Fun fact: I was minored in Digital Arts in college and spent a lot of time in the computer lab making 3D animation. Even as an amateur animator, when I rendered a split second of the scene, I would let the fairly well-equipped mac in the computer lab run while I got food. When I’m rendering a video clip of 10 seconds, I would often let it run overnight. As the animation got heavier with textures, light, and curvier surfaces, we had to start using render farms, essentially what Zync Render is.
Implications of using a render farm was huge. This freed up animators’ time and allowed almost double productivity, as you highlighted above. It also meant that if something was not going well (rendering in a wrong way than you had imagined) then you could step in and restart the process because you were on your computer instead of letting it run and stepping away from the desk.
Cloud render farm is entirely dependent on processing power. As the price of hardware drop precipitously, I wonder what would happen to the greater 3D Animation & VFX industry. Rendering costs will decrease significantly and it may start to be more attractive to make films through 3D animation than real life filming, which is completely not the case currently. I also wonder if Zync Render will be able to have a competitive edge since competitors in countries with cheaper electricity and real estate costs would be able to provide cheaper cloud rendering options.
It was interesting to think about technology disrupting such an old profession like lawyers. The fact that a process as laborious as unenjoyable as document review can be partially outsourced to technology is monumental. I wonder how much of an impact that change will have in a law firm’s ecosystem. Especially as technology advances beyond just collecting relevant documents from a pool of documents, no longer will the rookie associates have to engage in laborious jobs. This increase in productivity of the labor force might mean that law firms might not need as many associates, making the prestigious firms even more competitive to get into.
As machine learning and natural language processing technology develop further, I think we will see gigantic improvements in products like kCura. Just like any machine learning process, discovering relevant documents will only get better and easier as the technology engages in more discovery and more feedback loop. At the same time, when lawyers start to rely too much on the technology for document discovery, I think it may be easy to fall into trap of confirmation bias. Unless humans vet the unidentified documents periodically, machines might pick up more and more similar documents and become blind to the relevant documents that the algorithm had trouble finding.
Christian, thank you for this interesting post. Apple’s involvement with health has been fascinating to watch because it grew so fast and has reached such a wide audience through their iPhones.
I think the implications of Research Kit for hospitals and research foundations is enormous. Just like IBM Watson’s capacity to read and cipher all medical studies out there is revolutionizing diagnosis, I think being able to collect as much data on people as Apple has would mean we can expedite research and development like we’ve never seen before.
A couple concerns I do have are: 1. Will users ever start feeling uncomfortable about constantly sharing their data about their bodies with Apple and whomever Apple sells the data to? 2. If Apple has the data and can sell it to whoever pays the big price for the data, can the “smaller guys” with less capital and access to data compete in disrupting healthcare?
Jodie this was a fascinating post. I have to admit, I felt really outdated because I didn’t even know who PewDiePie was. I had to look him up and went down the rabbit hole of YouTube videos…
I find it fascinating that the Maker and Disney merger did not go as well as they intended. Especially after seeing Disney and Pixar’s merger and successful integration, I had thought maybe Disney would be able to integrate with a company whose culture and process are so different theirs. I wonder if it has something to do with MCNs not having found a way to be profitable yet. I think MCN is a tough position to be in because they don’t develop their original content, and since I feel like the YouTube celebrities can leave them anytime. It’d be very interesting to see if they can enter newer distribution channel like Netflix or Xbox.
HackerOne serves as a portal (kind of like a job site) listing all the companies’ assets (like which websites to find bugs on) and policies (like what’s an acceptable bug).
When you log in as a hacker, you’ll see the list of bounty for bugs, like a menu. You can only report bugs to the company through HackerOne’s platform, and get paid only through that platform. I’ve never been on the company’s side but HackerOne probably takes commission and might also charge to get a listing up.
Avator, I loved learning about peach. I’ve always thought bra industry, like many female centered markets, is ripe for disruption. Two of my favorite bra startup are trying to solve a similar problem of revolutionizing the fitting room experience.
1. ThirdLove https://www.thirdlove.com/
ThirdLove developed their own bras. But what really sets them apart is that they can size you via their app. A NASA scientist built the app so that you can be sized based on a couple pictures you take on the app. Like you mentioned with peach, security and privacy are important deterrents they’re trying to overcome. But I think those issues will gradually matter less. As ThirdLove gets traction from word of mouth and earned media, growing number of people are getting sized by ThirdLove’s app and ordering their proprietary bras. I got sized as well by their app and got exactly my size.
2. True&Co https://trueandco.com/
Another one of my favorite companies is True & Co. They do not get involved in sizing but try to resolve bra discovery. Through fairly detailed user surveys, they cater a database of bras based on user reviews to what people with your issues like the most. They also market their internally developed bras. Customers can get a few styles delivered to them for free, try them on, and pick which ones to keep. While I like peach’s personal touch provided by the network of experts, I think scaling “bra advice” is a major roadblock and so I am more optimistic about scalable methods like ThirdLove and True & Co.
Super fascinating post, Walter. AWS has hands down revolutionized the market for servers/ data storage. While we see positive side effects of cheap data storage like cheaper computing and possibilities for high computational tasks like AI projects or distributed backup storages, I haven’t put enough thought into how it affects the environment. Especially given that AWS has been bypassing growth targets by miles in the last two years, I feel like cheap cloud services hurting the environment makes sense. I wonder what other actions they can take to offset their impacts on the environment. Making energy efficient hardware would be a direct way. There might even be break through in data storage software that makes server usage much more efficient. As AWS seeks to lower prices even more and make cloud even more accessible, Amazon should pay more and more attention to sustainability.
Sina, it was very interesting to learn about how an insurance company might be trying to take on sustainability. Great post!
I do agree with you, that they are not doing enough on incorporating sustainability into their insurance products. I imagine the market for climate change related risk mitigation would grow as Aviva expects but claims caused by natural disasters and other climate change related costs would also grow exponentially in coming years. Paying more attention to how their market would change due to climate change will serve as incentives for companies to put a price on unsustainable practices and be more incentivized to incorporate sustainability into their operations.
Coming from Seoul, the 4th largest city in the world, I have personally seen the snowballing effects of warming caused by increasing air conditioners per capita. Over the last decade, air conditioners use skyrocketed and city centers got even more developed. Now when I get to work in the center of Gangnam, where each block has about 30 high risers with 40-50 air conditioners hanging on their balconies, it is usually at least 3 degrees celsius warmer at any given point than the suburbs just a couple miles away. Other cities in South East Asia may experience this problem in even greater scale since urban development happened even more quickly and since air conditioners may be more economic models with less emphasis on sustainability.
Similar to Alan’s point, in context of Asian cities where many machines will be outdated and HFC32 equipped model will be less attractive due to price, I wonder who will take on the cost of retrofitting existing sustainability. Since Daiken’s primary incentive is to sell more of their newer models, they probably won’t offer services to make existing models more sustainable. But more economic options to make existing air conditioners is what we really need in developing markets.
Very interesting, Ilan. I am pleasantly surprised that Maersk has been so steadily increasing their share of slow steaming. That they were able to find a way to incur cost savings and increase overall efficiency of the operations while trying to become more sustainable and fuel efficient by electing for slow steaming makes me optimistic about other verticals. I like the healthy dose of reality when you identified that Maersk’s incentives for pushing other shipping companies to comply with stricter emission standards are probably selfish. It’s very unfortunate that low fuel costs have been making slow steaming less and less attractive for Maersk, even to the point of substantial net losses. I hope IMO does shape up and push the stricter standards on all companies that voluntary efforts to become more sustainable are not financially penalized.
David, I loved getting to see how agricultural industry is thinking about sustainability. Especially since coffee and cocoa are produce that affect majority of the world’s population. If the mitigation and more effective farming don’t offset the effects of climate change enough, do you think the commodities market would experience change in price as well? I wonder if change in price would affect demand since they are such staple commodities.
Also on the topic of governmental cooperation, I would guess that cooperation is harder because production is happening in countries with unstable regimes and weak ministries of agriculture. Do you think Nestle should become more involved in helping legitimize the ministries of agriculture and other help governmental bodies set up sustainability campaigns?