All posts by marcovandelft354680

Student number: 354680

Let’s help each other watch the “fight of the century”

Yesterday the long awaited “fight of the century” took place between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Although in the end it wasn’t what you would expect of such a fight (‘Money’ Mayweather won because he threw more punches), the way people all around the world watched it gave a glimpse at the future. Costing 100 dollar per view to watch it on your television, it was worth searching for cheaper alternatives. Of course illegal online streams like rojadirecta provided an alternative, but most of the time these streams wouldn’t stay online for more than one round. Luckily Twitter has a better idea of watching content online; Periscope.

The idea behind Periscope is so simple it made me mad I didn’t came up with it myself. The iPhone app allows users to tap a button, wicht starts a stream of everything your camera sees. A consuming user can than tune in on a stream by following it, which will push notifications if a new stream is online, or such a user can just search for interesting streams. The producing user can also start a private stream, which only allows certain users to join in on the fun.

Because of the ridiculously high price one had to pay to watch the fight, this free alternative grabbed a lot of attention last night. Streams of people aiming their iPhone at a TV to share the fight popped up all over the world. Some were at a bar, others in an empty living room. Some provided commentary, others just showed the video. In the end I think the entire fight could be seen for free using Periscope.

Why is this interesting? First of all, it shakes up the ancient Pay per View TV landscape. The medium television really needs to step up its game in order for it to stay relevant in the future. Secondly Periscope shows that people do not always need a monetary incentive to share. Producing users don’t get paid for sharing their content, but they apparently do so. Periscope is a great example of co creating an experience. Because the fight was mostly watched at home, consuming users literally entered the homes of unknown. A completely new experience made possible by the power of crowds, the internet and some caring hearts.

I think an app like Periscope tells us something about future content watching. With cameras getting better, internet becoming faster and IT getting more imbedded in our lives, it is inevitable that television as we know it today will be dead soon.

Using people to predict the future, is this the future?

What will happen in the future? Microsoft tries to answer this question by launching the Microsoft Prediction Lab. The lab is an interactive platform that is partially built around the basis of a game. Users can invest points by predicting the outcome of certain future events. If a prediction is correct, the user gains points and if the prediction is wrong the user looses his or her points. Not only is the prediction lab a game, it is also a lab (off course). David Rothschild, an expert in data driven predictive methodology and researcher at Microsoft, sees the lab as a great laboratory for researchers and a new social experience. The team behind the lab tries to figure out what is the best way of predicting the future, using more than the typical dataset.

Why is this development intriguing? First of all, this platform shows that the wisdom of crowds can be used for making accurate predictions. The users fill in their predictions based on personal expectations as well as earlier predictions made by the crowd. The user adds value to the lab by making these predictions. This can be explained as value co-creation, where the value is equal to the correct predictions. Secondly, this digital platform uses positive network effects for its own benefits. The more users submit their expectations and predictions, the more reliable the overall prediction is.

I think Microsoft’s Prediction Lab is on the right track, if you consider the fact that it gave an 84% change of a ‘No-vote’ for the Scottish independence, and predicted 15 out of the 15 knock-out games on the FIFA World Cup correctly. For now it will focus on political events (such as elections) and sport, but the tech-giant plans to use the prediction technology for far more than that.

Microsoft has plans to incorporate the outcomes of the predictions into its existing products. Cortana, Microsofts’ digital help, could answer questions like ‘what will be the outcome of the next match?’ or ‘who will be the next president?’. I think this ability to use the lab for products is the most valuable contribution of the prediction lab; not the actual outcomes, but the value it adds to the existing products. Where do you think this technology will lead to?


Platform Based Banking

Based on: Tiwana, A., Konsynski, B., Bush, A.A., (2010) Research Commentary Platform Evolution: Coevolution of Platform Architecture, Governance, and Environmental Dynamics. Information Systems Research 21(4):675-687.

In the old days there was a clear distinction between customers and companies, but now this line is fading. Companies made products which customers bought and both parties relied on the expertise of the designers. It was a rather simple world that worked well for quite a while. But due to the internet everything changed. Suddenly companies were able to connect to customers in ways that were never thought would be possible. Control shifted from the companies to the customers and another group of ‘customers’ was born; developers. In order for companies to stay relevant, they needed to incorporate these new ‘customers’ in their business proces. By creating a platform ecosystem, companies are able to do this. The economy is changing towards a platform-based economy, where (two-sided) network effects are the main drivers.

Tiwana et al. (2010), explain a platform ecosystem as the extensible codebase of a software based system that provides core functionality shared by apps that interoperate with it, and interfaces through which they interoperate.  Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 22.02.21

The modules are the apps running on the platform. A module is an add-on software subsystem that connects to the platform to add functionality to it (Sanchez & Mahoney, 1996). The lines called ‘Interfaces’ seen in this figure can be considered to be APIs. API is an abbreviation for Application Programming Interface. Software developers acces APIs as interfaces for code libraries, frameworks or sources of data, to free themselves from low-level programming tasks (Dagenais & Robillard, 2008). These interfaces I think are the gateway to the future. They allow companies to share data in a standardised way, on which developers can build their own ‘new’ products. Developers co-create value for the company. Entire businesses are build this way. Think of Netflix, Twitter and Google Maps.

I think the banking industrie will be the next industrie to gain from using APIs. When banks allow developers to co-create value, completely new services will emerge that banks have never thought of. In recent history Information Technology applications have created a lot of new possibilities for banks, for example the ATM (Automated Teller Machine), which led to a decrease in costs and an increase in added value for customers (Kamel, 2005). I believe APIs can do the same, if not more, to benefit the banking industrie.


Dagenais, B., Robillard, M.P., (2009). Semdiff: analysis and recommendation support for API evolution. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), IEEE, pp. 599–602.

Kamel, S. (2005). The use of information technology to transform the banking sector in developing nations. Information Technology for Development, 11:4, 305-312

Sanchez, R., Mahoney, J., (1996). Modularity, flexibility, and knowledge management in product organization and design. Strategic Management. J. 17 (1), 63–76.

Tiwana, A., Konsynski, B., Bush, A.A., (2010) Research Commentary Platform Evolution: Coevolution of Platform Architecture, Governance, and Environmental Dynamics. Information Systems Research 21(4):675-687.