Google messaging, youth soccer and focus

Last week, Google announced it was retiring Allo. Allo was one of their messaging apps. Google has more messaging solutions than anyone on the planet and they don’t seem to get it right which is interesting given the platform leverage they have with Android. How hard can it be to build something like iMessage? Especially…

Reducing risk in insurance pools

When you talk about insurance, you talk about pooling risk with a group of people. That’s the essence of what insurance is. The insurance industry has always been creative in reducing the risk in their pool. There are in general two options to reduce risk: reduce the risk of your existing pool of customers raise…

Personalized product ratings

Nowadays everything is rated. Products are rated on Amazon, TV is rated on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB, venues are rated on Yelp and Google Maps and even our cab driver has a rating. Often though I feel like the ratings do not reflect my personal experience. It makes me pause when I look at ratings in…

Retro gaming: Duke Nukem 3D

This was one of the favorite multi-player games in college. We played this is so many times. Besides the great fun playing the game, it had these funny quotes (spoke by Jon St. John). For instance this one – it still cracks me up: The gameplay held up pretty well given it is over 20…

Control your personal data

This week Quora got hacked and the account information of 100M users was exposed. The week before Starwood admitted they were hacked for several years and details of an estimated 500M people were exposed. And then there were the hacks of: Yahoo (3B accounts) Equifax (143M accounts) JPMorganChase (83M accounts) Anthem (80M accounts) Target (70M accounts)…

Who wants you to win?

An important driver for success is if you can answer the question who wants you to win? This is especially important when you’re disrupting existing industries and markets. Sometimes it’s the customer like and sometimes it’s your suppliers. Here are a few examples. Google Android won because the industry wanted to offer a smartphone which…

Managing risk and uncertainty

If you’re into insurance and startups, this is an excellent presentation by Angela Strange from a16z. In only 25 minutes – and without speaking like bat out of hell – she gives a great overview on the opportunities and challenges of starting a company in the insuretech – interestingly enough she doesn’t use that term…

Little things

A few years ago, I bought a car. I had a great conversation with the sales guy and the whole experience was very pleasant. I got to test drive it and we discussed a couple of things which were wrong with it and they would fix them. At closing, I asked if they could put…