August 21 – 5 Key Stories From The Digital World

By August 21, 2019 Insight

1. Decoding digital transformation in construction

  • typical construction project involves a multitude of independent subcontractors and suppliers, which have little incentive to embrace new methods during the brief periods when they are on the job
  • construction work often takes place in remote, harsh environments that are not well suited to hardware and software developed for the office…many E&C businesses end up with little to show for their technology investments
  • Focus on fixing pain points, not installing IT solutions, Implement digital use cases that promote collaboration, Reskill and restructure engineering teams, Adjust project baselines to capture value, Connect projects to unlock impact across the enterprise

2. Where Influencer Marketing Goes Wrong (and How to Fix It)

  • experts predict the influencer marketing industry will reach $10 billion by 2020 — and $2.38 billion will be spent on Instagram alone this year
  • majority of teenagers trust influencers more than traditional celebrities, and 40% of consumers have purchased a product directly after seeing it in an influencer marketing campaign on Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter
  • Taken together with the fact that estimates show on average businesses generate $6.50 in revenue for each $1 investment in influencer marketing

3.  What Will It Take for Uber to Become Profitable?

  • The main theme of Uber’s business model is the positive network effects…more drivers, the value for riders go up — lower wait times, cheaper prices
  • can’t pay drivers less and they cannot charge riders more, basically breaking the main assumptions that underline its growth strategy…working on other verticals of mobility (such as Uber Eats) is a viable strategy, as it waits for either … self-driving cars [to reduce driver costs] or a merger with Lyft [to consolidate operations]
  • Uber has about $15 billion in cash, and that gives it about 15 quarters to get its business right and become profitable…cash resources include about $8 billion in net proceeds from its IPO; $500,000 from its PayPal investment; $1 billion from investments by Toyota, Denso and SoftBank

4. Meet Tesla’s self-driving car computer and its two AI brains

  • Tesla’s in-house chip is 21 times faster than the older Nvidia model Tesla used…each car’s computer has two for safety
  • major effort to design a processor chip…magnitude of the work is reflected in the gargantuan number of transistors — 6 billion — that make up the processing circuitry on each of Tesla’s chips
  • Each chip makes its own assessment of what the car should do next…computer compares the two assessments, and if the chips agree, the car takes the action…chips disagree, the car just throws away that frame of video data and tries again

5. Y Combinator Debuts Its Largest Accelerator Batch Yet

  • YC now splits its batches into groups of 30-40 companies “in order to replicate the feeling of the past
  • Since late 2015, YC has invested in later-stage rounds through its Continuity Fund, a $700 million investment vehicle from which Y Combinator exercises its pro rata rights and makes growth-stage investments in its most successful portfolio companies
  • approximately 30 percent of YC-funded companies raise Series A rounds…was one of the first to formalize a program to accelerate the growth of incipient ventures, and it has one of the strongest track records in the business…its banner successes today came from a simpler, smaller, more intimate program