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Posts Tagged ‘trends’

Unscaling

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.

 

 

 

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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: ,

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: ,

The Netflix of music

January 19, 2018 Leave a comment

spotifyInteresting article in the Economist on how Spotfiy (“the Netflix of music”) seems to be crushing it. Some facts:

  • It has 70M subscribers (3x what it has 3 years ago) compared to the about 30M that Apple Music claims
  • It has about 2 billion playlists, of which 20% belong to Spotify with the rest created by its users.
  • Getting on a Spotify playlist boosts a song’s streaming by 50-100%
  • A billion streams equates to roughly $7M for the labels, with about $1M going to the artists

Apparently, the big labels are wary of giving it too much control just as the studios were for Netflix. Well written article; definitely worth a read.

Categories: digital, music Tags:

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.

Categories: technology, trends Tags: ,

Alexa – an under-appreciated platform

September 11, 2017 Leave a comment

Nice article in MIT’s tech review magazine on the rise of Amazon’s Alexa platform. A couple of tidbits to whet your appetite:

  • It was more than 5 years ago when Amazon filed the fundamental patents for this; the device launched in 2014
  • Amazon has about 70% of the all such voice powered AI devices
  • Amazon has about ~1000 jobs for Alexa posted, with about 20% of those for ML engineers
  • There are about 15k “skills”/apps for Alexa today

The main takeaway for me was the fact that now Amazon has access to a boatload of human speech interaction, giving it a potential leg up on Google with it’s historical dominance in text search. Worth a quick read.

Categories: technology, trends Tags: ,

Et tu Bloomberg?

September 1, 2017 Leave a comment

As if ML killing off consulting wasn’t enough, FT reports that Bloomberg has launched a consulting practice focused on brand, communications and marketing to start with. Apparently they already have 5 clients, plan to hire up to 25 more this year and charge around $150-200k a month for a team. Worth a quick scan.

Categories: consulting, trends Tags: ,