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February 2016

Experts Assert Virtual Reality Video Gaming Will Rake in $5 Billion in 2016 (

According to SuperData Research, in 2016, virtual reality will take off and soar.

$5.1 billion—that’s how much the virtual reality (VR) video gaming industry is set to make in 2016. According to a report from SuperData Research, this segment is set to become the key driver of VR hardware, given that game developers have a global audience of 55.8 million users.

Source: Experts Assert Virtual Reality Video Gaming Will Rake in $5 Billion in 2016

Very worthwhile Read on Innovation: You Need an Innovation Strategy (Gary P. Pisano, HBR)

Despite massive investments of management time and money, innovation remains a frustrating pursuit in many companies. Innovation initiatives frequently fail, and successful innovators have a hard time sustaining their performance—as Polaroid, Nokia, Sun Microsystems, Yahoo, Hewlett-Packard, and countless others have found. Why is it so hard to build and maintain the capacity to innovate? The reasons go much deeper than the commonly cited cause: a failure to execute. The problem with innovation improvement efforts is rooted in the lack of an innovation strategy.

Source: You Need an Innovation Strategy

A great Article on Disrupting the Insurance Industry (Rob Moffat)

For most of 2015 I have been banging on about disrupting insurance (or Instech, if you like that kind of jargon). I’d like to use this blog post to talk about why I find it exciting.

1. Insurance is an enormous market

Life insurance premiums are $2.3 trillion globally. Non-life insurance premiums are $1.4 trillion globally. (both numbers are from 2012, from Mckinsey report linked to below). I don’t get to write the word trillion often when looking at market sizes.

Importantly for a European VC, Europe is a disproportionately large chunk of this, coming in at $700B of life and $400B of non-life . And London, as the place insurance was invested, remains its biggest global hub

2. Incumbents face a number of challenges

The insurance industry in Europe and the US is mostly composed today of large traditional insurers who have been operating for decades or centuries…

Source: Disrupting insurance — Medium

Comprehensive Overview of what Google is doing in FinTech (Let’s Talk Payments)

As FinTech is firing up operations across industries, tech companies have started feeling the urge to get involved in order to take advantage of the innovation wave and maintain relevance. There’s no need to even mention that tech companies have a direct interest in FinTech as the last one has the potential to significantly cut costs and optimize operations. While traditional players in the financial industry are expected to get their hands into FinTech, big tech companies are usually not very vocal when it comes to revealing their FinTech “affairs.”

One of the examples of a dark horse in FinTech is Microsoft which has a wide range of initiatives in FinTech and has recently went far with blockchain...


Source: What Is Google Doing in FinTech? | Let’s Talk Payments

What’s going on with Twitter and is it fair to call out the “End of Twitter”? (André Cramer)


Twitter has come under a lot of pressure recently. It seems they are being beaten by whoever feels like letting out a rant. In my opinion it is important to differentiate where the criticism is directed to.

I think there are two layers that need to differentiated:

  1. Twitter, the company, its management and executive leadership team
  2. Twitter, the product or service and the value it provides to its users

Lots of the ranting you can find all over the place seems rather undirected and I believe it is important and an imperative of fairness to look more closely towards what is wrong, what is not and what should change and what is pretty much ok. Joshua Topolski’s “The End of Twitter”, published in The New Yorker is a very good example for this. They way the company has been shuffling key people and responsibilities in their organization lets many of us justifiably raise the eyebrows. But the article in my opinion mixes those two layers of “company” and “product” and thus draws such a negative picture about the company & product that I do not share. Continue reading “What’s going on with Twitter and is it fair to call out the “End of Twitter”? (André Cramer)”

Great Artificial Intelligence Outlook for this year: 2016, the Year of AI made Real (Blake Irving)

Last month, I found myself in the same hotel bar as IBM Chief Scientist Grady Booch and our conversation eventually turned to a hot topic: the near future of AI.  We weren’t talking strong AI like “open the pod bay doors Hal,” but the much more common (i.e. real) intelligence called “applied AI” that’s quietly sneaking into our homes and businesses.  I’ve written quite a lot about both kinds of AI lately, because barring a major civil unrest or natural disaster it’s likely to change the way we live more than any other type of innovation.  I just don’t think it will happen the way most people think…

Source: 2016: The Year of AI Made Real | Blake Irving | LinkedIn

This is one awesome Vision how Augmented Reality will redefine Entertainment: Microsoft Imagining the Future for NFL fans with HoloLens (Microsoft/YouTube)

Watching sports could soon be a very different experience — at least if it’s up to Microsoft and the NFL. Before you know it, a holographic player could be charging through your walls and replays could play in 3D on your coffee table.

Microsoft today released a new concept for its HoloLens augmented reality goggles that shows off its vision for what the combination of sports and HoloLens could soon look like. It’s worth watching, even if you don’t like football.

From TechCrunch

Magic Leap Raises Whopping $793.5M Series C, Adds Alibaba’s Jack Ma To Board As New Funding Pushes Valuation To $5B (TechCrunch)

Magic Leap, the much-hyped augmented reality company that’s raised over $500 million, doesn’t have a consumer product yet, but that isn’t stopping the company from focusing on the potential of the Chinese entertainment market. And raising more money, too.

The Florida-based company is adding Alibaba founder and executive president Jack Ma to its board of directors as part of an upcoming Series C funding round that values it at $5 billion, a source close to Magic Leap told TechCrunch…


Source: Magic Leap Adds Alibaba’s Jack Ma To Board As New Funding Pushes Valuation To $5B | TechCrunch

Great Google Cardboard Stats: (Un)folding a virtual journey with Google Cardboard – 5 Millon Units shipped

A year and a half ago we introduced Google Cardboard, a simple cardboard viewer that anyone can use to experience mobile virtual reality (VR). With just Cardboard and the smartphone in your pocket, you can travel to faraway places and visit imagined worlds. Since then everyone from droid lovers and Sunday edition subscribers, to big kids and grandmas have been able to enjoy VR—often for the very first time. Here’s a look at where we are, 19 months in:

1. 5 million Cardboard fans have joined the fold.

Source: Official Google Blog: (Un)folding a virtual journey with Google Cardboard

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