California vote gives gig economy green light
Hanging in the balance yesterday was California Proposition 22, which would require gig workers such as Uber and Lyft drivers to be considered employees and receive benefits. The defeat of the proposition was a green light for emerging gig economy companies, including DoorDash, Instacart and Postmates which rely on hourly contractors to provide new services at low prices. Other states will likely see the California vote as an indication of consumer sentiment. CNet
dis-rup-shun: The gig economy, defined as using the Internet to temporarily employ under-used resources, such as cars, people or homes, make up 1% of the U.S. workforce and rising, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While a small percentage, the ability to reduce the unemployment rate by 1% is a big deal. Expect new and innovative ideas, such as Task Rabbit and Wag!, to continue to pop up and help supply meet demand.
Even AT&T is ready to cut the cord
AT&T is in talks to sell up to 50% of its legacy DirecTV, AT&T Now and Uverse units to private investors. The potential transaction values the DirecTV business, for which AT&T paid $67 billion, at somewhere in the range of $15 billion. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: The startling decline in value of the DirecTV business unit in just five years is hard to fathom, but is a reminder of why Randall Stephenson, former AT&T CEO, rode off into the sunset earlier this year. The company is now in a position to hastily remake its video strategy to compete with a much more nimble Netflix that does not have the baggage of wireless services or legacy telecommunications and satellite TV services to deal with.
Game console strategies summarized
With new consoles on the verge of release, The Verge summarizes Microsoft and Sony’s future in gaming. Microsoft is out to create, maintain and grow new game customers regardless of platform — providing solutions for PCs, for mobile from the cloud, for discount consoles and for serious consoles. As Microsoft will not release its new consoles with new blockbuster game titles, it will lean heavily on compatibility with legacy games to excite users. Sony’s Playstation strategy is focused on providing a premium console experience with some brand new titles and with a new haptic feedback readied controller, the DualSense.
dis-rup-shun: The differing strategies will be exciting to watch, as it appears that Microsoft is hard at work to fend off newcomers to the gaming space such as Amazon and Apple who are seeking to convert everyone to a game subscription. Sony, on the other hand, may further engage the traditional core gamer — a specialized but profitable niche market — and extract additional dollars per unit by rewarding loyalty and honoring the exclusive experience sought after by serious gamers.
The best smart home products
Gizmodo provides the latest of frequent lists of best smart home devices. Gizmodo’s list has a few dark horses. The picks include:
Best Wi-Fi mesh router: Netgear Orbi. Best smart speaker: Nest Audio. Best robotic vacuum cleaner: Neato Botvac D7 Connected. Best smart display hub: Google Nest Hub Max. Best smart lock: August Wi-Fi Smart Lock. Best smart plug: Belkin Wemo Mini. Best connected lightbulb: Philips Hue. Best connected security camera: Logitech Circle 2. Best in-home exercise system: Peloton Bike.
dis-rup-shun: Most of us are spending a LOT more time at home, and investing in smart products for entertainment, convenience and security makes more sense than ever before. Fortunately the industry keeps cranking out better and more affordable smart home products.