Welcome to this 12th issue of our newsletter “Weak Signals and other Trends”. Each week, I sift through hundreds of sources of inspiration to track where we’re heading.
This is what I noticed this week, thank you for reading and sharing this newsletter to those who look into our future.
We are focusing this week on a series of tools that competitive intelligence teams are using:
24 tools to help you harvest intelligence from your competitors’ Twitter platforms. Use the DuckDuckGo Extension to Block FLoC, Google’s New Tracking Method in Chrome. Learn how to use Beautiful Soup for web scraping with Python in 3 minutes. A guide for U.S. Private Companies research. Intelligence Reimagined: Don’t Forget the Human Dimension in the Pursuit of Technological Solutions.
Looking at the familiar with “alien eyes” allows you to unlock new opportunities and avoid missing emerging risks:
How Much the Eye Tells the Brain. Adding is favoured over subtracting in problem solving. Brute-force Creativity: testing random ideas is a robot’s way of being creative. And it can do so faster than any human. Forerunner Ventures’ KJ Sidberry on how the firm is rethinking the definition of consumer. New DNS vulnerabilities have the potential to impact millions of devices. Watch this company: Gojek and Tokopedia are finalizing USD 18 billion fusion to form GoTo. Minimizing risk: Our Brains Are Stuck in the Stone Age. Banks vs telcos in Nigeria. Not just chips: another Unlikely Pandemic Shortage: Boba Tea.
We now have a date for our next course “Strategic Blindspot” which will take place on the fall (in person- hybrid possible).
Pour prédire l’avenir, engagez des romanciers. Amazon’s private labels. Herman Miller’s new office line is the anti-cubicle. UPS Flight Forward adds innovative new aircraft, enhancing capabilities and network sustainability . AI-powered virtual assistants and the future of work. Is growth in China soaring or slowing? The answer depends on how you calculate growth. Chimeric contribution of human extended pluripotent stem cells to monkey embryos ex vivo. Future of Money (100 pages pdf download). The spinach that sends emails. Amazon One’s palm-scanning payments are coming to Whole Foods.
The EU is considering a ban on AI for mass surveillance and social credit scores.
“AI systems used to manipulate human behavior, exploit information about individuals or groups of individuals, used to carry out social scoring or for indiscriminate surveillance would all be banned in the EU
Weak signals are indicators of a change, a trend or an emerging risk that might become significant for the future. They allow us to run hypothesis, expand our thinking, and challenge assumptions. How will you interpret those in your industry or field of expertise?
Why tarot is trending again. Introducing Substack Local, for a new generation of local news. Eyecam is a creepy webcam shaped like a human eye. Amazon’s new high-tech hair salon. Farmers Insurance Engages Carpe Data to Identify New Growth in Business Insurance Lines. This deli in New Jersey is trading at a $100 million market cap (they have one store and $35k in annual sales). The whitest-ever paint. UiPath — a US-based, Romania-founded software firm that automates repetitive tasks — went public. How much is children data worth. Polygenic scores: Orchid is offering the chance for couples planning a pregnancy to learn their odds of passing on risks for common conditions to their future child. Allbirds Is Giving Away Its Carbon Footprint Calculator to the Fashion Industry . The Bizarre Electric VW Beetle Knockoff.
On our radar
In this section, I will share some of the content I come across as I work on specific mandates for our clients. This is what I worked on this week:
For one of the boards I serve on, I have been connecting dots this week to see how companies are reinventing how they contribute to society: Inside Brunello Cucinelli’s vision for ‘humanistic capitalism’. A fantastic initiative by a unique retailer: Decathlon- and an illustration of a truly purpose-led family business . The resurrection of MEC. illycaffè becomes B Corp.
I am preparing a discussion early May with the senior management team of an insurance company and this led me to look at alternative data for that industry: YieldNet: A Convolutional Neural Network for Simultaneous Corn and Soybean Yield Prediction Based on Remote Sensing Data. Payment Insights from Equifax leverages more alternative data. The alternative data footprint that is changing how insurance companies assess risk. Using Satellites to Make Index Insurance Scalable.
Our consulting engagements can be found here.
Articles for the curious mind which likes to cross over to new fields:
What the General Social Survey tell us about America. Why philanthropy needs to prepare itself for a world powered by AI. A philosophy of sound. The electrical blueprints that orchestrate life. Creativity Is Dead, Long Live Curation. The meaning of food. Quantum computing’s reproducibility crisis: Majorana fermions. This is your brain on Zoom. On managing interruptions. How Infectious Disease Shaped American Bathroom Design.
I like to discover new words: this week, I learnt about K-beauty.
The Fear of the Dark Symphony. A virtual discovery map of Tokyo. Lots of us learned classical music from watching old cartoons, so I’m going to identify the pieces that frequently popped up. A 360° VR tour of a landmark exhibition of contemporary Māori art. Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 250 new, previously unpublished poems by today’s talented poets each year . Calculating how much your meetings are costing.