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Good morning to yet another Sunday AM - and thank you for reading and the comments/reactions I get. This edition will introduce a small change since I have discovered that I don't read fast enough to have a topic about books weekly, so I will exchange that with Media - which you, of course, can argue books also belongs to!

Nevertheless, have a great Sunday ahead of you, and I hope you will like this edition as well.

BUSINESS

Software as a Service - SaaS - and subscription economy has grown tremendously, and it's changing business radically. In our private lives, we have known subscriptions for years with our mobile phones, Netflix's, and hundreds of other things that we take for granted. The subscription model finds its way into more and more industries, and as you know, a sweet child has many names. Leasing, SaaS, subscription, and even more creative expressions are used for a business model, where we don't buy and own an asset. Sometimes the asset itself has no value after an agreed period, and the product is scrapped. Software services become more and more valuable over time as software keeps improving. Hardware either degrades or needs to be upgraded frequently to at least keep value. All models have one thing in common - the user/customer will pay for a service that can include hardware - not always - and pay in smaller frequent installments.

The economy for the service provider can have a drastic influence, as you can easily see in the following examples. Most of the development cost is booked if you develop software even before the software is ready to ship. If the software is typically sold at a price of, let's say, €1,000, you can easily see that a subscription model of, let's say €100 per month, will take ten months before revenue reaches the same. Since the subscription from this time forward, in principle, is more expensive than a subscription, the provider now develops new features, updates, and adds support/service to the subscription - and most can easily see this is a win/win situation.

If you lease a car, there is a huge physical cost to each subscription or lease, and the car's value decreases over time and mileage.

Therefore, the subscription model is a shift in how products/services are financed. If you can earn your customer's loyalty over many instalments, it can become an extremely interesting business model.

However, subscriptions offer you more advantages, since you will probably learn more about your customers, and therefore, able to deliver more add-on services.

Subscriptions will also lead to entirely new ways of seeing assets. Why own a car, or even have one in your garage if the car will be available when you need it and can be shared with more families? This is what to expect with self-driving vehicles in a not-so-distant future. Imagine how much this will change the car industry? or imagine that a vendor of print equipment offers a service where you only pay for the utilization of the machine and that one machine can serve more customers. I am confident this will happen. I am sure it will happen because the value is not owning equipment but the services you provide. Maybe a consideration worth it?

TECHNOLOGY

Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a major buzzword in the past years, but what is it? As with everything, it comes in many flavors and sizes, and it therefore also has very different impacts on your life. When using the expression Machine Learning, it very elegantly describes what this is all about. Imagine software that learns from how you use the software but from every user using it, and then it will become better and better doing what you expect. An example of this is the unfortunately needed but very annoying CAPTCHA functions you see on many websites. To ensure that you are not a "robot," you are asked to recognize patterns or images - and when you do this, you prove that you are a human, but at the same time, you train a computer. The computer becomes better and better. Another very famous AI is the IBM Watson computer. Watson improves 'his' skills by "reading," "viewing," "hearing," or browsing the Internet, reading books, or whatever input you can imagine. Today Watson is used at American hospitals reviewing mammography photos to spot things the doctors missed in the first place. AI has many advantages and will support humans in robots, services, and pretty much anything from Siri, Alexa, and whatever bot you are using to even more complex tasks. Jobs that are regulated by rules are jobs that some expect to be replaced by AI. Lawyers and Auditors are among the labor groups that are predicted to vanish entirely. In the printing industry, we see AI in software like Tilia Labs Phoenix, where template-based imposition is entirely replaced with automation, and friends - we will see more and more. People like Elon Musk and the late Stephen Hawking are said to have warned against AI. I am not sure that's exactly what they said, but it doesn't hurt to use new technology with a critical view, as with everything else :-)

MUSIC

On Spotify this week is the German group Kraftwerk. Being a keyboard/synthesizer player myself, this group has, of course, influenced me a lot - and I believe that either you love them or hate them. Kraftwerk was founded in the late '60s. The story about Kraftwerk is interesting, but the band's ability to use computers to create music was entirely new at the time. On Wikipedia, Kraftwerk is even said to be the world's #1 influencing band - and I tend to agree. If you are new to Kraftwerk, the two easiest to consume albums are Computer World (1981) and The Man-Machine (1978). Enjoy!

MEDIA

At PRINTING United in October, INKISH will publish the first editions of our new INKISH MAGS magazine - and we can't wait to show you. However, in this Sunday AM edition, I won't talk more about the magazine but more about the role of the printed media and our considerations.

First of all, I love good magazines. Among my favorites is Wired, a magazine that I read almost from end to end and keep for years. Another one is Popular Science, and what I like about these magazines are the tactile experience, the smell, and the fact that I can read it everywhere. I also used to buy MacWorld many years ago, and I read it because it was the place to get up-to-date information about the Mac community and news. Today I use the web for that, so why are many magazines published monthly, bi-weekly, or at any other frequency? I get my news on the Internet, and the printed magazine now serves different purposes.

We, therefore, started to consider how INKISH should develop and produce a printed magazine. And here are three reasons for what we believe MAGS will do:
  • - Create a demand for print by creating content for print buyers supporting both the PSP, the vendor, and other stakeholders.
  • - Develop stunning print samples to showcase the latest technology.
  • - Show the power of print as a push media for all stakeholders - and through that push demand for more print.

We believe (of course) that MAGS will be a disruptor - and we don't think it will influence the existing trade media much. INKISH MAGS will be published for the first time at PRINTING United in October 2021. MAGS will be published in 18 languages and 24 editions a year.

Politics

G7 this week met in the UK, and as the world's seven largest democratic economies, the countries play an immense role in the world. As this was also the US-President Biden's first international tour, many reporters in Europe noted that it was a political signal that Europe and the US are back to more "normal" diplomatic relations. Biden opened the G7 with an important statement that the USA will buy and distribute 500,000,000 COVID vaccine doses to the poorest countries in the world. Good statement and a powerful demonstration of what rich democracies can do. What else to expect from G7 is a bit too soon to conclude on, as the G7 summit only closes today. However, high on the agenda are discussions about financial stimulus packages - and a rumor is also that Biden will use the G7 summit to lift the travel band from Europe to the US.

TRENDS

In a previous Sunday AM, I wrote about the hunt for environmental salvations, and today is no exception. Cradle to Cradle and sustainability is for trending trends. Regardless of how good this is, most people in the western world don't want to give up on the convenience of today's washing machines, dishwashers, computers, cars, electronics, air conditions, etc., so renewable or CO2 free energy and new science is a necessity for not only keep our lifestyle but also allowing this to the rest of the world! Therefore, nuclear energy is an essential part of tomorrow's energy in more and more people's eyes. Not all agree, of course! However, the trend is clear. We want a greener environment but don't want to pay the price ourselves. This is just a tiny example of how over-simplified modern life is, right?

See you next Sunday!

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