Suddenly the web changed …

These words may be written some time in the future about major events that will unfold in 2016.

Why? Think about it. The web, as we know it now, is a mass of data flowing around with the objective of getting you to enter into a transaction. Google demonstrated that this works when it married search with online advertising. And so, online advertising has fueled much of the development of the web since then.

A new report suggests that this may start to shift. Online advertising may become less pervasive. People looking to develop the web may need to find other ways to make it pay.

Are there?`Of course — we just don’t see them yet. Stay tuned!


Banks, Transactions and Big Data

I used to worry about what my bank was doing with my money. Now I am getting nervous about what they are doing with my data. Consider this (from BI)

Big data is an industry that’s barely in its infancy, but is growing thanks to the pickup in the speed at which data can be processed, and the realization that companies can use information to predict consumer behavior (like how weather affects spending patterns.)

Like it or not, collecting and using big data will be a big new industry. And banks — including my bank  — collect a lot of data about their customers transactions. Consider as well that when paying by credit card gives way to paying via chip waved before a reader, there will be even more firms getting data about what you buy. This puts Apple’s experiment with “Apple pay” in perspective.

If you are still not on board with this, remember that a business is only worth what customers will buy from it tomorrow (Drucker”. Predicting what they are likely to do better than competitors can predict gives competitive advantage. And it will make markets more efficient.

Going after Business Travel

The hotel sin the world love business travel. Business travelers are predictable, spend money and pay up. And high end hotels have a lock on business providing business accommodation. And that may change. Airbnb is opening up a new platform targeting business travel.

Airbnb for Business features a central billing system and a dashboard that helps companies track how much their employees are spending. The company is also planning to launch a marketing campaign for the new business product, according to Bloomberg.

Interesting. I wonder what other business travel services might be there for the taking?

Berlin Tech Capital

I was a bit surprised by this

A study by research database VentureSource commissioned by Die Welt estimated that $2.2 billion (€2.01 billion) was invested in Berlin firms last year, compared to $1.5 billion (€1.37 billion) in London – and the investment boom looks set to continue for the German capital.

The first quarter of 2015 saw around $840 million (€771 million) of venture capital flow into the city, more than triple the sum of the first quarter of 2014. The increase brings Berlin almost on a par with London, which so far this year has seen venture capital of around $850 million (€780 million).

What is going on?

Data published by Lamudi illuminates one of Berlin’s attractions: its living expenses. While a one-room apartment in zone one costs around €2000-2500 per month in London, a similar apartment in Berlin sets tenants back around €600-800 a month.

Transport in London is also more than double the price of that in Berlin – with monthly transport costs between zones one and two around €170 in London compared to just €80 in Berlin.

“While London offers a good foundation in terms of capital and tech support for start-ups to grow, it mainly lacks quality of life,” commented Paul Hermann, Co-Founder at Lamudi.


Tracking – Energy

Perhaps one of the most important areas where we expect innovation over the next fifty years is in energy production, distribution and storage. As I write this,  solar is almost mainstream. But batteries still suck, and distribution via wiring still sucks (no superconductivity).  So I will be tracking energy stories in a new page (see ablve menu)