Archive | October 3, 2012

CO2 as a Differentiator

In his article, “How Information Changes Consumer Behavior and How Consumer Behavior Determines Corporate Strategy”, E. Clemons shows in a qualitative way how the information available on the Internet changes consumers’ behaviours in terms of meeting their exact needs and prices-expectations. In this respect he especially refers to sweet spots, niche-markets with low competition which stand in opposition to fat spots, markets with high competition and undifferentiated offers. Consequently he builds a theory of uncertainty reduction due to consumer informedness.

The effects evoked by consumer informedness not only allow for more sweet spots in the market with high margins and little competition. But, these effects also create a necessity for significant product-differentiation in order for a company to become a part of such sweet spots. If a product is not sufficiently differentiated form the mass market, it will only partially obtain the sweet-spot-momentum that E. Celmons describes in his article, and as a consequence, margins will not be as high as in a splendid sweet spot. It is of course not possible for all businesses to differentiate products so extremely so that they can find a nearly isolated sweet spot. So obviously there must be other ways for firms to differentiate its products on the Internet. Instead of differentiating into extremely rare or long-tail product-offerings, a firm can easily differentiate itself by supplying additional services or information to the consumers. Recently, especially two software tools have enabled firms to exploit a particular type of differentiator, the carbon-footprint.

Arvato Systems and SAP have started to offer tools that are capable of tracking a firm’s entire carbon footprint. Whereas SAP addresses large corporations and emissions-trading with its “carbon impact” software tool, Arvato Systems focuses more on the logistical side of the business with its “CO2 carbon footprint” software. Both of these tools allow for deep insights into what, where and how certain emissions are created in the supply-chain. And, when applied correctly, they could grant businesses an interesting source of differentiation.

When a company is able to communicate exactly how much CO2-emissons a product will create until it reaches the consumer, a firm can considerably differentiate itself from the competition. The ever increasing environmental awareness will create a sweet spot for consumers who want to be informed about how much the products pollute that they crave for. As other companies might pick up this tool in order to follow the differentiation, firms will be able to compete on CO2 emissions and hence can create “sustainable” competitive advantages over their competitors.

This is just one example of how future sweet spots in electronic markets can be obtained based on information-differentiation. While the integration of carbon footprints as a differentiator can turn out to be plain wishful thinking, I hope that this trend will eventually manifest itself and contribute to a better world.

Today I saw an article about an (for me) new amazing technology:

“One of the more impressive tech demos we saw today belonged to a prototype tablet from Fujitsu that can be controlled with nothing more than the user’s eyesight. I Beam uses an infrared LED and camera setup to triangulate the user’s viewing angle, determining where the cursor ought to be placed onscreen. After a quick 30-second calibration, we found the controls to be surprisingly accurate, although keeping our eyes trained on a particular location was a little more difficult than we had expected.”

Full article:

a video to show how this technology works:

When this technology is fully develloped, will it be a succes? Would you guys use it?

Where is 4G?

Neelie Kroes, Digital Agenda commissioner from the European Union urges countries to make the radio spectrum available for 4G wireless network connections. Not only because 4G is faster, but also to keep innovative techniques to be developed in the European Union. I personally totally agree with Ms. Kroes: if the European Union does not catch up with the other innovative countries, why would developers bother to come to Europe to develop devices which work in combination with the European networks? The Dutch started slowly to roll out 4G, on a network frequency which is not supported by the new flagship phone from Apple: the iPhone 5.

Below is a list of countries and providers which support the new network technique in combination with the IPhone 5. What is striking about this list is, that mainly North American and Asian countries are able to serve the newest generation smartphones.  Only Germanys Deutsche Telekom is currently offering a 4G network in Europe. To know more about the full reasoning why Ms. Kroes urges the EU countries to start quickly rolling out 4G, read her full statement here.

Raymond Alders

Keys are becoming a thing of the past

Take a look at this new, somewhat disruptive technology emerging. It’s called lockitron; basically it is a lock you can install on your door, and you control the lock from an app on your smartphone, either by letting it lock your door or unlocking your door. The video explains it all in a very clear way.

If you take a look on their website, they have already raised over $700,000 as I typing this blog post. While this is a very good idea and very convenient for houses that do support this kind of locking system, there are some concerns about it which the makers have not completely addressed in your video: Basically, the lock to your house is now on a specific kind of data storage that is prone to theft. This could either be your own phone’s internal storage, the internet, cloud storage etc. People that are somewhat skeptical about incorporating this type of technology into private and sensitive matters would probably not be willing to adopt this technology. Although, in the Netherlands for example, people have already accepted doing internet banking from their phone. It can therefore only be a matter of time until people let go of these type of concerns to adopt a life-enhancing technology such as lockitron.

Power of social media

This is a clear example of the power of social media. I’m curious if you also have examples of the power and strenght of the social media. In good and in bad ways of course.


Alexis Ohanian: How to make a splash in social media


The self-driving car: blessing or curse?



Beware: the self-driving cars are coming to earth! Does this sound freighting? Actually not, it is totally the opposite. It looks like the self-driving care are the future for the automobiles and a blessing for humanity: this moment worldwide 1.2 million people get killed in traffic every year. Safer cars are welcome. Google and other competitors are testing those vehicles now for a couple of years. Since a short period the state California legalized the use of the cars. Although the self-driving cars are performing better and better, it is likely that one day an accident will happen. The question will be: who’s responsible? The carmaker, the software writer, the owner of the vehicle or the person who was sitting in the car? The state of California solved this matter by stating that the person who’s the operator of the car, will be responsible, even if that person is not sitting in the car.  I personally disagree that the operator should be held responsible. What did he or she do wrong? Should the person better have read the reviews of the car before he or she bought it? Or are you responsible when you did not download the latest firmware within a day? The new technology development demands new laws, without proper laws the self-driving car cannot become the succes as it would be with proper laws

For more information about this subject, click here

Raymond Alders


Netflix in plain English

For the Netflix case presentation we created a video to explain the Netflix case:

Using this kind of movies is getting more populair on the internet. Products and services sold on the internet are often technical and hard to explain to the end customer. Creating short video’s where the service is explained has been proven to be successful. In the video’s the services are explained in plain english and technical terms are avoided. To support the tekst simple, often hand drawn, graphics are used.

This is what we decided to do, to explain the Netflix case during the workshop. We summarized the case and converted the tekst into a script, describing how to visualize the events mentioned in the text. After all the drawings where created we started to record the scenes according to the script, adding the right drawings at the right moment. After all the footage was shot, we recorded the voice over and the edit could begin. During the edit we combined all the scenes to match the duration of the recordings. To make the movie more appealing we added some simple, but effective music to be background, followed by some color correction for the last details.

Other examples of this kind of video’s are:


Google Chrome

US elections

Job Cohen investigating Facebook event

Job Cohen is a former politician from the PVDA in the Netherlands. To summarize his work in the parlement for the international students: he wasn’t very successfull. Now, he has been appointed to investigate the famous Haren Project X Party, which has been mentioned by the Chairman of Facebook Holland as well. In the added video you can see Job Cohen answering his first questions about his investigation. For the internationals, the translation is somewhat like this:
Hello mister Cohen, do you have a Facebook account?
Cohen: Yes.
Do you use your facebook account?

Cohen: No.

Do you think your the right person for investigating this Facebook party?
Cohen: I know a lot about public safety so I think so…

My conclusion: It’s gonna take a long long long time before the Project X parties can be controlled or even excluded in The Neterlands…

Roll Laptop amazing!!!!!

OMG, I used to study Information Technology at the Hogeschool Rotterdam. It was mostly software engineering (programming). The first 2 years we did everything on the PC’s of school, but when I had my minor I had to take my laptop every day to school!! I really really hated it because; it was heavy en big etc. so the roll laptop is a perfect solution to that! I love it already!! I would definitely buy it!

Would you buy it?