Competing Against Amazon

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Applying Artificial Intelligence to Local Retail
A talk and demo given by
Terrance Jackson
Thursday, November 15th @ 7 pm
Larchmont Public Library
121 Larchmont Avenue, Larchmont, NY

Amazon Doesn’t Just Want to Dominate the Market—It Wants to Become the Market
The company is a radically new kind of monopoly with ambitions that dwarf those of earlier empires.
Setting up shop on Amazon’s platform has helped Gazelle Sports stabilize its sales. But it’s also put the company on a treacherous footing. Amazon touts its platform as a place where entrepreneurs can “pursue their dreams.” Yet studies indicate that the relationship is often predatory.

Amazon vs other retailers


As a local retailer, if you think keeping up with Amazon is expensive and time-consuming, consider the alternative: extinction.
Today’s retailers face a number of complex and emerging challenges.
Thanks to lower overhead and higher volume, online behemoths like Amazon can deliver products faster and at a lower price, driving smaller retailers out of business.
In order to compete, retailers need a new approach – and the fresh technologies that go along with it.
Personalized Promotion & Product Recommendation Engines
Delivering real-time recommendations to online shoppers is a proven way to maximize revenue. It improves the customer experience and increases sales. According to McKinsey & Company, 35 percent of what consumers purchase on Amazon and 75 percent of what they watch on Netflix come from product recommendations.
However, shoppers expect finely tuned product recommendations and react poorly to one-size-fits-all or uninformed recommendations (e.g., “I’ve already bought that. Why are they showing it to me again?”). To be effective, recommendations must be personalized based on the individual consumer’s preferences, shopping history, interests and needs – in addition to what’s already in their current shopping cart.

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The Biggest Value-Creating Business Decision

Applying Artificial Intelligence to the Retail Experience
In retail, many of the most vaunted algorithmic success stories have as much to do with human psychology as with engineering know-how.
The biggest value-creating decision in the history of modern decision: Apple’s crazy decision to forward integrate into stores.
~ Scott Galloway

Apple vs. Amazon

Apple made this crazy irrational decision 20 years ago to forward integrate into the medium that was supposedly going away.
The thing carrying Apple to the largest margins, margins that are somewhere in between Hermès and Ferrari in terms of operating margin, is its brand equity or its halo. Now, what did they do differently to establish this unbelievable resonance as a brand? Samsung, their closest competitor spends double on advertising. They also spend double on online advertising. So where has Apple reinvested that capital?

Apples Hermes

Apple made this crazy irrational decision 20 years ago to forward integrate into the medium that was supposedly going away. Stores. And they have somewhere between five and six billion dollars in store leases now on their balance sheet and have reallocated capital out of traditional broadcast media, which is declining every day in effectiveness, into the store where people still make physical contact if you will. They still consummate the relationship with the brand at the point of purchase.

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All Our Children Can Create

The Key to New York’s Future is Education.

When it comes to technology skills, the U.S. comes in last place — right below Poland. In addition, there was a significant racial difference with non-whites scoring below whites.
That’s why we are introducing students to artificial intelligence (A.I.), computer vision, data science, machine learning, robotics and blockchain technology.
Tech’s biggest companies are placing huge bets on artificial intelligence (A.I.) where typical A.I. specialists can be paid from $300,000 to $500,000 a year or more in salary and company stock.
We must educate our children for the 21st Century
Government is the instrument that citizens use to guarantee protection and empowerment for all. We all, together, provide what is needed for a decent life. Individual accomplishment rests on what other Americans have provided and keep providing.
Building the economy requires public investment — in public infrastructure, education, research, and much more.
Success is much more than money. It is your contribution to America as a whole — whether it is teaching, raising children, providing food, healing the sick, making useful products, guaranteeing our rights and our safety, or running businesses that make life better. America needs us all. And we all depend on each other.
America needs us all. And we all depend on each other.
The key to New York’s future is education. And we can show fairly conclusively that all our children can create. The challenging part is that there is no magic moment of creation. Creators spend almost all their time creating, persevering despite doubt, failure, ridicule, and rejection until they succeed in making something new and useful. There are no tricks, shortcuts, or get-creative-quick schemes. The process is ordinary, even if the outcome is not.
Creating is not magic but work, and we must teach this to our children.

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New Tax Code Hits Westchester Hard

In 2016, Westchester County ranked first in the nation in property taxes. Westchester residents paid on average $16,500 a year in property taxes, according to a report from ATTOM Data Solutions. High taxes are undermining the Westchester economy. If you were a company trying to find a location for a new office or distribution center, why would you come to the highest taxed county in the United States?
Now, we have another problem. The GOP’s tax plan is likely to advantage wealthy Americans in a number of ways, including estate-tax, private-tuition benefits, and especially commercial real estate. Yet, where the housing market is concerned, proposed changes — particularly those in the House version of the bill — are set to disproportionately affect wealthier homeowners. According to an article in The New York Times:
The bill, if enacted into law, could send home prices tumbling 10 percent or more in parts of the New York area, according to one economic analysis. It could increase the regional tax burden, complicating companies’ efforts to attract skilled workers. It could make it harder for state and local governments to pay for upgrades to the transit system and other infrastructure. And it could force cuts in federal programs that help immigrants, the elderly and other low-income residents afford the region’s high cost of living.

SALT deductions

Westchester residents and Westchester home values could both take a big hit when the new tax bill is enacted. At present the differences between the House and Senate versions of the tax bill will be reconciled by a conference committee and then enacted into law, but both versions include provisions that will be costly to many Westchester residents.

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Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Should be Broken Up

Gladiators

In Fast Company, Douglas Rushkoff wrote “It’s Time To Break Up Amazon:”
Whatever you may think of Jeff Bezos, and whether or not antitrust regulations can justifiably be applied to a company whose expansion doesn’t raise but actually lowers costs for end consumers, may be beside the point. Many of us get that something is amiss, but are ourselves so deeply enmeshed in the logic of last century’s version of free-market industrial capitalism that we can’t quite bring ourselves to call this out for the threat it poses to our markets, our economy, and even our planet….

Douglas Rushkoff

The problem is, when an existing market is merely a means to another end, the company doesn’t consider the long-term effects of its actions. Amazon treated the book industry the same way companies like Walmart once treated the territories into which they expanded: Use a war chest of capital to undercut prices, put competitors out of business, become the sole employer in the community, turn employees into part-time shift workers, lobby for deregulation, and effectively extract all the value from a given region before closing up shop and moving to the next one.

Fat Cats

This model of doing business—one that even a proto-fascist like Henry Ford would have considered obscene—has not served corporations well. As the data now reveals, corporate profits have been steadily decreasing relative to corporate size over the past 75 years…. And by sucking their customers and suppliers dry, such companies end up destroying the marketplaces on which they depend for revenue. It’s a form of financial obesity, where the only thing left for the company to do is acquire a new marketplace, extract all its value, and move on.

Scott Galloway

At Business Insider’s IGNITION conference, Scott Galloway gave a presentation on why “The Big Four” — Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google — should be broken up. Galloway is a professor of marketing at the NYU Stern School of Business and the author of “The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google.”

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Dear Mr. Man Prince Tribute Concert

Dear Mr Man Prince Tribute

Might not be in the back of the bus
But it sure feel just the same
Ain’t nothing fair about welfare,
Ain’t no assistance in aids
Ain’t nothin’ affirmative about your actions
Till the people get paid

Prince was a great musician
“Prince came in, and he said to the labels, ‘Do not try to just put me with the urban group; I want the world. I want to be with the pop staff. I’m going to make rock and roll, as well as soul, as well as funk… I don’t want to just go to Soul Train, I don’t want to just open up for Rick James, I want to be on Dick Clark.’”

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Bringing the Digital Stewards program to New Rochelle

Please contact me (terrance[dot]jackson17[at sign]gmail[dot]com) if you are interested in helping to bring the Digital Stewards program to New Rochelle.
We are The Digital Stewards!
Digital Stewards
“The Digital Stewards are young adults who unlock the world of technology through self-discovery, problem solving, and creative critical thinking. We bridge the digital divide using a diverse set of technology and media skills, empowering young people’s dreams and creating new levels of success.”
We are a group of young adults who install, maintain, and promote the Red Hook Initiative Wifi network. Our main aim is to do outreach within the community, create partnerships with businesses and non-profit organizations relating to the network, identify possible installation sites to place routers and antennas on. We are hoping to create a safe, digital environment that’s beneficial to the community while maintaining digital infrastructure and justice. We are also available for hire for home network problems and computer fixes.
On October 6, 2016, an unprecedented $750 million plan to launch an ultra-fast internet service in Westchester County’s four largest cities (Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, White Plains and Yonkers) was unveiled as one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects since opening the Tappan Zee Bridge and Metro-North railroad.
Gigabit Westchester

Yonkers mayor Mike Spano speaks about the joint initiative to pursue gigabit broadband with New Rochelle mayor Noam Bramson, left, Bill Mooney, CEO of the Westchester County Association, White Plains mayor Tom Roach and Mount Vernon mayor Richard Thomas, Oct. 6, 2016 in White Plains. (Photo: Tania Savayan/The Journal News)

“What we’re learning is that digital infrastructure can be every bit as important (as roads and bridges),” New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson said. “As we come to rely on high-speed access to information – whether we are business, whether we are medical providers or whether we are residents – that kind of high-speed access is not going to be a luxury, it is going to be a requirement.”
Underrepresented groups need to participate in this plan.

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