The long Labor Day weekend is the end of summer in the United States. No more wearing whites, no more seersucker and no more warm evenings. Of course, none of that really holds true for this corner of the world that I call home (for now) – San Francisco. June through August coastal climate patterns bring in the fog and keep things relatively cold around here. August is fogust for a reason – it is foggy and cold. It was (relatively speaking) freezing this year – temperature never got above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Average high was 65! By the way in 1942, San Francisco had an August this chilly. It is no surprise that the hometown team – SF Giants got cold during the month as well. Damn shame, because I really like the 2016 version of Giants and want them to do another magical run to the World Series.
Amazon launches its vehicles product for research, not yet commerce (link). If you tie this together with Amazon’s recent hire of the ex Top Gear stars (Jeremy Clarkson, et al) for a new automotive show, it is clear something auto-related is afoot in South Lake Union. The next shoe to drop will be either a deeper commerce integration or something which shows their wider ambitions around the vehicle as a market — such as an investment or purchase of a vehicle fleet provider, and we know of one for sale.
In his must read weekly read newsletter on transportation, good friend Reilly Brennan connects the dots between Amazon’s efforts to sell cars and the hiring of ex-Top Gear Stars. Makes perfect sense to me – Jeff Bezos has been pushing commerce+content-advertising strategy for a long time. Amazon is almost always a harbinger of web trends.
It was sad to learn about the passing of a former colleague – Jimmy Guterman – a veteran journalist who worked for Forbes when I worked there and later he joined The Industry Standard, where he was responsible for a blog/newsletter hybrid, Media Grok. Sharp writing, excellent curation and great insights made it a must read, not just among us tech writers but also amongst hundreds of thousands who subscribed to the publication. It sifted through tech stories, and pieces together a great narrative – who scored a scoop and who had something smart to say about a hit story.
Pi.co interview no. 16 is published! My conversation with Julie Zerbo, the talented editor of The Fashion Law, discuss fast fashion, the industry at large, blogging and the power of the Internet. It is a fun piece and I hope you get it on your weekend reading list.
Much like “the cloud,” “big data,” and “machine learning” before it, the term “artificial intelligence” has been hijacked by marketers and advertising copywriters. What AI means, why we need it and where we are going with it — my arguments.