InfoWorld’s 2020 Tech Award Winners
Why does the Indian State both succeed and fail? by Devesh Kapur. Possible explanations: ” Understaffing of local governments, consequences of India’s precocious democracy, and the persistence of social cleavages in India by caste, gender, and religion.”
How to Say No: “Some are tactful and eloquent; others are entirely free of both. All are admirable.” Fun read.
Reports: Shopify on the future of ecommerce and Sparkpost on email marketing
John Battelle: 2021 Predictions and 2020 Predictions review
James M. Buchanan and the Public Choice Tradition: A paper by Art Carden and others. “People respond to incentives in markets. Why not assume they respond to incentives in government, as well? People are self-interested when they are buying and selling. Why not assume they are self-interested when they are voting and making policy? People face imperfect information in markets. Why not assume they face imperfect information in government? He described this approach, which came to be known as public choice theory, as merely “politics without romance.””
What comes after smartphones? Ben Evans: “As well as looking at the sequence ‘mainframe – PC – web – smartphone’, we should probably also think about what was going on underneath: ‘database – client/server – open source – cloud’, perhaps. That is, there are other progressions that are less visible but just as important. On that model, the fundamental trends of today are clearly machine learning and, perhaps, crypto.”
Consumer Trends 2021: A deck by Coefficient Capital. (US context)
Economist on looking at China for the future of shopping. “Chinese apps are to 21st-century shopping what American malls were to last century’s.” Social commerce and omnichannel.
On keeping New Year Resolutions. “Focus on one thing, keep it positive and set a time limit.”
Ninan on the pat decade: “Adjusting for relative changes in the rupee’s and yuan’s dollar values, the International Monetary Fund now says China’s economy grew by 146 per cent in the 2010-20 decade while India managed barely a third of that: 52 per cent…India, despite misadventures, a slowdown and now a recession, has actually had a pretty good decade if one judges by plain economic growth. On the other hand, it is worth bearing in mind that some of the smaller economies have done much better. Bangladesh grew faster than China during the decade, while Vietnam nearly matched it.”
Phoenix Encounter: “The essence of disruption-ready leadership is being able to ruthlessly identify current weaknesses, envisage destruction of the current business model and then rise, phoenix-like, from the ashes with a vision of renewal.”
Dharma: A new book by Ashwin Sanghi and Bhavna Roy “dive into the priceless treasure trove of the ancient Indian epics, as well as the vast and complex universe of Amish’s Meluha (through his Shiva Trilogy and Ram Chandra Series), to explore some of the key concepts of Indian philosophy.”
Email is needed more than ever: Especially, in the cookieless world that’s coming. “Marketers utilize email because it’s a universal identifier that transcends all channels. Email addresses are common data points in identity graphs, and can be used as a unique identifier to match and target audiences.”
7 Big Tech Happenings of 2020: Jaspreet Bindra. Top 3 are covid vaccine development, Elon Musk, and Alpha Fold 2.
Tyler Cowen on 2020: “For obvious reasons, 2020 will not go down as a good year. At the same time, it has brought more scientific progress than any year in recent memory — and these advances will last long after Covid-19 as a major threat is gone.”
Jim Collins on The Tim Ferris Show: The next question he is researching: “Why do some people remain so spectacularly renewed over the long course of a life that maybe in others might not?”
2020 Year in Review: Stratechery. “The lasting impact of COVID will be not entirely new ways of living, but rather the dramatic acceleration of trends that were already in place, particularly those enabled by technology. This includes real world issues like working-from-home, and new digital questions raised by the sheer quantity of information, much of it wrong, but some very right.”
Santosh Desai on Politics and Culture: “The grammar of politics has changed beyond recognition. If there has to be a serious counterpoint to the dominant political force in the country, then it needs a completely fresh mental model of politics. New concepts, a new language, new modes of engaging people, and at the top of the list, new leadership.”
Rahul Verma on BJP’s prospects: “India’s second republic, which has been inaugurated with the BJP’s two consecutive Lok Sabha victories is fundamentally reshaping the social and political arena. The pandemic rather than being a disruptor seems to have consolidated these trends in 2020.”
Rising SaaS Valuations: “The median valuation for so-called software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies raising their third round of venture funding, or Series C, rose by 40 per cent to $210m this year, according to an internal study by the Silicon Valley Bank seen by the FT. Their median revenues grew by 20 per cent.”
Marketing in 2021: A report by Zeta Global.
PSU Wealth Destruction: “The central PSUs’ share in total m-cap declined to a record low of 9.7 per cent, even as they continued to cede ground to family-owned enterprises and private sector companies. Their share was 13.8 per cent a year ago, 25 per cent five years ago, and 32 per cent at the end of March 2010.”
Starting tomorrow (Jan 1, 2021), I will be publishing one more post daily. It will be entitled “Thinks” and will have links to some interesting articles, podcasts, videos or just a quotation to think over. In short, a sharing of a collection of “miscellany” from what I browse daily. It also becomes a repository for me to search interesting stuff that I come across. I look forward to curating this and I hope you will also find it as interesting.
I thought a lot about what I should call it – Misc, Links, Random, Recos. None stood out, and that’s when the word “Thinks” jumped out. And so here we are.
For a long time in the 2000s, I would post 5 summaries every week day of articles I found interesting. I then made it weekly because the daily search became too much. Until it stopped altogether with the blog in 2012.
I hope I can make Thinks a lasting feature on the blog. I will number each edition. Hopefully, that will be another incentives for me to keep going on and on!
PS: I update my blog every day with a new post at 5:30 am India time. I will post the daily “Thinks” at 5 pm India time.