Twenty-Twenty-Done or Twenty-Twenty-Fun?

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Australian bush-fires, Suleimani assassination, plane shot down, Black Mamba, COVID-19's first wave, market crash, lock-downs, mass unemployment, negative oil, “I can’t breath”, work from home, tech dominance, Beirut explosion, RBG, California fires, elections, vaccinations… How far we are from the naive and self-centered opening lines of my 2018 predictions : “Salt Bae made us swoon, La La… uhm “Moonlight” won Best Picture, Harry put a ring on it, we couldn’t get “Despacito” out of our heads, and I couldn’t (and still can’t) afford Bitcoins and the iPhone X”.

Yes, this year has been the worse. But we’ve made it. And though many (though not all) of my predictions for 2020, 2019 and 2018 have fallen flat, there are two reasons why you should read the following 21 saucy guesses. Firstly… it’s fun! Secondly, because the knowledge gained through planning for potential realities is crucial to the selection of appropriate actions as future events unfold. Above all, articles such as this one act as catalysts to steer the conversation in the right direction. We don’t know the answers, but we can at least ask useful questions. …


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Photo by BBH Singapore on Unsplash

Ever since the pandemic began, and workforces went home to begin a long period of remote work (which has yet to fully end), we’ve been inundated with think-pieces discussing the “New Ways of Working”. Supposedly, the Old World is never coming back, and we all have to adapt to the reality forced upon use by COVID or be left behind. I tend to agree.

Much like most other “thought-leaders” out there, I however don’t have much of a clue about specifics; what’s a “New Way of Working”, exactly? What skills do we need to thrive in this new environment? What comes next? I thus put on my fanciest journalistic hat and asked these questions, and many more, to three people who ought to be particularly in the know with regards to these matters. Laura Baldwin is President of O’Reilly Media, a training platform with over 5,000 corporate clients and 2.5 million users, Kyle Jackson is CEO of Talespin, an XR training company working with some of the largest employers in the world, and Lakshimi Duraivenkatesh is VP of Buyer Experience Engineering at eBay, managing a large team of engineers. …


What Is The Best Way To Improve Competition In Modern Capitalism?

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Photo by Julian Hochgesang on Unsplash

The future of technology has never been brighter. At the same time, the future of entrepreneurship has never seemed bleaker. There is one culprit, and one culprit only : tech monopolies.

A comedian once quipped that “if poor people knew how rich rich people are, there would be riots in the streets”. This is yet to happen, but the populist movements across the world are a good indication of the ongoing rejection of the liberal order that has prevailed since the end of the second world war. Because of the political forces in place, blame has been put squarely on globalists, and, at times, automation. …


Religious doctrine may yet be of some use in the New Tech World

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Photo by Bhumil Chheda on Unsplash

Talking about machine learning and deep learning is one thing. Seeing their connections to the divine is something else entirely. As artificial intelligence startups and use cases flourish, it’s important to take a step back and see the whole picture.

The Artificial Intelligence vocabulary has always been a phantasmagorical entanglement of messianic dreams and apocalyptic visions, repurposing words such as “transcendence”, “mission”, “evangelists” and “prophets”. Elon Musk himself went as far as to say in 2014 that “with artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon”, later speaking of an A.I which would “rise in status to become more like a god, something that can write its own bible and draw humans to worship it”. These hyperboles may be no more than men and women at a loss for words, seeking refuge in a familiar metaphysical lexicon, as Einstein and Hawking once did. After all, America has always benefited from nondenominational religious themes as part of its national identity, which may have seeped through to its everyday language. And though many in the tech world have indeed been quick to dismiss such talks, religious discussion may yet have its place in the A.I …


Why use robotics when the customer is the cheapest robot out there?

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Photo by Korie Cull on Unsplash

Retail technology is fast evolving. Artificial intelligence, in particular, has a lot of interesting use cases, that could be widely applied throughout the entire industry. The future of retail is here, and it sees you.

Anyone with a wet finger in the air will by now have heard of the “retail apocalypse” sweeping through the developed world’s malls. “People aren’t spending in stores anymore”, your quarter-informed uncle complains, before moaning that youths are too busy Instagramming their avocado brunches to burn crosses on people’s lawns. Indeed, the old retailing models aren’t working as well as they used to.


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Photo by Hannah Reding on Unsplash

This week, all eyes are yet again simultaneously focused on the U.S. while also being rolled back at its ineptitude to lead the free world. As such, this is clearly a good time to talk about Europe. Many matters are currently being discussed, all worthy of our time: refugee crises, Eastern authoritarianism, Brexit’s impacts, the Euro’s stability, demographics, Greece, Islam’s place in society, the Eurovision, England’s inevitable sports blunders

I am vastly under-qualified to discuss any of these (not that it’s ever stopped me in the past or will in the future). …


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Photo by Morgan Housel

Before reading this article, I VERY strongly recommend first going through the principles of business model innovation. Indeed, the business model canvas is the CONCLUSION of a long and fruitful process, which will ultimately inform a company’s entire strategy. As with many things in life, the journey matters more than the destination; the same can be said of disruptive business models.

With that said, the business model canvas is an incredibly powerful tool, as it brings together many elements to give a snapshot of the company’s business model at a specific moment in time (more on the recurrence of the process a bit later). …


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Photo by Li Yang on Unsplash

As the world’s most populous nation and second-largest economy, not a day goes by in China without its fair share of ground-breaking technology innovation. Yet, obsessed as we are with our own navels, we in the West rarely take the time to analyze and process what little information we may gather in between Trump-bashing sessions (Or Biden if you’re reading this after January 2021). Fear not, The Pourquoi Pas is here to help: below is all you need to avoid the usual stereotypical platitudes at your next international dinner party.

1. Dominance of Tech Entrepreneurship

A few years ago, “Chinese innovation” mainly meant copycats and counterfeits. No more (ish). As of December 2020, China holds five spots out of ten on the world’s most valuable unicorns’ list (ByteDance, Didi Chuxing, Kuaishou, Yuanfudao, and DJI Innovations: shout-out if you can tell me what they do without using Google) and accounts for 33% of the list’s combined valuation, as opposed to 1 spot and 28% just 5 years prior. China is now home to 122 unicorns out of 515 worldwide, many of which operate in fertile fields such as medical tech, A.I., …


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Image by The Pourquoi Pas. Click here for more fun graphs.

The future of technology is, by its very nature, hard to predict. This, however, shouldn’t stop us from trying because… well, it’s fun! I also seem to be fairly good at it, as my 2020, 2019 and 2018 predictions show.

If Tech isn’t your thing, I’ve also made yearly predictions about much broader topics, like sports, education and politics.

Let’s get prescient.

1. Apple acquires Peloton

Peloton made a killing in 2020 by selling their indoors bikes to people stuck at home. …


The entrepreneur’s favourite tool is far from perfect

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Click here for more fun graphs

The Business Model Canvas (as shown above and improved based on this article’s recommendations) is famously the “ultimate” tool for business transformation, having been taught in business schools from the US to India for the past 15 years.

The “classical” canvas one finds on Google or Wikipedia is however not without its faults, which have to be taken into account when using this tool to innovate or create a business model. Without being aware of what the framework is missing, an inexperienced entrepreneur could make a major tactical mistake, or miss out on specific advantages within their industry or environment. …

About

Adrien Book

Strategy Consultant | Tech journalist at ThePourquoiPas.com | AI writer of the Year

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