As many of us gather with family on Dies Natalis Solis Invicti and the year draws to a close, now seems as good a time as any to touch on just a few of the highlights and trends of the past year. There will be plenty that I don’t cover here, but feel free to add in your thoughts:

Unicorns heading for the cull

There’s no end of people elaborating on the end of the ride for Unicorns (or for some, the bursting of a bubble entirely), but one thing seems clear; Unicorns are having challenges going to IPO with their enormous valuations, which when coupled with the end of near-zero interest rates means that valuations will fall and VC funding is likely to diminish. The resulting shortened runways will lead to reductions of workforce, increased pressure on sustainability and potentially many hasty acquisitions. Funding will be more sparse for new or smaller companies. …

On the surface it seems pretty straightforward. Microsoft is a software company with asiprations to make world class devices. Nokia is a hardware company that doesn’t control its own OS. Together, they make a winning combination that will stride triumphant into the connected devices market and grab 15% by 2018. Oh, and Microsoft gets a replacement CEO while they’re at it.

The trouble with this, however, is that while it sounds good on paper, everything rests on the execution — something both companies have struggled with over the last decade. To successfully pull this off requires a tide change in vision and strategy for both companies, simultaneously. …


Kevin Rochowski

Product. Platform. Machine Learning.

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