On the occasion of the Business Model Blog Editorial spending last week abroad the weekly disruption feed will this week be posted today! Enjoy a condensed take on some of the most important disruptive news-pieces of last week.
Why does Google make human skin?
Google has the last three years quietly built a Life Sciences research facility, now employing more than 100 doctors and researchers. Their most prominent project aims to discover cancer cells when they first appear. By releasing nano-particles that attach to potential cancer cells, a wristband can easily detect the cells.
The particles light up when attached to a cell and therefore Google is now heavily researching how light passes through a wide variety of skin types! Truly disruptive and sure living up to the “don’t be evil” motto!
Data analytics, time for big banks to catch up!
Earnest, a San Francisco start-up, are betting they can do better than banks at credit scoring with the tools of data science. Their approach is a digital-age spin on the most basic principle of banking: Know your customer. Earnest’s software algorithms give weight to things not factored into traditional credit analysis like education and savings, even telling clients to make sure their LinkedIn profile is up to date!
It’s been said before Banks and the financial industry are next up for digital disruption!
Google to take on UBER and/or vice versa!
Google is one of the biggest investor in UBER and has since 2013 had one of the board member positions. Now Google is preparing to offer its own ride-hailing service, most likely in conjunction with its long-in-development driverless car project, and the two companies risk becoming ferocious competitors.
At the same time UBER is investing in a research facility to build self-driving cars. The race is on!
Alibaba strikes American financing partnership
Two of 2014 most talked-about online marketplaces announced last Tuesday that they are teaming up. It is the Alibaba Group and Lending Club that enter into collaboration to help American companies buy parts from Chinese manufacturers.
Lending Club is a peer-to-peer lending and online marketplace lending company that through an online lending platform enables borrowers to obtain a loan, and investors to purchase notes backed by payments made on loans.
The collaboration, named “Alibaba.com e-Credit Line, Powered by Lending Club”, is meant to in part replace traditional business supply-chain borrowing for small- to medium-size companies that use Alibaba for manufacturing. With this new deal, Chinese manufacturers can now access up to $300’000 for each purchase order. If activity on the platform takes off, it can have a significant impact on American and Chinese businesses ability to trade goods.
The new Space Race!
After last week’s news of Google’s investment in SpaceX another space entrepreneur, that perhaps is one step ahead, has come to light. Greg Wyler, billionaire and “genius” has been on a mission since 2007 to connect “the other 3 billion”, and he is also doing it with satellites. Among other he has Richard Branson and Google backing him, and the vision is to eventually connect the whole whorld with hundreds and perhaps thousands of “low earth” satellites.
Interestingly Google seems to be investing in both companies, securing their ownership of the whole connected value chain, from phone to phone.
How Apple overthrew Microsoft
In the light of Apple and Microsoft recently unveiling their earnings for the latest quarter the market cap for Apple reached an historical high: it is now more than double the size of Microsoft.
James B. Stewart of The New York Times argue that this is a result of two things: Apples radical vision and their willingness to cannibalize on themselves to maintain disruptive. Whereas Microsoft wanted to put a computer in every home, Apple wanted to put one in every pocket. Also, Apple has not been afraid of cutting into their own product lines to create an even more successful one, clearly exemplified by how the iPhone is killing of the success of the iPod. Microsoft has instead fortified their position in software and is now facing a maturing market.
The question that remains to be answered is if Apple can maintain this strategy, considering how almost all of Apples growth is currently stemming from the iPhone product line.
Uberization of work?
The NY Times had a great article this week on the on-demand economy.
UBER’s success is undeniable with a 10 billion dollar valuation, continuously increasing (happy) customer base and drivers that reportedly make more in less time. Their success is mirrored in many new start-ups that are trying to do the same thing in other industries, this has been called the rise of the on-demand economy. Uberization will have its benefits: Technology could make your work life more flexible, allowing you to fit your job, or perhaps multiple jobs, around your schedule, rather than vice versa.
However, Robert B. Reich, an economist at the University of California studying and interviewing workers in the on-demand world concludes that “most would much rather have good, well-paying, regular jobs.”