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I have been reading and sharing lots of news and insights into China and the country’s way of digital transformation recently. First, it’s simply exciting to see what’s happening in China when it comes to digital innovation. There’s a never ending stream of new products, services and, that’s most remarkable — since it is nowadays unique and bred locally — new digital use cases, life styles and ways of integrating technology into every day life.

But secondly, I do have my strong concerns when it comes to top notch digital innovation driven by a country that is an autocracy without a humanistic agenda. …


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When it comes to introducing and implementing agile work methodologies, especially in the enterprise context, I often come across a phenomena that could be called ‘the agile cloud of mixing up tools with mindset’. Don’t get me wrong, I love it when people who are new to agile methodologies, get excited and start ‘living’ and ‘working’ embracing agile change. It is en vogue to say ‘we’re agile’ or ‘I’m agile in my workplace’.

Often it looks something like this:

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I believe it is crucial for everyone, also and especially for leaders in a transitioning organization, to be aware of how how all of this relates to each other and that there is a coherent and cascading methodology of how it all builds on top of each other. Most of the things you hear from people new to the world of agile can usually be grouped into categories of frameworks & tools. …


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I don’t know how you feel about this, but “agility” surely has become one of the management buzzwords of the recent years. That is not so surprising indeed. In particular, technologically driven change puts a lot of pressure on companies to become faster if they want to hold their ground in a rapidly changing environment.

Therefore, the trend has arrived also in the big companies and corporate organizations some years ago. And, not really surprising, many of them are rather unsuccessful in trying to implement those agile structures. When you take a deeper look into how transformation projects usually work in such companies, there are a number of patterns that you will find all over the place. Lots of trials and pilot projects are being launched. …


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I guess by now we’re are all through with reading each and every article and opinion, every point of view and interpretation about the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Yes, there is an overwhelming sentiment that — in my opinion — goes into the right direction. What has happened is wrong, is to a large degree founded in an ill-directed system of data exploitation and must be stopped. On the web, you find this opinion in softer and stronger flavors, but there does not seem to be doubt that we need some decisive readjustment. …


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One of the topics that is inevitably tied to the big digital transformation themes like AI, machine learning, robotics and digital transformation in general is the universal basic income (let’s call it UBI from here). Like it or not, it’s worthwhile considering which tools, mechanisms and concepts need to be adapted or created when this massive transformation will roll over us. I believe it would be naive not to assume that our political economy, and governance will desperately need new design patterns as we enter this new phase of the digital revolution.

There’s different ways to position or regard the concept of UBI. …


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Over the last months and especially culminating in the last days, it was hard to avoid the bitcoin topic. Climbing to insane heights, bitcoin has passed even the keenest expectations regarding “value” that many of us had. The price has crossed the $15k mark for the first time this week.

Although I do see a bright future for cryptocurrencies, for me the key value lies in the potential it has in enabling us to create a fundamentally new financial system. …


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I would like to share some of my thoughts on key developments that I believe will determine our lives in the upcoming two decades. Almost all of this is fueled by ever more accelerating technological progress and there are a lot of opportunities in it. As well as significant challenges.

Looking back at the perceived principle of the industrial age, where growth occurred or seemed to occur in a linear function, today we know about Moore’s Law.


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Last week I stepped on a piece of news with yet another story about the voice-driven assistance services which have gained so much traction recently: “Mozilla is crowdsourcing voice recognition to make AI work for the people“. I have been an enthusiastic Alexa user myself right from the start. I believe voice-based assistance services, voice-based human-computer interaction, in general, have a bright future. At least bright in terms of a sharp surge in usage and a myriad of use cases that bring benefits to most consumers and businesses.

The depth of reach into our everyday life will be breathtaking

When thinking about a future with omnipresent voice assistants it is paramount to consider the question of ownership. Who will rule the digital assistants which will organize our everyday lives? Today, voice-based services like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Siri from Apple or Microsoft’s Cortana are in their infancy and you find insufficiencies wherever you really try to do everything you can imagine. If you want to try that for yourself, ask Alexa to play some of the early Bon Jovi songs written by Desmond Child. It doesn’t lead to anything meaningful. …


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Over the course of the last weeks and months you couldn’t escape news and stories about messaging platforms going after B2C use cases à la “order me some food”, “book me a hotel room” or “I need a ride downtown in 30 minutes”.

Pioneered and taken to huge success in Asia by platforms like Weixin/WeChat, LINE and Kakao, especially Facebook with its two behemoth platforms Messenger and WhatsApp is taking decisive actions to bring businesses and consumers together on their platforms. Kik is even faster, having just launched such a botstore for brands. In their launch line-up are 18 well-known brands such as Sephora, H&M or The Weather Channel. …


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35,000 visitors from all over the world are yet another milestone in the ongoing rise of SXSW as one of the key events of the tech industry. A must-visit conference that this time even the president attended. In his speech at Austin’s The Long Center for the Performing Arts he made an impassioned and partisan plea to technology professionals and tech-minded citizens to apply their ideas and talents toward solving some of the country’s biggest challenges and philosophical divides.

But there was much more to SXSW 2016. 1,200 forums and panel speaking events covered all the hottest topics of technology and digital business. Here’s a couple of the topics, products and companies I think are the key take away topics that will make on ongoing impact. …

About

André Cramer

Tech&Innovation Strategist — Consultant @detecon, formerly strategic partner mgmt @yahoo, productmgmt @tmobile, biz dev/partnering/strategy @deutschetelekom

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