Amazon essential items policy is killing retailers
Many small retailers have built their businesses using Amazon as their only channel to market. Thousands now find that Amazon will not accept or ship their products for weeks, given its “essentials only” policy to deal with the pandemic. While retailers understand the need for the policy, they must quickly find alternative channels such as Walmart.com through which to sell products. Wired
dis-rup-shun: Amazon, for many small businesses, does all the heavy lifting in terms of sales and distribution. Their policies — be they the order that products appear on a web page, or when shipments are de-prioritized — are a reminder of the need for diversification in most all things: suppliers, customers, lenders, and investors.
Facebook Portal a pandemic winner
Facebook’s Portal is a web conferencing device built for families and friends to watch TV together and enjoy video chatting. The devices were discounted by journalists and serious tech fans when they were announced just prior to holiday season in 2019. Facebook’s privacy problems were seen as a barrier to acceptance of the device. Now, the simplicity of the device is making it a favorite of consumers. Facebook Portal TV is now sold out. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: My how circumstances can change things. The simplicity of Portal TV and its fun features is well aligned with a literally captive market that is hungry for human connection. Call Facebook lucky or prophetic, but Portal is turning out to be a visionary product.
Amber smart circuit breaker a home electrical game changer
Amber Solutions, a Silicon Valley startup, has developed a semiconductor that manages electricity. The product, when placed in a circuit breaker, can sense and manage changes in current, power surges, shorts, and enables both remote control of circuits as well as reporting of energy usage. Amber Solutions
dis-rup-shun: The implications for smart circuits include the ability to control all devices in the home with a single app or single skill. The app could easily enable different scenarios such as conservation mode, vacation mode, security mode, and could detect problems with appliances, such as HVAC systems, long before they gave out. The question is how Amber will win over the circuit breaker giants such as Eaton, ABB, Leviton, Square D and others.
Apple releases new laptop like iPad
iPads continue to look and feel more like light, thin, touchscreen-capable laptops, and the latest release from Apple even claims to be a replacement for a laptop. The new iPad Pro is more powerful, supports a stylus, supports a mouse or trackpad, has new camera technology and LIDAR support. LIDAR technology enables augmented reality — the ability to superimpose dynamic images on top of photos. You need to watch the full Apple video to appreciate the potential. Apple.com
dis-rup-shun: It seems more and more people are using iPads as their daily computing device. The question Apple has to ask is if pushing the iPad as laptop cannibalizes more PC sales or MacBook sales. Given that there are more PC laptops in the world, the math would likely reveal that the new product wins over more PC users in volume. Nonetheless, Apple has, many times, shown that there is room for a new class of device, and getting more people to use iPads as their “travel computer” may not reduce sales of full strength MacBooks. Time will tell.