As an avid reader and lover of books, this post worries me. Call me old fashioned, but I think there is a magic to reading physical books that e-readers just cannot replace. I also love Barnes and Noble, because it provides the ‘thrill’ of walking through the store and hoping to discover a book that catches your eye. I think that your recommendations for B&N is spot on. Most of the time, I open a new book because a friend has recommended the book. I think if the Nook can tap into this concept (for example it can see what my friends are reading through social media), this could be an untapped opportunity. I also think that B&N needs to continue to focus on making the store into a location where people come to hang out (like starbucks), and can pick up an interesting book.
Thanks for sharing a great post! I think one of the most interesting topics you brought up was the idea of EA’s newfound ability to collect real time player data on its user base. I think that this data must be fascinating for so many reasons. One, EA can use this data to continuously optimize its games based on the use of its audience. Two, It might also be able to discover new strategies, etc. which it can incorporate into its program (for example in games where one plays versus a computer).
Although gaming fans reacted poorly to EA’s in-app purchase model, I do think this might just be due to its newness. I think the traditional console gamer is not used to have to make added payments. However, it is hard to imagine that this will not become the norm as more video game developers begin to digitize their game distribution. I hypothesize that this is more of a ‘growing pain’ and that over time users will get used to the idea.
A fascinating post Mark! Given our recent discussions on IBM’s Watson, it will be fascinating to see how quantum computing impacts the pace of development in machine learning and artificial intelligence. I am curious to learn more about D-Wave’s business model. Are they focused more on scientific or military use cases? I also am curious about how the United States government (who strives to have the fastest computers in the world) is interfacing with the increasing number of companies beginning to enter this market. I also think it will be fascinating to contemplate what life looks like in a world where quantum computing actually exists. Will our online data become truly un-hackable or will everything be accessible? The history of encryption has been a perennial battle between code makers and breakers. It will be interesting to see which side quantum computers helps to push forward.
I believe that data privacy rights will be one of the most important issues that our generation grapples with. Unfortunately, big data aggregation can be somewhat paradoxical. Specifically, the same technology that can be used for altruistic purposes can also be used for far more nefarious purposes. We have already seen these issues come to light through the Edward Snowden leaks, debates over tech companies rights to protect customers data, etc. I think Danny nailed the toughest question… how do you create an objective standard for privacy rights violation? Perhaps, the answer is this independent board that Danny proposed. Unfortunately, I think that there will need to be laws at the federal level, otherwise accountability becomes too subjective. Even if Palantir decides to be altruistic with this type of independent board, more competitors will pop up who won’t necessarily work by the same standards. I think the second issue is citizen awareness. Citizen’s will need to be given the right to determine specifically who can use their data and to what end. In a sense, I think citizens need to fight for laws which grant them control over their own data.
A very nicely written post. As some of the previous posts have mentioned, I think that CISCO will need to clearly define its strategy for approaching both consumer or industrial applications for IOT technologies. I think there is reason to be concerned if CISCO primarily gambles on entering the consumer market. Specifically, major companies such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon are also making major investments in the consumer IOT space. Therefore, CISCO is setting up for battle against some of the most popular brands in the consumer tech space. Like CISCO, these companies have a lot of cash to invest, acquire, and market. Therefore, it seems more feasible for CISCO to target industrial SaaS IOT applications. As others have mentioned, the name CISCO carries much more weight for these types of applications. Either way, it will be fascinating to watch how IOT SaaS begins to change the lives of businesses and consumers.
“By 2050, wind, solar and landfill gas will be GM’s main source of energy.” I think it is great that GM is marketing a focus on more sustainable practices but I have no sense of whether this plan is ambitious or just a marketing ploy. I only say this because ‘main source of energy’ is a vague statement and doesn’t imply GM’s intention to eventually source all of their energy sustainably. Also, 2050 is so far in the future that by the time it actually comes around, there will be no reputation consequences for having made this type of statement in 2016. I want to believe that GM will make this a reality and I agree with you that they should be offering more financial options and incentives to purchasers of their electric vehicles. If GM begins taking actions to drive sustainable practices (such as discontinuing SUVs), then I will be more convinced of their intentions.
Great article and thanks for sharing. As someone with virtually no knowledge of this industry, I did not realize that building airplanes for commercial purposes was such a core part of Boeing’s business. I also did not realize the impact that the aerospace and defense industries have on greenhouse emissions worldwide. It definitely makes sense to me why the interests of Boeing, airlines, and consumers would all benefit from more efficient planes. I would love to learn if Boeing or other defense contractors have signed R&D partnerships with commercial airline companies. Since a low emission plane would be such a large competitive advantage for the airline which utilized it first, I would imagine these airline companies would have incentives to help fund more groundbreaking research!
Thanks for sharing Matt, thought this was fascinating! I wonder how much work Trimble does with government entities such as the Department of Agriculture? I would imagine with widespread data on farming practices and yields, Trimble could provide the government with great insights. As an example, this data could provide realistic data about yield expectations for different crops based on what farmers using Trimble are growing. Therefore, if the government was to notice a shortage in one crop it could work with Trimble to incentive farmers to grow more of it. Just a thought, perhaps they are already doing this! Would love to learn more.
I enjoyed reading this post while drinking my Starbucks coffee! It is fascinating to comprehend how vulnerable Starbucks might be to climate change. Although more sustainable practices like biodegradable cups is a worthwhile goal, I am not sure that it tackles the underlying business vulnerability of Starbucks reliance on coffee bean yields. The line about Costa Rica’s attempts to develop weather resistant coffee beans really sparked my interest. I’d love to learn more about Starbucks investments in developing more adaptable coffee varietals. Has Starbucks made any R&D investments in this type of technology? If they were successful, they could not only ensure the future of their supply but also positively impact the lives of their coffee bean farmers.
I was particularly struck by the idea that on average a big data center consumes as much power as 25,000 homes. It seems to me that investments in energy storage are worthwhile for Amazon because they can pass cost savings onto the consumer. I wonder, how do AWS big data centers compare to other server players such as Microsoft, IBM, and Google? Are any of these competitors out competing Amazon in this technological sector? If so, it would be interesting to learn what different companies are doing to tackle this problem.