The promise and challenge of the age of artificial intelligence

By James Manyika and Jacques Bughin | McKinsey | October 2018

This article pulls together various strands of research by the McKinsey Global Institute into AI technologies and their uses, limitations, and impact as follows. Definitely worth a read!

The potential benefits of AI to business and the economy, and the way the technology addresses some of the societal challenges, should encourage business leaders and policy makers to embrace and adopt AI. At the same time, the potential challenges to adoption, including workforce impacts, and other social concerns cannot be ignored.

AI will need to address societal concerns including unintended consequences, misuse, algorithmic bias, and questions about data privacy.

Still, only 21 percent say their organizations have embedded AI in several parts of the business, and barely 3 percent of large firms have integrated AI across their full enterprise workflows.

  1. AI’s time may finally have come, but more progress is needed
  2. Businesses stand to benefit from AI
  3. Economies also stand to benefit from AI, through increased productivity and innovation
  4. AI and automation will have a profound impact on work
  5. AI will also bring both societal benefits and challenges
  6. Three priorities for achieving good outcomes


Read the article.


Notes from the AI frontier: Modelling the impact of AI on the world economy

Jacques BughinJeongmin SeongJames ManyikaMichael Chui and Raoul Joshi| McKinsey | September 2018

The major findings:

By 2030, the average simulation shows that some 70 percent of companies might have adopted at least one type of AI technology.

The opportunity of AI is significant, but there is no doubt that its penetration might cause disruption. The productivity dividend of AI probably will not materialise immediately. Its impact is likely to build up at an accelerated pace over time; therefore, the benefits of initial investment might not be visible in the short term. Patience and long-term strategic thinking will be required.

Download a copy of the report.


Customer Experience Tools and Trends 2018

Gerard du Toit, Andreas Dullweber, Richard Hatherall and Martha Moreau | Bain & Co | August 1, 2018

Good article looking at the top tools are in customer experience measurement and what new tools are. The top 3 in adoption were predictive analytics, sensors in products and operations, and personalized experience.

Interesting to read about DiDi Chuxing, the Chinese ride-sharing firm. Matching the data it collects on every aspect of millions of rides with end-of-ride ratings from customers allows the company to create predictive models: What sorts of experiences typically produce promoters among its customers? Which ones produce detractors? DiDi doesn’t need to ask all its riders for Net Promoter® feedback; instead, its computer models generate a rating score for almost every ride. Those predictive scores match up very reliably—more than 80% and improving—with what customers say in traditional Net Promoter feedback.

Read the article

Mary Meeker’s 2018 Internet Trends Report

Mary Meeker | May 30, 2018 (link from Kleiner Perkins)

The annual “must read” for all in the industry, which covers everything from mobile usage to commerce to the next big thing. No real surprises this year but an interesting overview of personalisation, privacy and also a section devoted to China.

With 294 slides including charts and stats, you’ll need to settle in.

See her slides and presentation.



Australia 2030: Prosperity through Innovation

Innovation and Science Australia (ISA) | 2 February, 2018

The ISA has released the 2030 strategic plan for innovation, science and research in Australia, that includes 30 recommendations for improving the economic future of Australia framed in the context of five strategic imperatives: education, industry, government, research & development and culture & ambition.

The plan is looking to advise the government on how to generate and capture more of the benefits of innovation. The 18-month review across the ecosystem also highlights the role of startups as job creators and economic stimulators.

The plan has got mixed reaction, some saying it’s more of a sketch with detours, dead ends and red lights. But at least it does provide a launching pad for more discussion and debate.

Download a copy of the report.


Startup unicorn Canva’s pitch decks


Canva’s Co-founder and CEO Melanie Perkins | 19 January 2018

I love reading through old pitch decks and how their founders evolved along their journey. Melanie’s (Canva co-founder) frank account published by Smart Company is a beauty. It includes Canva’s pitch decks from 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and the things they learnt along the way.

Read how startup unicorn Canva turned its “pretty terrible pitch deck” into one that impressed investors.

Read Smart Company’s article about Canva’s evolution.

LaunchVic Startup Guide & Toolkit for Local Government

Yesterday I attended the launch of a great new initiative from LaunchVic – a startup guide and toolkit for local government that will also be supported by their next funding round.

The startup guide as been designed to help local government and community organisations support startup activity and drive entrepreneurship in their local areas.



Pic: Victorian Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy – Philip Dalidakis, LaunchVic – CEO Kate Cornick and KPMG Corrina Bertram.

Go to LaunchVic’s website to download the guide and find out more information about the funding guidelines.






Crossroads 2017, an action plan for the Australian startup ecosystem

StartupAUS | December 4, 2017

The Crossroads report has just been released; it’s an analysis of the state of startups in Australia and puts forward an action plan to develop a world-leading tech startup ecosystem.

It calls on the government to step up, even if the the reforms aren’t politically popular, to ensure Australia doesn’t fall behind the rest of the world. The report highlights the issue of the lack of ‘talent’ in the sector and our inability to attract skilled overseas workers.

The report includes nine key policy recommendations to government:

  1. Expand skilled worker visas to include digital skills and reflect startup needs (p95)
  2. Pay the R&D tax incentive quarterly (p101)
  3. Continue to build and connect innovation precincts (p47)
  4. Substantially improve the entrepreneur visa (p96)
  5. Make targeted amendments to legislation affecting Employee Share Schemes (p69)
  6. Extend the digital technologies curriculum (p48)
  7. Introduce copyright safe harbour protections (p103)
  8. Entrepreneurship programs in high schools and universities (p104)
  9. Establish dedicated policy teams focused on new technology (p111)

The analysis also includes other interesting facts and insights:

  • A map of the Australian startup ecosystem (p13)
  • An overview of where we’re positioned in the global startup ecosystem (p14), including sectors (p42)
  • Key demographics of Australian founders, employees and businesses (p28)
  • Handy background info and definitions – what are startups, what is a startup ecosystem and what makes it successful (Appendix p114)

Although some of the recommendations are controversial they will provide a good platform for debate and hopefully provide a springboard for action within the next year.

Download a copy of the report.

The 2017 Startup Muster report, developments in Australia’s startup ecosystem

Monica Wulff CEO and Co-founder (and the team) | Startup Muster | November 22, 2017

The 2017 Startup Muster report is the fourth annual report, highlighting developments in Australia’s startup ecosystem from an online survey done earlier this year, (last report done in 2014). Download a copy of the report.

Some very interesting insights about our startup founders:

  • the top three startup industries are: fintech, edutech and the internet of things
  • 28% of founders have founded a startup before
  • 36% of founders were born outside Australia
  • 25% of founders are women (37% future founders) up from 16% in 2014, but 38% of startups still do not have any women in their business
  • The ‘help’ founders said they most benefitted from since starting up their business was mentorship – 56%; the support they need in the next 6 months – media exposure 40%, mentorship 39% and seed investment 37%