A Blog by Jonathan Low


May 29, 2015

Dating Data: Analyzing the Conversational Cues to a Good First Date

Because we're not analyzing our personal lives enough as it is? JL

Rosie Cima reports in Price Economics:

A heterosexual couple on a good first date pay attention to each other, show each other they're listening, are kind and agreeable, and -- interestingly -- focus the conversation on the woman.

When an Off-the-Rack Rolls Royce Just Won't Do

Reports that Rolls Royce is considering a FIFA signature edition have not been confirmed. JL

Aaron Kessler reports in the New York Times:

“They don’t look at us as transportation, they look at us as an extension of their lifestyle.”

Big Food's Big Problem: Consumers Don't Trust Brands

Packaged goods providers - and food brands, in particular - are losing consumer support. This is due in part to technologically-driven diminution of corporate authority.

But it is also because brands, and the companies that fund them, have tried to stick with legacy formulas and processes that require less investment, less risk of new product failure - and thus higher margins. The problem is that technology has also given consumers a lot more information with which to make decisions. And corporate neglect of the maxim that a brand is a promise to the consumer has caused those consumers to look elsewhere. 

Consumers once rationally assumed it was in brands' best economic and financial interest to serve them well. Since that can no longer be taken for granted, consumers have decided they have little to lose by trusting themselves. JL

EJ Schultz reports in Advertising Age:

Consumers are increasingly migrating to smaller, upstart brands that are often perceived as healthier and more authentic.Quite simply, big brands are losing one of their most valuable assets: consumer trust.

The Ruthless Strategy Behind Amazon's Offer of Free Same-Day Delivery

Maybe, with this announcement, impatient investors will begin to understand the strategic advantages of amassing a huge war chest rather than paying out bigger dividends.

Amazon is using its scale and cash reserves to crush competitors with ever more operationally challenging and expensive customer service offering. These services differentiate Amazon and make it that much more difficult for those within its ecosystem to consider alternatives - as well as making it harder for competitors to, well, compete. Financial benefits flow from operational domination. JL

James Vincent reports in CNN/Money:

Available for more than one million items in 14 metropolitan areas. Amazon Prime is estimated to have 30 million to 40 million customers in the US, with an additional 40 million to 50 million worldwide.

Every App Is Now Called 'the Uber for..."

What happens when the greatest on-demand service is instant gratification itself? JL

Katie Benner comments in Bloomberg:

Fear of missing out is driving the on-demand investment boom, raising the possibility that the boom is well underway and the bust is not far off.

The Revolution Will Be Centrifugal

What happens when money is information and power is communication? We're in the midst of finding out.

The distribution of technological capability has provided smaller and less concentrated entities with the ability to influence their own destinies and those of far larger enterprises. Money and power, the two traditional goals of human endeavor, are no less important, but far harder to define.

We talk about data and disruption as if the outcomes they engender will only affect others; as if we think they can be managed. By us, of course (whoever 'us' may be). But we are in the process of discovering that surprises are as unevenly distributed as assets. JL

Greg Satell comments in Digital Tonto:

Digital technology is creating a titanic shift toward distributed models.  Rather than assets managed by centralized institutions, we have ecosystems managed by platforms. Once money is pure information, it becomes programmable, which means it can become a product unto itself.

May 28, 2015

Netflix Now Accounts for 36.5% of North American Bandwidth Consumed During Prime Time

Mental health and population surveys should soon be pretty interesting. JL

Brian Fung reports in the Washington Post:

Both the season five premiere of "Game of Thrones" and the most recent "Call of Duty" downloadable content led to massive spikes in data consumption.