Friday, August 7, 2015

This Week In Innovation: 8/3/15 - 8/7/15

Earlier this week Nicholas Elliot sat down with Bradley Tusk of Tusk Ventures to discuss to ever-present battle between innovation and regulation with startups. “Q: Beyond taxi-type apps such as Uber, what are the main industries in which the conflict of tech innovation and regulation would likely be an issue? A: Education, with startups versus textbook manufacturers; Health care, with new insurers versus old; Gambling, with online–once legalized–versus casinos; Telecoms, with Wi-Fi versus pipes; Real estate tech, with platforms versus brokers.” The entire length of the interview Tusk discusses many of the hurdles that organizations have to overcome in order to be more innovative and responsive to consumer needs. For those of you who are unaware or what Tusk Ventures is (I for one, did not), they work to assist organizations like Uber and General Assembly to be free to be innovative without too many unnecessary restrictions getting in the way. Definitely a cool firm to look into.


Apple is known/criticized for many things that usually revolve around innovation. However, most recently there has been talk that Apple is looking for a way to market its “communications services directly to consumers and bypass the telecom companies…” On Monday, Business Insider had reported that Apple was testing a mobile virtual network operator service in the U.S. However, according to Entrepreneur, an Apple spokeswomen claimed that Apple has no such plans to launch a mobile virtual network operator. If this were true though, think about the implications it would have on innovation in the world of mobile brands like Apple and Samsung. If this innovation move were made by any of the mobile brands now, it would be interesting to see how current service providers would respond.


Sure everyone loves to rip on China for its likely shady handlings with currency and being labeled a “copycat nation”, but for this last point is that true anymore? According to an article released this week by The Wall Street Journal, this point couldn’t be anymore untrue now. The author Rebecca Blumenstein sat down with Mike McNamara, chief executive of Flex, and Jenny Lee, managing partner of GGV Capital. According to Lee, the view that China is not innovating is very outdated. “Today, China is a mature market from a couple of perspectives…the talent pool has grown….the business model itself has also evolved.” In McNamara’s view, the innovation sector in China is “rapidly increasing” and growing. Another important thing noted in the article is that although we are currently seeing China’s market in a bit of a slump, Lee is not particularly concerned about its effect on companies in the early-stage of development. It will definitely be interesting to see the innovation that comes from China within the next couple of months.


Can you imagine being paid for an unlimited maternity and paternity leave? Well if you can, you’re probably employed by Netflix. The laid-back organization, known for its relaxed culture, perks, and benefits, announced that it will now be offering “unlimited paid maternity and paternity leave.” So essentially the new parents will be able to come and go as they please within the first year of the birth while still getting paid the normal amount. The argument for this policy rests on Netflix being able to eliminate the need to switch to state or disability pay. “Experience shows people perform better at work when they’re not worrying about home. This new policy…allows employees to be supported during the changes in their lives and return to work more focused and dedicated.” Well, there you have it. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me.


Nichole Dicharry, is a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Marketing and Finance Divisions, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at Ndicharry@iirusa.com 

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