Spinach cyborgs, Clubhouse and leaked smartphone data

Business disrupted

Illustrations and examples that show our industries and business models are changing…

The iconic motorcycle maker Harley Davidson announced this week that it would issue stock to 4,500 workers, including all of its hourly factory laborers – not far from the recent “retailization” of stock ownership we witnessed with the Gamestop fiasco. Ark Disruptive Report 2021 is listing new technological breakthroughs (pdf). Supply chains are breaking up everywhere, from chips to containers. Musk’s next disruption: accounting for crypto. The impact of robot taxi disruption, from insurance to energy. A house redivided: how the pandemic changed our homes. Nidec chief predicts a $3,000-car era with the spread of EVs.

Our Future

Unbundling 2021 by Benedict Evans. A summary of the future of packaging by Trendhunter. The future of work is through workforce ecosystems. The future of Asset management and the upside of disruption ( this is Twitterization 2.0). Nomophobia is the new phobia. Generation Z, You’re Adorkable. Scientists taught birds to sing songs by implanting false memoriesAutonomous Drone to launch satellites from airport runways and drone network being developed to transport organs, blood and meds in Scotland. Business cards are going online in Asia. The Cassandra of the Internet age. Nanotechnology allows chemical signals from spinach to send emails – DARPA already was engaging nature’s silent sentinels to detect security threats. Why Editorial Brands Will Dominate Retail’s ‘Long Tale’ . Authenticity, escapism, and imperfection are the design trends for 2021, as curated by Shutterstock. This is how we lost control of our faces. “Grocerant” , a growing trend illustrating the future of groceries and supermarkets.

Competitive Intelligence

Sources: Explore, select and download data on past reconstructions and future projections of the global population by age, sex and education. Advan provides data that localizes 1 out of 4 cell phones in the US: you can use it to see the number of employees seen at Amazon warehouses ( and deduct company revenue), or monitor factory traffic at Tesla ( measuring production…). A good example of orthogonal data: The Gray Market: How Public-Health Data Can Help Us Predict the Future of Art-Market Recovery (and Other Insights). Spoonbill lets you see profile changes from the people you follow on Twitter or other social networks and Fadeke analyzes it so well here.

New tools we explored: PimEyes is an advanced face recognition search engine, a reverse image search tool, and a photo search mechanism used to find out where your face appears. They Stormed the Capitol. Their Apps Tracked Them, and the NYT identified the individuals from a trove of leaked smartphone location data.

We keep you updated on those news tools and sources on Twitter.

Weak signals

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 and connect the dots?

The Pandemic Has Erased Entire Categories of Friendship: what will this do to our ability to learn? The global fungi (mushroom) industry is forecast to double in the next five years to a staggering $86B and M&Aabound. Solarpunks and its movement. A selfie museum in Kuala Lumpur. Why are first editions prices skyrocketing? Blue check homes. A database of influencers’ mansions. We like to explore the Showerthoughts discussion group on Reddit to pick-up a different way to look at the familiar ( the latest conversation was about Apple juice and why it had only one flavor). The networking goats. The new urban rowers. The absurd logic of Internet recipe hacks. Teens are using these shopping apps to get rich.

We are launching in April a two-day training class on strategic blindspots where we explore weak signals analysis spotting techniques. Details here.

On our radar

Clubhouse: I have spent the week diving into Clubhouse , the drop-in audio chat, and I don’t think I have be as excited about a social media networks since I discovered Twitter 13 years ago at Davos. Many have tried before ( see Twitter spaces) but I believe that Clubhouse will disrupt the world of conferences for good, has huge potential in education, will be central to brand building, and will change Art and culture forever. Much debate so we’ll see how it unfolds.

“Clubhouse has some of the appeal of early Twitter”

Family businesses: as I contemplate joining another family business board, I dive again into the role: The surprising role of family feuds in German business ( 90% of German companies are family businesses). Asia’s Family-Owned Business Founders Seek Private Equity Exit. Only 27% of family businesses in Montreal have a succession plan, according to HEC (pdf).

Cybersecurity, an ongoing interest: Google says it’s too easy for hackers to find new security flaws. How Neurodiversity Can Strengthen Cybersecurity Defense. I also immensely enjoyed having access to cyber experts at the room on Solar Winds Cybersecurity, part of the discussion of Defense and International Security Club Clubhouse (it’s been going on for +30 hours… )

Future of banking: as I prepare the training curriculum for the board of a financial institution next March on digital transformation, I read: The future of Asset management and the upside of disruption ( this is Twitterization 2.0). Investors Value News Analytics. Equifax Acquires Open Banking and Transaction Data Analytics Company AccountScore . How European banks can adapt their operating models for open banking. Inside The Billion-Dollar Plan To Kill Credit Cards. Nasdaq Decodes: Tech Trends 2021. BNY Mellon Announces Crypto Custody and Spies Integrated Services.

Hodgepodge discovery

It’s all a matter of angle: earth at a cute angle. Since we are talking about maps, look at Data Visualization and the Modern Imagination by Stanfort University. Mozilla’s 2020 Internet Health reportMarchetti’s Motorcycles or the analysis of urban transportation. How Amazon writes memos. Candles Became the Lockdown’s De Facto Interior Status Symbol. Ever heard of Kuaishou? This TikTok rival hits $160bn valuation as shares surge after IPO.

Feeling good

Pixel Vermeer. Spotify offers the soothing sound of lego bricks. A visualization of how we grieved, found solace and moved forward during the pandemic. The best travel photos of 2020. The cat and the lawyer. An excavator ballet from Quebec.

Did you learn sometime today? If so, do share this newsletter with your colleagues and peers. Thank you for reading.


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