Blockchain and distributed ledgers as innovative platforms

Ecosystems 4 innovators

It had to come to this eventually.  The emergence of Blockchain and distributed ledger systems illustrates how innovation is moving from focus on products and services, which are interesting but don’t provide a long-lasting competitive advantage, to a focus on platforms and ecosystems.

Over the last few weeks this need for a lasting competitive shift in focus was emphasized as Ford pushed out its CEO because he wasn’t changing the company fast enough. As discussed in this blog previously, the automotive sector must rethink its competitive position.  Increasingly, people want flexible transportation – from cabs, Uber, public transportation and/or their cars.

The automotive manufacturers (Ford, GM, Fiat, Mercedes, etc) must shift their focus from building physical cars to providing transportation – a shift in thinking and strategy.

In a very similar manner we can see that banking and financial services are moving from offering discrete services (mortgages, loans, checking/savings…

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IBM Launches “IBM Machine Learning”


It’s only March, but already IBM leads the software industry in gasbaggery.

Gartner’s most recent Magic Quadrant for Data Science Platforms includes this little gem:

Customers are often confused by mismatches between (IBM’s) marketing messages and actual, purchasable products.

That’s a polite way to say that IBM marketing messages have enough hot air to float a fleet of balloons over the Bernese Alps. With payloads.

Case in point: IBM’s recent product launch for IBM Machine Learning, a four-hour event held on February 15.

IBM exec Rob Thomas led with a vision:

Think about the possibilities with continuous intelligence. Cars will not simply drive themselves; they will know where you want to go next. Grocery stores will not just cross-promote products; they will fill your cart before you enter the store. Doctors will not just write prescriptions; they will create holistic health plans based on data constantly updated from activity trackers, eating…

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Machine Learning and the Startup World

David Cummings on Startups

Over the last few years the number of startups pitching machine learning as part of their special sauce has increased dramatically. Just a few days ago Tomasz Tunguz asked the question Is Machine Learning Overhyped? and argued it wasn’t.

From Wikipedia:

Machine learning is the subfield of computer science that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed

So, if a computer is the figure out something without being told exactly what to do, there must be data with patterns that provides the basis for the learning. Here’s a Udacity video titled A Friendly Introduction to Machine Learning.

How does machine learning work?

Take a given set of data that’s known or correct (e.g. these are 10,000 pictures of cars) and have the software classify what it finds (e.g. size, shape, color, etc.) in this “seed” or “learning”, or “training” data (also called “supervised learning”). Now, give…

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