Thriving in a Sharing Economy

I had just recited “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost in a giant auditorium in Mumbai, India. After my performance, I left the stage. I was supposed to find my way back to my parents.

But I was one of the last performers. The event ended, and people suddenly surrounded me. I couldn’t find my parents anywhere.

I was 5 years old, and like any kid, I panicked because it seemed so scary. This was before cellphones, messaging or any kind of instant communication.

I wondered, how would I ever find my parents? Would someone kidnap me? Would I ever get home again?

Today, a situation like this is easily resolved. Many kids carry cellphones. People can now wear an identity bracelet for tracking purposes. Seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s are often monitored this way. Some parents do this with kids too.

And with a few taps on websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, you can put the word out about a lost child. Word travels fast through these information-sharing networks.

In my case, after a panicky 15-minute search, my father found me and everything was OK.

Now sharing has gone far beyond just information and news. Today, we have an entire economy – the sharing economy based on technology – through which people can share cars, houses, planes, boats, tools, farm machinery, textbooks, food, office space and much more.

A Booming Sharing Economy

The sharing economy, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, will swell to $335 billion by 2025 from where it stands at about $15 billion today. That’s massive, representing growth of 2,133%.

And if you’re a user of apps/services such as Uber and Lyft (car sharing), Airbnb (house sharing), JetSmarter (private planes), Boatbound (boats) or NeighborGoods (tools), you’re part of this growth.

Already, the sharing economy has generated incredible winners. For example, Uber has gone from a startup in 2009 to a valuation of $66 billion today. That’s bigger than the value of General Motors, Ford or Honda.

Airbnb, the leading house-sharing app/service, has gone from startup in 2008 to $30 billion today. That’s bigger than Marriott or Hilton.

In other words, the sharing economy is generating massive winners.

The key, of course, is finding these stories, getting in on the ground floor and riding these investments to make your fortune in a short period of time.

The Generation Leading the Change

My research shows that the main reason for the rapid success of sharing-economy businesses like Uber, Airbnb and others is due to one thing: the rapid adoption by millennials.

The millennial generation is estimated to be aged between 18 and 34, and is the biggest generation in U.S. history – even bigger than the baby boomers – at 92 million.

Millennials have grown up with cellphones and technology. It’s no surprise that they are choosing apps/services like Uber and Airbnb that seamlessly integrate technology for more choices and greater convenience. And surveys show that millennials are one of the biggest users of these apps.

The rise of the millennial generation is one of the mega trends that I’ve been telling you. And as more of this generation reaches maturity, their choices and preferences are going to drive fantastic investment winners… like Uber and Airbnb.

You can’t buy into Uber and Airbnb because they are private companies. And in truth, these companies are so highly valued that you wouldn’t want to jump in now.

What you really want is the next big sharing-economy winner that will benefit from millennials. Through my analysis of the millennials, I will be on the lookout for the next opportunity created by this massive new generation of spenders.

Parts You Need to Build a Wakeboard Winch

If you start developing your own wakeboard winch, it can be very frustrating at first. We would like to give you an introduction of how the elements interact and what they are doing in the end. Proper knowledge will enhance your ability to develop winches from the beginning.

We will keep the details as easy as possible. If you experience there are still some concerns that come to your thoughts, we generously ask you to get in touch with us and tell us about. Together with your help we can develop an extensive starter guide for every one and shifting wakeboard winching to the next stage.

Frame

This aspect, usually designed of metal, is holding your parts together. The structure is the base of your winch and needs to be constant and solid. Anchoring the winch to the floor keeps the winch in place while you are driving. You can buy pre-made ones and put them together or build your own. This is very much based on your abilities. The less weight you end up with the better. But keep in mind, that the material has to be constant enough to hold up against the occurring forces.

Engine

Two kinds of motors can be used. Electric Engines or petrol operated ones. This is the center of your device. Several calculations are necessary to get an idea of how powerful the engine has to be. Around 6.5 HP are the minimum to do deep water starts with a wakeboard.

Gearbox

This part of the engine, translates the energy of the engine in a turning movement. Most contemporary gearboxes are used to be integrated as part of the motor.

Clutch

The same mechanical device as you have in your car. Two different kinds are very common: Centrifugal Clutch or Torque Converters. The way you go is very much based on the way you are going to use the wakeboard winch. The less expensive is the centrifugal clutch but you can’t use it for all applications.

Batteries

As you are using power make sure that you invest your cash on excellent manufacturers. Although you have to spend more money it is more certain that the battery is doing what it is expected to do.

Sprocket

Usually installed on the axle. Based upon on how many tooth you select, your wakeboard winch will have different functions. More tooth give you more speed but less tooth enhance the torque. Based upon on where and how you are going to use your winch, you have to think about your options. Very widely used is a 50 – 72 tooth sprocket for wakeboard winches.

Chain

The sequence joins the sprocket to the reel and converts the movement of the clutch to the reel.

Winch Axle

You can use a regular axle as it is used for Go Karts. The length of it has to be about the same as the size of your wakeboard winch.

Automobile Dealerships – Valuing Blue Sky

Blue Sky is the intrinsic value of an automobile dealership, over and above the value of its tangible assets. It is sometimes equated to the goodwill of a car dealership.

Most articles regarding the blue sky value of new car dealerships cite a multiple of earnings formula, such as three times earnings, four times earnings, and so forth. The idea that “blue-sky” can be determined by anything times anything is just plain wrong.

Even NADA the National Automobile Dealers Association in its publication entitled “A Dealer Guide to Valuing an Automobile Dealership, NADA June 1995, Revised July 2000 bemuses, in part, with respect to valuing a dealership by using a multiple of earnings: A Rule of Thumb valuation is more properly referred to as a “greater fool theory.” “It is not valuation theory, however.”

In its Update 2004, NADA omitted its reference to “fool”, but referred to the multiple formula as rarely based upon sound economic or valuation theory, and went on to state: “If you are a seller and the rule of thumb produces a high value, then this is not a matter of great concern. Go for it, and maybe someone will be stupid enough to pay you a very high value.”

A dealership’s blue sky is based upon what a buyer thinks it can produce in net profit. If potential buyers think it cannot produce a profit, the store will not sell. If it can produce a profit, then variables such as desirability of location, the balance the brand will bring to other existing franchises owned, whether or not the factory will require facility upgrades, and so on and so forth, determine whether or not a buyer will buy that particular brand, in that particular location, at that particular time.

I have been consulting with dealers for nearly four decades and have participated in over 1,000 automotive transactions ranging from $100,000 to over $100,000,000 and have never seen the price of a dealership sale determined by any multiple of earnings unless and until all of the above factors have been considered and the buyer then decided he, she or it was willing to spend “x” times what the buyer thought the dealership would earn, in order to purchase the business opportunity.

To think otherwise would be to subscribe to the theories that (1) even though you think a dealership could make a million dollars, the store is worth zero blue sky because it made no money last year; and (2) if a store has been making $5 million per year you should pay say 3 times $5 million as blue sky even though you think you will not produce that kind of profit. Both propositions are absurd. If a buyer does not think a dealership is worth blue sky, then what he is really saying is that he sees no business opportunity in the purchase and therefore, in my opinion, he should not buy the store.

Each dealership is unique with respect to its potential, location, balance that its brand brings a dealer group, and condition of facility. The sale is also unique with respect to whether it is a forced liquidation, orderly liquidation, arms length, insider, or a case where an anxious buyer is trying to induce an unwilling seller. There are management factors to consider, length and term of leases, possibilities or non-possibilities of purchasing the facilities and whether or not the factory wants to relocate the store or to open a new store up the street.

In the car business it is impossible to pick a dealership or a franchise out of a hat, multiply its earnings by some mystical number and predict either what the dealership is worth, or what price it would sell for – and it doesn’t matter if you are talking about a Toyota, Honda, Ford, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, or any other dealership. At any given time one franchise might be considered more or less desirable than another, but they are all valued in the same manner.

10 Hottest Artificial Intelligence Applications To Inspire You

Let’s look at 10 hottest artificial intelligence applications that succeed in leveraging tons of data in today’s changing environment.

SIRI

SIRI is one of the most famous artificial intelligence applications. It’s a personal assistant software for Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple Watch and AppleTV, which works as an intelligent knowledge guide to recommend, answer questions and delegate requests to other connected web services. The software is controlled by voice and thus it returns individualized answers learning from a user’s language. According to Apple’s Senior VP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi, Siri gets 1 billion requests a week. As of 2016 Siri is available in 20 languages.

GOOGLE NOW

Another intelligent personal assistant is Google Now developed by Google, which goes as a part of the Google app available for Android and iOS. To enable Google Now you need to launch the Google app and then allow Google to pull all the synced information from all Google services you use and your location history for making you recommendations and alerts. By turning off all the needed privacy and tracking settings in this probably the most practical artificial intelligence applications a user is able to see different Google Now Cards: Activity summary (steps you’ve made to stay fit), Boarding pass (sent to Gmail account, displayed later at the airport), Events (events scheduled on your Google Calendar), Flights (the status of your flight in real-time), Location reminders, Parking location (helps finding your parked car), Translation (look up translations of words), TV (a list of shows broadcast in real-time) and many other. All the commands in Google Now you can control by voice, however, they are limited. Currently Google Now is available in English and is a major competitor of Siri.

CORTANA

Cortana is the Microsoft’s intelligent personal assistant initially designed for Windows Phone, but now available on Android, Windows 10, xBox One, and on Apple’s iOS. Cortana software reacts to a user’s voice and accomplishes limited commands, answers questions using the information from the browser installed (Bing by default), works as a secretary by scheduling events, locating necessary files and opening the apps needed. The Cortana artificial intelligence application can process voice commands in English, German, Spanish, Italian, French, Chinese, Portuguese and Japanese.

ALEXA

Alexa is the voice service created by Amazon for Amazon Echo intelligent speaker, which was widely introduced in 2015. Alexa uses natural language processing algorithms to adapt to natural voice of the user. Moreover, as it is built in the cloud, Alexa is constantly learning by recognizing patterns from interactions with the user. The more a user interacts with Alexa the more it evolves and gets smarter, delivering higher quality answers to a user’s questions. The Alexa artificial intelligence application has a free SDK that can be used by developers in creation of new voice-based AI software and devices.

KINECT

Kinect is an AI-based motion controller and a motion sensing technology by Microsoft that is used in Xbox One and Xbox 360 game consoles. Kinect analyzes natural user interface and reacts to voice commands and gestures. Microsoft offers a free SDK for developers to build Kinect-enabled applications. This has already resulted in wider application of Kinect technology for non-gaming purposes including healthcare, retail industry, military and robotics.

BRAINA

Braina is a free artificial intelligence application that works as a personal productivity software and a virtual office assistant on Windows computers. The software reacts to a user’s voice commands and performs different tasks on their computer accordingly. Due to the built-in speech recognition technology a user can interact with their computer remotely over Wi-Fi via the Braina app for Android. Braina is currently available in English, free and paid versions.

VIV

VIV is more than just an artificial intelligence application, but an artificial intelligence platform from the creators of Siri. Unlike Siri, VIV has an open platform that allows developers to build external plug-ins to work with it. The makers of VIV aim to make the first consumer-oriented, omnipresent assistant. The work on it started in 2012. The demo version of the ‘intelligent interface for everything’ was presented by VIV CEO Dag Kittlaus at TechCrunch Disrupt NY in May 2016.

P.A.N

P.A.N is a free artificial intelligence software that virtually analyzes any kind of textual data, such as poetry, fiction, history, newspaper etc. The application first parses the text, recognizes the structure of its sentences, the mood and tone of the given text. Generally P.A.N allows to put any text under a microscope and eventually provide different variations of its understanding based on a comprehensive analysis executed.

WIPRO HOLMES

Wipro HOLMES is a cognitive artificial intelligence platform used for development of predictive systems, visual computing applications, digital virtual agents, cognitive process automation, knowledge visualization, drones and robotics. Wipro HOLMES learns from new information and can make recommendations, as well as predict failures. The platform was designed and introduced in 2016 by the Indian company Wipro for optimizing business processes in corporations.

WOLFRAM ALPHA

Wolfram Alpha is a free intelligent answer engine, which uses artificial intelligence to provide answers to a user’s questions from curated set of data like statistics, source cross-checking, expert reviews etc. Wolfram Alpha differs from semantic search engines like Google in the way that it gives specific answers from a structured set of information rather than matches the question to the best answer from indexing multiple answers to that question. Wolfram Alpha is being used for answering some requests by Bing, DuckDuckGo and even Apple’s Siri. Wolfram Alpha app is available for iOS and Android, Kindle Fire, Nook.

CONCLUSION

Artificial intelligence is without a doubt a very powerful tool for creation of experiences never imagined before. We do hope that artificial intelligence applications entering our lives will stay serving the humanity in the most beneficial way.