Data is not a weapon; it is a worldview

Posted by Mike Walsh ON 8/3/20 12:38 AM



The latest round of antitrust hearings has been a high drama distraction from the pandemic. But while parading the CEOs of Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon before Congress provided ample opportunities for both sides of politics to score points in an election year - it also highlighted just how different competition has become in the 21st century. Obvious questions were asked about personal data, political bias, and predatory pricing - but more interesting were those brief glimpses of how the leaders of the world's biggest tech companies really think. If the antitrust hearings proved one thing, it is that the right data can allow you to reframe the rules of marketplaces, precisely target acquisitions, and make oblique strategic moves. And therein lies the problem: just how exactly do you regulate a different way of thinking?

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CATEGORY: Data, Technology

The future of interfaces

Posted by Mike Walsh ON 7/20/20 12:47 AM


Your kids may have grown up with smartphones, but that doesn’t mean they will expect everything to work on small screens in the future. Like me, you probably embarked on your digital experience by typing computer commands from a DOS prompt. I doubt you would be impressed if someone asked you to use that kind of interface today. The next big shift in interface design is the move toward more natural interactions.

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CATEGORY: Technology

Digital disruption is now just digital delivery

Posted by Mike Walsh ON 4/19/20 11:41 PM

What happens when your five-year plan for digital transformation becomes just an emergency strategy for immediate survival? True, the current COVID-19 crisis is accelerating the shift to a digital, automated, contactless future. But that raises a more complex question: what does disruption now mean in a world in which all the surviving companies are already digital?

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CATEGORY: Innovation, Technology

We are all software companies now

Posted by Mike Walsh ON 6/20/17 10:42 AM



'What do you mean we need to be a software company?' asked Lukas Braunschweiler, CEO of Sonova, one of the world's leading manufacturers of high-tech hearing devices. I had just finished giving a talk to their senior leadership team at the gorgeous lakeside town of Stäfa, near Zurich. 'We already have lots of software engineers. Are you saying that we need more?' It was a fair question, and one I had spent much of the prior week thinking about, in a few unusual places. How many software engineers do you need to transform a company?

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CATEGORY: Technology

How to build a nanoscale computer

Posted by Mike Walsh ON 10/20/16 10:04 AM



Moore’s Law, a prediction from 1965 that the number of transistors crammed into circuit would double every two years, has an expiry date. The problem is scale. The latest chips from Intel have silicon transistors with features as small as 14 nanometers. Theoretically you can have a feature as small as a single atom, but before you reach that point – at about 7 nanometers, things get weird. You leave the conventional world of classical physics and open a portal into the trippy reality of quantum physics. That’s bad news because by 2020, in order to keep up with Moore’s Law, the industry will need to be down to five nanometers.

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CATEGORY: Technology

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