Archive | October 7, 2014

Today Facebook launched its Audience Network

In May, Facebook already announced that they would come up with their own advertising network. Today, Facebook launched its new mobile advertising network called Facebook Audience Network. The application enables app developers to make money without having to sell their own advertisement, do their own targeting, handle measurement or route payments. Audience Network enables developers to integrate a tiny bit of code to run Audience Network in banned ads, or they can work directly with Facebook to create native ad units that feel like a natural part of their use experience.

With this service, Facebook started to compete directly with Apple, Google and Yahoo, who also have their own mobile advertising platform, as well as other smaller ad networks that sell the ad inventory in publisher’s apps on their behalf. Facebook hopes app publishers and advertisers will see Audience Network as superior to other networks as it already has a list of 1.5 million active advertisers on its books and has a wealth of data about a user’s likes, dislikes, location and so on from their social networking habits.

How does it work?
Advertisers have to select an extra option if they want to show their advertisement also in other apps. Facebook is promising their advertisers the same targeting method as on Facebook, but it is still not clear if Facebook also uses the information gathered from Facebook-accounts for its new service. Thanks to the unique identifiers of Android and iOS phones, the company is capable of doing this, although it is easy to block this function on an iOs device. Advertisers will be able to serve app install ads, traditional mobile banners, and interstitial creative formats in Facebook’s new network. They will also be able to target Facebook users via Custom Audiences, Core Audiences, and Look-Alike Audiences.

I think this new service further bridges the gaps between channels, and moves Facebook beyond ‘social’ as a mobile advertising leader. It is a big move for Facebook because they are moving outside of its walls and they will be able to make more money and at the same time show fewer ads in the newsfeed on their own website. What do you think of Facebook Audience Network?


Constine, J. (2014). Facebook Audience Network Mobile Ad Network Launches At f8 | TechCrunch. [online] TechCrunch. Available at: [Accessed 7 Oct. 2014].

Morris, D. (2014). Understanding the Facebook Audience Network. [online] ClickZ. Available at: [Accessed 7 Oct. 2014].

O’Reilly, L. (2014). Facebook Is Now In Direct Competition With Google As It Opens Its Mobile Ad Network To Everyone. [online] Business Insider. Available at: [Accessed 7 Oct. 2014].



“All companies become data companies.”

At this year’s RSM leadership summit a huge emphasis was placed on big data and its influence on companies from different markets. The first speakers were Ulla Kruhse-Lethonen and Riikka Turunen from Sanoma. They stated that data has become a differentiating factor and a core asset for consumer companies and feel as if data is the glue between customers and companies.  This presentation made me think about the necessity of data integration for the firm’s ability to compete these days.

Many researchers argue that it is crucial nowadays to integrate IT in your strategy in order for you to reach your customers. Currently, most companies have at least one social network on which they try, not always successfully, connect with its customers. Not only is information strategy and business strategy alignment important to reach your customer, it can be a very valuable source for customer data collection. The figure below shows that 50.4% of the companies worldwide are already using mobile apps for collecting customer data. However, the most striking result is that this number is expected to increase to 93.2% within 6 years.

Featured image

This research thus shows that almost all companies will integrate IT in their business model at one point in time.

Still I think it hard to believe that all companies will integrate IT at some point. What about smaller retailers or restaurants. Is it feasible for them to integrate expensive information strategies into their business or will they survive without this effort? According to Phil Simon using Big Data is no longer a mission impossible, even for small companies. Innovations like cloud computing, open-source software, and software as a service has changed the investment costs for companies in general. Hence enabling even small companies to profit from the huge advantages that data brings (Newman, 2014). So what do you think, will all companies eventually become data companies?


Nintendo’s Wii: Do Your Customers Really Know What They Want?

When Satoru Iwata started as a CEO for Nintendo Co. when the market share of Nintendo in the gaming industry was decreasing. Iwata realized that trying to directly compete with Sony’s PlayStation would be extremely hard. Therefore, Iwana wanted to increase the pie instead of gaining a larger piece of the same pie.

Many CEOs would look at their current customer base to see what they would be missing. However many customers do not actually know what they are missing; since their view becomes very narrowed. Therefore, Iwata looked and asked the participation of people that were not the current customers. Hence, increasing the size of the pie instead of a piece of the pie.

By talking with people that were not currently gamers, Nintento discovered what kept other people from gaming. One of these was the difficulty of the games as well as the controllers that were used to play the game. The consolers of the PlayStation or X-box gave customers that were not real gamers and uncomfortable feeling.

Hence, Iwata discovered that people wanted to play games in an easy sense of playing the game. Therefore, they created the Nintendo Wii that was a wireless consoler. This created a disruptive product; thus it was something that had otherwise not been created. Through the creation of the Wii, the contribution of Nintendo to the gaming world increased dramatically. The Wii gained a whole new demographic that started gaming.

Therefore, the question of interest is whether customers really know what they want? And whether it should be the customers that the company looks for to create new ideas. As with the Nintendo Wii, it was the way that Iwata looked at the customers he did not have, but the customers he could gain. This interesting case study made me think about the innovations of information strategy but also the way of analysing the currently market in which specific customers operate. Sometimes its not about the piece of the pie; but the size of the pie.

JP Morgan Chase and Co. Hack

Through the ages many things have been transferred to Internet based services. Nowadays we have the option to buy books, clothes and even everyday groceries online. Although many people are weary of the transportation of information to the Internet, even the banking industry has made their services available online. Currently many banks allow their clients to transfer money though mobile applications as well as just on the Internet. Even though this has often been shown to be very safe, there has been some troubling news.

This summer those worries have been supported as JP Morgan Chase & Co has been hacked, which has affected 76 million U.S. households and 7 million companies (Silver-Greenberg, Goldstein, & Perlroth, 2014). JP Morgan Chase & Co. is the largest bank in the United States with financial information on all their clients. However besides having their financial information other issues such as personal information is also in the client’s files. Therefore due to this cyber attack on JP Morgan, a big question is raised about whether it is safe to have all information online?

Even though many companies have taken very many precautions to create secure information systems, there is always some way for their information systems to be breached. Therefore the transgression from the physical to the Internet has been largely approachable for many companies, it is important to remain weary of hackers that have the ability to gather important information. Another excellent example of how information is very easily found and published would be WikiLeaks. This organization allows for hackers or other people to anonymously post journalistic but private information about governments. Some journalists have even stated that there is no such thing as privacy online because everything can be traceable. This is an interesting concept to remain weary of before transferring information from physical to online platforms.


Silver-Greenberg, J., Goldstein, M., & Perlroth, N. (2014, October 2). The New York TImes. Retrieved October 5, 2014, from JP Morgan Chase Hacking Affects 76 Million Households:

Facebook as a threat to traditional news media

Today, October 6th 2014, the Dutch newspaper “Het Financieel Dagblad” published an article about Facebook being the biggest threat for traditional news media. The top-ranking official of “De Persgroep”, the publisher of newspapers like “de Volkskrant”, “het AD” and “Trouw, Christian van Thillo mentioned that many internet users are satisfied with the news that they receive within their timeline (including videos).

Both Facebook and the traditional news media operate in a two-side market. Referring to the increased competition between these two parties, I would like to compare their strategies shortly based on the literature on strategies for two-sided markets by Eisenmann, Parker and Van Alstyne (2006). In order to illustrate this I will focus on Facebook and newspapers.

Companies acting as platform, connecting two different groups of users serve a two-sided network. Facebook links users (subsidy-side) to advertisers (money side) on their website and application (platform) and newspapers link their readers (subsidy side) to advertisers (money side)

In the previous paragraph I already mentioned the subsidy and the money side of each platform. The subsidy side is the group of users who, when attracted in volume, are highly valued by the money side (Eisenmann, Geoffrey, & Van Alstyne, 2006). The difference regarding this phenomenon is that Facebook does not charge their users at all, in contrast to some newspapers that require a subscription fee.

However, the stakes regarding platform competition are low because this networked market of users and advertisers are not destined to be served by a single platform (Facebook nor newspapers) because newspapers focus on particular news and Facebook has a way broader focus. Nevertheless, Facebook is able to win a share of the newspaper readers, mainly users that want simple news updates without special features that are offered by newspapers. In addition, Facebook bundles news of different newspapers since they often post these updates on their Facebook page. This means that Facebook and newspapers do have overlapping user bases because the newspapers are users of Facebook as well.

So are traditional news media cannibalizing their own market by posting news on their facebook? And what could be possible solutions for this problem? If you guys have any ideas please let me know!


Eisenmann, T., Geoffrey, P., & Van Alstyne, M. W. (2006). Strategies for two-sided markets. Harvard Business Review, 92-101.

How strong is your password?

The recent scandals of cracking cloud storages raise the question for everyone: is cloud storage safe enough? What can I do to be more secure? Is my password good enough?

Usually we have tons of things in our head; we register to new website daily, where we all need a new password. Often, we either use the same one everywhere, or we make new ones regarding to the website we are registering to. The more we use the internet, the more vulnerable we become. The whole internet is intangible, we can’t see that dangers of it. In the first US-UK cyber innovation summit, which was held last week in London, stated that usually the users don’t protect their sites well enough.  At the same conference, they stated that the recent celebrity cyber hacks wasn’t Apple faults, the problem rooted more from the customers lack of care to create a strong password. But, experts in security sectors say they would not keep any compromising pictures or data on their cloud services, because as previously stated, the danger is unknown. Everyday a new hacker can come up with a new way to hack into people’s personal profiles. Although they think a carefully chosen password could prevent most of the problems. This means, that there is no need to delete everything from our cloud storage, we just need to make the basic recommended steps to create a password.

Some countries take serious steps against hackers. For example, the UK governance put aside around 1 billion € in order to develop tools for password safety.

Another interesting aspect is that in this fast changing world, we tend to control everything via our mobile phones. If hackers can reach our Gmail account, and get into our phone, they can easily control whatever they want. And just imagine that the emerging market of smart houses, they could reach out to your family, electronic devices (such as stove or iron) and they can cause an even bigger problem than some leaked photos.

So what can You do? First of all, I would recommend using this page:

Also some other ground rules (Splash Data company’s recommendations):

  • use passwords which has 8 or more characters
  • don’t use passwords related to the page you are using (for example: for Facebook don’t use facebook12345, etc.)
  • don’t use too complicated passwords either, because you can easily forget it (we have trouble to remember simple ones too, why would that be different with hard ones then?)
  • the best is to use words, which are not phrases, separated with space or other characters

And for fun, here is a list of 2013 most common passwords:

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345678
  4. qwerty
  5. abc123
  6. 123456789
  7. 111111
  8. 1234567
  9. iloveyou
  10. adobe123
  11. 123123
  12. admin
  13. 1234567890
  14. letmein
  15. photoshop


Financial Times: Are we leaving our digital front doors wide open? By Izabella Kaminska, 19.09.2014,

Google, investing with evil purposes?

Google is established in 1996 and has become one of the world’s most dominant technology firms. They launched the Google search engine in 1997 and in 2014 around 67% of all internet users use Google.

In past years, Google participated in several markets and became more and more dominant in our daily life. For example YouTube which has 1 billion unique users a month. It’s connected to the advertisement system developed by Google which generates a lot of revenue. What about Android? Last year an estimate of 900 million devices run on Google’s Android. It’s hard to imagine a life without the products of Google.

These developments are rather harmless don’t you say. What’s wrong with some competition in the IT business? The fact that Google is operating in a lot markets could be far more frightening than you actually think.

In the last year, Google has been buying up advanced robotics and artificial intelligence companies. In order to survive, the company is investing in the future. The research and development of these companies go beyond the harmless Google Glass, or is it more than harmless?

Some robots are developed for military purposes. In fact, Google is making more robots for military purposes. Although there are not interested in being a military contract work, it’s frightening to imagine where this is going. Google is one of the most dominant companies in the world and stored all kinds of information of its users. We are somewhat dependent of Google. How will the future be in 30+ years with the developments of Google not just in products for consumers but also for military purposes?

I remain very skeptic, when do you need to set limitations for companies for the safety of the world or do you just need to let companies develop even though their purposes could be dangerous? Are their purposes for contributing to the well being of humans or Google working with something behind the scenes?

Virtual Reality Therapy: The Modernization of Psychiatric Sciences?

Virtual reality (VR) is defined as ‘an artificial environment which is experienced through sensory stimuli provided by a computer, and in which one’s actions partially determine what happens in the environment’ (Merriam-Webster). While its introduction stems from video games, VR presents numerous opportunities for other fields. One of the fields that VR has emerged as a potential tool for development is the world of psychiatric sciences.

Since the 20th century, virtual environments have received a lot of heat for inducing anxiety and aggression in people, eliciting physiological and emotional responses that are comparable to experiences felt in real-life situations. Whether or not this is an accurate statement, the reality is that the virtual world changes the way we feel and behave. Much like when watching shows/movies, we feel for and even get attached to the characters and situations in them. While one could argue that you can avoid these undesired emotions and feelings by avoiding virtual realities, that seems highly unlikely with modern-day “addiction” to such technologies. So where does this leave us? Well, such feeling-inducing technology can be put to better use.

People suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders, anxiety, phobias, etc. have long been treated with the use of exposure therapy, where a patient confronts their trauma through exposure to that experience. While this has proven to be effective in some cases, some argue that it is unethical (produces stress and anxiety) and impractical (e.g. someone afraid of flying cannot buy a plane ticket weekly). The response to these challenges is: Virtual Reality Therapy.

Virtual reality therapy was first introduced in the mid-1990s, when researchers put people with a fear of heights onto virtual balconies to expose them to their source of fear. Similar tests followed for people who experienced trauma (e.g. war veterans, family member deaths, etc.) They began using virtual art assets originally built for games played on the X-box, such as Full Spectrum Warrior. With recent technological developments, such as the oculus rift, VR therapy has become more sophisticated and can reach a wider patient group. There are both a number of benefits and challenges:

• Safe and controlled environment
• Young people may be more comfortable using VR therapy than other methods
• VR therapy allows you to try the therapy in multiple contexts
• VR therapy is more private – less embarrassing as it is not done in public

• Requires well-trained clinical care providers (need to understand the VR technology as well)
• Is it truly the same experience as real exposure therapy?

It remains to be seen whether or not these virtual environments will be able to help people move past traumatic experiences, and whether or not VR therapy will become the dominant practice in anxiety therapy. Only time will tell!


Pavlok: Stupid or really useful?

Let’s start with what the Pavlok actually is. The Pavlok is an application in combination with a bracelet that gives small electric shocks by people showing wrong behavior. This is how I would describe what the Pavlok is, but the founder Manees Sethi, a behavior change expert and the founder sees it is an application which can help people form good habits get rid of their old and bad habits and makes people stick to their commitments. The developer Maneesh Sethi even hired someone to slap his face when he was checking Facebook or Twitter instead of doing actual work At the moment Pavlok is collecting money with the help from Indiegogo, a crowdfunding website where they achieved their goal of $50,000 in only one day and was already showed in big American television shows.
How does the Pavlok really work and how does it help people to achieve their goals? Well, you can download the app on an iOS or Android smartphone, which communicates with the bracelets. And if the app discovers bad behavior it sends a signal to the bracelet and which creates an electric shock. ‘Bad behavior’ can be defined as useless browsing on the internet, sitting in a chair for too long or even walking in to a fast food restaurant. According to the developers an average person should need 30 days to lose their bad habits.


World first device that doesn’t just track what you do but actually changes what you do
According to the developer of Pavlok there are 100’s of apps which tracks our behavior, but not manage to really make a change. This new application will make sure that people are getting more productive. The Pavlok gets its information of bad behavior from several sources, like GPS and the time. I would say this new and clever device can be a very useful tool for procrastinating people like myself to help to get focus on the more important things in life, for example the Information Strategy course. The Pavlok will also be connected on the internet and can even post ‘shame posts’ on Facebook or Twitter showing your friends that you didn’t achieve your goal. Finally, some people will say that this application is not for them and will only be used by people who can’t motivate themselves intrinsically. But I would say applications bringing this kind information can be very useful for a lot of people dealing with focus issues.



Should everything deserve a second chance?

In July this year, eBay announced to start a partnership with noted auction house Sotheby’s to provide a new live auction format with real-time bidding on a various inventory of art, antiques and collectibles. Coming Thursday, eBay shall kick off the live auction site with other well-known auction houses like Doyle New York, Freeman’s, Garth’s Auction and Swann Auction Galleries.

With this new auction section on eBay’s website, buyers are able to browse catalogs for upcoming sales, bid for themselves at the online events or enter in absentee bids for those they cannot attend. eBay shared a schedule of auctions debuting this month and includes the art auctions extend beyond the top houses in New York. The company will soon begin offering live Sotheby’s auctions across various categories, which corresponds with events taking place at Sotheby’s headquarters in New York.

This new product will feature items priced from a few thousand dollars to more than $100,000. The difference between the usual bidding system of eBay is that users can bid on items against others in real-time which simulates the feeling of a live auction. The reason to start this new real-time format is that eBay and gallery owners recognized the need of shoppers to buy high-priced items online, even without ever having to see and evaluate the items in person.

It is not the first time eBay starts with a comparable format; in 1999 the company unveiled a high-end online auction site to sell similar items. However, the auction site and the acquisition of an auction house failed and left eBay to shut down the site and to sell the auction house with loss in 2002.

So why bother to try the concept again? Well, eBay hopes that consumers attitude towards online buying has changed in the last decade. Unfortunately, live auction items are not (yet) available on all mobile devices. The company acknowledges the major role mobile bidding plays in the success of new eBay live auctions, but instead of working on that, the company advises users to go to on your tablet, desktop or laptop to join the real-time auction website. So what do you think; will it be successful this time for eBay?


Ina Steiner (2014), Déjà vu: eBay to Kick off Live Auctions on Thursday,, October 7, 2014.

Mike Isaac (2014), EBay Opens Fine Art Live-Auction Sites, for Second Time,, October 6, 2014.

Sarah Perez (2014), eBay To Host Live Art Auctions On New Site,, October 6, 2014.

will Apple be obsolete in the near future?

Apple, as a leading technoloy company, has pentration in most people’s daily life more and more deeply. And especially of its morden design and high technology, it brings large number of its loyal customers for it. Moreover, it can be easily found out that it is always crowded outside the Apple once it launched new products. Everyone want to take a look at and try the new products from Apple. It seems that people enjoy the addiction that Apple offers and Apple has already becomes an essential part of their lifes.

Apple sells record 10mn new iPhones in first three days

However, the problem is, will Apple be obsolete in the near future?

One analyst told CNBC that because of the increasing competition and “make-believe” valuation in the technology, apple would be obsolete in three years. Also said by Noronha from the TV interview that it is a very competitive landscape, and as increasing number of technology companies coming into the market, he shared the opinion that Apple might become obsolete in two-to-three years.

On the other side, Apple still grows steadily and according to its second-quarter net profit, Apple has increased up to 12% comapred in the same period from last year. what is more, after Apple launched its new Iphone 6, it drew more than 4 million pre-order, which is more than double size of pre-order that it launched its Iphone 5 two year ago.

Everytime after Apple launched new products, there comes some “scandal” for the new product, as well as this time. right now everyone discuss the “bend” problem occuring from Iphone 6+. But for Apple, it seems that it enjoy people’s discussion and the attentin from the customers.

In my opinion, Apple is doing a great job in recent years since it has changed its strategy on launching two different products insteads of one single products. This is really nice, because it expend its market share to get more potential customers. On the other hand, if Apple continues its strategy, will it be obselete in the near future or still grow? Tell me about your opinions.



Big Data and value chains: Will horizontal be the new vertical?

To prepare for this week’s lecture, we were required to read about pricing information (Shapiro & Varian, 1998). This reading material included an example about Encyclopedia Brittanica, which used to be the a well-established encyclopedia brand. Coincidentally, while watching Philip Evans’s Ted Talk “How data will transform business” (2013), I came across the same example. Instead of illustrating pricing information, the example was used more broadly to relate to the transformation of business strategy.

Evans tells that Henderson (1975) gave the first introduction of the advantages of economies of scale. Therefore, Henderson found a logic in investing in scalability in order to achieve competitive advantage. Porter (1980) added that business components may have different drivers and came up with the value chain. The value chain implies that what holds a business together is transaction cost.

However, Evans argues that those premises are invalidated. Transaction cost have been falling and scale is polarizing. This causes that there is less need to have vertical integration within a chain so that the chains might split up. This creates the possibility to attack the industry.

Here the Encyclopedia Britannica example comes in: distribution of information goods became cheaper because of the invention of the cd-rom. Later on, the encyclopedia industry became even more fragmented. Wikipedia caused that companies were not even needed anymore, due to the rise of user generated content.

So what will the next phase be? Evans thinks that, when patterns of our data are recognized and accessible for everyone it can be considered as a commodity. Then, how will this fit into current business models?  How can businesses use data as an asset? He argues they cannot. Value chains will become more horizontal than vertical. This will transform the way we are doing business. I am not sure I would fully agree. At the moment, many information could be seen as a commodity and still there are businesses using it to achieve competitive advantage. It seems to be how to use it. Would this be different for the patterns we will discover?

Evans, P. (2013) How data will transform business,, Octobre 7, 2014.

Shapiro, C., and Varian, H. 1998. Pricing Information.pdf In Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Pre


Big Data vs Privacy

Everyone comes across privacy statements, but I doubt if one ever has taken the time to carefully read them. We all think to know what will be done with our data and seem to trust that our information is kept private. However, consumers are increasingly becoming aware of the amounts of data that companies keep. At last week’s RSM Leadership Summit Sanoma was invited to talk about how they try to benefit from the data available from their customers, while at the same time being heavily involved in protecting data and ensuring privacy. According to them, this will be their competitive advantage in the future.

I would not argue that big data is not useful at all, since it has a lot of benefits such as increased customer information and thus the ability to differentiate and price according to preferences. Shapiro and Varian (1998) present various ways for companies to collect data from their customers, such as subscriptions and behavioural analysis. Does this not scare you? The fact that companies can somehow analyse how you have been browsing around on their websites and seem to make decisions based on your behaviour. The fact that somewhere out there at Google or Zalando there is a huge file that contains all kind of data about who you are, where you live, what kind of products you have been buying in the last years and what kind of interesting websites you have visited.

According to my opinion Sanoma will indeed gain competitive advantage by enabling every single customer to access the data that is stored about them. Even better would be if one can also edit this data or make comments, so no decisions are based on a wrong or incomplete profile. Although customer data gives most companies an advantage, maybe companies would even benefit more if they enabled their customers to delete some of the data that is stored about them.



RSM Leadership Summit 2014, 3 October 2014

Shapiro, C & Varian, H 1998. Pricing Information, Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy, Cambridge: Harvard Business School Press

The new Bill Gates is Dutch

In this blog post I would like to recommend an amazing documentary I watched yesterday evening. It is about Puck. Puck is a 15-year old Dutch boy and already has eight years of coding experience. When he was seven, he started coding and became an IT wonder child. Big companies such as Microsoft are showing a big interest in him and he won several prizes, including the Apple Design Award for students and the Google Code-IN Grand Prize. He created apps that have been downloaded more than 300,000 times and gave a TedxYouth-Talk in Amsterdam three years ago.

However, for the law, Puck is still a child and has to follow obligatory education. Puck forgets his homework a significant amount of times because of his large interest in and skills of coding. 1848307Thedirector of the documentary, Tessa Boerman, came to know Puck when he was eleven and followed him with a camera eversince. The documentary gives us insight in Puck´s life, the extraordinary places he experiences, but also how society is working against him. Adults do not know how to interact with Puck. The government does not know how to stimulate Puck´s talent while he is still obligatory to go to high school (where he is bored and does not do his work).

Boerman explains that society should not worry about IT wizzkids. However, in today´s world a kid can teach itself totally on his own. Its playground is therefore unknowingly big. Puck babbled so bad until his third birthday that only his parents could understand him. Puck´s parents live by the motto: ´If it ain´t broke, don´t fix it´. They have to hit the brakes for Puck, because he can work on his applications endlessly. His parents have accepted his willfulness, but for other adults this is more difficult. When Puck was younger, it was cute that he was so smart, but now the he is older people find him annoying and get uncomfortable around him.

If you are interested in watching this documentary, you can go here (it is in Dutch however).