Brexit …


I don’t think there’s a lot to add when it comes to the news this morning that Great Britain voted (by a 4% margin) to exit the EU.  Markets are being hit (although not as hard as might be expected), banks are roiling, xenophobia in the US has picked up a new pace, and David Cameron has resigned.  There are some balanced views on this out there, some of which include UK’s ‘Brexit’ results rattle the world, Britain Votes to Leave E.U.; Cameron Plans to Step Down, World wakes up to ‘Brexit’: 5 things to know,  The Brexit contagion: How France, Italy and the Netherlands now want their referendum too , Sterling Crash Just the Start of Brexit Market Fallout, Why Britain Left, and you can watch the live Sky News feed through the day to learn more.  I will note that US markets seem to be doing relatively well all things considered, rebounding quite a bit after a drop at the opening bell.

Living in small town America now and many cities in the past, I, like you, have observed the steady and sure decline of the shopping mall.  There are numerous drivers for that, from online shopping to population migration to consumer tastes.  Bandier is trying to change that with an approach that focuses on selling their product last and creating an experience first.

If you’ve not heard about the latest IPO this week, it boons well for the Startup world in Silicon Valley.  After a lackluster IPO for SecureWorks, the cybersecurity arm of Dell, Twilio’s IPO was a breath of fresh air with a 96% rise in value at the IPO.

Maybe you were scratching your head with some of the Facebook acquisitions over the past few years, from Snapchat to WhatsApp.  If you took the time to walk through Mary Meeker’s talk/slides that I shared a few weeks ago, you might have noticed a big disconnect in the growth in mobile computing and the spend on mobile advertising.  As we rely more on mobile, that gap will close and Facebook has positioned itself well to reap the rewards from it with its focus on Mobile.

I know there’s been a whole lot of press on chatbots, VR, AR, and machine learning this year, and I don’t want to keep adding to that pile, but I think the Wall Street Journal did a good job this week of exploring what current thinkers in the AI space think is next for machine learning.

If you’ve not read Eli Goldratt’s The Goal, you may be unfamiliar with his Theory of Constraints and how it applies to change management.  This week, strategy+business revisits our need to find the “Herbie” in our processes and focus on that – the part of the process that created the logjam similarly to how Herbie, a member of Goldratt’s scout troop, impacted the entire troop because of his pace.  It wasn’t until he led the group that the most efficient pace could be found.  From a change management standpoint, that means that companies can only operationalize real improvement at a certain pace.   strategy+business outlines five steps to accomplish this: identify the current constraints on your progress, set a pace that supports your “constraint resource,” sequence priorities over time, elevate the pace, and pay attention as your constraints shift.

Paired with that is an article this week from Harvard Business Review on how to navigate a digital transformation.  To not get left behind in the evolving consumer landscape, companies need to pivot to a digital strategy.  With that, they need to reallocate their asset portfolio to support new, digitally enabled business models. Speaking of pivot, HBR recommends a process they call PIVOT for those looking to make this transformation: pinpoint your starting place, make a complete inventory of all your organization’s assets, visualize a new future as a digital network where your firm partners and co-creates with one of your external networks, begin to operate a pilot of your network business by shifting small amounts of capital (including time, talent, and money) to the new initiative, and begin to track the progress of your network initiative.

I’ve had a number of friends tell me that I should watch Mr. Robot.  Well, given that I gave up cable more than eight years ago and don’t think much of Hulu, I was out of luck until Amazon started streaming season one through Prime.  Amazon’s GUI may be awful, but this content was worth getting into.  I’m only a few episodes in, but so far the hacks being used in the series are scarily accurate, and they are for a reason.  Part of that is because of Michael Bazzell, the technical advisor of the show.  After growing up building his own computers and having a deep interest in hacking.  He worked for a Midwestern police department and then the FBI before heading to Hollywood.  Now Tech Insider is claiming that Mr. Robot is the only show that has gotten hacking right, and you can get a quick overview of the top hacks used in Season One of the show from engadget, the backstory on Bazzell from Vulture, and some of the flaws with the show from Wired.

I start there this week as I continue to highlight some of the issues facing us today as hacking proliferates revealing more and more sensitive data.  A few weeks ago I spoke of Palantir, a data analysis company that has a reputation that drives legend in Silicon Valley.  Well, last year Palantir hired a set of hackers to try and take control of their network and information, which they were easily able to do.  The results of the hacking exercise — known as a “red team” test — show how a company widely thought to have superlative ability to safeguard data has struggled with its own data security.  Then there’s this in depth look by MIT Technology Review on an $80 million hack and the dangers of programmable money, another on the U.S. Cyber Command Chief on what threats to fear the most, and then interviews with Tessa88 and Guccifer 2.0, the former who was responsible for hacks that led to major password captures from MySpace and LinkedIn (note: change your passwords if haven’t already) and the latter for the dump of information from the DNC.  I need to do a deeper dive into this topic versus just throwing articles out there at you as I did with Artificial Intelligence, and I plan to in the next few weeks.  Stay tuned …

The logical place to leave off this week is this talk by Rodrigo Bijou on how governments don’t understand cyberwars – we need hackers.

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