What Apple Really Accomplished with the iPhone

Last week was the iPhone's 10th anniversary and there were dozens, maybe hundreds, of articles written articulating how the iPhone changed everything. Most narratives build off the now famous line in Steve Job's iPhone keynote: ...today, we're introducing three revolutionary products of this class. The first one is a widescreen iPod with touch controls. The second…

I Hope You Will Be Treated Unfairly...

Last month Chief Justice gave the commencement speech at Cardigan Mountain School, an independent junior boarding school in New Hampshire for boys in grades 6th through 9th. The entire 12 minute speech was posted to YouTube and I've included the video below. The entire talk is worth a quick listen. As someone who writes physical letters each…

A Purposeful Life in a Land of Robots

Bill Gates writes on Yuval Noah Hattari's most recent book Homo Deus: I am more interested in what you might call the purpose problem. Assume we maintain control [of robots and artificial intelligence]. What if we solved big problems like hunger and disease, and the world kept getting more peaceful: What purpose would humans have…

Voice-first Commerce

The idea of voice-first commerce is nothing new but it's about to evolve in meaningful ways.  We've long engaged in voice-first commercial transactions. Drive-through restaurants were build around voice-first  commerce. While there is some debate on who was first, In-N-Out Burger's first restaurant, which opened in Baldwin Park, California in 1948, helped define the modern drive-through…

A Few Thoughts on the Labor Market

With the April jobs report out last Friday there are a number of characteristics of the current labor market worth noting. Most of the headlines last week focused on strong than expected employment gains and a decline in the unemployment rate that takes it down to 4.4 percent - the lowest since May 2007. The unemployment rate…

What we Learn from Echo Look

Amazon introduced the Amazon Echo Look today. There's been a lot of coverage so I'll stay away from a review of the specs and discuss what I see in the bigger picture: Expect 'Sensor'ization. As I wrote about in Digital Destiny, we are moving into the next era of tech transformation. This transformation extends digitization beyond…

The End of Random

Digitization is eradicating randomness. It's a bold conjecture. But one manifesting itself in myriad ways. If you've been following the news over the past couple of weeks, you've surely read more than a few articles about United flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville. When videos of Dr. David Dao being dragged off United Airlines flight…

Why is the Retail Apocalypse Playing Out Now? A Few Thoughts on Structural Changes

Through the first 90 days of 2017, nine retailers have filed for bankruptcy - as many as in all of 2016. Year-to-date Chapter 11 filings: BCBG Max Azria Eastern Outfitters Gordmans Stores Gander Mountain General Wireless Operations (formerly RadioShack) HHGregg Limited Stores Michigan Sporting Goods Distributors Wet Seal Additionally, J.C. Penney, RadioShack, Macy’s, and Sears…

Should the Internet Aspire to be More?

I stumbled upon "What the Internet cannot do" today. It was published in The Economist on August 17th, 2000 and reminded me how we used to feel about the internet.  It was the Internet back then, not the internet. It was still a proper noun so we capitalized it. It was a place we went.…