Categories
General Gadgets

Serious keyboard envy with the Keychron K2 Mechanical Keyboard

A new mechanical keyboard, portable with decent battery life and it looks great!

Anybody fancy getting me a (very) early birthday present then feel free.

Serious keyboard envy with the Keychron K2 Mechanical Keyboard 2

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/keytron/keychron-k2-a-sleek-compact-wireless-mechanical-ke?ref=producthunt

Categories
General Lifestyle

Impossible Foods & Burger King to launch an Impossible Whopper

Now everybody who knows me will know that I’m a fan of a Burger King (my preference is the XL Double Bacon & Cheese). So as part of my healthier eating lifestyle drive I’m fascinated by this news.

The global benefits of moving away from meat eating are well documented so anything that helps us move in this direction is a good thing. Looking forward to it coming to the UK!

Links worth checking out: Impossible Foods | Memphis Meats

Categories
AI Business Transformation Technology Innovation

5 European companies that are (really) advancing AI

One of the tech world’s ‘hardest to define’ areas but one with the highest level of investment. There is certainly a lot of players in the market right now (see image below on Enterprise AI by Topbots)

5 European companies that are (really) advancing AI 4
Enterprise AI Companies (TOPBOTS)

Whether it be super advanced personalisation, on the fly, that gets me just the right product recommendation at precisely the right time or being used to automate transportation to optimise traffic flow or even being used to construct a new cure for horrific diseases like cancer and alzheimers there is for sure a wide range of possibilities with AI.

Alternatively ‘the machine’ may grow smart enough to realise that the single greatest threat to our planet and thus it’s own survival is the human race. What with our propensity to abuse, waste and ultimately destroy the good stuff we discover…

Ultimately, it’s probably going to be a mix of all of the above, over time and with highs and lows in the journey. Like every genuine game changer in the technology ecosystem there will be winners and losers – but it will move us along the road a bit further and open up a whole range of other possibilities that we can’t even dream of right now.

An interesting read on who is doing AI well today…

https://thenextweb.com/artificial-intelligence/2019/03/29/5-european-companies-advancing-ai/

Categories
AI Business Transformation Technology Innovation

A side of AI with your burger?

“People who bought a big-mac also bought this milkshake”.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90325388/mcdonalds-tries-to-be-more-like-amazon-with-300-million-ai-bet

If they can learn that I never want gherkins with anything then it’s money well spent in my opinion.

$300m to make a big step forward with their data and AI capabilities.

Categories
General

Zoom releases pre IPO S-1 filing

It’s amazing what can be done in a busy market when a great company creates a great product.

Zoom achieves 2x revenue growth in the run up to their IPO.

Zoom releases pre IPO S-1 filing 7
Excerpt from Zoom S-1 filing

How?

  • A huge and still growing market
  • Freemium model
  • Product vitality built in
  • It just works better than the competition…

Easy right?

For the full S-1 filing then visit the SEC website here

https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1585521/000119312519083351/d642624ds1.htm

Or if you want a brilliant complete breakdown of their S-1 filing then take a look at this by Alex Clayton.

https://medium.com/@alexfclayton/zoom-ipo-s-1-breakdown-119249acadd3

Categories
Business Transformation Process Automation

Robotic Process Automation is becoming BIG business

So there is definitely money in process automation then… So much opportunity in legacy organisations where manual processes are so prevalent.

Robotics process automation startup UiPath raising $400M at more than $7B valuation

From my experience the challenge for most older businesses is not recognising the need for this change but rather structuring the change required to get from where they are now to where they need to be. The usual ‘anti-bodies’ surface when this sort of thing gets looked at and in more traditional matrix businesses the operational leads have a habit of reverting to type and protecting the status-quo in terms of people / roles / change etc…

My advice when approaching this: (sort of in order but can be run in parallel…)

  1. Put somebody in place with sole focus on automation. Existing team members will struggle with the people side of the change and this will always fall the back of the priorities list if it’s only part of somebodies ‘day-job’. Ensure there is some budget available for at least an initial set of trials (for anything you can’t get for free) and set them loose.
  2. Give them licence to look across the WHOLE business. This requires C-level buy-in that nowhere is ‘sacred’ but as a positive shows that no one part of the business is being targetted unfairly.
  3. Find a partner / platform to work with. Whether it be UiPath, Blueprism, Eggplant or any of the larger technology platforms now offering this service. Most will offer a free trial / POC to prove the value of their software.
  4. Talk to as many people across the business as possible. This is to understand what’s going on, where and how when it comes to the processes already in place. Timebox it so it doesn’t become a on-going paper exercise but this knowledge gathering is vital to build your backlog…
  5. Create a backlog of opportunities / pain points / challenges. Be brutally honest about where the costs and opportunities are and make sure it’s driven by real data. A risk here is to just work with the people who are the most supportive and whilst there are some benefits in that (see point 6) your automation play will ultimately live or die by the benefits it brings – which need to be measureable.
  6. Set up a group of trials. Using your backlog together with a group of sales-hungry platform providers get started. There is nothing better than learning as you deliver when it comes to this sort of work and I’ve seen numerous initiatives like this fall over as they never moved away from being a good idea and a set of colourful powerpoint slides (I’ve been guilty of that myself on occasions…)
  7. Share your progress and what you’re learning. A solid mantra for pretty much everybody to be fair but especially important here as many in a business will fear what’s going on and push against it. Transparency builds trust (even if the message is not an easy one to hear) and the more benefits you can quickly show – the more support from your business leaders you’ll receive.
  8. Build on the trials and iterate through your backlog. Similar to nearly all good product delivery the key is to make small moves, fast and often. Don’t get caught up in year long ‘programmes’ to completely automate a whole department and avoid big technical integrations that will be filled with red tape

There are many other things to look out for when getting your automation strategy up and running like how you create business cases for automation, the benefits of creating POCs running alongside existing manual process to mitigate risk, how to use the data generated by automating processes for wider business optimisation etc… but the points above should help get you started.

Any questions or thoughts on this then please comment below.

Categories
General Payments Technology Innovation

Square will offer its new crypto employees payment in Bitcoin

Because share options are so last year! Perhaps a sign of things to come but ultimately depends on the liquidity. Good to see Square leading the way here.

https://www.engadget.com/amp/2019/03/21/square-will-offer-its-new-crypto-employees-payment-in-bitcoin/?__twitter_impression=true

Categories
Startups

Welcome Pickups lands €3.3M funding to offer ‘in-destination’ travel services

I really like what these folk are doing with ‘in-destination’ services. Glad it’s got some more funding – worth a look. Plus always had a soft spot for the Greeks!

Categories
General Personal

Myspace just lost 12 years of user data…

🤦🏻‍♂️ Oh dear… That’s a large chunk of my 20s wiped from the internet. Probably a good thing!

https://www.engadget.com/2019/03/18/myspace-lost-12-years-music-photos/?guce_referrer_us=YW5kcm9pZC1hcHA6Ly9jb20uZ29vZ2xlLmFuZHJvaWQuZ20&guce_referrer_cs=vIP6imDQ-UYqDi7pqGYaGQ&guccounter=2

Categories
Product Management

Interview with Julie Zhuo @ Facebook

Really interesting interview with Julie Zhuo, VP Product Design at FB. Some great advice about the importance of asking the right questions as a manager – looking forward to reading her new book.

https://firstround.com/review/the-essential-questions-that-have-powered-this-top-silicon-valley-managers-career/