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IOP Observatory – Breaking the Law, Unbundling, and Fundamental Truths

Here we are again. Another edition of the Observatory. What with all the politics and end-of-year hur
December 15 · Issue #7 · View online
The VUCA Observatory
Here we are again. Another edition of the Observatory. What with all the politics and end-of-year hurry, this lay dormant for unforgivably long. But at last, my observations on the network transformation.
In this edition: Breaking the Law, Unbundling, and Fundamental Truths.
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Wearables and Devices
Pebble, a pioneer in the smart watch market, agreed to sell it’s IP assets to Fitbit for reportedly $40m, not enough to fulfil its debt obligations. Fitbit on its own is facing immense struggles in the Wearables market, as exhibited in its latest quarterly filing[2] which shows CAC through the roof. Which, of course, leads the punditry regiment to declare the death of the gadget.[3] If you’re so inclined, you can read that as bundling/unbundling theory. 
Department of Trends
Case in point: Benedict Evans’ update on “Mobile is Eating the World”[1]. Chris Anderson famously called the explosion of Hardware Products the “peace dividend of the smartphone wars”,[2] and Evans is driving home the point: we’re now looking at the next abstraction layer. What happens with Smartphones and their components as foundation. And yet, humans are stubborn. That’s why Rebekah Cox’s piece resonated. [3] If you’re working in tech and human behaviour, this is required reading. 
Transportation and Breaking the Law
Cory Doctorow wrote a compelling piece of near-future fiction for an Australian University, detailing what unanticipated effects Autonomous Vehicles might have.[1] At the same time, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation published a good overview of where we already are in connected vehicles.[2] In the meantime, Tesla’s numbers show that Self-Driving safety doesn’t quite live up to the hype[3] while Uber again touts the law as they introduce self-driving service in San Francisco, promptly violating traffic laws.[4] Of course this is Ubers MO - ignore regulation to grow fast enough - and the same strategy that OTTO, the autonomous trucking firm Uber bought, pursued in Nevada.[5]
Strange and Interesting
That’s it for this week.
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