked Mr. Marshall to write a classified strategy on China with Gen. Jim Mattis, the future defense secretary.
adversaries  assessments_&_evaluations  China  China_rising  classified  economists  éminence_grise  future  futurists  inspiration  institutional_memory  long-range  long-term  obituaries  Pentagon  policymakers  problem_framing  RAND  rising_powers  Robert_Gates  SecDef  security_&_intelligence  strategic_thinking  threats  trailblazers  uChicago 
march 2019 by jerryking
Using Digital Tools to Move a Candy Company Into the Future - The New York Times
As told to Patricia R. Olsen
Sept. 21, 2018

explore the ways in which we can take advantage of new technologies and tools, such as artificial intelligence; how we should experiment; and whether we are even looking at the right problems. Mars is based in McLean, Va.,...... Part of my work involves prototyping, such as growing peanut plants in a fish tank using digital automation — without human intervention. To do this, I worked with a few colleagues in Mount Olive, N.J., a unit that I’m part of, though I don’t work there all the time. We implemented an automated watering and fertilizing schedule to see how the plants would grow.

We don’t only produce candy. We also offer pet care expertise and produce pet food and human food, like Uncle Ben’s Rice. With the peanut plants, we wanted to see if we could learn anything for partnering with our farmers, everything from how we might use technology to how a team comes together and tries different ideas.
career_paths  digital_strategies  Mars  women  CPG  confectionery_industry  artificial_intelligence  experimentation  howto  pets  problem_framing  problem_definition  prototyping  future  automation  human_intervention  worthwhile_problems 
september 2018 by jerryking
The Morning Download: Computing’s Future Lies at Edge of Network, Just Before the Cloud - CIO Journal. - WSJ
By Steve Rosenbush
Jun 20, 2018

For years, computing has been centralized in one place or another. First, the data center, and later massive clouds. Now, networks are taking a more decentralized structure, with power located at the so-called edge, be it a retail environment, an oil rig or an automobile. On Tuesday, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. said it will invest $4 billion during the next four years to accelerate innovation in what HPE calls “the intelligent edge.”

Edge of opportunity. “We see significant areas for growth … (as) more assets and ‘things’ come online and the amount of data generated continues to grow exponentially,” HPE CEO Antonio Neri told CIO Journal’s Sara Castellanos in an email. The number of devices connected to the internet will reach 20.4 billion by 2020, up from 8.4 billion in 2017, according to Gartner Research Inc. By 2021, 40% of enterprises will have an edge computing strategy in place, up from about 1% in 2017, Gartner says.

The payoff. Stewart Ebrat, CIO at bridal gown and fashion company Vera Wang Co., an HPE customer, maintains that with data analytics and Bluetooth-enabled beacon devices at the edge, a salesperson could know more about a prospective customer’s preferences as soon as they walk into a brick-and-mortar store. Says Mr. Ebrat: “The customer has always been number one (at Vera Wang), but technology is going to enhance that experience even further.”
cloud_computing  decentralization  edge  future  Industrial_Internet  IT  artificial_intelligence  centralization  machine_learning  HPE  HP  data_centers 
june 2018 by jerryking
The future of computing is at the edge
June 6, 2018 | FT | by Richard Waters in San Francisco.

With so much data being produced, sending it all to cloud does not make economic sense.

The economics of big data — and the machine learning algorithms that feed on it — have been a gift to the leading cloud computing companies. By drawing data-intensive tasks into their massive, centralised facilities, companies such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google have thrived by bringing down the unit costs of computing.

But artificial intelligence is also starting to feed a very different paradigm of computing. This is one that pushes more data-crunching out to the network “edge” — the name given to the many computing devices that intersect with the real world, from internet-connected cameras and smartwatches to autonomous cars. And it is fuelling a wave of new start-ups which, backers claim, represent the next significant architectural shift in computing.....nor.ai, an early-stage AI software start-up that raised $12m this month, is typical of this new wave. Led by Ali Farhadi, an associate professor at University of Washington, the company develops machine learning algorithms that can be run on extremely low-cost gadgets. Its image recognition software, for instance, can operate on a Raspberry Pi, a tiny computer costing just $5, designed to teach the basics of computer science......That could make it more economical to analyse data on the spot rather than shipping it to the cloud. One possible use: a large number of cheap cameras around the home with the brains to recognise visitors, or tell the difference between a burglar and a cat.

The overwhelming volume of data that will soon be generated by billions of devices such as these upends the logic of data centralisation, according to Mr Farhadi. “We like to say that the cloud is a way to scale AI, but to me it’s a roadblock to AI,” he said. “There is no cloud that can digest this much data.”

“The need for this is being driven by the mass of information being collected at the edge,” added Peter Levine, a partner at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and investor in a number of “edge” start-ups. “The real expense is going to be shipping all that data back to the cloud to be processed when it doesn’t need to be.”

Other factors add to the attractions of processing data close to where it is collected. Latency — the lag that comes from sending information to a distant data centre and waiting for results to be returned — is debilitating for some applications, such as driverless cars that need to react instantly. And by processing data on the device, rather than sending it to the servers of a large cloud company, privacy is guaranteed.

Tobias Knaup, co-founder of Mesosphere, another US start-up, uses a recent computing truism to sum up the trend: “Data has gravity.”....Nor are the boundaries between cloud and edge distinct. Data collected locally is frequently needed to retrain machine learning algorithms to keep them relevant, a computing-intensive task best handled in the cloud. Companies such as Mesosphere — which raised $125m this month, taking the total to more than $250m — are betting that this will give rise to technologies that move information and applications to where they are best handled, from data centres out to the edge and vice versa...Microsoft unveiled image-recognition software that was capable of running on a local device rather than its own data centres.
cloud_computing  edge  future  Industrial_Internet  IT  low-cost  artificial_intelligence  centralization  machine_learning  data_centers  decentralization  Microsoft  computer_vision  Richard_Waters 
june 2018 by jerryking
While other regions look to the future of transit, Toronto is lagging behind - The Globe and Mail
R. MICHAEL WARREN
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL

What’s the future of public transit?

A 2017 MIT study found that all 13,000 New York taxi cabs could be replaced with 3,000 ridesharing cars used exclusively for carpooling. The average wait would be 2.7 minutes. The whole ridesharing system would be 20 per cent faster.

Already transport network companies like Uber and Lyft are driving the taxi industry off the road around the globe. They are doing it with a series of clever algorithms and without owning any cars.

Private ride-sourcing is growing. Ridesharing is coming. Driverless cars and trucks are less than a decade away......The impact on traditional mass transit is not clear. The lines between public and private transportation are being blurred.....Uber and Lyft say they want to complement public transit. But that’s not happening so far. .......TTC ridership has stalled at about 535 million rides annually since 2014. They acknowledge existing travel alternatives like Uber and Lyft have been siphoning away ridership at an increasing rate (responsible for a 6 per cent transit decline in some U.S. cities). Driverless, ridesharing vehicles are poised to steal even more of the TTC’s future market share........the Metrolinx board approved the final draft of the 2041 Regional Transportation Plan. It sets out the regional vision, goals and strategies for the next 25 years.

Only six pages of the 200-page plan are devoted to “preparing for an uncertain future.” Metrolinx concedes that “autonomous vehicles are expected to dramatically change how people and goods are moved.” But the plan lacks a sense of urgency.

The plan says all the right things about embracing the new mobility opportunities: establish partnerships with providers like Uber; develop regulatory tools; test and evaluate new services and technologies; develop a regional big-data strategy.

However, this is all in the future. Other transit systems are already implementing these ideas. Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) has incorporated private ridesharing into its mobile ticketing app. Passengers checking train schedules can click through to Uber, Lyft or Zipcar to get to their station.....Preparing for this future means learning from other jurisdictions, integrating current private ride-hailing services into the public system and experimenting with driverless vehicles.
public_transit  transit  Toronto  GTA  Metrolinx  sharing_economy  ride_sharing  laggards  Uber  Lyft  future 
may 2018 by jerryking
Imagining the Retail Store of the Future
APRIL 12, 2017 | The New York Times | By ELIZABETH PATON.

What will the store of the future look like? Gleaming robots using facial recognition technology to personalize sales pitches to mood or past spending preferences? Voice-activated personal assistants, downloading the availability, color and fit of any and every garment to your smartphone? 3-D printing stations? No checkout counters when you leave? Holographic product displays on the shop floor that change when a customer walks by? Virtual fitting rooms via virtual reality headsets? Drones dropping deliveries in the backyard or on the front steps?.......is this the sort of shopping experience that customers really want?
Scores of leading retailers and fashion brands increasingly say no.........Farfetch — the global online marketplace for independent luxury boutiques — held a daylong event at the Design Museum in London. There, in front of 200 fashion industry insiders and partners, José Neves, the founder of Farfetch, unveiled “The Store of the Future,” a suite of new technologies developed by his company to help brands and boutiques bridge the worlds of online and offline.......A report by Bain suggests that although 70 % of high-end purchases are influenced by online interactions, stores will continue to play a critical role, with 75 % of sales still occurring in a physical location by 2025.

What may change, however, is a store’s primary purpose. Forget e-commerce, or bricks and mortar, or even omnichannel sales; according to Mr. Neves, the new retail era is one anchored in “augmented retail,” a blend of the digital and physical allowing a shopper to shift seamlessly between the two realms.....Holition is an augmented-reality consultancy and software provider based in London that has worked with some well-known retail brands.......“The holy grail for retailers is creating digital empathy....No one knows what the future will look like....those using technology and data to create bespoke personalized shopping experiences...are more likely to come out on top.”.....boutiques and physical events remained vital “marketing opportunities,” with a more specialized inventory selection and the opportunity for customers to do more than buy merchandise......talks, film screenings and designer meet-and-greets, along with social media lessons, exercise classes and floristry sessions.......“Stores cannot just be row after row of product rail anymore,” he added. . “To survive, they have to tell stories — rooted in a sense of community and entertainment — and have points of view that makes the owner stand out.”.......“Ultimately the use of data to transform stores will separate those who make it to the next step and those who won’t.
reimagining  retailers  physical_place  shopping_malls  cashierless  e-commerce  reconceptualization  future  shopping_experience  brands  fashion  omnichannel  bricks-and-mortar  MatchesFashion  Holition  Yoox  facial-recognition 
february 2018 by jerryking
The Future Is Dodgeball -
Nov. 5, 2017 | WSJ | By Andy Kessler.

Ben Rosen rambled on about getting in the middle of things at events, conferences and seminars. He said that at first nothing will make sense and all these balls will be flying across the room out of your reach. But eventually you’ll find yourself in the middle of the room and balls will start hitting you. Then you’ll know you’re inside....Turns out it was the best advice I would ever receive.

The thing about the future is that, as William Goldman wrote about screenwriting, “Nobody knows anything.” Everyone is an outsider, and it’s all up for grabs. Someone might have an opinion, but there are few facts. What you need are your own opinions about where the world is headed in any given industry: artificial intelligence, gene editing, autonomous trucks, marine salvage—whatever.

You need to go to places where the future is discussed. Every industry has these events. Make the time to go. And not only to hear keynoters billow hot air, but for the panel discussions where people disagree. The conversation spills out into the hallways between talks..... Barge in anyway. Remember, there are no facts, only opinions.

Walk up and talk to people. Ask what they do. They’re there because they want to learn something too. They will all ask you what you think. Come up with something fast, but don’t be too stubborn to change what you think as you learn more. During the personal-computer era I saw a guy, whom Bill Gates had just introduced, standing by himself after showcasing the first truly high-resolution videogame. I chatted him up and he has been a friend for life, showing me not only where technology is headed but the path it takes.

It’s not classic networking but a network of ideas. The goal is finding a new way to think, to filter news over time as the future takes shape in fits and starts. It never happens in a straight line. Hydraulic fracturing has been around and argued about since 1947. Anyone had a chance to study this future of unlocking natural gas and make a fortune. Same for artificial intelligence in 1956, e-commerce in 1979 and quantum computing in 1982.

The future doesn’t happen overnight. You just need to get inside it and let some of those balls whizzing by start to hit you. And you’ve got to do this in person. Most issues don’t show up online, let alone on Facebook or Twitter . It’s tough as a writer to admit that subtle nuances sometimes require face-to-face conversation.

It doesn’t matter if you’re 25, 45 or 65. The industry you pick to work in has more of a say in your success than your job description. Same for giving money away. If you want to fund Alzheimer’s research, you better find yourself at wonky conferences going toe-to-toe with doctors. Eventually, you’ll know more.

I met Jeff Bezos at a tech conference about a decade ago and mentioned that I had just self-published a book and used his Amazon Advantage program to sell it. He proceeded to grill me like a steak, asking what was wrong with it and what features he should add. I’m convinced he keeps winning because he enjoys being hit with dodgeballs. He famously left New York a retailing outsider with an idea to sell books. Balls whizzed by until they hit. He now has the ultimate inside view.

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“Play in traffic.”.....“It means that if you go push yourself out there and you see people and do things and participate and get involved, something happens,” he said. “Both of my great occasions in life happened by accident simply because I showed up.”“I tell people, just show up, get in the game, go play in traffic,” Mr. Plumeri said. “Something good will come of it, but you’ve got to show up.”
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Andy_Kessler  '80s  Wall_Street  Morgan_Stanley  Communicating_&_Connecting  conferences  panels  future  small_talk  face2face  independent_viewpoints  action-oriented  ice-breakers  advice  playing_in_traffic  industry_expertise  Jeff_Bezos  straight-lines  think_differently 
november 2017 by jerryking
The Future of Shopping
Darrell K. Rigby
FROM THE DECEMBER 2011 ISSUE

omnichannel retailing. The name reflects the fact that retailers will be able to interact with customers through countless channels—websites, physical stores, kiosks, direct mail and catalogs, call centers, social media, mobile devices, gaming consoles, televisions, networked appliances, home services, and more.......The experience of shopping.
Traditional retailers have suffered more than they probably realize at the hands of Amazon and other online companies. As volume trickles from the stores and sales per square foot decline, the response of most retailers is almost automatic: Cut labor, reduce costs, and sacrifice service. But that only exacerbates the problem. With even less service to differentiate the stores, customers focus increasingly on price and convenience, which strengthens the advantages of online retailers.

If traditional retailers hope to survive, they have to turn the one big feature that internet retailers lack—stores—from a liability into an asset.
retailers  future  HBR  omnichannel  bricks-and-mortar  downward_spirals  experiential_marketing  contra-Amazon  hourly_workers  sales_per_square_foot 
august 2017 by jerryking
Now at Saks: Salt Rooms, a Bootcamp and a Peek at Retail’s Future - The New York Times
By DAVID GELLES AUG. 4, 2017

Venerable department store was dealing with the upheavals throttling the retail industry. As stores around the country reckon with Amazon.com, discount chains and changing consumer habits, they are turning to “experiential” offerings that entice people to enter their doors..... “Selling stuff in stores is not the answer,” he said. “You have to build an emotional connection with them. Where else can you take a fitness class and buy a Chanel handbag?”

It isn’t clear how many of Saks’s discerning clientele are actually interested in getting a lemon scrub after purchasing a $5,100 Alexander McQueen dress. During multiple visits over the past week, The Wellery was sparsely populated.
retailers  Saks  shareholder_activism  future  department_stores  experiential_marketing  wellness  Nordstrom  Macy's  emotional_connections  experimentation  bootcamps  Amazon  shifting_tastes  contra-Amazon  dislocations 
august 2017 by jerryking
The Mall of the Future Will Have No Stores - WSJ
By Esther Fung
June 12, 2017

As retailers close bricks-and-mortar stores at an accelerating pace, shopping-center landlords like Starwood Capital are facing a vexing question: What to do with all this empty space?

Their solutions are varied but all have a common element: reducing, or even eliminating, retail from the equation.

Some landlords plug empty spaces with churches, for-profit schools and random enterprises while they figure out a long-term plan. Others see a future in mixed-use real estate, converting malls into streetscapes with restaurants, offices and housing. And some are razing properties altogether and turning them into entertainment or industrial parks......A construction binge in the 1980s and ’90s left the U.S. oversaturated with malls. Growth in online sales and declining demand for full-priced goods are causing retailers to shrink their store fleets and divert resources to e-commerce platforms.....Many mall owners are trying to liven up the experience, bringing more dining and entertainment tenants and eschewing the traditional mix of middling food courts, fashion retailers and department stores.

“The appetite for experimentation is there,...but Sometimes developers conclude that the only way to save a dying mall is to level it and start over.
shopping_malls  landlords  retailers  trends  future  randomness  experiential_marketing  e-commerce  store_closings  experimentation  property_development  physical_space  oversaturation 
june 2017 by jerryking
Oxford Diary
4 March / 5 March | Financial Times | Madhumita Murgia.

The goals is to build a conversation around change, to make technological change less scary, to make sure people don't feel left behind because of technology---do this within 26 hrs.....In the Cotswolds, too, senior British media executive tells me his own experience of working with YouTubers "was more like a one-night stand than a marriage". "We use each other for numbers and legitimacy, but the question is will they ever understand the subtler issues of traditional programming? Rules? Political correctness?.....A government adviser tells me that they are afraid that AI will change the relationship between state and citizen....Algorithms helping governments make important social decisions. Algorithms are a kind of black box and that government many not be able to explain its choices when questioned.
Google  future  conferences  change  handpicked  entrepreneur  ISIS  civil_servants  algorithms  YouTube  mass_media  digital_media  artificial_intelligence  biases  value_judgements  large_companies  print_journalism  technological_change  cultural_clash 
march 2017 by jerryking
The world wild web; The future
These days advertisers are feeling less certain of themselves. They are still trying to come to grips with the radical changes technology has brought to the way advertising is consumed, sold and perso...
future  advertising  privacy  personalization  David_Ogilvy  tradeoffs 
february 2017 by jerryking
Facebook and the future of travel | McKinsey & Company
December 2015
Facebook and the future of travel
By Alex Dichter and Nathan Seitzman
Facebook  future  travel  McKinsey  mobile_applications  frictions 
december 2016 by jerryking
Chronicle of a war foretold | The Economist
Jun 27th 2015

Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War.By P.W. Singer and August Cole.Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 404 pages; $28.
war  future  China  China_rising  PACOM  U.S._Navy  books  fiction  book_reviews  U.S.-China_relations 
november 2016 by jerryking
VC Pioneer Vinod Khosla Says AI Is Key to Long-Term Business Competitiveness - CIO Journal. - WSJ
By STEVE ROSENBUSH
Nov 15, 2016

“Improbables, which people don’t pay attention to, are not unimportant, we just don’t know which improbable is important,” Mr. Khosla said. “So what do you do? You don’t plan for the highest likelihood scenario. You plan for agility. And that is a fundamental choice we make as a nation, in national defense, as the CEO of a company, as the CIO of an infrastructure, of an organization, and in the way we live.”....So change, and predictions for the future, that are important, almost never come from anybody who knows the area. Almost anyone you talk to about the future of the auto industry will be wrong on the auto industry. So, no large change in a space has come from an incumbent. Retail came from Amazon. SpaceX came from a startup. Genentech did biotechnology. Youtube, Facebook, Twitter did media … because there is too much conventional wisdom in industry. ....Extrapolating the past is the wrong way to predict the future, and improbables are not unimportant. People plan around high probability. Improbables, which people don’t pay attention to, are not unimportant, we just don’t know which improbable is important.
Vinod_Khosla  artificial_intelligence  autonomous_vehicles  outsiders  gazelles  unknowns  automotive_industry  change  automation  diversity  agility  future  predictions  adaptability  probabilities  Uber  point-to-point  public_transit  data  infrastructure  information_overload  unthinkable  improbables  low_probability  extrapolations  pay_attention 
november 2016 by jerryking
Sam Altman’s Manifest Destiny - The New Yorker
OCTOBER 10, 2016 |New Yorker | Tad Friend.

Quotation from Admiral Hyman Rickover. “The great end of life is not knowledge, but action,” ...“I believe it is the duty of each of us to act as if the fate of the world depended on him. . . . We must live for the future, not for our own comfort or success.”
Sam_Altman  doers  Y_Combinator  Silicon_Valley  start_ups  investors  entrepreneur  quotes  Paul_Graham  Peter_Thiel  action-oriented  forward_looking  future 
october 2016 by jerryking
At BlackRock, a Wall Street Rock Star’s $5 Trillion Comeback - The New York Times
SEPT. 15, 2016 | NYT | By LANDON THOMAS Jr.

(1) Laurence Fink: “If you think you know everything about our business, you are kidding yourself,” he said. “The biggest question we have to answer is: ‘Are we developing the right leaders?’” “Are you,” he asked, “prepared to be one of those leaders?”

(2) BlackRock was thriving because of its focus on low-risk, low-cost funds and the all-seeing wonders of Aladdin. BlackRock sees the future of finance as being rules-based, data-driven, systematic investment styles such as exchange-traded funds, which track a variety of stock and bond indexes or adhere to a set of financial rules. Fink believes that his algorithmic driven style will, over time, grow faster than the costlier “active investing” model in which individuals, not algorithms, make stock, bond and asset allocation decisions.

Most money management firms highlight their investment returns first, and risk controls second. BlackRock has taken a reverse approach: It believes that risk analysis, such as gauging how a security will trade if interest rates go up or down, improves investment results.

(3) BlackRock, along with central banks, sovereign wealth funds — have become the new arbiters of "flow.“ It is not about the flow of securities anymore, it is about the flow of information and indications of interest.”

(4) Asset Liability and Debt and Derivatives Investment Network (Aladdin), is BlackRock's big data-mining, risk-mitigation platform/framework. Aladdin is a network of code, trades, chat, algorithms and predictive models that on any given day can highlight vulnerabilities and opportunities connected to the trillions that BlackRock firm tracks — including the portion which belongs to outside firms that pay BlackRock a fee to have access to the platform. Aladdin stress-tests how securities will respond to certain situations (e.g. a sudden rise in interest rates or what happens in the event of a political surprise, like Donald J. Trump being elected president.)

In San Francisco, a team of equity analysts deploys data analysis to study the language that CEOs use during an earnings call. Unusually bearish this quarter, compared with last? If so, maybe the stock is a sell. “We have more information than anyone,” Mr. Fink said.
systematic_approaches  ETFs  Wall_Street  BlackRock  Laurence_Fink  asset_management  traders  complacency  future  finance  Aladdin  risk-management  financiers  financial_services  central_banks  money_management  information_flows  volatility  economic_downturn  liquidity  bonds  platforms  frameworks  stress-tests  monitoring  CEOs  succession  risk-analysis  leadership  order_management_system  sovereign_wealth_funds  market_intelligence  intentionality  data_mining  collective_intelligence  risk-mitigation  rules-based  risks  asset_values  scaling  scenario-planning  databases 
september 2016 by jerryking
16 mobile theses — Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans is such a great analyst and his insight into the web>mobile transition has been consistently prescient and helpful to investors, including USV and me personally.

A couple days ago, he penned “16 mobile thesis” which is a must read for anyone building a mobile/internet company or investing in that sector. These 16 theses are organized roughly chronologically, starting with what has largely happened, followed by what is happening, and ending with what may happen.
mobile  mobile_applications  chat  future  Google  Apple  platforms  ecosystems  mobile_first 
august 2016 by jerryking
Ditch the past, create the future - The Globe and Mail
HARVEY SCHACHTER
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jul. 05, 2016
books  Harvey_Schachter  future  howto 
july 2016 by jerryking
Canada must fill three gaps to reach its high-growth future - The Globe and Mail
VICTOR DODIG
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Nov. 27, 2015

While Canada is roundly – and rightly – envied for its solid economy and how it withstood the financial crisis, we have three gaps to fill if we are going to continue to prosper and be leaders among the advanced economies.

First, I believe we need to do a better job of building the intellectual capital and skills necessary to fuel innovation and execute in a modern economy.

Second, we need to ensure our innovative entrepreneurs are able to attract both the formation and sustainability capital necessary to commercialize new ideas into valuable products and services.

Third, we need to ensure that we build an innovative ecosystem that effectively encourages and nurtures that development......Actually, some troubling issues lie behind those positive numbers:

* We have a much lower proportion of graduates in the all-important STEM sectors – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – than 22 other OECD countries.
* Only about 20 per cent of our graduates are from those disciplines.
* Postsecondary graduates rank 19th of 21 in numeracy, 18th of 21 in literacy and 14th of 18 in problem-solving skills.

We’re talking about the very people and very skills we need to need to lead Canada in innovation and create the high-value jobs for the future.

In effect, a postsecondary education is simply not enough in today’s modern economy. Our students, by and large, are choosing an educational path geared toward acquiring credentials rather than skills acquisition and what the labour market needs.

So, what do we need to do?....
(1) promote education choices that match the needs of the job market.
(2) promote policies and models to support emerging industries that focus on creating solutions in the global supply chain as opposed to just building products.

Canadians are no strangers to discovery and innovation, but today’s innovation ecosystem is highly complex. Far too many Canadian high-tech startups get bought out before they have a chance to grow. They often sell out before attaining their true potential.

When small and mid-sized startups are sold, the country is weaker for it.

Why? Because the really smart innovators never stop. After a successful sale, many are back the next day looking for the next opportunity and dreaming of the next big discovery. And retaining highly paid head-office jobs in Canada rather than seeing them farmed out elsewhere will help spread those benefits to the broader economy.
Canada  Canadian  future  CIBC  CEOs  high-growth  innovation  innovation_policies  policy  labour_markets  start_ups  sellout_culture  STEM  intellectual_capital  think_threes  smart_people  overambitious  policymaking  head_offices  ecosystems  digital_economy  Victor_Dodig 
may 2016 by jerryking
The Future of Fashion Journalism Education | Stephan Rabimov
Stephan Rabimov Become a fan
Director, Social Media & Fashion Journalism, Academy of Art University
Email
The Future of Fashion Journalism Education
Posted: 09/09/2015
future  fashion  journalism  digital_media  millennials 
october 2015 by jerryking
‘Who Owns the Future?’ by Jaron Lanier - NYTimes.com
MAY 5, 2013
Continue reading the main story
Books of The Times
By JANET MASLIN
books  massive_data_sets  book_reviews  futurists  future 
march 2015 by jerryking
THE FUTURE OF FOOD - The Globe and Mail
NOREEN RASBACH, STEVE BREARTON, SARAH ELTON, JOHN DALY, DAWN CALLEJA, PATRICK WHITE, JOANNA PACHNER, SASHA CHAPMAN, JOANNA PACHNER, HEATHER SOKOLOFF, DON GILLMOR, ROB MIFSUD, BERT ARCHER, ALEX BOZIKOVIC, CAROL TOLLER
From Friday's Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Oct. 26 2007,
future  food 
september 2014 by jerryking
The CRTC needs to start thinking outside the idiot box - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Sep. 27 2014,

...Watching CRTC commissioners questioning cable-company executives and other stakeholders about whether Canadians should be able to choose which channels they pay for made it painfully clear that the commission’s usefulness is being outstripped by technology. ..The new scarce resource is not bandwidth, but viewers. Broadcasters and cable carriers that once had captive markets now compete with Netflix, Youtube and other Internet-based services that exist outside CRTC regulations. These newcomers, including millions of people producing and posting their own content, from Vines to videos, are stealing viewers and changing Canadians’ habits.....the reason why the CRTC still talks "television" – is because it remains the only avenue for Canada’s heavily regulated broadcasters and cable companies to hold onto their current revenue streams while they buy time and figure out what their next move should be. The CRTC’s most critical role – ensuring Canada’s stories are told, as required under the Broadcasting Act – has lately transmogrified from obliging broadcasters to produce Canadian content, and making sure the cable companies prioritize it, to something a little less noble: namely, temporarily protecting Canadian companies from the stateless, unregulated, market-driven onslaught of the Internet....There are significant advances coming down the pipe that are going to get here faster than the end of your next two-year cable contract. This is where the CRTC should be focusing its energies. The future is not “pick-and-pay”; the future is fibre-optic Internet in every home that is magnitudes faster than the current co-axial standard, and which will become the backbone of the digital economy.... The future is not limiting access or enforcing nationalistic content rules; the future is more border-ignoring services with more content than ever, some of which will inevitably be Canadian. The future is asking the question, Do we need a national television broadcaster, or would we be better off subsidizing a national content producer that sells its programming to the highest bidder? Or produces it with a taxpayer subsidy – and then instead of broadcasting via a traditional TV channel, simply posts it online for anyone to watch on Youtube and other sites?

Talking about TV – about pick-and-pay and basic packages and Canadian content – is at best a distraction while the future barrels down on us.
Netflix  Canada  CRTC  streaming  data  roaming  CATV  television  scarcity  statelessness  bandwidth  Youtube  future  Vine  content  DIY  bite-sized 
september 2014 by jerryking
Let non-lawyers own law firms: Canadian Bar Association - The Globe and Mail
JEFF GRAY - LAW REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Aug. 14 2014
law  law_firms  future  funding 
august 2014 by jerryking
Laszlo Bock on the Future of Hiring - WSJ
July 7, 2014

"Technology will also enable employers to find the most talented people in the world's seven billion. Every company that's growing will want high-quality people, but if you just look at traditional qualifications, we'll run out of people to hire. Clever organizations will cast a much wider net for the most in-demand skills. It's going to be easier, eventually, to find the brilliant top 5% of the world than taking 50th-percentile performers and turning them into top-five-percentile performers."

— Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations at Google Inc.
future  hiring  Google  talent  war_for_talent  high-quality  Laszlo_Bock 
august 2014 by jerryking
Clare Hasler-Lewis on the Future of Agriculture - WSJ
By CLARE HASLER-LEWIS
July 7, 2014

I also see a steady stream of new farming technologies, practices and ideas that are increasing our ability to use limited resources efficiently—particularly water. And that promises a future agriculture that can feed the world, sustainably, for generations to come.

Smart Winery
Capturing, recycling and reusing water will become the rule rather than the exception in food production and processing. Processing the food we eat every day makes up 50% of our total water footprint. It is not difficult to imagine most consumer products of the future bearing a "Water Footprint" rating.

A glimpse of that water-efficient future is already visible at the University of California, Davis, where my colleagues recently opened the world's only LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum-certified winery, brewery and food-processing facility.
agriculture  farming  future  water  scarcity  water_footprints  food 
august 2014 by jerryking
A Vision of the Future From Those Likely to Invent It - NYTimes.com
May 2, 2014 | NYT | By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER and CHI BIRMINGHAM. Claire Cain Miller writes about tech for The Upshot, a New York Times venture that presents news, analysis and graphics about politics and policy

“Start new businesses that create jobs and solve real problems. Also, someone could create a Khan Academy that focuses on professional and vocational skills.”
REID HOFFMAN

“There is a bow wave of uncounted billions of dollars of philanthropic contributions that will unfold over the next 10 to 20 years from Silicon Valley.”
MARC ANDREESSEN
bow_waves  Claire_Cain_Miller  technology  future  trends  Reid_Hoffman  Marc_Andreessen  Peter_Thiel  personalized_medicine  Silicon_Valley  disruption  drones  new_businesses  philanthropy 
may 2014 by jerryking
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