How consumer data paints a picture of the pandemic
Five data points from everyday consumer activities, collected by the companies that we trust each day to provide services, shows a profile of the impacts of Coronavirus on activities and the economy. A chart of requests for directions, for walking, driving and mass transit, on Apple Maps, indicates a lull and subsequent recovery in people going places. Restaurant bookings on OpenTable signals a partial recovery, then faltering, of dining out activities. Hotel occupancy data reveals that hotel bookings rates remain at or below 50%. Air travel shows very little recovery from all time lows, and American Airlines announced that it is overstaffed by 20,000 employees. Home purchase data shows that real estate transactions are approaching a pre-COVID-19 level. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: Data maps of our daily habits provide fascinating views of the state of our economy. While these maps show what is down, the activities that are skyrocketing are home entertainment, including movies, games, music, and purchases of food and alcohol. The question then is one of shifting spending — and determining the net reduction in overall spending as a measurement of economic recession resulting from the loss of jobs.
Lemonade IPO shares soar as insurance disruptor goes public
Lemonade is an online insurance provider that was launched in 2016. It provides homeowners and renters insurance using a monthly subscription model, and using AI and chatbots to speed the application and claims process. Opening shares soared 138% to $50 on day one. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: Clearly the market is recognizing the company not for its size against the giants Allstate, Geico, Farmers, State Farm and others, but in its ability to successfully deliver a new pricing and operations model, using AI and chat bots, rather than human agents and actuaries.
IKEA makes smart shades affordable
Who hasn’t marveled at the coolness of smart shades and smart blinds at a friend’s very expensive custom automated home. Those custom shades were likely from Somfy or Lutron. IKEA continues its march into the smart home for every man and woman. Its Fyrtur line of automated (Zigbee-powered) shades work with Apple Homekit, with Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri, and cost from $129 to $179 before the $35 Zigbee hub. CNET
dis-rup-shun: Home automation, despite a myriad of great products, has barely entered the mass market. According to research firm Interpret, smart speakers, the most diffuse smart home product, is in about 30% of U.S. households. IKEA is bridging the gap between expensive custom automation, and extremely affordable smart home accessories that are attractive, easy to install and high tech.
Guide to drone purchases
Is it time to get your own drone? Wired reviews a list of seven popular models for a range of budgets and applications. From photo enthusiasts to Star Wars fans, a number of options are available from $33 to $1,600.
dis-rup-shun: Just like the GoPro made adventure photography easy for everyone, drones make aerial photography accessible to all. Many real estate and vacation destination advertisements feature, as a standard, aerial photos, and expect construction and insurance professionals to employ the devices in their everyday work. Imagine the savings in insurance and hospitalization costs from reductions in people climbing towers, building and houses to perform inspections.