Archive for the ‘trends’ Category

The great wall around China’s tech market

February 20, 2018 Leave a comment

One normally assumes that the enterprise software market is pretty uniform across countries. Someone wanting say CRM software (or a NoSQL DB) in Narobi is going to have say ~80% of the same requirements as someone in London. But this doesn’t have to be a given. An article in the Economist this week piqued my interest where it stated:

One scenario is that national-security worries mean China’s and America’s tech markets end up being largely closed to each other, leaving everywhere else as a fiercely contested space

This is not academic fluff. This is pretty much what’s happened in the telecom equipment space where Huawei is ascendant everywhere except in America. This would imply that the dominant software players will have to re-think their “China strategy” more fundamentally than just thinking about it from a go to market model.

Categories: technology, trends Tags: ,

Internet of Potholes

December 22, 2017 Leave a comment

potholeseasonAfter years of hype, it’s refreshing to see the IoT (Internet of Things) crowd finally do something useful for society. Apparently, Kansas City has used a bunch of pressure sensors, cameras and combined that with weather data to predict the likelihood of potholes with some success. In a limited study, it was able to successfully predict a pothole occurrence 85% of time and thereby stretch its budget by 30%. The company behind this is a small outfit called Xaqt out of Chicago.

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Amazon: World’s largest speaker brand?

December 19, 2017 Leave a comment


Among all the superlatives that are associated with Amazon these days, this one still caught me by surprise: it’s apparently the world’s biggest (wireless) speaker brand. Apparently there are about 70M wireless speakers sold this year, with ~30% of those being “smart speakers”. The latter are expected to increase 4x by 2022. Also, apparently 10% of these smart speakers now live in bathrooms.

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Estonia: Epitome of digital government?

December 18, 2017 Leave a comment

Nice article in the New Yorker a few weeks ago on the backstory on how  Estonia (a tiny country of ~1M people)  has created probably the most digitally advanced government.

The normal services that government is involved with—legislation, voting, education, justice, health care, banking, taxes, policing, and so on—have been digitally linked across one platform, wiring up the nation

Apparently, no one has to enter any information twice (think hospital / doctor forms, loan forms etc.) and the whole effort saves them about 2% of GDP a year. (If you applied that to the US GDP of ~$20T, that would save about $400B/year). For the Blockchain enthusiasts, you’ll be glad to hear that the backbone of their digital security + data integrity is (of course) on a Blockchain (called KSI from Guardtime).

Consultant obsolescence – coming soon!

December 4, 2017 Leave a comment

Some cheer just in time for the holidays. Apparently all humans are going to be obsolete in ~125 years according a new study by academics as explained in the “Economist’s World in 2018“. The profession that apparently will survive the longest is (maybe not surprisingly) people doing AI research.

economist death march

Consultants (although they not called out), probably fall somewhere between a retail salesperson and an best selling author; so maybe they have about 20 years to go. That’s still probably 20 years too long per most of the the consultants’ clients.

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Consumption patterns of the 1%

November 3, 2017 Leave a comment

sum of small thingsFor those that are trying to understand the future spending patterns of the 1% (and the others that are aspiring to get there), the new book by Elizabeth Halkett (“The Sum of Small Things“) may not be a bad place to start (at all). Unlike other books that are based on hypothesis and mere observation, the strength of this book is the unique data set that the author (and her doctoral student) have been able to parse and synthesize. And what a synthesis it is: the book is full of really interesting insights. E.g.:

  • Travelers who spend over $100k annually on trips have increased their spending ~2-3x compared to the “regular traveler” (who spend ~$10k a year). Wow.
  • ~80% of Whole Food customers have a college degree
  • The number of farmers markets have doubled to ~8000 over the last 4 years
  • American made apparel dropped from ~55% to ~2% between 1991 and 2012
  • New Yorkers spend 27x more on watches than everyone else (in the US)
  • ….and so on!

You get the idea. It’s a longish read, and at times a bit pedantic, but worth it if you are trying to understand consumption patterns.

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Are telcos next target for Hyperscalers?

October 23, 2017 Leave a comment

The impact of Hyperscalers on the traditional server, storage and networking space is well understood and cause for much hand wringing and consternation. What perhaps is less clear is how deep hyperscalers and big internet companies are willing to go to ensure control and redundancy.

deep integration

Apparently, according to an article in the Economist, a bunch of them (including Facebook, Microsoft and Google) are now laying undersea cables to provide the networking infrastructure that they would normally lease from say BT.

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