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Network entrepreneurs, or 
how intellectualism works in the digital age

Society December 5th, 2016, Fred Turner / Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication, Stanford University

The digital transformation has begun to reshape traditional literary culture, as well as traditional intellectual culture. Three Americans were central to that process: Norbert Wiener, the celebrated founder of cybernetics, Stewart Brand, a leading hippie figure from the 70s, 
and more recently Tim O'Reilly, who brought us the terms web 2.0 and open source, as well as a few other ways of looking at the world. How do they work as intellectuals?

Bitcoin and central banks: a monetary revolution?

Society November 25th, 2016, Jia Kai / PhD Graduate at School of Public Policy and Management of Tsinghua University, Fullbright Scholar, Visiting Scholar at the University of California at Davis

Digital currency rose to its prominence in 2009, marked by the birth of Bitcoin. The following seven years saw the burgeoning of a 10 billion dollar worth Bitcoin global network, which leads to more discussions from central banks around how to keep up with the trend both systematically and technologically. Debates on the legitimacy of digital currency never end, with speculation around possibilities of its replacement of fiat money, an ensuing prospective governance mechanism and its function akin to that of central banks.

Google, Facebook and Twitter last week vowed to fight fake news, hate speech and abuse in their own ways amid the backlash over how such content may have influenced voting in the U.S. presidential election. Those actions could have come sooner, and many troubling issues persist.

The impact of Internet in rural India

Society November 14th, 2016, Rekha Jain / Professor, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad

Given the rural context in developing countries, how has the Internet influenced their socialization, economic opportunities and access to knowledge resources? Rural areas do not have educational, communication, and transportation facilities. Job opportunities are not many; information on job opportunities in other locations is not easily available. In emergencies like epidemic breaks or floods it is difficult to contact other organizations for help. Even commerce takes place at a primitive level. Do government initiatives to provide Internet access make a difference? To find out, we asked the people.

Food industry giants develop very active strategies to maintain or develop their market share. In this context, there is a great temptation to abandon the competitive maelstrom of generalist offering and seek differentiation through innovative business models. Three recent strategies bear witness to this. Can a multinational escape from its own identity?

The Physical Internet: logistics of the future is just around the corner

Business October 31st, 2016, Eric Ballot / Professor of Industrial Management, Mines ParisTech, PSL Research University

Logistics today is an activity that, while selling mobility, mainly manages immobility. Packages stocked in warehouses. Disruptive, emerging models, based on the principles of the Physical Internet, will be much more dynamic.

How to avoid the pitfalls of innovation in emerging markets

Business October 26th, 2016, Alok Bardiya / Director, Cisco Investments, Cisco India & SAARC

There was an idea that caught popular attention a few years ago: basic, affordable products from emerging markets for use in their home countries could eventually move up and disrupt global markets. But the record has been mixed. What does it take for successful innovation?

Increasingly cited in various rankings of innovative and fast-growing companies, Anaplan offers strategic planning solution that clashes with everything that existed until now. Accessible online, on demand, easy to use by non-specialists, its platform can simulate all kinds of decisions and accurately assess the management of various stages in numerous areas: commercial, financial, HR, logistics, etc.

We already knew the greenback, here come the green bonds. This emerging security, whose yearly issuance still represents only 1% of the global bonds market, has the wind in its sails. Used primarily by institutions, large companies and local authorities, it has just entered the reference segment: sovereign bonds.

Innovation, the Indian Way

Society October 10th, 2016, Richard Robert / Executive Director, ParisTech Review

In the global geography of innovation, India is straddling two continents. Its engineers have contributed to the success of the Silicon Valley: the father of the USB socket, the inventor of the Intel Pentium chip, the general manager of Microsoft are Indian, as is part of the senior management at Google. The success of this Diaspora reflects the talents of Indian engineers, but it can also be linked with an original innovation culture, which expresses itself in an amazing ability to reverse concepts. Three meta-innovations illustrate this Indian way.

Who are the serial entrepreneurs behind unicorns?

Society October 4th, 2016, Monique Dagnaud / Emerita Research Director, EHESS, PSL Research University, Institut Marcel Mauss

Over 60,000 US Internet startups have been created over the last decade but only 0.14% turned into unicorns i.e. startup companies with a market capitalization over one billion dollars. Who are the serial entrepreneurs who founded them? This winners club covered 84 entities in 2015 – against 39 in 2013. They have a very distinctive profile.

Three lessons from Parrot’s saga

Industries September 28th, 2016, Henri Seydoux / Chairman and CEO, Parrot

Parrot's adventure began in 1994 with voice-controlled organizers. It never became a huge commercial success, but the technology involved was recycled into hands-free car kits, and Parrot quickly became a major player in this market. After that, it started manufacturing communication products for the general public. In 2010, a toy drone controlled by smartphone was launched; this success made Parrot one of the leading manufacturers of consumer drones. Three lessons can be drawn from this experience.

How to navigate digitization in healthcare in China

Business September 26th, 2016, Julien Legrand / Yenching Scholar & Mines ParisTech Engineer

The Chinese healthcare system is facing numerous challenges, which means great opportunities for those western players in the industry who have relatively mature solutions and experiences to offer. However, China is increasingly designing its own way, fully leveraging the power of digitization to bridge the gaps.

These days, a large consumer goods company has almost the same strong data productivity as a medium sized Internet company. Management in more and more companies hopes to manage users and data in the same way as Internet companies, then make decisions based on data. Nevertheless, colossal and dispersed data stands in the way of IT, management and analysis departments of companies that are yearning for nimble and real-time data analysis. Consulting firms, which were playing a huge role, have now lost the power to pile up data and provide insight. They don’t have enough hands for this. We started working with a leading fashion consumer goods company in China to build its data platform. It took us only six months to put together the functions to gather and analyze data, consumer profiling, member systems and external data tracking and capturing. We would like to share relevant knowledge in these three fields in hopes of better streamlining operations powered by the force of data.

Personalization: how do e-consumers feel about it?

Business September 20th, 2016, Ahlem Abidi-Barthe / Head of Master Program Digital Business & E-Commerce at European Business School Paris

Emerging as an experiment fifteen years ago, personalization has become today a central feature of e-commerce, whether in the form of customization of products, the boom of made-to-measure or the personalization of customer relationships using customer relationship management tools. But do we know how consumers feel about it? In 2004, Ahlem Abidi-Barthe led the first scientific survey on the subject. What has changed since then?

Airbnb or how to rejuvenate the rent economy

Society September 12th, 2016, Monique Dagnaud / Emerita Research Director, EHESS, PSL Research University, Institut Marcel Mauss

The Airbnb community reflects very interesting socio-cultural aspects. Almost 73% of Americans are unaware of collaborative economy, and this consumption pattern appeals primarily to under-45s, university graduates and people with a good level of income. This form of consumption is popular among the upper stratum of society because of the Romantic image it conjures, the ecological label and the art of living together. Simultaneously, it federates the support of young people because of the economic benefits it provides. Collaborative economy is the warhorse of a sort of cultural avant-garde; but this group will grow.

Proponents of synthetic biology introduced in molecular biology a number of principles directly inspired from engineering. Their goal: alter living organisms to make them produce new molecules. Numerous applications are expected in the areas of health, energy, materials, environment and agriculture. How will the transition to the industrial phase take place? This, today, is the main issue.

Why American internet companies fail in China: a cultural perspective

Business September 5th, 2016, DONG Jielin / Associate Professor and Member of the Academic Committee, Research Center for Technological Innovation, Tsinghua University

Different hierarchies of needs explain why, in the internet industry and other high-tech industries in China, there are both the Chinese way and the Silicon Valley way of doing business, and why some big American companies have been struggling to make headway here. High-tech sounds high-up, but for online service providers, it all boils down to understanding other people’s ways of thinking and doing things. They have to understand local governments, their employees, business partners, users and clients. Looking back, the U.S. internet giants that failed were simply out of tune with the Chinese market. They didn’t clearly see the importance of understanding Chinese culture; they talked to the wrong people in the wrong ways about the wrong things.

Has IoT increased our exposure to cyber threats?

Business July 22nd, 2016, Sandy Verma / Senior Director of Asia Pacific for Internet of Things Solutions, AT & T

Cybersecurity is already top of the agenda for many corporate boards, but the scale and scope of Internet of Things (IoT) deployments escalate security risk, making it harder than ever for C-suite executives to protect their businesses.

As automation technologies such as machine learning and robotics play an increasingly great role in everyday life, their potential effect on the workplace has, unsurprisingly, become a major focus of research and public concern. The discussion tends toward a Manichean guessing game: which jobs will or won’t be replaced by machines?

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