All posts by 373697ah

DayMate: for structure in our daily lives

Do you recognize these situations where you have a lot to do, or just simple have some tasks you keep on procrastinating? Your App Store probably offers a lot of these ‘to do’ applications. DayMate is a new arrival in this ‘to do’ industry but offers more than the mainstream ‘to do’ applications. DayMate aims to provide structure in your daily life, which especially comes in handy for people whom have difficulties with remembering chores or are chaotic-minded. The Dutch application DayMate is the follow-up of the already known application Assist Help. Assist Help was developed by Annemiek Modderman, whom son is suffering from ADHD. People suffering from ADHD face difficulties with applying structure in their daily lifes which leads to malfunctioning of their wellbeing. AssistHelp was already a great success for these people, however, DayMate is optimized for special use by using a clear standard setting and look&feel.

How does it work?

You simply add a task, by naming it and choosing an icon that comes with it. The icon appears in the center of the screen when the task is ‘active’ at the moment. There is a standard setting of 18 icons such as a washing machine (for doing the laundry), a trash bin, a Euro-sign and so on. The user specifies the begin and end time of the task and specifies on which days this certain task occurs. DayMate is especially designed for recurring tasks, in order to make your daily life more structured. That is also the reason why the user cannot set a specific date, because it should reoccur on specific days, which makes DayMate not an application for reminding certain activities.

Any weaknesses or strengths?

In the weekplanning, the user can see the coming tasks for that specific week, however DayMate only allows you to see the planned tasks per day, and does not provide a whole overview. Which is in my concern a pitfall of the application. A strength however, is the special support extension of the application. Users can assign a supervisor, whom keeps up to date with your planned tasks and can see your progress by using a certain ‘sensitivity measure’ which is basically a chosen smiley by the user of his/her mood.

So all together..

DayMate’s charm is especially its charisma and simplicity. DayMate can be a useful application for anyone who wants to bring some structure in his/her life, because you will be reminded with simple icons and notifications to perform a set of operations. For people with autism spectrum syndrome DayMate ensures greater clarity, especially with the tasks feature and setting apart of a supervisor. The clear design without too many bells and whistles, makes sure you do not get distracted.


Grail Beats Cancer with DNA Tests

What is it?

One of today’s most promising products might just be around the corner.. Our suffering and long battle with number one’s killing disease might finally come to an end. Jeff Huber, Grail’s CEO, lost his own wife to cancer and was determined to spin out a company that promised to detect and ultimately provide the tools to beat cancer before it could spread throughout a person’s body. With a background in massive data businesses at Google, including Google Ads, Apps, and Maps. At Grail, Huber moved from mapping the world to mapping genomes. Grail is developing blood tests that can detect many types of cancer before symptoms arise. Expectations that cancer blood tests will quickly turn into a multibillion-dollar industry has attracted growing interest from investors. Grail has raised more than $100 million from Illumina, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos’s venture fund, Bezos Expeditions, and Arch Venture Partners.

How does it work?

The testing concept is to use high-speed DNA sequencing machines to cleanse a person’s blood for fragments of DNA released by cancer cells. If DNA with cancer-causing mutations is present, it often indicates a tumor is already forming, even if it’s too small to cause symptoms or be seen on an imaging machine. A DNA test able to pick up many kinds of cancer could be revolutionary because tumors caught early can often be cured with surgery or radiation.

Sounds promising, but is this all not too good to be true?

Any developer of a screening test for cancer faces challenging obstacles. How often will the test find cancer, and how often will it give a wrong result? Is it truly reliable? What’s more, even tests that do discover cancer early can turn into medical disasters if patients end up getting aggressive and costly treatment for cancers that won’t kill them. As Huber states: “If you look at this business, it’s littered with failures. With a few exceptions, screening tests have been invariably horrible,”. To prove early detection is possible, Grail will spend millions on organizing clinical trials involving as many as 30,000 people. It will test all of them and then see if the tests are able to catch cancer earlier than established methods. Grail is the only company currently able to implement sequencing technology at a cost that’s low enough to carry out such studies and bring an inexpensive test to market. Grail has a price advantage because it is a spin-off of Illumina, a company that makes and sells more than about $2 billion worth of DNA sequencing instruments, chemicals, and test kits annually to university scientists and other labs.

A bright future ahead?

Eventually, the DNA tests will be available in every hospital in the US and every person should be allowed to take it at a price of 600 dollar. Timing matters, and the intersection of genome sequencing and the computation that is possible now, with new technologies like machine learning, it feels like we are at the right time to make this happen. If Grail succeeds, in the future, get a cancer diagnosis to being about as eventful as having the flu, that would be a good outcome.


Crowdsourcing as solution to distant search

Crowdsourcing may have been around for a long time, but the advent of the Internet and other communication technologies has opened up many possibilities for the phenomenon to play out. Nowadays crowdsourcing plays a bigger role in strategic management than ever before. This paper adresses that under certain circumstances crowdsourcing transforms distant search into local search, improving the effectiveness of problem solving for firms. Under certain circumstances a firm may choose to crowdsource problem solving rather than solve the problem internally or contract it to a designated supplier.

These circumstances depend on several factors: the characteristics of the problem, the knowledge required for the solution, the crowd, and the solutions to be evaluated. In the paper, the authors compare the different forms (designated contractor, internal sourcing and crowdsourcing) for every aforementioned factor. By outlining the circumstances under which crowdsourcing may be a better mechanism for solving some problems, this article helps deepen our understanding of firm boundaries. However, the paper mainly highlights the circumstances in which crowdsourcing is the optimal form, but does not consider the consequences of crowdsourcing. The paper was lacking of considering the legal base of crowdsourcing, in most crowdsource cases there is no contract. Workers can run anytime they want, and an idea might be reused in anytime. If the authors would consider some (negative) consequences the paper would increase in reliability.

A related business example which can be linked to the article is the Netflix Prize. Adding this competition element, the Netflix example is a typical form of tournament-based crowdsourcing. In 2006, Neflix launched the Netflix Prize, “a machine learning and data mining competition for movie recommendations.” Netflix intention with the $1 million prize  was that it may encourage a range of algorithmic solutions to improve the company’s existing recommendation program, Cinematch, by 10%. The Netflix Prize demonstrates the power of crowdsourcing in developing innovative solutions for complex problems. Further, it is an interesting example of how setting various stages in the competition can help further push teams to achieve new success by combining their solutions with other contestants.

As mentioned above, the characteristics of the required solution knowledge, the problem to be solved, the crowd, and the solutions to be evaluated all have an impact on a focal agent’s probability of crowdsourcing a problem. Furthermore, the paper addresses that IT moderates that relation. How? The Internet facilitates the performance of tasks through crowdsourcing, which involves more arm’s-length transactions than traditional outsourcing to a designated contractor. The potential improvements in problem solving costs and effectiveness that come from crowdsourcing could have important consequences for both existing and emerging strategies.


Afuah, A., & Tucci, C. (2012). Crowdsourcing as a solution to distant search. The Management Review