Haier is now the fastest-growing provider of appliances in the world. Since 2011, it has held the largest worldwide market share in white goods. With its upscale brands in China, such as Casarte, and its growing presence in the United States, Europe, and Japan, this US$38 billion company has moved out of the value-priced and niche appliance domain to compete directly with top-of-the-line appliances from more established companies. It has accomplished this by being a consistently coherent and capable company: staying true to its core identity as a company dedicated to solving problems for consumers, while continually reinventing itself with imagination and verve.
Presenting scientific research and his own observations in highly anthropomorphic terms, the matter-of-fact Mr. Wohlleben has delighted readers and talk-show audiences alike with the news — long known to biologists — that trees in the forest are social beings. They can count, learn and remember; nurse sick neighbors; warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network known as the “Wood Wide Web”; and, for reasons unknown, keep the ancient stumps of long-felled companions alive for centuries by feeding them a sugar solution through their roots.
In 1816, the artist Rembrandt Peale gathered an audience at his museum in Baltimore, and wowed them by illuminating the room with gas lamps, instead of candles. Soon the city became the first in the US to light its streets with such lamps.
Two centuries later, the city is celebrating its pioneering work with light with a festival this week. The vid below talks about the artists and shows which reflect a much more contemporary view of light.
As part of the Infor Analyst summit this week, dinner was at the top of the spectacular One World Observatory in New York. The sun set over the Statue of Liberty and the full moon later made for a memorable evening.
As the Telegraph said of the tower which opened last year
“What they have ended up with is a building that screams defiance and strength. It is 400 feet higher than the original Twin Towers; the walls and floors contain 14,000lbs of concrete per square inch, compared with 900lbs that is standard for skyscrapers; there is a waterproof fire lift, and the elevators and stairways are housed in a reinforced column "like a bunker".”
To me, one of the highlights was the technology. The Global Welcome lobby has a large video board which shows off a dynamically generated world map highlights the hometowns of visitors (they key in their zip codes).
The ThyssenKrupp “skypods” zip up 102 floors in 47 seconds – at nearly 25mph. In that ride, you have little time to scream, and even if you wanted to, you are in awe of the walls which show a time lapse of the Manhattan skyline from the 1500s to today.
The See Forever Theater at the top projects more images of New York in a multi-dimension setting and at the end the screens open up to the live view of the city today. You can then walk around and get a 360 degree view of the city, its famous rivers, bridges and other icons.
The video below gives some of the experience but well worth a visit next time you are in New York city. And yes, you can quietly scream your defiance also while you are there.
You will see a highly automated manufacturing flow, like what the automotive industry uses. But what you see is sometimes the flow is like this [he moves one hand off to the side]. Sometimes the flow is like this [he shifts it again], and all of a sudden, the flow is like this [he moves both hands]. And you say, “What the hell is going on here?” Well, what happens is that there’s a customer request such as, “I want this product in that size, in that lot size, with that blue color, with that dot on the bottom.” So the software steers the manufacturing process into lots as small as one item. And then sometimes all of a sudden, you see that certain products are being sorted out into a queue, because the plant received information about a quality defect in that product. So the simulation fixes the defect and gets approval from quality management to put it into the production process. And then off we go.
Industrie 4.0 basically takes the cost of scale close to zero. The production process is being changed. It’s machines talking to machines in a self-optimizing manufacturing and engineering process. Using this approach, we have attained a production quality rate of 99.9988%. That is getting pretty close to Six Sigma. In the last five years, we have increased productivity eightfold. It’s really something.
My friend Bill Hewitt, CEO of Exari describes his recent vacation where he went with “disruptive” travel choices, eschewing big brands as much as he could
“Ah, the proverbial family holiday. Pack up the wife and the kids and take on Europe. Call the travel agent, let him book all the flights, hotels, tours, meals. Overpay. Be underwhelmed.
Or blow it up and do everything for half the price. Have more fun.
This year, one of my kids was going on a school music trip to Croatia and Venice, so I thought, "let's meet him in Venice and see a bunch of Europe". As I explore the traditional route, I realized that the single most expensive portion was the one we would use the least- housing.
So I started browsing AirBnB. Large 3 or 4 bedroom. Two hotel rooms in Paris would have cost about $400 each. The 2,000 sf 4 bedroom in the chic artist neighborhood? $800 for 3 nights. For 4. (photo below)
Transportation was next. Uber everywhere. 40% less than a Paris taxi and 60% less than a London cab.
Food? We found the best fish and chips in London and the shop had only been open 3 months. Thanks Tripadvisor.
The only thing we couldn't do disruptively was air travel, so we flew BA. Reasonable prices, but when I tried to use my status to get into the lounge they reminded me that I could only bring one guest. "We have to be consistent with our policies". That's right. Consistency over customer service.
I know my ratings for AirBnB, Uber and Tripadvisor matter. It's a great way of managing the provider / consumer relationship. Is there anyone out there disrupting the airline industry? If so please let me know.”
Amazon’s plan would culminate with the launch of a new venture called “Global Supply Chain by Amazon,” as soon as this year, the documents said. The new business will locate Amazon at the center of a logistics industry that involves not just shippers like FedEx and UPS but also legions of middlemen who handle cargo and paperwork associated with transnational trade. Amazon wants to bypass these brokers, amassing inventory from thousands of merchants around the world and then buying space on trucks, planes and ships at reduced rates. Merchants will be able to book cargo space online or via mobile devices, creating what Amazon described as a “one click-ship for seamless international trade and shipping.”
Four in five Peruvians don’t have a bank account, but in a country of 30 million people, there are about 32 million cell phones. So the leading Peruvian banks have teamed up to get money moving through those phones. On Dec. 15, Peru Digital Payments, a company owned and operated by the country’s leading financial institutions, launched Bim, a mobile payment program that unites all their online customer interfaces on one system.
“We want this program to reach the people who don’t have bank accounts,” says Carolina Trivelli, who’s overseeing Bim and previously ran the government’s development ministry. “That’s the woman who lives in the countryside and has a nine-key cell phone, a 2G connection, and a prepaid phone plan.”
Peru’s software is the first of its kind: While there are 255 mobile money programs in 89 countries around the world, no other program includes all of a country’s banks, and the majority allow transactions only between customers of the same phone company. By February all three major Peruvian carriers will offer users access to Bim.
“Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, is an acclaimed space scientist, managing director at Science Innovation Ltd and co-presenter of the long running, popular astronomy program ‘The Sky at Night’. Award-winning architects and Westminster University lecturers Arthur Mamou-Mani and Toby Burgess have spent five years exploring the concept of future living; everything from autonomous communities to new materials and digital fabrication tools. linda Aitken and Els Leclercq are professional urbanists who established their own practice, studioAitken, in 2003 and who embed sociological and urban design solutions to rapidly evolving and increasingly complex urban issues. Alongside Dr Aderin-Pocock and Samsung SmartThings, they have joined together to conduct research into the future of living.”