In Weekly disruption feed

GO, GO invest in GOLD!?

Apple launched their new watch “for real” this week (they introduced it in September) and there are many interesting speculations to be made around design, specifications, line-up and perhaps the fact that the most expensive model will sell for $17,000!

BUT, what really is interesting is the fact that the more premium and expensive line, Watch Edition is encased in solid gold. That may not be such a big deal in itself, but when we add forecasts of about 1 million units per month things get interesting. Some estimations of the amount of gold in each watch points to Apple having to buy up as much as 30 percent of the world’s annual gold production!!

Read the full article here

Google driven disruption in insurance!

On Thursday, Google announced they are introducing a United States version of its Google Compare auto insurance shopping site, which has been operating in Britain for about two years. While insurers are sure to see prices be put under pressure when consumers can easily compare online, it will be the agents and insurance brokers that will be threatened from Google’s move into insurance as comparison sites like Google’s allow customers to buy directly from insurers. One can understand Google’s move after learning that the broker market for just auto, home and commercial insurance is estimated at about $50 billion.

This is yet another sector of agents being squeezed, middle hands are losing their grip.

Read the full article here

Obamacare = industry disruption

We’ve previously written on the feed about Google’s and Apple’s ventures in to healthcare and how the industry is shifting towards preventive care rather than diagnostic.

The Economist have now published a great article on how Obamacare has shaken up the industry in a classic Clayton Christensen “innovators dilemma” scenario. Where earlier legislation required no regard to the outcome of healthcare, today hospitals and doctors are increasingly paid after results. The shift has opened up for all sorts of other businesses seeking either to take market share from the conventional providers, or to provide the software and tools that help hospitals, doctors, insurers and patients make the most of this new world.

The shift is already imminent, with prices for the same procedure varying by as much as 900 % in a 50 mile radius, and recent governmental targets are sure to increase the change!

Read the full article here

NVidia to launch subscription gaming console

Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo has completely dominated the living room gaming for a while now, but is this era coming to an end? Graphic card producer NVidia announced last Tuesday that they are launching a video-gaming console that isn’t based on customers buying the games, but rather a subscription business model. “We want to be the Netflix of gaming” said NVidia CEO Huang at a pre-launch event last week where the new console “Shield” was presented.

Cloud gaming has been tried before, but according to analysts the timing has not been right. This time, however, the enabling factors might be in place; Internet speed is climbing worldwide and people have broadband at home. The system also have one feature that truly speaks in its favor: it relies on powerful graphics chips in data centers around the world. This way the hardware can be upgraded without the customer having to buy a new console. Sony and Xbox beware!

Simultaneously Valve, a game developer and distributor are launching their very own console for gaming, steam machines. Big things happening in the world of gaming consoles!

Read the full articles here and here

Banking disruption continues

We have written earlier about UK banking disruption and the trend continuous with a wide range of new players entering the market. Using machine learning big-data and the latest technology for online financial tools, very efficiently identify worthy near-prime borrowers and run completely branch free. We are really in the midst of a huge shift in retail banking!

Also, taking Citigroup as an example, the Economist have concluded that the risks of international banking are increasing. It is also a classic case of simply not understanding where profits are really coming from. The main question to be asked is, however, if global banks give up international banking more and more, who will fill the void?

Read the full articles here and here

Biosimilars, disruption in med-tech?

Regulation on medication has started to change in the US, allowing biosimilars to be sold. Biosimilars are drugs that mimic the biological treatment of existing drugs. Amgen Inc., a California company is now investing heavily in large scale production plants. Is this a similar disruptive threat to the industry as generics were?

The process seems very complex and large investments are required, interesting developments and a good read from Bloomberg.

Read the full article here

New Rules in the Automotive Industry

As in many industries today, software is playing an increasing role in the automotive industry. This could be the main reason why the first successful self-driving cars might come from companies outside the industry, such as Apple and Google. When new entrants emerge they do not have to play by the same rules as the incumbents, resulting in the business models for car companies is likely to change as much as the car itself.

Being able to work, sleep and eat while driving might be good enough reasons for buying a self-driving car. However, when looking at the potential impact it will have on the economy on a macro level, it gets even more interesting.

The self-driving car is believed to reduce the crash rate by 90 percent, saving 180 billion dollars a year in car repair and health care bills.

The cars will also be able to park very tightly together (no need for space between the cars when the passengers are dropped off at the destination), reducing the need for parking space with 75 percent.

Today the average car is used 5 percent of the time. When the car can transport itself between the users it will be easier to share it and the idea of everyone owning their own car might change.

Read the full articles here and here

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