These days it seems the news is full of stories about autonomous driving.
The other day I came across the video below. It shows what can happen when an unprepared person is placed behind the wheel of a self-driving car. In this case, the car was a Tesla in autopilot mode and the driver was the owner’s mother.
The video highlights what can happen when standard expectations confront new modes of behaviour associated with technological innovation. In this case the disjuncture is hugely discomforting for the lady sitting in a Tesla Model S.
But Tesla is not alone in developing self-driving cars.
Over the last six months, the news for Apple Pay has been pretty mixed. While the payments system has grown its footprint internationally and recorded some successes, US experience has been far from stellar.
The key trend emerging is that while US consumers are happy to trial Apple Pay, ongoing usage is disappointing. In fact, repeat usage is declining, as reported here, here, and here (there’s lots more) which must be of great concern to Apple.
These days we’re all under pressure to produce new software, new features and new interface improvements quickly. And the speed demanded by a market of disruptors and startups is ever-increasing.
Within this context, techniques such as agile and lean startup can help immensely to identify critical issues, bring people together in constructive forms and ensure a focus on delivery of software. However, in the rush to ideate, build an MVP and launch, we can still sometimes forget to validate assumptions and fail to incorporate the right kind of user input through selected contextual research. When this happens, sometimes the results can be frustrating; other times they can be disastrous.
Two recent instances have highlighted this. One is well known: Microsoft’s now-infamous Tay AI bot fiasco. The other is virtually unknown but personally frustrating to me: the recent relaunch of the public website for my son’s school Trinity Grammar.
The other night I attended a presentation from Adam Ludwin, CEO of Chain. Chain is a blockchain infrastructure company from San Francisco that completed a USD$30M fundraising from finance industry companies last September.
Adam spoke about how blockchain will transform not just finance but a range of industries where assets can be easily digitised. Here’s my take on some of the key points in the presentation…
A blockchain supports digital assets
Just as the digital revolution allowed for the creation of digital assets such as music, news and movies, it also supports the creation of truly digital money.