Jan 29

How Algorithms shape our world

Innovation, Technology Comments Off on How Algorithms shape our world

Jan 01

Design at the intersection of technology and biology

Innovation, Technology Comments Off on Design at the intersection of technology and biology

Kicking off 2016 with good Ted talks. This is great one on product design bring biology and technology together to build new products.

Sep 04

Building zulily’s big data platform

Big Data, Innovation Comments Off on Building zulily’s big data platform

If you have not already ready my post on zulily engineering blog, it is a good read on what we are building at zulily.  Send me a note if you want to learn more or if you are interested in joining our team. 

In July 2014 we started our journey to building a new data platform that would allow us to use big data to drive business decisions. I would like to start with a quote from our 2015 Q2 earnings that was highlighted in various press outlets and share how we built a data platform that allows zulily to make decisions which were near impossible to do before.

“We compared two sets of customers from 2012 that both came in through the same channel, a display ad on a major homepage, but through two different types of ads,” [Darrell] Cavens said. “The first ad featured a globally distributed well-known shoe brand, and the second was a set of uniquely styled but unbranded women’s dresses. When we analyze customers coming in through the two different ad types, the shoe ad had more than twice the rate of customer activations on day one. But 2.5 years later, the spend from customers that came in through the women dresses ad was significantly higher than the shoe ad with the difference increasing over time.” – www.bizjournals.com

Our vision is for every decision, at every level in the organization, to be driven by data. In early 2014 we realized the data platform we had which was combination of SQL server database for data warehousing primarily for structured operational data + Hadoop cluster for unstructured data was too limiting. We started with defining core principles for our new data platform (v3).

zulily Engineering Blog | Seattle’s Best Engineering Team

Jan 11

Toyota gives away patents to build ‘game-changing’ car of the future – GeekWire

Innovation, Technology Comments Off on Toyota gives away patents to build ‘game-changing’ car of the future – GeekWire

This is awesome… :) Maybe I should wait for hydrogen electric vehicle. :)  This will surely drive innovation in this space.

LAS VEGAS — Toyota made it clear today at the big Consumer Electronics Show that its fuel-cell technology is the future of automotive transportation.

The car-maker on Monday held a press conference detailing the progress of the new Toyota Mirai, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that is powered by combining oxygen and hydrogen and will be commercially available later this year.

“We believe that hydrogen electric will be the primary fuel for the next 100 years,” said Bob Carter, a senior VP with Toyota’s US office.

Dr. Michio Kaku talks about Toyota's fuel cell technology. Dr. Michio Kaku talks about Toyota’s fuel cell technology.

Perhaps the most newsworthy announcement came when Toyota said it would make all of its 5,680 patents related to fuel cell technology available, royalty-free, to other companies manufacturing and selling both fuel-cell vehicles and hydrogen refueling stations. The idea is to drive more innovation in this somewhat nascent sector of the automobile industry.

Toyota gives away patents to build ‘game-changing’ car of the future – GeekWire

Feb 11

Power BI for Office 365 is now available. It is pretty cool check it out at www.powerbi.com. Power BI allows you too

  • Quickly create collaborative BI sites – enable anyone to quickly create a collaborative BI site to share workbooks containing data and insights.
  • Keep reports up to date with scheduled data refresh – reports that have been saved to the cloud can now connect back to on-premises data sources to refresh the data and stay up to date.
  • Manage data queries for the team – share not only workbooks but also the data queries created in Power Query for Excel. Team members can now build and manage data queries for others to use when creating their own reports.
  • Maintain a Data Catalog of searchable data – IT departments can now use the Data Catalog feature to make it easier for everyone to find and connect to corporate data by searching for it from within Excel.
  • Ask questions of your data in natural language – with the Q&A features people can type questions they have of the data in natural language and the system will interpret the question and present answers in the form of interactive visualizations.
  • Stay connected with mobile access to your reports – stay connected from anywhere with new HTML5 support and the Power BI windows app.

Learn More at: Microsoft Blog Post or Power BI Team Blog.

Jan 17

Xbox One was #1 console in December. Great to see the success in the market. It was great opportunity to work with really smart people across Xbox Org to ship this. Smile 

The NPD report for December is in. It was a good holiday season for all involved — and a very good one for Microsoft MSFT +0.38%. The Xbox One and Xbox 360 were the best selling consoles in each of their generations, with 908,000 sales for Xbox One and 643,000 for Xbox 360, making up 46% of the total US hardware market. Xbox One games also held six of the top ten spots for best-selling software.

This is the status quo according to the last generation — Xbox holds down the US, Playstation does better in Europe and dominates Japan (Microsoft has been trying to make Europe a battleground this generation, but has largely ceded Japan). Still waiting on PS4 numbers, and will update with those. My guess is they aren’t too far behind — Sony Sony is mounting an impressive attack in home territory, significantly helped by better on-paper specs and a $100 price difference. Globally, Sony’s machine is still ahead.

Xbox One #1 Console In US For December, Outselling PS4 – Forbes

Jan 04

Entertainment industry is finally changing and existing players are adopting new modes of content delivery. It is high time for these companies to adopt it or else Netflix and Amazon will eat there lunch. Smile 

Article on GeekWire on CBS, NBG live streaming NFL playoffs for free and Fox will make it tough but will live stream Super Bowl.

It’s also 2014, and that means you’ll be able to watch some of the postseason action for free online thanks to NBC and CBS. But Fox is making things more complicated, which could be bad news for some Seahawks fans.

Variety reports that for the first time, CBS will stream its four AFC playoff games — San Diego at Cincinnati on Saturday; two AFC Divisional playoff games next weekend; the AFC Championship game on Jan. 19 — for free at CBSSports.com.

Similar to last year, NBC will also live stream its playoff coverage for free here. That means anyone with Internet can watch Saturday’s wild card games — Kansas City at Indianapolis; New Orleans at Philadelphia — online as well

CBS, NBC live streaming NFL playoffs for free, but Fox makes things tougher for Seahawks fans – GeekWire

Jan 28

Jan 28

Really good article by James Dyson on business week. Education is key to long term success. To make the economy build to last you have to focus on education at every level…

Photograph of Lewis Hine/Redux Photo

President Obama is right: America’s long-term success hinges on its ability to invent technology the world wants. It seems simple, but getting America back in the business of making things isn’t. It’s a global process. An idea born in Silicon Valley could be engineered in Switzerland, tested in China, and assembled in Taiwan. A stimulus to boost manufacturing may help the U.S. economy in the short term, but reinvigorating postwar-style production or space-race ingenuity is impossible without an increasingly capable workforce. Business demands it. And without it, long-term success will remain elusive.

These days manufacturing extends far beyond the assembly line. It’s about inventing and solving problems: researching, testing, and experimenting with ideas and technology. The development of new products more and more defies borders. It’s impossible to make electronic goods exclusively on U.S. or U.K. soil—the supplier base, infrastructure, and often the expertise needed to produce everything from electric cars to solar panels is dispersed.

Within that context, it’s easier to understand why highly skilled jobs are going the way of assembly and manufacture. New research by the National Science Foundation (NSF) reports that more companies are taking research and development—and 85 percent of the new jobs it creates—overseas. Still, this is by no means a one-way street. As Caterpillar shifts some R&D abroad, it’s considering moving parts of its manufacturing operations back to the U.S. Creating new products is no longer one size fits all.

But constructing an economy that’s built to last depends on a ready supply of talented individuals: people who invent, create, and develop the ideas that will drive exports and those who can assemble them. China gets it. To make its economy more knowledge and technology intensive, China is investing heavily in science and engineering education, infrastructure, and R&D support. Already wages are increasing, the middle class is growing, and the country is developing new technology rather than just assembling products. And while the U.S. continues to file more patents than any other country, the Far East’s investment in R&D, fueled by China, matched U.S. contributions in 2009, according to the National Science Board’s report, Science and Engineering Indicators 2012.

Creating an Economy That’s ‘Built to Last’ – Businessweek

Sep 28

Really cool article.

Ooh, that is a big idea, a really, really big idea. The other guys have ideas, but theirs are so small. You’d better watch out or you may hurt someone with that big thing. And I can see you’re very excited about it, too!

We know what you’re thinking. We’re just a couple of guys overly amused by sophomoric humor, making a lame attempt to get your attention and some cheap laughs, right? Well, kinda.

We admit to not taking ourselves too seriously, but before you rush to judgment, let us make a simple point that leaders too often miss when it comes to innovation: It is easy to make a big idea small and nearly impossible to make a small idea big

Innovation: Size Matters – BusinessWeek