July 1 – 5 Key Stories From The Digital World

By July 1, 2019 Insight

1. Traditional company, new businesses: The pairing that can ensure an incumbent’s survival

  • To guard against disruption, established companies should launch new businesses that have start-up–like freedom—along with access to advantages that start-ups usually lack
  • A crucial mechanism we’ve seen companies establish is an in-house “factory” for building and scaling up disruptive new businesses in ways that corporate accelerators and incubators normally don’t
  • The factory nurtures a portfolio of businesses by evaluating proposals, choosing which ones to back, working with the founders to develop business cases, securing funding from the parent company, hiring an initial team, and coaching founders

2. SpaceX plans to launch Starship’s first commercial flight in 2021

  • SpaceX is already in discussions with three different customers for that flight, all telecom companies likely looking to send satellites to orbit
  • designing a vehicle that can carry 20 metric tons to geostationary orbit and over 100 metric tons to Low Earth Orbit
  • doing more hop tests in the coming months and that the company’s goal is “to get orbital as quickly as possible, potentially even this year, with the full stack operational by the end of next year and then customers in early 2021

3. Google’s six rules for great data design

  • Google does everything from building smartphones to creating driverless car companies…easy to forget that its official mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
  • principles weigh in on topics ranging from typography to the practice of dishonestly presenting data to serve an agenda
  • Google has more deep data knowledge than any company in the world, and it is no slouch in the discipline of design

4. Softbank and Toyota-backed mobility venture gains five more automakers

  • provide on-demand mobility services eventually with an autonomous module bus
  • Five Japanese automakers including Isuzu Motors, Suzuki Motor Corp., Subaru, Daihatsu and Mazda will each invest 2% in the venture
  • The e-Palette electric vehicle has a modular interior that is designed to allow for it to be used for a variety of services including shuttling people, packages, even mobile food preparation

5. AI is changing the entire nature of compute

  • Machine learning, especially deep learning, is forcing a re-evaluation of how chips and systems are designed that will change the direction of the industry for decades to come.
  • The rise of deep learning, starting in 2006, came about not only because of tons of data, and new techniques in machine learning, such as “dropout,” but also because of greater and greater compute power
  • As deep learning becomes the focus of computing, it is pushing at the boundaries of what today’s computers can do, to some extent in the “inference task,” where neural nets make predictions, but much more so for training a neural net, the more compute-intensive function