Big Data Creates Opportunities for Small to Midsize Retail Vendors

Big Data Creates Opportunities for Small to Midsize Retail Vendors through Collective Affinity Marketing outside Financial Institutions.

In the Harvard Business Review, there is an article, Will Big Data Kill All but the Biggest Retailers?  One idea to mitigate that risk is to create a collective of independent retailers under affinity programs, such as charities, and offer customers every N part of their purchase applies to the charity to reach specific goals as defined by the consumer.   Merchants, as part of this program, decide their own caps, or monetary participation levels.  Consumers belong to an affinity group, but it’s not limited to a particular credit card.  The key is this transaction data is available to all participating merchants for the affinity.  Transaction data spans all merchants within the affinity and not just the transactions executed with the merchant.

Using trusted, independent marketing data warehouses independent retail vendors share ‘big data’ to enable them to compete and utilize the same pool of consumer [habitual] spending data.

Affinity, marketing data companies can empower their retail clients/vendors with the tools for Business Intelligence and pull from the collection of consumer data.  Trusted, independent marketing data warehouses sprout up to collect consumer data and enable it’s retail vendor clients to mine the data.

These trusted loyalty affinity data warehouses, not affiliated with a single financial institution, as previously implemented with credit cards, but more in line with, or analogous to, supermarket style loyalty programs, however, all independent retail vendors may participate OR may cap these affinity program memberships for retail vendor from small to mid-size companies.

Note: Data obfuscation could be applied so customer identification on fields like social security number will not be transparent, limiting any liabilities for fraud.

Google Project Glass / Glasses and 3rd Party Application Development

Google’s Project Glass, or Google’s augmented reality glasses, I wonder, as propably others, if ANY 3rd party developers will be allowed develop and roll out applications just as they have done with Google’s Android OS, and Google play.  There may be liability concerns with applications, and how developers and their users engage in their use.  It should be very interesting if 3rd party application developers, any, are allowed to develop and roll out apps.  I can think applications will certainly go beyond what pop culture is expecting.  If Google allows for any 3rd party applications, with development toolkits and a simulator just as it does for Android OS, it will streach all of our imaginations what the system and its users are capable of.

The list of applications is extensive from your basic set (i.e. checking email) to:

  • Partnered with a Lucas Films licensee, use small plastic force feedback sticks, the handle of a light saber and leverage Force Feedback for game play with the glasses for the ‘light’ of the light saber (game)
  • Just like there are apps for speed traps, and social network GPS network location check ins, application developers could really be ‘creative’ with this one, and some could similarly border the ‘speed trap’ legality issue.
  • And finally, what parts of the spectrum will Google Glass allow the user to detect.  I can see, excuse the intended pun, enabling the user, with an app, to view alternate parts of the spectrum, not visible light, and their could be a tremendous set of applications for this last point.  If Google doesn’t include it, alternate competitors could, and there is an opportunity.  Baby steps.
  • The visible spectrum, with a creative application developer, could filter or disect    parts of the view-able spectrum, and apply it to specific applications. Polarize me, Scotty!

Mobile Advertisers and Affiliate Network Continued Expansion

Mobile Adverting, Cost Per Acquisition, will grow and continue to apply to In-App purchases, from appliances from a distributor catalogue to a mobile application, virtual products, relatively open landscape for advertisers and reliable, affiliate networks should bloom. Good brand, easy integration capability affiliates are an exclusive membership, primarily an oligopoly at this point, ripe for expansion and VC.

http://allthingsd.com/20120910/exclusive-google-offers-exec-eric-rosenblum-leaves-for-mobile-ad-start-up/

Battle for Developing Nations: Firefox v. WebOS

A Firefox smartphone for a developing world may be one small step to cost effective smartphones, however, the ultimate prize will be to get WebOS open source out of beta and in the hands of cost effective, even small country, government subsidized, hardware vendors to mass produce the devices.  The question remains, will Firefox be expandable enough, yet energy efficient, and will WebOS be energy efficient.  I hope HP designs a ‘lightweight/energy’ option into the phone. See article on “Firefox Targets Developing States with Open Source Affordable Smartphones”

Contractors, Healthcare, and Organized Labor

As I approach a gap in society, I take pause, and say, is that an opportunity, and why does that exist?  If people seize that opportunity who will it benefit, and who will it detract? In this case, I see a number of Information Technology contract positions as right to hire, or just 3 to 6 month or more contract roles, sometimes hourly, sometimes, rarely daily. So I ask myself, as I look at my 1930 AFL-CIO cane, I collect canes as a hobby, why isn’t there a very good health care / organized labor system for the IT industry. You too may have also been excluded as an independent contractor in IT, or your own field. In IT, you either work for a company as a full time employee with benefits, or work for a small to mid sized consultancy firm with no or some mediocre medical benefits. If you work for a large consultancy firm, and are able to transition to a firm, fantastic. You also have the ability to collect good benefits in a large consultancy firm. However, if you are an independent contractor in the United States of America, you may financial barriers securing premium health care insurance, such as a PPO with a small co-pay and without a referral. I am on my 18th month of COBRA and my current small company plan, if I got sick, I would be in serious financial trouble. This ‘Pains’ me to say, but why don’t we have good collective bargaining for Information Technology Independent Consultants? That is a rhetorical question. It would directly compete with large consultancy companies, their ability to deliver good benefits, and transition someone to an organization. If I took a count of how many people were on COBRA, or without healthcare, may be contractors, and would be more than willing to use collective bargaining to strong arm health insurance companies for a great health care plan through organized labor, I suspect we could do more than the United States Government has not been able to do for the American public.

Sign up to express your interest in contractor labor benefits.

Update: Since I originally posted this message, with a small budget, I’ve been able to reach thousands of people to read this post.  If you don’t sign up here, I urge you to try to do the same thing, and reach out to form local labor unions of your own.  Other fields are, and have done this for a long time.  Isn’t it time you’re field of labor collectively worked together in the hopes not just to network for jobs, but for [health] benefits?

HP WebOS Open Source as a Spinoff may compete with the likes of Firefox or MSFT

Take an open source OS such as a WebOS smartphone, without a contract, light weight requirements in processing power, and could it be the RedHat of Mobile devices?  So many hardware vendors are still tied to Microsoft.    WebOS could be the opensource OS.  With VC funding, a spinoff from HP, which gives it focus again, and VC funding and hardware connections with a sick new phone like the Nokia Flex, an alternate shaped device, and a low price point, that device will fly off the shelves.  No doubt about it.

Next Gen Spend Without Hi-Tech Spend

If you want to allocate money to someone, like a gift card without spending the money for a smartphone with an app to transfer the money? What gave me the idea, in part, was the post office and printing out bar code stamps. There are several approaches that include protection against fraud exist.

1) Print out a QR/UPC bar code sticker label which contains information such as monetary allocation plus identification which can match the person’s drivers license, have a brief expiration for the label and the person can go and print out a new label when it expires e.g. a day or week, etc. from an intermediary source or financial instirution.

2) Silicone braclet contains smartcard chip. The braclet comes in colors the intemediaary and/or financial indtitution issue. Braclet interacts with issued short range RF wrist band to indicate identity and help protect against fraud.

Just a thought, give a silicone braclet for the holidays?

Expand this to loyalty programs as well.  There was a gimmick a few years ago with a new shape in credit cards by Discover Card services, however, this was too big and bulky, and shaped oddly, not convenient to attach to a keychain.  It did not catch on, and that before the Smartphone craze, so this avenue wasn’t pursued.  It has merit, because children love the band brackets, so they can get a specific allocation on the card to limit spending.  The wristbands are a great stylistic component which will be popular with a large consumer, Women.

FCC Radiation Regulation for Mobile Devices & Form Factor to Shape Next Niche

The writing is already on the wall folks with three articles, one by CNN, FCC asked to consider raising limit on cell phone radiation, the other article, or more pictorial view of the mobile devices, between Apple and Samsung, in an article picture by the New York Times, and the Nokia Flex Phone.

First, phone manufacturers, start your engines, its a whole new ball game with respect to design and form factor thanks to the boys and girls of Finland.

Second, all manufacturing of phone accessories may profit off of this regulation, if it will be passed in the U.S., Manufacturing accessories to compensate for the existing phones, as well as new technologies developed.  Lots of money for the Krill.

Thirdly, all the apps that go with Nokia’s start of ‘brilliance’, hedged by Apple’s Retina display technology.  Read between the lines boys…and girls.

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