Mobile Acts as a Nerve Center of the Canadian Shopping Experience


It’s almost impossible to go anywhere without seeing someone texting, video chatting or making a call from their smartphone. But smartphones aren’t just used for keeping in touch and playing games. Today, consumers also use the technology at their fingertips to research, run price checks and read reviews for a growing array of products they use in their daily lives.

From initial search to providing feedback, mobile shopping expands the e-commerce universe for consumers, retailers and manufacturers alike. Mobile users rely on their devices along the path to purchase either through an all-online process or through an “online-to-store-to-online” process. Even if consumers exit their online pathway to buy offline, mobile is still a vital stepping stone in the shopping journey. This includes searching and using coupons on their mobile device and using lists for shopping (wedding registry, etc.) created either on their mobile device or saved on apps.

In many ways, mobile is giving savvy retailers a leg up over their competitors. That’s because consumers are using the online sites to do everything from find a store to check for discounts and promotions before they make their journeys. These retailers know that in today’s connected world, it’s rare for consumers to make a purchase without going online first to do their homework.

Saving 80% in 90 Seconds? | Lemonade


A report by IBNR Weekly, one of the most respected publications in insurance, alarmed many industry-insiders:
 “In an attempt to better understand Lemonade’s “killer” pricing, we “applied” for renters insurance through the Lemonade and Bungalow websites… the pricing was dramatically different as Bungalow’s annual price was ~5.6x Lemonade.” (IBNR Weekly, September 29, 2016)
 Incumbents find the idea of a 560% price gap unsettling. Understandably. Beyond self-preservation jitters, some raised concerns about Lemonade’s ‘killer prices’ looking a lot like ‘suicidal prices.’ After all, they reasoned, insurance companies pay out in claims over 40% of the fees they collect. So if Lemonade charges 80% less (same as saying others charge 5x more) Lemonade will be paying out in claims more than it receives in premiums! Lemonade must be recklessly naïve or worse, they surmised, and insolvency just a matter of time.
 I get it. That’s why I’m writing this post.

U.S. iPhone users are spending more on apps

Kia Kokalitcheva:

U.S. iPhone users are increasing their spending on premium apps and in-app purchases, according to data from mobile analytics firm SensorTower. In 2016, they spent an average of $40, up from $35 the previous year.
 Games rule the App Store: Gaming apps generated 80% of that revenue, according to the data. The average iPhone user spent $27 last year on games, versus only $3.60 on music apps—the second biggest category after games. And while entertainment apps like Hulu and Netflix saw a 130% bump, revenue from that category is still only $2.30 from the average U.S. iPhone user.
 The flip side: In contrast with revenue, which is growing, SensorTower found that the average U.S. iPhone user installed 33 apps, down from 35 the previous year. The trend was present across all app categories, including games.

From Netflix to rented homes, why are we less interested in ownership?

Ian Leslie:

In 2008 the anthropologist Daniel Miller published a book based on an intimate study of 30 households on a single street in south London. The Comfort of Things ­explored the different kinds of relationships people have with what they own.
 Miller described a retired couple’s house, cluttered with furniture, framed photographs and knick-knacks accumulated over decades. Down the road, a self-employed man called Malcolm had rented a flat. Malcolm preferred a spartan existence: he kept his belongings in storage, the better to travel at short notice, and conducted as much as possible of his life online. His home was his email address. His central material possession was his laptop.

Housing Finance at a Glance

Urban Institute:

The GSE’s credit risk transfer (CRT) program is growing and tapping into a more diverse investor base, reducing the costs of CRTs and improving liquidity in this market. At the same time, the continued reliance on back-end transactions is cause for concern.
Freddie Mac‘s first two capital markets CRT transactions of 2017 have been different from previous Structured Agency Credit Risk (STACR) transactions in one important way. Unlike the pre- 2017 deals, in which the first loss piece (Tranche B) was 100 basis points thick, the first loss piece (Tranche B2) in the latest transactions is only 50 basis points thick while second loss piece (B1) is also 50 basis points thick. Splitting the old B tranche more granularly in this manner is a noteworthy development for a few reasons.

The Problem with AMP


How software is eating the banking industry

Ari Levy:

 Ethan Bloch was in junior high school in Baltimore during the dot-com boom.
 For his bar mitzvah — the ceremony that welcomes 13-year-old Jewish boys into adulthood — Bloch received $7,000 in cash.
 It was 1998 and, like so many amateur traders at the time, he plunged his wealth into the stock market, mostly software and telecommunication names like Lucent and Nortel.
 He quickly tripled his money. By age 15, it was all gone.
 “This knocked me over the head and left a burning curiosity that I still carry today,” said Bloch, now 31, from the San Francisco headquarters of his financial-tech start-up Digit. “I realized I didn’t know s— about how any of this was working.”

Meet the man who sold the world on credit cards –

Claire Tsosie:

When Matty Simmons first heard about multipurpose credit cards in 1950, he wasn’t impressed.
 At the time, Frank McNamara, who came up with the idea, and Ralph Schneider, his business partner, were trying to persuade Simmons to join their new company, Diners Club. The concept of a credit card didn’t seem especially useful to Simmons, who was doing public relations for restaurants and nightclubs at the time.
 “What concerned me most was that I would be asked to not only publicize this new conception but to persuade restaurants to honor it,” Simmons wrote in his 1995 book “The Credit Card Catastrophe,” a firsthand account of Diners Club’s early days and the evolution of the credit card industry.

Surfing, metrics and creation: Facebook and Snap

Ben Evans:

Snapchat and a whole bunch of other apps are much more mobile-native than they are mobile-first, and have the tabula rasa freedom that they can target only the billion or so people with lots of bandwidth and high-end phones, rather than Facebook and Google’s commitment to reaching everyone. That creates a great many possibilities for the completely new idea.

U.S. household debt near record levels, Federal Reserve report says

Ed Adamczyk:

Total U.S. household debt climbed to a near-record $12.58 trillion by the end of 2016, a Federal Reserve Bank of New York report says.
 February’s 33-page “Quarterly Report of Household Debt and Credit” shows that every category of debt measured — including mortgages, credit cards, student loans and auto loans — saw an increase. The total increase of $460 billion in 2016 was the largest in a decade. Mortgage balances, now at $8.48 trillion, made up 67 percent of the household debt.

P&G exec on dodgy ad tech

Mark Ritson:

First up was the increasingly dodgy world of programmatic, and specifically the long list of ad tech vendors who each “punch their ticket” and take a significant slice of the client’s media investment long before it ever reaches a publisher or platform.
 “We serve ads to consumers through a non-transparent media supply chain with spotty compliance to common standards, unreliable measurement, hidden rebates and new inventions like bot and methbot fraud,” Pritchard announced.

Autonomous Vehicles and the End of Privacy

Ernest Oppetit:

Everything, everywhere, will soon be continuously recorded and uploaded to the internet. This will start with dense, urban areas, but over time every single square meter of every part of the globe will be recorded. Advances in computer vision & AI mean this data will be usable at scale, which will revolutionise advertising, law enforcement, and bring us back to a pre-privacy world.
 (and yes, you guessed it, the movie to pair this post with is Minority Report)

These cities are the most and least affordable for renters Diana Olick

Diana Olick

The good news for renters is that landlords today are less likely to raise the rent by a lot. The bad news is, rents are still high and unlikely to fall anytime soon. As with all real estate, though, rents are local, and some unexpected markets are heating up, while some hot ones are cooling off.
 Austin, Texas, for example, is one of the most affordable rental markets in the nation, even though home prices there are rising fast. The reason is that job growth and wage growth are strong in the new tech hub, and rents are still comparatively low. It would take just 23 percent of the average resident’s monthly household income to pay the average monthly rent, according to a new study by AppFolio, an apartment management company which commissioned data from Axiometrics, a real estate research firm.

P&G Tells Digital to Clean Up, Lays Down New Rules for Agencies and Ad Tech to Get Paid

Jack Neff:

Procter & Gamble Co., the nation’s and world’s biggest advertiser, is laying down the law for digital media players and agencies in a five-point program that will take effect this year as outlined by Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard on Sunday evening at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Annual Leadership Meeting in Hollywood, Fla.
 “The days of giving digital a pass are over,” Mr. Pritchard said, urging the rest of the ad industry to follow P&G”s lead. “It’s time to grow up. It’s time for action.”

Desktop dies on weekends

Sarah Fischer:

Web traffic from desktop computers plummets on weekends as people spend most of their time on mobile once they leave the office on Fridays, according to a study.
 The ratio of mobile to desktop traffic stays somewhere near 1:1 throughout the week, but on weekends, the ratio changes dramatically — nearing closer to 2:1. Check out the grey dips in the chart below.

Summary of My Meeting with Google AMP Team after “Google may be stealing your mobile traffic” post

Alex Kras:

Two weeks ago I wrote a blog post with a controversial title Google may be stealing your mobile traffic, where I outlined some criticism of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project. Shortly after Paul Bakaus (a developer advocate for AMP project) invited me to join him and Malte Ubl (product manager for AMP project) for lunch to further discuss my concerns.
 My original post was a bit confusing and should have been 2 separate posts. 90% was simply me outlining mistakes that I’ve made implementing AMP on my site. The other 10% I believe to be a valid criticism of the AMP project.

Starbucks says popularity of its mobile app has created long lines at pickup counters & led to drop in transactions.

Wall St

Starbucks Corp. says it has become a victim of the success of its mobile order app.
 The coffee chain created the app to reduce long lines at the cash register, but Starbucks Operating Chief Kevin Johnson said Thursday the lines have just shifted to the pickup counter.
 “The success of mobile order-and-pay has created a new challenge,” Mr. Johnson said in an interview.
 Mr. Johnson, who will become chief executive in April when Howard Schultz steps down to focus on building high-end Starbucks stores, said long waits have driven away some potential customers. The number of transactions in the company’s fiscal first quarter were down as a result.

Internet Health Report

Internet health report:

The Internet is an ecosystem. A living entity that billions of people depend on for knowledge, livelihood, self-expression, love…. The health of this system relies on – and influences – everyone it touches. Signs of poor health in any part impacts the whole. We’re all connected.
 How healthy is our Internet? How might we understand and diagnose it? We believe this is a timely and necessary conversation, and we hope you’ll join in.
 Our individual actions shape the health of the Internet ecosystem. Only by recognizing where the system is healthy can we take positive steps to make it stronger. Only by understanding where it’s at risk can we avoid actions that weaken it.

Behind the Stars A Concise Typology of Michelin Restaurants in Europe


The Michelin star system in Europe is the best-known and most respected ranking system for high-quality or haute cuisine restaurants. This study examines Michelin’s grading procedures and how chefs and res- taurateurs perceive the ranking system and the Michelin awards. The study surveyed chefs in thirty- six restaurants ranked as having two or three Michelin stars over the period of ten years in France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. The chefs iden- tified the following key factors that attributed to the success of their restaurants: investment and invest- ment types, sources of financing, pursuit of excel- lence, and culinary craftsmanship involved. While the Michelin star chefs were tremendously successful as culinary artisans, this study revealed that the financial success of the Michelin star-rated restaurants was far more heterogeneous.

The spreading of misinformation online

Michela Del Vicarioa, Alessandro Bessib, Fabiana Zolloa, Fabio Petronic, Antonio Scalaa,d, Guido Caldarellia,d, H. Eugene Stanleye, and
 Walter Quattrociocchia,

The wide availability of user-provided content in online social media facilitates the aggregation of people around common interests, worldviews, and narratives. However, the World Wide Web is a fruitful environment for the massive diffusion of unverified rumors. In this work, using a massive quantitative analysis of Facebook, we show that information related to distinct narratives––conspiracy theories and scientific news––generates homogeneous and polarized communities (i.e., echo chambers) having similar information consumption patterns. Then, we derive a data-driven percolation model of rumor spreading that demonstrates that homogeneity and polarization are the main determinants for predicting cascades’ size.

“40% of adults now use voice search once per day” according to comscore

Mike Jeffs:

“Mobile voice-related searches are 3X more likely to be local-based than text” via Search Engine Watch
 “Home Alone and Elf were the most requested 2016 holiday movies with Alexa.” via Amazon
 “Customers use Amazon Echo for many purposes, with one-third using it as an information provider responding to questions and over 40% as an audio speaker for listening to streaming music.” according to CIRP.
 “Nearly 50% of people are now using voice search when researching products.” via Social Media Today
 “High consumer usage of voice assistants in autos (51%) and household (39%) indicates increased comfort with the technology” – according to Activate via WSJ.

Google Uses Its Search Engine to Hawk Its Products

Jack Nicas:

Alphabet Inc.’s Google runs the world’s largest advertising business, selling space atop its search results. Google is also among the biggest buyers of those ads, promoting products from its music service to its app store.

Social Media Agency Of The Year Award For Not Doing Social Media


But if you want to work in our business you can’t just come out and say that. You need to hide it under steaming piles of jargon. Otherwise, you might lose your job for being “traditional.”
 No, you have to do what MediaPost does — take the obvious and make it incomprehensible.
 Anyone with a pulse and an IQ above 20 knows that social media marketing is largely a pile of horseshit and the only way to get any value out of Facebook is to buy ads.


‘A marriage of Twitter and The Economist’: How Axios is serving up news for social media addicts

Benjamin Mullen:

Chances are, you’re not going to finish this article.
 The rise of social media has turned us into a legion of swipers and scrollers who rarely reach the end of a story.
 The team behind Axios, a new startup from the founders of Politico, knows this. That’s why they’ve built a product designed to resemble a cross between Twitter and The Economist.
 “It really seemed like the stream — the same thing Facebook and Twitter do — was a good way to consume a lot of information very quickly,” said Roy Schwartz, co-founder and president of Axios.

The Problem With AMP


Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP is a markup language similar to HTML that allows publishers to write mobile optimized content that loads “instantly”. AMP is Google’s response to both the Apple News Format and Facebook’s Instant Articles. The goal of the AMP project is to make websites faster by essentially disabling external JavaScript and caching all pages on Google’s CDN. While the intentions of the project seem good, there are a number of issues with AMP that both promote lock-in and provide a poor user experience.

The PC Market continues to decline “infrequently used”


“There is the other side of the PC market, where PCs are infrequently used. Consumers in this segment have high dependency on smartphones, so they stretch PC life cycles longer. This side of the market is much bigger than the PC enthusiast segment; thus, steep declines in the infrequent PC user market offset the fast growth of the PC enthusiast market.”
 Ms. Kitagawa said that although the overall PC market will see stagnation, there are growth opportunities within the market, such as the engaged PC user market, the business market and gaming. However, these growth areas will not prevent the overall decline of the PC market, at least in the next year.
 Four of the top six vendors experienced an increase in worldwide PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2016 (see Table 1). The top three vendors all increased their global market share in the fourth quarter. Lenovo maintained the No. 1 position, as the company experienced shipment increases in North America and EMEA, while Asia/Pacific and Japan continued to be challenging markets.



Online advertising absurdity is about to reach new heights and should provide lots of rollicking good fun in the new year.
 Now that Facebook’s so-called metrics have been exposed as self-serving baloney, some previously brain-dead advertisers are starting to ask questions. It’s only taken them 10 years.
 The result is that Facebook is being dragged kicking and screaming into the real world of real advertising. Advertisers are starting to insist that Facebook allow third party monitoring of their numbers like every other responsible media company on the planet (except, of course, the other aristocracy of arrogance at Google.)
 Facebook is grudgingly allowing some limited third party monitoring and what is leaking out ain’t pretty.

Dinosaurs can’t climb trees: why your company is failing at innovation and what to do about it

Simon Dingle:

Deploy these teams as far away from the existing business as possible and protect them from your current executive staff, especially those who like the sound of their own voice or use the term, “I’m just playing devil’s advocate here…” in meetings. That guy is not invited. Read Tom Kelley’s book, recommended above, for why.
 Make sure your leopard is able to challenge the status quo unhindered.
 No, compliance can’t have a meeting with them to approve processes.
 No, your marketing people absolutely can’t do a review to make sure they’re, “on brand”.
 Fuck off. Go away. Leave the leopard alone. Those discussions can happen later once you’ve got something too good not to launch. Any business with a hope of succeeding in the internet era has to conduct user testing, implement agile processes, and spend a lot of time trying and failing in experiments to find market fit. It’s not pretty, it’s counterintuitive, and nothing they taught you at business school will help anyway.

7 Steps to Using Social Media Effectively

Libby Dubick:

Finally, Step No. 7: Think about how your social media-presence looks visually. Make sure your head shot is becoming and that you look approachable

Online Shopping

Luke Kawa

As a testament to the gloomy outlook for brick-and-mortar retailers, short interest in the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (ticker: XRT) has soared to 273 percent of float, the highest among U.S. equity products at the end of 2016. On Jan. 4, Macy’s Inc. and Kohl’s Corp. pointed to weak holiday sales when slashing their full-year earnings forecasts during the after-hours session.
 While non-store retailing is a fairly broad category, including mail-order programs and sales through infomercials, the most important part is pure-play e-commerce, like (It’s important to note that sales made through the website of a brick-and-mortar retailer, like, are not included in this e-commerce segment.)

How time-saving technology destroys our productivity

Rory Sutherland:

In 1929 John Maynard Keynes predicted that by 2029 people in the developed nations could enjoy a perfectly civilised standard of living while working for 16 hours a week. His hope was for our precious hours of extra leisure to be devoted to such edifying pursuits as playing Grand Theft Auto and watching kittens skateboarding on YouTube. (Actually he didn’t predict that bit — he suggested we’d be listening to string quartets and attending poetry recitals but, hey, that was the Bloomsbury Group for you.) Today, however, not only has the work week stayed constant but, in direct contradiction of the theory, the better-paid now work disproportionately longer hours.
 In 2008 some of the world’s leading economists contributed to a series of essays (Revisiting Keynes, MIT) discussing why Keynes’s dream now seems so wide of the mark. Between them, they furnished a number of competing theories. Some posited that people like working and that being busy now has the kind of social cachet that being leisured used to.

Mobile Fact Sheet

Pew Internet:

In contrast to the largely stationary internet of the early 2000s, Americans today are increasingly connected to the world of digital information while “on the go” via smartphones and other mobile devices. Explore the patterns and trends that have shaped the mobile revolution below.

Poor Neighborhoods Make the Best Investments

Strong Towns:

What is obvious here is that the poor neighborhoods are profitable while the affluent neighborhoods are not. Throughout the poor neighborhoods, the city is — TODAY — bringing in more revenue than they will spend to maintain the neighborhood, and that’s assuming they actually invest the money to maintain the neighborhood (which they have not been). If they fail to maintain the neighborhood, the profit margins will be even higher.
 This might strike some of you as surprising, yet it is important to understand that it is a consistent feature we see revealed in city after city after city all over North America. Poor neighborhoods subsidize the affluent; it is a ubiquitous condition of the American development pattern.
 As an example, consider what is probably our most famous case study here at Strong Towns, the Taco John’s in my hometown of Brainerd, Minnesota, as described in “The Cost of Auto Orientation.” The block on the left has been labeled as blight. It’s run down and neglected. The block on the right — same size, same amount of public infrastructure, just a different development approach — looks shiny and new. Poor versus affluent. The cost to the city is the same but the poor block is worth 78% more, and pays 78% more taxes, than the affluent block.

78% of Global Smartphones Will be Sold to Replacement Buyers in 2017

Linda Sui:

According to the latest report from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) services: Global Smartphone Sales by Replacement Sales vs. Sales to First Time Buyers by 88 Countries : 2013-2022, global smartphone replacement sales outweighed sales to first time buyers in 2013, for the first time ever. In 2017, we expect 78% of global smartphones will be sold to replacement buyers. We forecast replacement smartphone sales will continue to dominate smartphone sales across all 6 regions by 2022.
 This extensive report forecasts global smartphone sales by replacement sales and sales to first time smartphone buyers for 88 countries worldwide, from 2013 to 2022. Almost every major country worldwide is covered, including United States, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. This report can be used by operators, software developers, content developers, smartphone vendors, component makers, car manufacturers and other stakeholders to determine the distribution of smartphone ownership across the huge global smartphone market.

Daily TV minutes: 18-24 year olds

Facts and figures can be powerful weapons for technology’s giants

Alexandra Frean:

Uber’s decision this week to start releasing its traffic data from dozens of cities worldwide is a reminder that information can be as important to digital companies in shaping markets and creating value as the software and hardware used to access their services.
 Uber says that sharing average travel times gleaned from millions of trips will produce a public benefit. We can safely assume it is also acting for its own benefit. Not only is Uber probably hoping to buy loyalty from the city authorities with which it frequently clashes, it may also be seeking to gain a foothold in a key area of its business model presently outside its control: urban planning and traffic management.

10 Terrible Things About Adtech

David Carroll:

Anyone familiar with my research and commentary knows I’m no fan of adtech, the hidden layer of behavioral ad targeting arbitrage that monetizes attention by the proxy of impression-based economies of scale. The perverse incentives that ensue from this hidden code incentivizes unregulated marketing surveillance over the populace to glut their feeds with more worldview reinforcing hyperpartisan propaganda and disinformation than high-quality investigative journalism. Here are ten deeply concerning things about the world of adtech as I’ve been observing recently, especially thinking about election fallout.
 It’s terrible for buying attention. $1 ad dollar yields 3¢ of advertiser value.
 It’s terrible for selling attention. $1 ad dollar funds 45¢ of publisher revenue before adjusting for rampant fraud and blocking boycotts. Content creators probably earn pennies on the ad dollar after the fraudsters steal their share and savvy users block their share. No one really knows. Is it even worth it?
 It’s terribly fraudulent. The recently discovered Methbot fraud botnet stole millions per day and could have used a residential IP SaaS rental service illegimately as its sinister trick to evade fraud detection methods that sense IP clusters from data centers. Until law enforcement gets aggressive about combating the criminal ad fraud networks, we just don’t know for sure how bad it is out there.

What Style Is That House? Visual Guides to Domestic Architectural Designs

Kurt Kohlstedt:

Naming things helps us understand and keep track of them, so it should be no surprise that people regularly ask architects what “style” buildings fall into. Often there is no simple answer, but here are a few graphic design projects that can help you put architecture into its historical context and start to tease out stylistic influences.

Amazon Courts Retailers To Use Its Mobile App

Cory Weinberg is planning to let competing retailers integrate with its mobile app, as part of a broader effort to power more shopping outside its digital walls, according to a person briefed by the company.
 The service, which Amazon is calling “place cards,” would let a consumer click on an email from a store that takes them to an app page that would look like the store’s app. But it would be actually part of Amazon’s app. Without this capability, consumers would click through to a mobile web page which is often slower to load and has clunkier check-out options.

Facebook will lose 80% of users by 2017, say Princeton researchers

Juliette Garside:

Facebook has spread like an infectious disease but we are slowly becoming immune to its attractions, and the platform will be largely abandoned by 2017, say researchers at Princeton University (pdf).
 The forecast of Facebook’s impending doom was made by comparing the growth curve of epidemics to those of online social networks. Scientists argue that, like bubonic plague, Facebook will eventually die out.
 The social network, which celebrates its 10th birthday on 4 February, has survived longer than rivals such as Myspace and Bebo, but the Princeton forecast says it will lose 80% of its peak user base within the next three years.
 John Cannarella and Joshua Spechler, from the US university’s mechanical and aerospace engineering department, have based their prediction on the number of times Facebook is typed into Google as a search term. The charts produced by the Google Trends service show Facebook searches peaked in December 2012 and have since begun to trail off.

The ad tech renaissance


Given the data above, I think it’s fair to say that Alphabet and Facebook as media companies are dominating the digital advertising space. However, if you look only at their ad technology assets, Google is flat year-on-year (with declining margins) and Facebook has effectively exited the ad tech space.
 I believe we are on the verge of a renaissance in ad technology, and this current phase – a cull, if you will – is necessary for us to get from here to there. Let’s be clear: this cull is not because Google and Facebook have won in ad:tech! Quite the contrary. It’s because today, if you’re a marketer and you want results, you usually get a better outcome buying inventory on Facebook than you do buying inventory on the open internet. However, we’ve seen Criteo demonstrate that through thoughtful inventory curation, the application of machine learning, and a focus on e-commerce, you can get outstanding results on the open internet. It’s not easy, but it’s possible.
 The next cycle of ad technology will be based on a few key elements:

2017 Mobile Predictions

Chetan Sharma:

A very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017 to you and your family. Hope you had a good holiday and are ready to take on the new year with vigor and purpose. My thanks to all who participated in our 10th annual Mobile Predictions Survey. It is a unique polling of the insiders to get a glimpse into what the ecosystem is thinking about the future.
 As I have mentioned before, we are entering the Connected Intelligence Era and the mobile industry is growing beyond its traditional borders to transform every vertical industry and by extension – the global GDP. Proof is in the numbers. 7 Zettabytes of digital information created. 1.3 billion smartphones sold. Over 60 Exabytes of mobile data traffic (which btw will grow 15x+ in the next 5 years). Almost 100 million wearables sold. More than 16 billion connected devices. Almost half trillion dollars in data revenues. Over 400 billion dollars in OTT revenues. At least 77 companies generating a billion or more from 4th wave. At least 8 companies generating a billion or more from IoT.

Facebook Doesn’t Tell Users Everything It Really Knows About Them

What the breakup of a broker’s empire means for everyone else

Brad Inman:

Lean and mean teams are also taking share from brokers.

They “are the potential agent phoenix rising,” said Steve Murray, president at Real Trends.

Recruiting agents is a slugfest with 360 degree competition from jab and grab indie brokers, the Keller Williams network effect, feisty teams and monied startups. Do you want to work for the yellow cab company or Uber?

Shining a light on out-of-touch habits, the au courant generation of real estate companies offer a collaborative work culture, a flat organizational structure, social media as a core company activity, community outreach built into the firm’s DNA, strategies for enabling and empowering teams and smart new ways of acquiring customers.

Basic real estate principles still apply, but adopting new technology tools and business tactics are essential for success. Brokers must try, test and deploy a litany of new technologies or risk being put out to pasture.

Consider the portals and consumer leads, once the domain of brokers and their agents — a gilded partnership. When the internet surfaced, they either mistakenly embraced the salvation promise or they made slapdash efforts to offer a consumer proposition.

Neither strategy worked and now most internet leads are the domain of and Zillow and its premier agents — not brokers and their top producers.

Technology acquisition is one thing, successful implementation and ongoing improvement is quite another.

President Signs Law Protecting Your Right to Review

Elliot Harmon:

President Obama recently signed the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 (H.R. 5111), which passed both houses of Congress unanimously. The bill addresses a dangerous trend: businesses inserting clauses into their form contracts that attempt to limit their customers’ ability to criticize products and services online. We’re pleased to see Congress taking a big step to protect free speech online and rein in abusive form contracts.
 The CRFA tackles two different ways that businesses attempt to squash their customers’ reviews. The first is rather straightforward: simply inserting clauses into their form contracts saying that customers can’t post negative reviews online, or imposing a fine for them. For instance, the Union Street Guest House used such a contract and attempted to fine guests over their bad reviews.

Inside a Zombie Shopping Mall

John Nova Lomax:

Does Northwest Mall have a chance in its current form? Will malls come back into fashion? Who would be their tenants, as Internet-based retail continues to erode bricks-and-mortar? And won’t those driverless cars eliminate the need for 98 percent of that vast parking lot?
 Those dilemmas are hardly unique to Northwest Mall. If present trends continue, the space given over to retail and parking will shrink considerably in the coming years. Northwest Mall’s future is contingent on those trends and other vast forces beyond its control, and its fate is as unclear and mysterious as that doll’s in the strange jail diorama.

This French Grocery Chain Is Totally Trolling Amazon Go


WHY WE CARE: Not long ago, Amazon unveiled its plans for a beta version of its new cashierless grocery shopping experience called Go. Here, Monoprix sidesteps all the “computer vision,” “deep learning algorithms,” and “sensor fusion much like you’d find in self-driving cars” that Amazon touted about Go, and instead trolls the tech giant with an almost exact remake of the Go promo—actor doppelgangers dressed in the same outfits, similarly framed shots—with a human solution to the whole cashier line-up problem. And they deliver your groceries in an hour. Is there an Amazon drone for that yet?

Google facing FTC scrutiny over privacy — yet again

Craig Timberg:

Consumer advocates have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission charging that Google violated user privacy through a policy change that gives the company more leeway to build profiles of people as they browse the Web and use Google services.
 The complaint, submitted Thursday by Consumer Watchdog and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, alleges that Google acted in a “highly deceptive manner” in changing its privacy policy in June to allow the merging of data collected by various services owned by the company, such as Google Maps, Google search and the DoubleClick online advertising service. The result, the groups say, allows for the gathering of more comprehensive information on most people who use the Web.

2016 Global Mobile Consumer Survey

Deloitte (PDF):

Mobile devices are by now rmly entrenched in our lives. The rise of mobile has paved the way, not just for more robust forms of communications but for whole new markets, such as mobile payments (mPayments), the Internet of Things (IoT), location-based advertising, and an entire ecosystem of apps including social media. In fact, mobile devices have become so ubiquitous that anyone without access to one is unable to participate in the full spectrum of activities that comprise our global economy.

For the past six years, Deloitte’s global Telecom sector practice has been taking the pulse of consumer attitudes towards mobile technology. Our 2016 US survey con rms that mobile has become increasingly pervasive and indispensable across all demographics and geographies, with consumers enthusiastically embracing its future potential.

16 striking findings from 2016

Abigail Geiger:

Every year, we publish a collection of facts about the important events, issues and trends we documented in our wide-ranging research over the past 12 months. In 2016, Pew Research Center examined an array of topics in America – from immigration to the growing divide between Republicans and Democrats – as well as many from around the globe. Here are 16 of our most striking findings.