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The term "connected home" or "smart home" has been around for decades. In the 90's and 00's, a lot of consumer electronics companies and component makers published drawings with home servers, gateways, and all types of home devices talking to each other and sharing files. I remember, in my past life, I used to draw similar things on powerpoint and announced a lot of partnerships and initiatives . However, none of those concepts became a mainstream hit.
With the changing legislative and regulatory landscape in the US over the past many years, there has been a lot of talk around the emergence of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs - defined below) and the greater role they will play in the future. Hopes are high that these organizations can help to right some of the compounded wrongs in the industry. First things first, I think it is useful for us all to gain some greater clarity behind what an ACO is – a term that is still relatively new to most of us, having first been coined in 2006.
Often times, when a new technology enters the world, it can take a little while for markets to figure out what to do with it (or in the case of the Segway, an infinite amount of time). Other times, smart people know exactly what to do with it, as is the case for Usage-Based Insurance (UBI). Instead of using the theoretical “average” driver to set rates, UBI is when insurance providers measure the telematic signals of a car to determine the specific actions of a driver, and tailor a policy rate based upon that performance.
I came across an interesting data set by TSYS, a payment processing company, relating to the consumer use of coupons, daily deals, and card-based rewards programs. For the purpose of this post, I want to focus on the coupon data. Turns out that coupons are still widely used with 83% of respondents using some form of coupon — this includes print and display. Also somewhat surprising is that the heaviest group of users is the 150k+ income bracket. In fact, 47% of high-income earners use coupons more than 50 times per year. So coupons still seem quite popular and the top three sources for coupons are, in order, newspaper, online, and store circular. What I found particularly interesting is that only 1 in 5 respondents source coupons on their mobile device, despite the pervasiveness of smartphones. According to Nielsen’s Feb 2014 Digital Consumer Report, over 66% of US consumers own a smartphone (source). Also, with the success of online coupon companies such as RetailMeNot (NASDAQ: SALE) and Coupons.com (NYSE: COUP), the logical next step would be the mobile device. See here for the full study.
I was recently at a digital currency conference, and one of the speakers brought up an interesting idea: bitcoin is more centralized than we think. As anyone who follows the bitcoin startup landscape knows, a few large players dominate bitcoin mining hashrate:
A couple years ago after Autodesk purchased short form video creation app Socialcam, my co-founder Jereme Monteau and I asked each other why Socialcam out of all the other video creation apps? Was Socialcam the best fit for Autodesk’s strategic needs? It may very well have been the best fit for Autodesk’s needs, but we wondered if Autodesk acted with a full understanding of the video creation category.
It’s no surprise - advances in health care and medical technology are extending life expectancies worldwide. Humans are simply living longer, and although this is generally good news for human kind, it increases macro pressure on health care systems and social programs. In challenge lies opportunity – enter digital health - but we’ll table that for now.
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