Retail fails. E-commerce showdown. Apple goes swimming.

Battle royale x2

Hi there,

I use this slide about incremental innovation at corporations and highlight pumpkin-spice flavored Oreos during keynotes sometimes, and it always gets a laugh.

When I'm presenting to an audience and am using new material, I find putting in a good old standby that always works is a great way to take the edge off.

Any other tips that those of you presenting to large groups have found that work to keep the audience engaged and entertained and reduce your nervousness/uncertainty? 

RIP retail

Our retail apocalypse roundup takes a look at 35 grisly bankruptcies of once-beloved retail companies, from Toys "R" Us to RadioShack (twice).

Among the reasons these companies went under: declining mall traffic, fast fashion competition, and e-commerce. Check it out.

Coffee talk

We took a look into JAB, the secretive German firm consolidating the US coffee industry, to see where the company and its subsidiaries are placing their bets across the US coffee and bakery space — from Krispy Kreme to Caribou. 

"I don't get bitcoin. I don't get blockchain."

If you've ever said this to yourself, read this

It's really good. 

Just follow Alice.

Battle royale 

It's been five weeks since we first asked: what is the best company to invest in and hold for ten years?

Our original bracket of 64 companies included everything from Starbucks and Disney to Facebook and Tesla. Now, we're down to the final round, feat. two e-commerce giants: Amazon vs. Alibaba.

Alibaba beat out Apple and Amazon beat out Alphabet in the Final 4.

Polls close Tuesday, January 2nd. Cast your vote now.

LinkedIn versus  Battle Royale II

DuckDuckGo, the Internet Archive, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are going after LinkedIn. They're arguing that accessing publicly available information via automated scripts is not a crime. LinkedIn thinks differently.

LinkedIn is understandably protective of its social graph and shuttered its more widely available API a few years ago (we were a regrettable casualty of that). It will be interesting to see how this plays out. It does seem the walls that LI has erected around its data may be under pressure. The full EFF post is in The Blurb below.

Just keep swimming

Apple's latest patent for "radionavigation for swimmers" (i.e. navigation tech for swimming in open waters) could signal that improved fitness-tech functionality is coming to the Apple Watch. 

Game on

Our friends at Microsoft Ventures are hosting the Innovate.AI competition to fund startups driving the future of AI and machine learning.

If you're an AI-focused startup located in North America, Europe, or Israel, and you've raised less than $4M to date, you can apply now (and be considered for $5.5M in total prizes). 

Applications close December 31st. 

The Industry Standard

CB Insights data is the most trusted by those in the industry and the media. A few recent hits.

IIoT Spotlight Podcast. An interview with CB Insights analyst Nick Pappageorge (@NpappaG) on the latest trends around venture capital in the industrial IoT market. 

Bloomberg. A look at how bitcoin is shaking up traditional venture capital, with a reference to CB Insights' Q3'17 Venture Capital Report

The Street. Annie Palmer (@annierpalmer) writes about the increasing number of VCs getting serious about initial coin offerings and cites CB Insights ICO data. 

I love you.


P.S. On January 4th, we're diving into the consumerization of healthcare, looking at the future of urgent care, retail care, telemedicine, and more. Be there.

The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

I'll take the usual. Sendhil Mullainathan (@m_sendhil) on self-experimentation — and why trying new things is so hard. 
New York Times

What happens next will shock you. Facebook is clamping down on clickbait. 

Where there's smoke. Web developer Jill Hubley created an interactive map of every wildfire in the US over the last 36 years. 
FastCo Design

Corporate espionage. Per a letter from an ex-Uber manager's lawyer, Uber allegedly hired spies to track its competitors.

Public record. EFF is taking on LinkedIn, arguing that accessing publicly available online information is not a crime. 
Electric Frontier Foundation

Giant vending machines. Alibaba recently announced a deal to help Ford sell electric vehicles in China — and proposed "Car Vending Machines" to do so.  

Data jedi. Different types of data roles, explained through Star Wars characters. 
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