11 June

Big Data, FICO, and Start-ups

Data Science pivotal in the next battle in financial services

[Disclaimer - I know this area and am active in all of these components. I have a stake in this game, and a long history here, so am about as biased as one can be.]

Of news recently is "Levchin’s Payments Startup Affirm Has Raised $45 Million". One of many - see "Programmers Size Up Bank Borrowers With Algorithms Rather Than FICO Scores". Even more in the offing from my business contacts. We are on the verge of another spate of "me too" investments on both coasts. Not to mention internal acquisitions already under way. FICO scoring is under attack from long standing issues, exacerbated by the need to apply Big Data, and poor application of data science is where the battle lies. Read more.

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Posted by william at 17:45 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
04 October

The end of an era .... the beginnings of another?

53rd anniversary of the launch of Sputnik

Last week in DC included a visit, a homage to our space roots at the National Air and Space Museum. My family was present for my daughter's award, which coincidentally was for an analysis of Mars conditions for life begun with the Viking lander - my dad fabricated and tested the transponder it used (along with a half dozen other museum exhibits too!).

I found myself recounting dozens of stories and "lessons learned", and getting into many discussions about specific missions and how certain presumptions tilted things rightly (and wrongly) for the evolution of entering the frontier of space, born as an exercise in cold war "soft power" conflict.

Even though the cold wars have been over for a couple of decades, neither NASA nor the aerospace industry have quite "moved on" to the necessary evolution to the next stage. Cold war relics (including myself!) still abound and seeming warp the present around the past in attempting to force a future that never seems to arrive.

Not unlike attempts to take a fish-oil company and rebrand it as a trendy "dot.com", yet retain its "fishy" origins.

We can already see that for things to go further, we can't do the huge "overwhelm and devastate" approaches appropriate for superpower competition - that trick hasn't worked for decades and ten's of billions. "Programs too big to fail" fail. Especially when we can least afford them to do so.

I won't bore you with the manifold political, structural, or social reasons - they're all contorted, contrived, and ... irrelevant.

However I will address "segment emergence" and the perception of brand as a critical element to breaking the nostalgic cycle that prevents us from entering into the next era that my children will thrive in. Read more ...

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Posted by william at 20:41 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
24 June

Smart Phone gives way to PersonalOS transformation

Understanding a market segment transformation

Sometimes there is a change that is so obvious that its as big as the Earth ... yet nobody sees it. That's because no one notices the elephant in the room when they are too busy scratching where the fleas are biting.

Bottom line - the largest volume OS market is about to come online. Only Google and Apple are well positioned to compete. Everyone else is stuck playing catch up in the prior market definition known as "Smart Phone" - they are missing the "left turn", just before volume spikes. Read more ...

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Posted by william at 20:04 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
17 November

Intel in the 80's is like the US in 2009

Andy Grove's experience keeps teaching us lessons from decades prior ...

In reading Bob Herbert's column "What the Future May Hold" (on the lack of investment in American infrastructure) in the New York Times, I was struck by Professor Jai Prakash's comment which saw this through the lens of over investment in American power influence rather than domestic infrastructure.

It reminded me of a fascinating parallel with Andy Grove's struggles with the growth of Intel - when he almost lost that company. Professor Prakash is definitely tracking on the American psyche to a "T". Read more.

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Posted by william at 22:02 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)