Archive | September 21, 2015

Apple has been targeted

The apps in the Google Play Store has grown with more than 50% since last year. This is more than the Apple’s App Store performed. But this is not their only problem. This week’s news showed that the applications of Apple are not always save.

The problem started in China where it can take a long time to download large files from Apple’s servers. This counts the same for Xcode. Xcode is used by developers to design applications. But because Xcode is nearly 3 GB, Chinese developers choose to download it from somewhere else. Links were found on Google which you can use to download Xcode.

links

Figure 1: Search results for downloading Xcode (Google)

Unfortunately most of them were infected with malware, called XcodeGhost. When designing an iOS app it is relying on the CoreServices which contains many of the fundamental system services. A malicious code was implemented in the CoreServices which was used by any application developer who downloaded the wrong Xcode links.

The biggest problem of this malware is that it can read your login details and more personal information from your phone without noticing.

It is a surprise that this could actually happen in the App Store, because Apple handles a very strict submissions code review. I can imagine that people are shocked by this news. Especially because it is not certain yet in which applications the malware is already implemented and which personal details are disclosed. Reuters: ‘Apple declined to say how many apps it had uncovered.’

They say more harm has been done to Asia because ‘sometimes network speeds are very slow when downloading large files from Apple’s servers,’ which was said by Claud Xiao (researcher of Palo Alto Networks), and they turn to unofficial services. For example the popular WeChat app has been infected which is widely used in Asia.

Palo Alto Networks Director of Threat Intelligence Ryan Olson:

“Other attackers may copy that approach, which is hard to defend against.”

“Developers are now a huge target.”

What does Apple need to do to make sure that in the future we can still download iOS applications without the risk of getting malware on our device and being scared about our personal details? How can they change their system?

http://www.apparata.nl/nieuws/honderden-apps-voor-ios-besmet-met-malware-14924

http://www.apparata.nl/nieuws/google-play-store-groeit-apples-app-store-voorbij-11167

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-34311203

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-34312692

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/apple-malware-canada-follo-1.3236970

http://nos.nl/uitzending/8766-uitzending.html

http://researchcenter.paloaltonetworks.com/2015/09/novel-malware-xcodeghost-modifies-xcode-infects-apple-ios-apps-and-hits-app-store/

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/21/us-apple-china-malware-idUSKCN0RK0ZB20150921

Advertisements

Information & Education – Coursera and KhanAcademy

At present, there are many e-learning platforms and sites that someone can watch classes and lessons and gain knowledge on matters that will benefit him/her either in work or in his/her personal life. Examples are: edX, Coursera, MIT OpenCourseWare, Open Yale Courses, Open Learning Initiative, Khan Academy, Canvas Network, NovoEd and many others. Having had experience with Coursera and KhanAcademy I choose to emphasize and analyze those two educational organizations.

Founded in 2012 by computer science professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller from Stanford University, Coursera is a for-profit technology education company that offers massive open online courses in many fields and in accordance with many top universities. Its subscribers can either watch a lesson for free or sometimes take a statement of accomplishment but in many cases they can pay a fixed fee so that they can get a verified certificate of the completion of the course. Personally, in 2014, I followed and completed five lessons with success  (in all of them earned a statement of accomplishment) and many other which I left in the middle or in even at the start. This was one of Coursera’s positives that you could actually subscribe to lessons and if you did not find them interesting you could just leave them. Nowadays, Coursera still offers free lessons but there are also many for which you have to pay from the start such as its specialization track courses.

Concerning KhanAcademy we must notice that it is a non-profit educational organization. It was created in 2006 by Bengali-American educator and teacher, Salman Khan, who was former a hedge fund analyst, having had graduated both from MIT and Harvard. The organization produces micro-lectures in the form of YouTube videos and also provides practice exercises. KhanAcademy is free to anyone in the world, provided of course they have an Internet connection. My experience with KhanAcademy occurred also in 2014, when I was preparing to give my GMAT exam. Some of its videos actually proved to be very useful for me as they helped me grasp some mathematical concepts and contributed in a positive way to my final score in the GMAT. Also, KhanAcademy’s practice exercises with their reward point system proved to be very useful as well and helped towards the consolidation of the mathematical ideas discussed in the videos (crucial when running out of time in a test).

If i were to compare those two learning platforms I would have to say that while Coursera did offer me some very interesting and well documented lessons (such as Dan Ariely’s guide to irrational behavior and Luc de Brabandere’s lessons on strategy), I am a bigger fan of the KhanAcademy project not only because it gives people  around the world the choice  to study in their own terms and pace but because it also does it for free, which actually gives a chance to people not having the same access to physical learning environments to compete and evolve alongside others that do. We could even say that KhanAcademy places the motto “Free education to everyone ” in a new base. Don’t you agree?

Sources:

http://www.bestcollegereviews.org/50-top-online-learning-sites/

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/17/education/consortium-of-colleges-takes-online-education-to-new-level.html?_r=1

https://www.khanacademy.org/contribute

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salman_Khan_(educator)

https://www.khanacademy.org/about

Student: Anargyros Michaletos

Technology of the week – Zalando vs. ASOS

1364988234_fashion

Who has not used the Internet to purchase something, is more an exception than a normality these days. The Internet has forced companies to be more innovative as competition increases fiercely. In this article, we will provide you with an analysis of two pure e-commerce business models, namely Zalando and ASOS, and see how they compete through technological innovations.

Zalando business model.

In 2008, inspired by the American Zappos, Zalando was born. What started as an online retailer for shoes, become soon one of the biggest fashion web shops in Europe. Zalando is now active in 15 countries in Europe and offers over 1.500 different brands for men, woman and children. With a revenue of €2.214 million in 2014 and a customer base of 14.7 million people, it is hard to image the e-commerce business without Zalando. To stay a head of the competition, Zalando created a new feature, namely the “Image Search”. With this tool, customers are able to make a photo of a piece of clothing they want to posses, and the Zalando database will show all the possible options that are in line with this photo.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 18.47.20

ASOS business model.

Another famous player in the online fashion industry is ASOS, AsSeenOnScreen. This UK based company is started in 2000 with selling beauty products and clothes, it now has more than 850 different brands and delivers in 237 countries all over the world. ASOS provides as they call it “Fashion Lovers” with the newest fashion. To achieve this, they added short movies of a model wearing the clothes, so that the customers know how the clothes move when wearing them. Furthermore, ASOS developed a new platform, called “Marketplace, where young designers and small vintages boutiques can trade their products. Even though ASOS has a large reach around the world, with 8,8 active customers and a revenue of €1.324 million, Zalando has caught up quite well these past years.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 18.46.18

Future perspectives.

Even though the business models of these two major players in the fashion industry are very alike, there are some difference that may be the key to outperform the other. Both companies try to be as creative as possible in discovering new technologies to make the life’s of their customers even more easy. For ASOS, it might be a good idea to discover the options of expanding to other segments as well, meaning the less highly fashionable customers. Furthermore, in terms of marketing, they should consider also offline marketing, as it will expand their customer base. To keep up with Zalando’s image search, ASOS need to stay innovative, as otherwise will lose their market share.
Zalando on the other hand, has to be careful that it does not become too general, as it will lose their focus on the services they provide. Zalando needs to try to expand to the rest of Europe and even beyond to be able to keep up with the growing competition.

For both companies there are different challenges that needs to be tackled in order to maintain their position in this fast changing industry.

Team 19

Mark Smeitink                         344571

Philip van Zadelhoff               352591

Nikki Bueno de Mesquita      356897

Eva van Baarle                          357812

Vera Suijkerbuijk                     371212

Getting a Convenient Ride: Car2Go and Yandex.Taxi

Who could imagine that discovery of the internet in the late 20th century would have such a dramatic effect on the business world? While some companies found a way to take an advantage of the internet, others were driven out of business completely. This post will focus on the first category, and describe two remarkable B2C e-commerce companies that are changing the transportation industry at this moment.

Car2Go
Founded in 2008 by Daimler AG, Car2Go represents an online platform for renting cars at users’ own convenience. Company’s founders were looking for an innovative way for allowing a quick and easy rent of cars for less money. Needless to say that they did a great job with achieving this goal.  Business model of Car2Go is pretty straightforward: give people access to cars anywhere and at any time once registration is completed and charge them at the end of the journey (Car2Go 2015). Company offers value to its customers in terms of price and convenience of the renting process. That’s how it works: user makes an online reservation via App or Website and is directed towards the closest available car. He uses car as much time as he needs and leaves it at the point where his journey ends. In the end he gets charged based on duration of the journey (Osterwalder 2010).

Yandex Taxi
Russian analogue of popular online taxi ordering platform Uber, Yandex Taxi is steadily increasing its market share in Russia since its inception. Founded in 2011 by Lev Voloj, son of the founder of Yandex corporation, Arkadiy Voloj, Yandex Taxi represents an online platform for ordering taxies and is mostly active in three major Russian cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg. Business model of Yandex Taxi is also pretty straightforward: allow users to quickly order a taxi for an affordable price and charge partnering taxi service companies a commission for each order. That’s the interesting part. Yandex Taxi works solely with taxi service companies. Private taxi drivers don’t have access to the platform, which is one of the main differences between Yandex Taxi and Uber.
The platform functions as follows: users select taxi type (economy, comfort, business) via App or Website, place an online order and get a taxi in 5-7 minutes. Yandex taxi then charges a fixed commission of 8% of the order amount from taxi-service company that provided the taxi (Forbes 2014).

Comparison of two companies
Despite the fact that both Car2Go and Yandex Taxi are backed up by powerful corporations, Daimler AG has a significant expertise in dealing with cars in general, while Yandex corporation, with its focus on IT and technology sectors, has never worked in taxi industry. Speaking of the nature of these companies, both of them operate on digital platforms and represent B2C e-commerce businesses. In regard to the roles of both companies in suppliers-buyers relationships, Car2Go offers customers its own services while Yandex Taxi matches costumers with taxi service providers. Speaking of the service price structure, Car2Go charges its customers a fixed rated per minute of their journey, while Yandex Taxi charges an initial fixed price for the first 10 minutes of the journey, and then a fixed rate per minute from minute 11 and onwards.

References:

Alexander Osterwalder, “Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers”, John Wiley & Sons, June 2010

https://www.car2go.com/en/austin/

http://m.forbes.ru/article.php?id=261825

https://www.car2go.com/en/austin/

http://m.forbes.ru/article.php?id=261825

http://m.forbes.ru/article.php?id=261825

Another implication of a community [Part 2]

Before reading this blog post, I would like to refer you to ‘Another implication of a community [Part 1]’.

How to set-up a communitySuperuser

A community is very much dependent on the top users of the community, also called; superusers. From my point of view, a superuser is a user in the community how is very active in creating valuable content for the community and shares his/her knowledge. More important, how do you attract these so called superusers and make them achieve your business goals? According to Malone et al. (2010) members of the community act because of money, love or glory. Money stands for a financial reward, love stand for social interaction and glory for reorganization.

If you have provided an environment which offers at least 1 of the above mentioned motivators, you can start attracting people to your community. In the case you’re a business, use your company website (e.g. frontpage, footer, etc.), and especially the service section of your website to promote your community. For example, on your contact page, place a big search field with the line: Search the community for your answer’’.  

 

The Drivers for superusers

As said, superuser are very important and motivated by several factors. From my point of view, you don’t want to pay the community to achieve your business goals, you rather trigger them by implementing gamification in your community. According to Wu (Lithium.com, 2015) gamification is “the use of game mechanics and dynamics to drive game like engagement in a non-game context’’. In a community, gamification can be applied by implementing different ranks, badges, persons of the week, special access (e.g. VIP place), moderation functions, and so on, which al triggers the ‘’glory’’ motivational part. However, although gamification does a lot in motivating your community to help each other, a personal message or a ‘behind the scene’ session at your company probably makes them feel even more special.

There are a lot of different ways to set up the gamification part, and of course, for every business it is different. Some like Giffgaff decided to financially reward their superusers, which in their scenario is logical. However, at for example TomTom they don’t reward them financially, but rather motivate them with their gamification part or personal attention.

Other business gains

Since I don’t know very much about this, I just want to mention some other possible advantages. Firstly, higher search results in a search engine for your website as a whole (because of user generated content). Secondly, the possibility to use your community as an idea generation for your company. Thirdly, you can get all kinds of information from your target group such as geographical, age, gender, etc.. Finally, you have the possibility to ask your community (or superusers specifically) to give feedback on your new service or product.

My goal was to give you a general introduction in another implication of a community. If you’ve enjoyed it, and like to read some other interesting stories about communities in a customer service environment, I would recommend you to check out the links below.

PS. Let’s share thoughts, comments can be written below 😉

https://community.lithium.com/t5/Science-of-Social-blog/Applying-the-Gamification-Spectrum-Part-1-Solving-Business/ba-p/184812

https://community.lithium.com/t5/Science-of-Social-blog/bg-p/scienceofsocial

Author:       Ivar van der Lugt

S.I.D.:          418691il

References

Malone, T., Laubacher, R. and Dellarocas, C. (2010). The collective intelligence genome. MITSloen Management Review, 51(3), pp.20-31.

Wu, M. (2011). What is Gamification, Really?. [online] lithium.com. Available at: https://community.lithium.com/t5/Science-of-Social-blog/What-is-Gamification-Really/ba-p/30447 [Accessed 16 Sep. 2015].

Technology of the Week: B2C e-commerce (Facebook Buy Button vs Google Buy Button) Team 16

The Internet, as both a commercial and a communication channel, has created opportunities for multiple purchasing channels and interactions, developing into a huge worldwide marketplace for e-commerce. Social media providers and search engines have noticed customer needs for faster purchasing and in the past few years there has been a surge of new technologies to simplify the customer purchase funnel. In particular, this has been the launch of a ‘Buy Button’ that offers a direct purchasing mechanism on Facebook and Google, a one stop shop element. The Buy Buttons have the potential to revolutionize e-commerce and lower search costs and purchasing time for online consumers.

12030875_10153596307677667_1504726224_n

Facebook

The Facebook Buy Button was officially introduced on September 16th 2015 in collaboration with Shopify (Kanwar, Shopify, 2015). Shopify is a platform owned by Facebook, where mostly small and medium sized retailers can offer their products (Kanwar, Shopify, 2015). The retailers who are registered on Shopify can decide to add Facebook Shop as a sales channel, and only those who register with Shopify are able to use the Facebook Buy Button function (Kanwar, Shopify, 2015). With this option consumers will receive several recommended product offerings on their News Feeds based on their customer profile, likes, and shares. Furthermore, Facebook offers users the option to subscribe to brands. When new products are added by those brands the user gets notified and will be able to click on the Buy Button, allowing them to buy the product directly (Kanwar, Shopify, 2015).

12053109_10153596306717667_42402677_n

Google

A similar option may be added to Google’s platform, however this technology is still in the beta phase. The new Google Purchase Buy Button will provide customers with the option to purchase goods directly from the search results on Google, based on the specific search words, no longer redirecting customers to the retailer’s website to place an order. During the testing phase, Google will only test the Buy Button on mobile devices (Reader, 2015), as m-commerce still has a huge growth potential for online shopping compared to shopping online on a PC (Robinson, 2015). Google wants to target these customers to also shop through their mobile devices.

12016601_10153596306257667_2069183816_n

Comparison

Both companies are a perfect example of newly entering the e-commerce market using their own strengths to their advantage, and offering a whole new shopping experience online for online shoppers. 
In essence, the technologies of both Facebook and Google are the same. However, these companies will use the technology in different ways, Google will recommend products based on a direct search call-to-action from the consumer, whereas Facebook will recommend products based on customer profiles, likes, and shares. Furthermore, Facebook users have different goals when entering the social media platform than Google users have when entering certain search words into the search engine.

In conclusion, both companies have collected a huge amount of customer data over the years, which they will use to personalize the online shopping experience, by showing users more relevant advertisements and suggestions. It remains to be seen, whether the Buy Buttons will be able to establish in and disrupt the e- commerce market.

Natalie Jonasova – 356767

Svenja Stein – 370033

Teresa Stacey – 441696

Matilde Zanoli – 437890

Milou Saraber – 366867

References:

Kanwar, S. (2015, 9 16). Shopify. Retrieved 9 17, 2015, from Shopify: https://www.shopify.co.uk/blog/52697733-shopify-introduces-the-shop-section-on-facebook-pages

Kanwar, S. (2015, 6 10). Shopify. Retrieved 9 9, 2015, from Shopify: https://www.shopify.com/blog/33764868-shopify-and-facebook-announce-expanded-beta-test-for-buy-call-to-action-button

Reader, R. (2015, 7 15). Venturebeat. Retrieved 9 17, 2015, from Venturebeat: http://venturebeat.com/2015/07/15/google-announces-a-new-buy-button-that-lets-you-easily-purchase-goods-directly-from-ads/

Robinson, J. (2015, 11 19). Practical E-Commerce. Retrieved 9 17, 2015, from Practical E-Commerce: http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/75772-Mobile-Commerce-vs-Desktop-7-Differences

A guide to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your website!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) caught my attention when I spoke to the CEO of a small company in Rotterdam in 2014. He mentioned that his company won a lot of assignments from clients since he engaged in SEO. His small company was the first result on Google whenever clients searched for companies in his industry (for privacy reasons I leave the industry, company and his name anonymous).

SEO is another perfect example of how small and medium-sized companies are able to build a reputation and compete with larger organizations thanks to technology. The ultimately aim of SEO is to build an online brand reputation and influence online consumer behavior.

Why engage in SEO:

  1. It is cost-effective: unlike paid-advertisements on the search engine
  2. Customers increasingly search online for reviews
  3. Your competitors are doing it (Olenski 2015)

However, one must remember that SEO is a long-term strategy and not equal to a temporary marketing campaign

How it works:

Underneath Google, Bing and other search engines there are algorithms. These algorithms scan each website and translate the information into useful search results. The principle of SEO is understanding this algorithm and creating your website in such a way that it exactly accompanies these algorithms. The higher you are ranked, the more likely consumers or businesses will find you.

The basics:

  1. Make sure the words on your website equal common search key words
  2. Give each page a page title, that is clear and descriptive of the page
  3. If possible, construct your URLs as clear and descriptive as possible
  4. The more websites provide links to your websites, the higher you will be ranked.

However:

  • The context in which they refer to your website matters!
  • Do not try to create fake websites that refer to yours, as some algorithms will pick this up!
  1. The reputation (incl. cleanness) of your website is analyzed by the algorithm (Search Engine Land 2015)
  2. Make sure your website is easy to navigate (categories, folders)
  3. Search engines update their algorithms, for optimal SEO: analyze the changes in the algorithm and the impact it will have on your website. Then adjust your website accordingly. You have to stay on the move (Small Business Trends 2015).

Detailed guide:

Here is a detailed starter guide for all your website components written by Google (Google.com 2010): http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/nl//webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf

How to track your SEO performance:

This is possible through e.g. Google Analytics (Valk 2014; Google.com 2015):

– For a demonstration see: https://yoast.com/tracking-seo-google-analytics/

– Google Analytics website: http://www.google.com/analytics/

Overview of the factors in the algorithms (Search Engine Land 2015):

periodic-table-of-seo-2015-800x600

Author: Dilara Okci 

Student number: 366348ao

References:

Google.com, (2010). Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide. [online] Available at: http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/nl//webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf [Accessed 21 Sep. 2015].

Google.com, (2015). Google Analytics – Mobile, Premium and Free Website Analytics – Google. [online] Available at: http://www.google.com/analytics/ [Accessed 21 Sep. 2015].

Olenski, S. (2015). 7 Reasons Why Your Business Should Invest In SEO. [online] Forbes. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2014/03/26/7-reasons-why-your-business-should-invest-in-seo/ [Accessed 21 Sep. 2015].

Search Engine Land, (2015). What Is SEO / Search Engine Optimization?. [online] Available at: http://searchengineland.com/guide/what-is-seo [Accessed 21 Sep. 2015].

Small Business Trends, (2015). One Year In, Is Your SEO Effort Paying Off?. [online] Available at: http://smallbiztrends.com/2015/06/analyzing-seo-performance.html [Accessed 21 Sep. 2015].

Thinkbig.marketing, (2015). SEO. [online] Available at: http://thinkbig.marketing/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/seo-company-tampa.jpg [Accessed 21 Sep. 2015]. SOURCE FEATURED IMAGE

Valk, T. (2014). How To: Tracking your SEO using Google Analytics • Yoast. [online] Yoast. Available at: https://yoast.com/tracking-seo-google-analytics/ [Accessed 21 Sep. 2015].

Duolingo: learning a language whenever, wherever, for free!

‘I wanted to create a way to learn languages for free’ – Luis von Ahn (CEO Duolingo)

Due to the Internet, people are becoming more and more self-educated. Do you want to learn how to play guitar? Or do you want to know how to repair your flat tyre? No problem, all information is available online through the use of search engines (e.g. Google, Bing). ‘With this technology, people are able to receive information and learn new things instantaneously; online learning has tremendous potential to empower all sections of society’ (Karadkar, 2015). While companies are already offering university courses online (e.g. Coursera), the popularity of learning a language online has increased as well.

Duolingo is one of the highest rated apps available when it comes to learning a foreign language (Ranosa, 2015). Duolingo offers a wide range of language-learning courses for people with different native languages and at the moment, they offer 10 fully developed languages (Danish, Dutch, French, German, Irish, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish)(Duffy, 2015). It is a great example of a straightforward language app and its use is very simple. Each course is made up of modules; these represent different groups of skills (see picture below).

picture1

Duolingo shows you the order in which you need to complete the different modules. New modules become active only after completing the previous one.

Each lesson consists of several activities, such as translating words and sentences and matching words to foreign equivalents.
picture2picture3New vocabulary is taught with images, and grammar is explained in speech bubbles. You also have to complete listening and speaking exercises, where you need to writedown or say what you hear. Due to the progress bar (ranging from 0-100%), you will be able to check your language improvement.

Another great feature is that Duolingo offers you the option to strengthen your weakest words. The following screen will pop up after completing a module.

picutre4

According to Duolingo (2015), an average of 34 hours of Duolingo are equivalent to a full university semester of language education. Around 70 million people have already signed up to Duolingo and this number is increasing daily.

Currently, Duolingo is partnering with Uber to certify drivers in English (i.e. UberEnglish) and they recently raised $45 million from Google Capital. In the past few years, Duolingo has tremendously grown and with their current movements, Duolingo might pose a serious threat to traditional language learning providers.

As I am fond of learning foreign languages, I downloaded the Duolingo app a while ago in order to maintain my language skills. However, I am wondering what you think about this online language-learning platform? Do you already use it? Would you use it? Do you think these online platforms pose a threat to traditional language-learning providers? What about the benefits and constraints?

Sources:

http://www.technicianonline.com/opinion/article_7b7a5cc4-4f8f-11e5-a0e1-1b25bccc87b5.html

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/52934/20150514/best-apps-to-learn-foreign-language-duolingo-babbel-memrise-anki-busuu-and-more.htm

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2402570,00.asp

http://www.fluentin3months.com/duolingo/

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/mar/08/learning-the-duolingo-how-one-app-speaks-volumes-for-language-learning

http://www.post-gazette.com/business/tech-news/2015/09/09/Pittsburgh-based-Duolingo-announces-partnership-with-Uber/stories/201509090221

http://uk.businessinsider.com/duolingo-raises-45-million-from-google-capital-2015-6?r=US&IR=T

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/aug/27/luis-von-ahn-ceo-duolingo-interview

Technology of the week: E-commerce B2C (Airbnb vs Uber) Team 17

12023259_10153048531141254_549796968_n

The internet has changed the way of doing business, everything is faster and more efficient. These online markets are called E-markets, where buyers and suppliers can exchange information, products or services.

Airbnb and Uber

Airbnb is a platform where people in search of a hotel or hostel can connect with people who offer a room or an apartment. Like the name suggest it is an online bed and breakfast/marketplace for hosts and travellers. The next market creator is Uber. This online platform connects people who need a ride with people who have time and a car available to give them a ride in exchange for money. Compared to traditional taxi companies Uber is cheaper and because of the reviews on the Uber-driver you can see what kind of driver you are dealing with.

Profitability

Although Airbnb is growing fast, the company is not yet profitable. The operating loss over 2015 is $150 million, due to its high spending to grow even faster. It is expected that Airbnb will become profitable in 2020 when their revenue is $10 billion, but in order for that to happen the market share needs to grow from 1% to 10% (Bizjournals.com, 2015).

Similarly to Airbnb, Uber is valued at $17 billion, with only about $ 300 million in revenue in 2014, and no profits. The reason Uber is also valued at such a high amount without profits, and a revenue much lower than other companies of similar value, is the rapidity of which their revenues and market share are increasing and the large scale disruption of the existing markets that the company caused.

Future prediction

Google CEO Eric Schmidt predicts that technology will change whole markets over the next decade, Uber and Airbnb are the frontrunners of this development, as software and technology focused companies having a wide scale effect on the existing industries (Venturebeat.com,2015)As more companies emerge that let people rent out their homes, we expect Airbnb and its competitors to take a larger stake of the hotel industry. As the amount of users will rise, so does the pressure for governments to work together with Airbnb to come to a solution to local legislative problems.The more these type of companies will be able to make the governments treat them purely as technology firms instead of taxi or hotels firms, the larger the opportunities for other companies to grow in the asset sharing, or platform only economy (theverge.com, 2015)

As technology advances and companies with similar services are also emerging, we expect the market to be disrupted even more by new concepts based on new technology. In the future, as technology advances and becomes cheaper, smaller assets may become part of the sharing economy as well.

Yorick van de Riet                                            357297yr                             

Maikel Ooms                                                    341182mo

Mathijs Daalderop                                            360013md

Sjoerd Poppelaars                                           361339sp

Babet van der Giesen                                      363995bg

Bizjournals, (2015). [online] Available at: 16.          http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/morning_call/2015/06/airbnb-24-billion-valuation-revenue-forecast.html [Accessed 18 Sep. 2015].

Venturebeat, (2015). [online] Available at: http://venturebeat.com/2015/01/29/googles-eric-schmidt-has-a-10-year-prediction-of-how-tech-will-disrupt-whole-industries/ [Accessed 18 Sep. 2015].

Theverge, (2015). [online] Available at: 20. http://www.theverge.com/2015/7/27/9035731/future-of-uber-regulation-illegal-violations [Accessed 18 Sep. 2015].

 

Technology of the Week- NFC vs. BLE

One of the most important trends within B2C e-commerce is its offspring mobile commerce, also known as m-commerce. Only in the U.S. this market has grown with 19% during the last four years.

Within both B2C e-commerce and mobile commerce Near Field Communications (NFC) and Bluetooth low Energy technology (BLE) are trending technologies. Whereas NFC technologies are already in a more mature state, the BLE technology is still in its infancy.

What are NFC and BLE?

Both of them are wireless communication technologies currently installed in a lot of smartphones.

NFC

NFC smartphones communicate with wireless transmitters in very close proximity. They are usually a one on one experience, meaning that one transmitter (the NFC tag) communicates with one phone at a time. The transmitter can be a NFC tag positioned somewhere in a store or other place. Upon tapping your phone onto the tag, the tag recognizes you phone and interacts with it. Possible applications are as follows:

  1. Smart device automation and NFC tags:
    1. Transportation passes
    2. Event ticketing
    3. Access cards
  2. Smart homes
  3. Data sharing (retail marketing)

NFC is also being used as a technology for cardless payment but seems to be slowly replaced by the BLE technology. One of its greatest weakness is the increased power usage of smartphones.

BLE

BLE smartphones communicate via Low Energy Bluetooth in distances up to 100m. It is a one to many experiences, where the phone detects the beacon and triggers an app that then communicates with the user. The Beacon is the size of a matchbox and can also be placed in any position. Contrary to the NFC tag the two devices interacting do not have to touch, thus allowing the user to leave the smartphone in their bag and out of reach while still interacting. Following markets serve as an opportunity:

  1. Retail, B2C marketing:
    1. Indoor positioning system
    2. Contactless payment
    3. Advertising
  2. Smart homes
  3. Industrial applications

The greatest threat of the BLE technology in retail is the threat of “overbeaconing“ the customer. Research has found that 45% of users being beaconed once were interacting with the app. In the contrary, companies that beaconed their users twice during an experience (e.g. one shopping trip) saw a 313% drop in app usage.

An outlook into the future

Gartner

Looking at Gartner’s Hype Cycle, it can be said that the NFC technology is expected to soon reach the plateau of productivity in Gartner’s hype cycle. This will mean within 1 to 4 years the technology will be widely implemented and well known amongst its users (Gartner, 2014). The Beacon technology as a sub-part of the Internet of Things is depicted at the peak of inflated expectations (Gartner). However we believe the technology is still exploring its possibilities and hence is still very much in its infancy (TechCrunch, 2015). Hence beacon technology is yet to reach the through of disillusionment before approaching the plateau of productivity. At this moment early adopters are implementing the Beacon technology. In the near future the focus will shift from the possibilities of the technology to the failures and flaws the technology possesses.

All in all we believe that both applications will establish a market and serve as a great opportunity to make e-commerce more efficient.

Team 14:

Jepma 367048bj, Lei 365616ml, Müller 371369dm, Penot 371082fp, van Rijn 355921ir

LeHong, Hung, and Alfonso Velosa. ‘Hype Cycle For The Internet Of Things, 2014’. Gartner.com. N.p., 2014. Web. 19 Sept. 2015.

Loiwal, Navneet. ‘The Potential Of Beacon Technology’. TechCrunch. N.p., 2015. Web. 19 Sept. 2015.

The Google Logo Change

Roughly 2 weeks ago the whole world was introduced to a new logo we are going to see a lot every day. The big and famous Google changed its logo to be more universal for all its brands. This logo change comes together with the structural change Google went through, making it an entity under its new parent; Alphabet. In this post I will show Google’s intentional meaning of the style, the practical use of it and provide you with the effect on the stock prices and shareholder sentiment.

The old logo, introduced in 1999, was famous for its sharp turns, hard edges and slightly medieval look. The ‘little tails’ on these letters, the so called serifs, are replaced by an entire new font called ‘Product Sans’. Google profiled the style as ‘simple, uncluttered, colourful and friendly’ and stated that the logo is the start of a new future for Google (which makes sense with the earlier mentioned structural change). Twitter exploded on the first of September, the day of the change, shouting that the logo was awfully childish or that the logo was perfectly balanced with the letters flowing into each other. A big plus for me is that Google kept its logo youthful and dynamic for such a big corporation but created a playful touch with the ‘Heineken-e’.

For me all these style statements do not say very much. In my eyes you like or dislike the new style, but bear in mind that everyone’s opinion will change over time. What is undeniably true is that the new style is much more practical than the old one. This is where Google is doing business. The old logo was designed for a desktop screen in 1999. Now, the logo has to appear on different sized screens (computer or TV), smartphones, watches and so on. The logo is much more scalable and adaptable than the old one, which makes it much more efficient to change it for any type of interface. Besides the size of a screen, Google also has to work with multiple different applications and add-ons like Gmail, Google Drive, Maps and Chrome. With the new logo, all different logos have the same style (maybe you remember the blue app for Google which was completely out of style).

Stock

Sentiment

When looking at stock prices and sentiment, I cannot conclude anything shocking. What you see in stock price is that traders were holding back awaiting the release on September first. After the release, prices are increasing including today. This shows that the logo has more positive than negative influence.  The analyst sentiment is at the maximum and this has been so for the last 3 months.

All in all, I had to look at the logo a couple of times before liking it but I think it is a very clever move of Google. Since the company is digital, the physical changes of the logo in offices will not be that costly if you compare it with all the benefits.

Juliën Mets (357789jm)

Resources

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34126251

http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/goog

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2015/09/01/new_google_logo_reviewed_by_a_web_designer.html

http://googleblog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/google-update.html

http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/GOOG/analystestimates

http://www.theverge.com/2015/9/1/9239769/new-google-logo-announced