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Monthly Archives: August 2016

Sustain#49: Coated Edible Insects

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Sustain Weekly – Edible Insects

“The best learning takes place when the learner takes charge” — Seymour Papert

Which of these edible bugs will you be able to try?

  1. Candy Coated Flies
  2. Cricket Powder
  3. Worm Sucker Lollipop
  4. Roasted Hoppers
  5. Earthworm Jerky
  6. Fried Ant Nutri Bars
  7. Chilli Bug Paste

What do you mean yuck!?2 billion people in this world eat them! Did you know that? In fact, they are super popular in Thailand and Peru. They are also a part of traditional diets in Japan, China, and other countries.

Typically available in raw form in the east and Africa, edible insects are now available in a variety of consumable forms such as coated, powdered and paste. In the west, parts of Europe are beginning to buy it of stores. Some major food retailers are even; stocking them. You can even buy it off Amazon. In the US, the FDA holds the key for mass market adoption.But the major forces behind commercial edible insects is Gen Z and quicker trails for food discovery. A lot of tourism is now aimed at food. Australia is a classic example of food related tourism. 10 years back, the country did mass advertising for its coral reefs. Today those reefs are mostly dead. So, now it bases its tourism on kangaroos and cooking. You’ve seen how popular MasterChef has taken off right. In fact, it is one of the few countries (apart from France of course) where chef driven kitchens are popular. The trend is starting to die down in London and NY. Anyway lets get back to bugs!

Hipster trends and food discovery with a focus on sustainability drives a small group of early adopters into bug eating. Considering that edible bugs pack a punch in terms of protein when compared to chicken or beef, at least in terms of %/gm.

Not only that, the amount of water it takes to make commercially available, processed and packaged beef and chicken is a million times more than the resources that go into the harvesting of insects immaterial of whether they are farm or wild harvested.The global push for protein rich foods and the gradual loss of popularity for diets like Atkins will divert fitness conscious segments to look beyond Quinoa and kale etc.

Cricket flour is something that is creating a high level of ‘buzz’ in the food ecosystem at this point. In 2–3 years, this segment is set to grow over 200% across the globe and beyond that in developed parts of Europe. So, if you buy a box of cake flour that is advertised as highly nutritious, be prepared to notice the labelling more closely. Or better yet, ignore and use it. It might actually be good for you. Meanwhile, I’ll get back to squatting flies and mosquitos in our part of the world, where bug eating will meet very stringent food regulations, unless of course Reliance, Godrej, Tata or Birla like the market. But you, be ready for the future of food.

Some other things I found interesting from last week!

Pocket Bets

Once in a while, I’m going to make a small bet on a future trend. If you’ve played poker or even Teen Patti, you know how side bets work right? So, email me and we can wager a side bet. This week, I’m going to make a pocket bet on HPE getting acquired by a private equity firm in the next year. The unit looks stripped, culled, washed and marinated. Looks ripe for a nice venture kebab.

News @Arcluster

Arcluster is pleased to announce the publication of its latest market report on Edible Insects and Bugs. The 2016 market analysis and forecasting report aims at delivering the most comprehensive market study in the field of Entomophagy. The study also marks our foray into the consumer market oriented F&B report, reflecting our strong focus on micro emerging markets and sustainability driven growth avenues. The study can be procured here. For the latest news from the company, follow us on Twitter here, LinkedIn here and Like us on Facebook here.

Sustain #48: Commercial Hobby

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“The future is always beginning now” — Mark Strand

What do you want to do if you have the means to do so?

  1. Start a farm
  2. Become a baker
  3. Open a restaurant
  4. Become a teacher
  5. Make & Sell goods
  6. Something else altogether
  7. I’m undecided. Let me do my job

Does your hobby fit into any of these categories? If so, that’s great! If not, love your job. Most of us aim to quit their job and pursue the commercialization of a hobby. Isn’t that the dream? Actually, to find work that interests you — that should be the dream! But, here we are, looking for alternate work and reality, when it is up to us to shape it. But who do none of us want to join politics and run a government?

We all want to be governed well. Don’t we? Yet, we choose to not be part of it consciously. Isn’t that ironical?

Have the politicians been so successful to make this career look so unappealing that you won’t pick it up unless you are born into it or face a lack of work. But that’s ok. Even if we plan a conscious role in self-governance and future around us and at home, we’ll drive some positivity in the community. It’s a bit preachy this time. So I’ll stop right here and keep it super-short. I got work to do and a lot of it as well. But in the meantime, pick a hobby that bodes well with the future!

Some other things I found interesting from last week

News @Arcluster

Arcluster is pleased to announce a business partnership withMarketresearch.com (MRDC) which allows for the marketing and distribution of Arcluster’s proprietary market reports and analyses through their website. Teaming up with MRDC is an excellent opportunity for us as our product line is a natural fit for this resource avenue. Waatch the news space to see the launch of our studies. For the latest news from the company, follow us on Twitter here, LinkedIn here and Like us on Facebook here.

Sustain#47: To declutter or not

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To Declutter and Beyond

“A good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled” — Raymond Chandler

In the future, what will you declutter from your life?

  1. Clothes you don’t wear.
  2. Gifts you didn’t need
  3. Newsletters you don’t read
  4. Electronics you don’t use
  5. Stuff that isn’t first class
  6. All of the above

Really even this newsletter!? Ok, delete and declutter! But, your feedback is important!

There is a time in life when you realize that you have accumulated a lot of stuff that you feel claustrophobic just living among it. So what do you do then? Acceptance! This is not an easy thing because till you declutter your life, you won’t be able to see what else is amazing in your life that you are missing now. I’ll give you a few examples to start with: B-grade towels, anything that is wrong in size, empty packaging boxes, dead electronics etc. But, why do you have to do this?

What if one day, you don’t own houses but constantly migrate on floating ocean farms, or space colonies, or live in urban vertical pods. What if there is no need to collect and maintain anything? A time when everything you need can be obtained as a service. For example: if and when most cars look the same, you won’t feel the need to own one. However, like fashion, car ownership is not about convenience but about personality. So, we can’t say for sure how that will evolve.

But, what about future houses?

Is the middle income group so particular how their houses look from the outside especially in long vertical towers? Isn’t it totally ok that they all look the same? All the creativity and design, you can bring it back inside to reflect your personality right?. But if that’s the case, most of the technology that is evolving today is automating the indoor setup as well. For example: intelligent lighting, smart thermostats, power walls, intelligent security etc. How much can each of these house look differently even on the inside? Aren’t people the ones that turn houses into homes?!

The reduction in space will help people to only keep things that truly matter. Most of the unnecessary home functions will transition into the Uber for X model? Or even robotics might serve that need. Will you be cooking in this home pod? Or will your robotic butler do that?Will there value in procuring fresh vegetables every day or will you be buying into food alternatives? Can you really maintain sustainable food consumption if you aren’t living off the grid?

We have so many questions on how future homes will be like. How will we live in the next 30 years is an open ended question that has relative answers depending on who you are, hoe you are and where you are. This life is ephemeral. New technology defines social behavior far more rapidly than ever before. Take for example — Pokemon Go changed social behavior partly in a week. I covered that in the last weekly. You can read that here. More stuff like that will happen. But we won’t know in what direction till it happens. In the meantime, delete, declutter and deown.

Some other things I found interesting from last week!

Also, some other news that I have no comments on

News @Arcluster

Arcluster announces the early launch of its market tracker for Connected Homes and trends from around the world. Market trackers provide a more seamless and continuous coverage of trends, market size, pricing, shipments, bids, vendor shares for the markets we cover. The tracker is available for pre-booking as well with exclusive rights. Watch the news space to see the launch of these studies. For the latest news from the company, follow us on Twitterhere, LinkedIn here and Like us on Facebook here.

Sustain Weekly #46 —VR –  Crouching Tiger Hidden Pikachu

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“Life is more fun if you play games” — Roald Dahl

Where can you find a Pikachu?

  1. hiding in a closet
  2. playing in the park
  3. travelling in a plane
  4. cruising in a car
  5. working in an office

Ok, you got me. I had no clue what a Pikachu was!I didn’t even know what Pokemon was till now. Safe to say, I don’t know much about Nintendo or the world of gaming! Born in India in the early 80s in an urban middle class setup, you wouldn’t have seen a video game till you were say around 10–12 years of age. Even then, you probably wouldn’t have owned one. I remember a bunch of us watched (not played) another kid play Pac-Man. That kid brought it from the US when he moved back to India. I haven’t played Doom, NFS, Grand Theft Auto, Football etc. But it’s something I don’t regret.

But has Pokemon Go changed social behavior in a week?

To explain this, we have to see a few charts to see how massive its impact has been on technology, society and the future. Some of these charts here. Firstly, it marks the first mainstream push towards Augmented Reality (AR) adoption.

Secondly, adoption rate is faster than some extremely popular apps such as Tinder. Apparently its even catching up on Snapchat.

But is the game a passing fad or a trendsetter?

We’ll agree that it already has hit cult status. But will it become like Angry birds and other popular hits or will it continue to scale beyond this. Right now, Candy crush makers are thinking how to make the game in 3D with a virtual projection or through VR glasses. Just don’t send the invites.

Surely, it paves way for the next generation of social interaction through AR.Virtual and augmented reality is making several inroads in the last few months. This also reflects in the increase in the number of times they get covered in my weeklies. You can read about them in Weekly #45 — VR in Retail. Weekly #41: Hyper Reality in 2025 and Weekly #24 — Future of Work etc.

The rapid blending of AR/VR into consumer markets are a clue

to how AR/VR might blend into enterprise markets. It is often said that the most popular consumer technologies blend well into the enterprise markets. For example: in hardware — you can see the consumerization of IT in laptops, tablets and smartphones etc and in terms of software — social media, conferencing and cloud storage etc. The same can happen with AR/VR.

At some point, we might create avatar versions of ourselves and entire virtual meetings and collaborate. A stretch for 5 years but can happen. I’ll cover the impact of AR/VR enabled gaming in future weeklies. Till then, try and catch a rat then we’ll talk about catching creatures real time.

Some other things I found interesting from last week.

..and all the other news around Pokemon Go

Vox explained what is Pokemon Go; Om Malik wrote how it will make you crave for AR. Pokestops in India are at temples. US Presidential candidates want to use it for campaign trails. A chrome extension that will block out all Pokemon news. T-Mobile is giving a year of free data to play Pokemon. A man found a dead body while searching for Pokemon. Some players fell off a cliff. One crashed a car. One fell into a pond. That’s quite enough for now. Basically, it’s a phenomenon that has gripped nations.

News @Arcluster

Arcluster announces the early launch of its market tracker for Enterprise VR and trends from around the world. Market trackers provide a more seamless and continuous coverage of trends, market size, pricing, shipments, bids, vendor shares for the markets we cover. The tracker is available for pre-booking as well with exclusive rights. Watch the news space to see the launch of these studies. For the latest news from the company, follow us on Twitterhere, LinkedIn here and Like us on Facebook here.

Sustain#45: Juicy Grapes and Retail

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“The difference between information and knowledge is connecting the dots”

What new product would you like to see in your local grocery store?

  1. Tree Waters
  2. Non Cow Milks
  3. Fancy Cheeses
  4. Ruby Roman Grapes

Do you even know how much these Ruby Roman grapes are?Last week, I wrote about pet projects of tech billionaires in the present and its impact on the future. Then, during the week I read an article about how to make Golden milk! Then it struck me, the great PR that is happening for turmeric across the world. Especially in the US. So, Golden milk is made with 1 cup of almond/coconut milk + ½ t ground ginger + ½ spoon turmeric + ¼ cardamom + 1 tsp honey + black pepper. Interesting concoction except this has been prescribed for ages and made at home to cure throat pains, mouth ulcers, coughs etc. in our part of the world.

The emergence of new kinds of foods is an interesting trend across the western world and some developed parts of the East. In that regard, the combination of technology and food evolution is set to take the retail and F&B industries to better adoption among hipsters and the next generation.

While more people are shopping from the comfort of their home, there is a definitive segment of people that visits outlets for the range of options and for the experience. There is an expected bending of augmented reality in retail and is something that the industry could benefit. Traditionally perceived as an arduous and boring task to do, grocery shopping, can benefit significantly with adoption of VR and tech.

So, how will this new line of experience be? Will be like at a gaming center, how will tech enable you to quickly analyze foods before you buy? What happens when there is a product that is out of stock when you wanted it? Will you order it from the store and get it delivered at home by the time you get back. What if you don’t take your car to grocery shopping?Can the retail store deliver your bags with an autonomous drone? If a drone is used to deliver your stuff, will it follow you home or get there ahead and hand it over to your home robot to get it sorted, arranged and set.

What happens when you enter a retail outlet? How will you be greeted? Do you even have to go grocery shopping or will you send your home robot to do the shopping? When it is at the shop, will it be discussing with you on whether you like the products are not or does it know already your choices. Will it recommend any new product and maybe even tell you that this product has been in stock after x number of days and it will be wise to stock it.

How will it prevent itself from being robbed along with the groceries? Will it take a personal UAV to reach the store and come back with the bags? Will the drone, robot and your grocery bags be secure? Can they be intercepted during the flight and can the goods be stolen.

Will you be tracking the flight back or will your voice assistant do the tracking for you?The more I think of how the future of retail and shopping will be, the more I am hounded with questions on execution of robotics in this industry. I think we’ll have that answer very soon. Till then, upgrade your phone’s OS, expect VR glasses and be ready.

Some other things I found interesting from from the last week.

  • Barcelona will ban Segways from entering a key section of the city center. Its waterfront will be walkable again!
  • GE Ventures partnered with Saudi Aramco to invest in a 3D Metal Printing startup called Desktop Metal. The future is auto printed.
  • A robot monk gives you Buddhist wisdom at the Longquan temple at the edge of Beijing. His name is Xian’er and has a touch screen on his tummy. God bless AI
  • San Francisco bans Styrofoam. Foam packing, cups and mooring buoys will be banned fromJan 1, 2017. More cities are being conscious about environmental policies and the use of plastics and the likes.
  • Diageo invested in Seedlip, a non-alcoholic distilled spirit startup. Increasing number of people are interested in a refined alternative to alcoholic drinks. Intriguing!
  • A bunch of Ruby Roman grapes sold at an auction for 1.1 million yen (USD $11000) in Japan. The winning bidder, Kurashi Kaientai — a supermarket, plans to give 30 of these for free.
  • A 6000 old astronomical observation tool was found in Portugal tombs. A chamber of large interlocking stones and a long narrow entrance and may be in alignment with Aldebaran, the brightest star in the constellation of Taurus.
  • Danone acquired WhiteWave foods to solidify its presence in the alternative milk market. The acquisition helps the Danone with a plant-based diary alternatives and strengthens its position against the rising consumer trend of being anti big food.
  • At work, Indians are the happiest when compared to other countries? Ranked #1 based on the Edenred-Ipsos Barometer, in a survey of more than 14,000 people in 15 countries about their well-being at work. I wonder how good the sample set was. But I’ve seen a couple of watercooler discussions and I’m not surprised by this data.
  • The CIA invested in a skincare company! The venture capital arm of the CIA In-Q-Tel invested in Skincential Sciences, a company that develops Clearista, a patented skin smoothening gel. The company can collect certain biomarkers and develop a biomarker profile of individuals. Nevertheless, we can assume that the CIA will be naturally interested in a DNA collecting technology.

News @Arcluster

Arcluster announces the early launch of its market tracker for Tree Waters and trends from around the world. Market trackers provide a more seamless and continuous coverage of trends, market size, pricing, shipments, bids, vendor shares for the markets we cover. The tracker is available for pre-booking as well with exclusive rights. Watch the news space to see the launch of these studies. For the latest news from the company, follow us on Twitter here, LinkedIn here and Like us on Facebook here.

Sustain#44: Peeves and Pet Projects!

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“Change is not merely necessary to life — it is life” — Alvin Toffler (Oct28 — Jun16)

Which pet project of famous and partly bored tech billionaires do you think is most important?

1) Colonies in Mars
2) Hyperloop travel
3) Extending human life
4) Fighting invasive media
5) Internet for all (but through me)

I’m neutral on Mars colonies. But, If I can hitch a ride and you’ll provide reliable and dedicated internet for my work, then I’ll come stay in your Mars colony. If you want to move, step 1 for being a Mars resident is to be a minimalist.

Millionaires go to Mars! on a space elevator?

But if a laptop crashes, like it did now for me, how will you get it serviced? Are there ample incentives for service providers and maintenance professionals for them to come to Mars?

Will these laptops get put together and sent to Earth for service? If so, what’s the time to get it back? But, if you have the money to go to Mars, then you can buy a new laptop right?

Drive, Fly or Driven, Flown?

Hyperloop — Rapid transport through tubes, is a work in progress but is happening. Even Russia wants to do it. The first deployment and trip will improve efforts across nations to include rapid transport schemes between major cities.

Imagine, cross continent travel in 2 hours. That will be something. Self driving cars, and autopilots are also evolving. Also, the auto industry is moving to the valley, for the tech. In 25 years, travel and transportation will go through as many or more number of disruptions that it has seen in the last 100 years of motorised industry.

Superbugs and Medicine: A case of Cat and Mouse

In terms of health and life, as the industry fights more existing diseases and illness, it faces new superbugs that are antibiotic resistant. This is the next frontier of health science. The digitization of health data will bring more transparency to the patient and ease of ops for the doctors and hospitals.

At the same time, minimally invasive surgical procedures, biosimilars and next generation of sequencing is changing human life as we know it. Transdermal patches for drug delivery, replaceable limbs, bionic eyes are either here or arriving soon. We’re close to ridding the world of some long standing diseases but at the same time, we might gain some previously unknown super diseases. This vicious circle of medicine and diseases will always be a work in progress.

Billionaires and Internet Media. Different or the same?

Fighting media is my favourite from the last month. Because it is a pet project that has already brought on media firm down! This is the case of Gawker vs Peter Thiel. When a billionaire spends 8–9 years for revenge on a minuscule funded media startup that behaves worse than a peeping tom, the results are interesting for more media. Invasive and click baiting media is something I hate. So, more power to bringing this down.

Internet for all (through me) is what some internet media companies want. Case in point — FB’s walled internet garden for all, through itsinternet.org. When you hate it because its not inclusive, you’re called an elitist. When you show facts, they get cherry picked.

People have begun to focus more on headlines and less on the content. So, as long as your claim is benevolent, only the most involved person digs deep enough to understand the facts. That’s risky!This applies to Google’s loon project, where balloons beaming internet will float over cities. Beyond this, Google wants to builds its own city, kind of like a walled garden of internet fruits and flowers. It will be amazing except Google = Big Brother! and add this fact that Google is the highest money spender towards US lobbying, which means what Google wants will begin to happen as pet projects.

We’ll cover more of these in future weeklies as more tech billionaires do something interesting. Till then, lets count the zeros in billions.

Some other things I found interesting from last week!

News @Arcluster

Arcluster announces the early launch of its market tracker for future transport tech and trends from around the world. Market trackers provide a more seamless and continuous coverage of trends, market size, pricing, shipments, bids, vendor shares for the markets we cover. The tracker is available for pre-booking as well with exclusive rights. Watch the news space to see the launch of these studies. For the latest news from the company, follow us on Twitterhere, LinkedIn here and Like us on Facebook here.

About me

I manage market research and consulting at Arcluster, an innovation design and market consulting company that does research and consulting on micro emerging markets and sustainable solutions. You can reach me on twitter at @anirmal or via email arun@anirmal.com. Also, I love feedback. Please email me your views and suggestions. Cheers.