The cart is the cash register, declares Amazon
Amazon’s Dash carts — grocery carts that watch what you put in them and scan as you go — are replacing cash registers and cashiers at a pilot store in Woodland Hills, California (near Los Angeles). CNBC
dis-rup-shun: Skipping the check out line at the grocery store — good news! Eliminating more employees from the economy — ouch! If this is the new face of shopping, then Amazon will have a lead — perhaps by not sharing the cart technology with non-Amazon stores, or perhaps by dominating point of sale technology as a technology provider, or by creating so many Prime membership benefits that Prime will be the biggest buying club ever — leading to preferred video, shipping, shopping, delivery, doctor visits, theater seats, airline tickets, hotel rooms, and the list goes on.
Google fined for not erasing personal data
A high ranking European official put Google to the test, citing a European Union law, enforced in 2014, that gives a citizen the right to request removal of data from a search engine. When Google failed to comply, the company as fined 600,000 Euros. CNET
dis-rup-shun: More power to the EU for keeping Big Tech inline. Using my personal data in exchange for free services is fine, until it isn’t, and then people should have a way to turn back and become anonymous. In some cases those rights are granted by law, but how can they be enforced? Call in the data privacy police. This is an emerging problem that will become a political hot potato in coming elections across the globe.
It’s happening: companies are cancelling office space
Companies, particularly start-ups that are always looking for ways to reduce cash burn, are not renewing office space. CBRE predicted, in May, a 7% drop in office rental rates and vacancies to rise as high as 15%, up from 12% in Q1. Many companies in Silicon Valley have already started to beef up staff outside of the Bay Area.
dis-rup-shun: There are great reasons to have an office, but the pandemic has proved that many businesses can run quite well without them. After a drought, leasing will increase, but space planning and use will be different, with many more “hotelling” configurations for workers that may spend only a day or two per week in an office.
Microsoft is ready to take back schools, with Kano
Kano, a maker of inexpensive computer kits that kids can build and use, has partnered with Microsoft to build an inexpensive computer kit that runs Windows and can help cash-poor school districts purchase computers for kids. Wired
dis-rup-shun: Between iPads and Chromebooks, Microsoft was being forced out of the public education marketplace. In another sign of Microsoft’s return to a great run company, this partnership should help more kids grow up on Microsoft products. The problem, of course, is that the future of schools is in question as the shelter-in-place continues and the return to classrooms is very questionable one month before many school districts normally open.