Archive for the ‘trends’ Category


May 14, 2018 2 comments


unscaledIt has been “common” knowledge that in order to drive more business, make it harder for competitors to compete, for companies to drive down prices etc. they have to scale. A new, pretty well written book argues that those days may be over. It makes a pretty compelling argument that with all the “for rent” infrastructure out there (computation, manufacturing, potential consumers etc.) plus the advances in AI companies no longer need to build scale, but can rather rent it.

It’s not a academic book. The author is a VC and has personally invested in companies that illustrate this. Some examples / tidbits

  • Voodoo Manufacturing wants to be the AWS of cloud manufacturing. It has a factory full of 3D printing machines available for “rent”
  • Forward thinking utilities will evolve to become platforms essentially operating an energy version of the internet
  • Mobility as a Service (MaaS) that allows one to pay for all types of journeys in one go (e.g. Whim)

And so on. Worth a quick read.




Categories: books, technology, trends Tags: , ,

Big four’s consulting revenues on a tear

April 11, 2018 Leave a comment

Big 4 on fireThe WSJ reports that the Big Four make more money from their consulting businesses than they do from their traditional audit business and those consulting revenues are growing at a much faster rate than the flattish growth in audit.

Worth a quick skim.


Categories: consulting, trends Tags: ,

Cloud ML wars

March 28, 2018 Leave a comment

MIT magazine has an interesting article on the state of the war between the major software players and their focus on ML to get an edge. Most of what they say is pretty well known: Google is ahead, AWS and MSFT are strongly chasing. All the major players are releasing the “Visual Basic” of ML (CloudML from Google, SageMaker from AWS e.g.). Two things that caught my eye. One was the the following quote:

For the past seven years, every business planning document at Amazon has had to include an explanation of how the unit would make use of machine learning

It’s the seven years that’s surprising. The other thing in the article was what was not mentioned: the increasing strength of the China based tech players, especially in ML.

Categories: cloud, trends Tags: ,

Cloud perceptions favor Azure

February 23, 2018 Leave a comment

Two charts from a recent report from UBS (Microsoft, Nov 2017) caught my eye. They point to the fact that Microsoft has a very positive perception from enterprise buyers on their cloud vision but lags on their understanding of the client’s business.

cloud perception 1

cloud perception 2

IBM leads the pack on this second dimension, presumably because of their services + consulting group.

Categories: technology, trends Tags: ,

The great wall around China’s tech market

February 20, 2018 1 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.

Categories: iot, trends Tags:

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.

Categories: technology, trends Tags: ,