• The China Economy: 8 Days in Shanghai

    The China Economy: 8 Days in Shanghai

    By Justin on September 22, 2015

      I had the opportunity to travel to Shanghai for work in early September in the midst of one of the most volatile economic times for China. I was fortunate enough to speak with several local Chinese, both millennials and some “wiser” folks, as well, about their take in the recent economic trends across the country. Additionally, I spent quite

  • The Evolution of Online Marketplaces: VarageSale Raises $34 Million

    The Evolution of Online Marketplaces: VarageSale Raises $34 Million

    By Justin on April 4, 2015

    For many, online marketplaces is synonymous with Craigslist or even businesses such as eBay and Amazon. However, there’s an inherent trust factor that helps open this market up to additional consumers not as comfortable with selling items online to strangers across the country or world. Here enters companies such as VarageSale, an online marketplace that focuses on local communities. This

  • The Sharing Economy Now Serves Waffles

    The Sharing Economy Now Serves Waffles

    By Justin on February 24, 2015

    Roadie, a platform that looks to connect drivers and consumer packages has a new restaurant partner: Waffle House. The sharing economy continues to evolve and see new players enter the ecosystem, including those that are indirectly involved, such as Waffle House. A self-described neighbor-to-neighbor shipping network, Roadie allows consumer to create gigs that their system well then match to a

  • The Expansion of Apple Pay: Digital Payments at the Federal Level

    The Expansion of Apple Pay: Digital Payments at the Federal Level

    By Justin on February 17, 2015

    Apple CEO Tim Cook recently announced at the latest cybersecurity summit that Apple Pay would become available at the Federal level beginning in September, allowing consumers to pay admission into National Parks with Apple’s digital payment system. This announcement by Tim Cook additionally included a note that the elderly and U.S. veterans will be able to leverage Apple Pay for

  • A Guide To Evaluating Market Size:

    A Guide To Evaluating Market Size:

    By Justin on February 12, 2015

    In an earlier post on Mercator Labs, we discussed different types of market opportunities as new companies aim to enter existing markets or create entirely new markets. Both of those avenues require significant background research as those companies’ backbone consists of evaluating market size and the potential for growth. This post explores some ways to go about evaluating market size

  • Making Sense of Big Data in Real Time

    Making Sense of Big Data in Real Time

    By Justin on February 10, 2015

    Twitter released some real-time data after the 2015 Grammys, highlighting the most retweeted posts (the top 5 message had over 83,000 retweets). If the average user has 150 followers, that quickly leads to 12.5 million impressions from those five posts alone. This is a quick example of how analyzing big data in real time is an omnipresent exercise. Additionally, there

  • Twitter’s Roadmap: Opportunities & Threats

    Twitter’s Roadmap: Opportunities & Threats

    By Justin on February 6, 2015

    Twitter recently reported its 2014 fourth quarter and fiscal year-end results, beating most analysts’ expectations, sending the stock up more than 15% as the trading week winds down. Two of most widely reported numbers for the most recent earnings release were monthly active users (MAUs), which came in lower than expected, while quarterly revenue nearly doubled year-over-year. Before getting too

  • Under Armour Acquires MyFitnessPal & Endomondo To Create Leading Digital Health Ecosystem

    Under Armour Acquires MyFitnessPal & Endomondo To Create Leading Digital Health Ecosystem

    By Justin on February 4, 2015

    The ultimate consolidation of fitness apps was and still is on the horizon with one of the biggest moves to date just announced: Under Armour is acquiring MyFitnessPal and Endomondo. For those of you not as familiar with MyFitnessPal, it is one of the most popular calorie counter and diet trackers for consumers. Under Amour has additionally scooped up Endomondo,

  • Hybrid Market Sizing: Tapping into both New and Existing Markets

    Hybrid Market Sizing: Tapping into both New and Existing Markets

    By Justin on February 2, 2015

    Defining market opportunity is a common yet sometimes complicated exercise when a company is exploring a growth strategy. Larry Cheng, Managing Director at Volition Capital, covered the topic of examining market size when it comes to a prospective investment. Aside from a great perspective, the blog post ends by briefly exploring companies that are looking to gain market share in

  • Investing in the Future of New Media

    Investing in the Future of New Media

    By Justin on January 29, 2015

    This week two new media companies, Mashable and Business Insider raised a combined total of $42 million in new venture funding. While some of their content overlaps, both have distinct business models and their respective infusions of funding will continue bringing them on divergent paths when it comes to business models. At the highest of levels, Business Insider (BI) is

  • Snapchat Introduces Discover: The Future of Media Consumption

    Snapchat Introduces Discover: The Future of Media Consumption

    By Justin on January 27, 2015

    This morning Snapchat introduced a new feature, Discover, for its users, one that will significantly increase time spent within the app as well as give publishers more access to the millions of young Snapchatters. The new section features news articles and video clips from media partners such as ESPN, CNN, Vice & Cosmopolitan. In parallel to these new channels, brands

  • The Evolution of Travel Technology

    The Evolution of Travel Technology

    By Justin on January 25, 2015

    On Friday, travel company Expedia agreed to acquire Travelocity for $280 million, adding another popular travel site under the Expedia brand portfolio, which includes Hotwire and Hotels.com. Before the acquisition, Expedia was already operating as the backend platform for Travelocity’s site, as well as managing the customer service program, leaving the importance of this acquisition not with the companies themselves,

  • The Interconnectedness of the Mobile App Ecosystem:

    The Interconnectedness of the Mobile App Ecosystem:

    By Justin on January 23, 2015

    For every major category and interest, you can beat there’s a mobile app built around it or to service it. According to Nielsen, the average user engages with north of 25 different apps per month, spending over an entire day’s worth of time crushing candies, booking Ubers, posting Instagrams and Snapchatting selfies. While usage continues to rise and apps evolve

  • Google Glass Use Cases in 2015: Focus on the Enterprise

    Google Glass Use Cases in 2015: Focus on the Enterprise

    By Justin on January 13, 2015

    Nearly three years has passed since Project Glass, Google’s biggest wearable project, was announced to the public. Fast forward to the beginning of 2015 and consumer adoption for wearables, specifically Google Glass, hasn’t quite lived up to the hype. With a step price tag for consumers, Google Glass now looks towards business use cases for extended adoption, namely healthcare, travel and similar industries.

  • A Guide To A Mobile-Oriented New Year’s Resolution

    A Guide To A Mobile-Oriented New Year’s Resolution

    By Justin on January 10, 2015

    The digital health evolution will come in many forms over the next several years from new wearable technology to ingestible sensors that will help alter how we keep track of our own health. Some of these practices will take longer to develop than others, which leads us to some mobile applications that are presently helping folks make smarter, healthier decisions

  • What to Expect from Uber in 2015

    What to Expect from Uber in 2015

    By Justin on January 8, 2015

    2014 was a year to remember for the Global Technology Platform, Uber. From a continued period of massive growth, both in terms of locations served and total users, to astronomical valuations, the company consistently turned heads. Uber also has its fair share of growing pains: multiple regulatory violations, amongst topics far more serious.

  • Next Steps for Digital Health

    Next Steps for Digital Health

    By Justin on January 5, 2015

    During the last few days of December, Ginger.io, a mobile health analytics startup announced a new round of funding totaling $20 million. What’s more impressive than the fresh new capital is the potential that this group of MIT scientists and engineers brings to the world of big data trends in healthcare. For those that aren’t as familiar with Ginger.io, the

  • What is Snapchat’s Business Model?

    What is Snapchat’s Business Model?

    By Justin on January 2, 2015

    Nearly a year ago, Snapchat reportedly declined an acquisition offer from Facebook that was north of $3 billion. Fast forward to the waning hours of 2014 and you can see why: a recent SEC filing shows the photo-sharing service raising a fresh new round of funds, valuing the company north of $10 billion. So what might we see in 2015?

  • Top Technology Trends of 2015:

    Top Technology Trends of 2015:

    By Justin on January 1, 2015

    The Consumer Electronics Show (commonly known as CES) is a large jolt back for the tech industry after an eggnog-induced slumber that finished off 2014. This four day event will highlight new innovations across a myriad of categories: Communications, Gaming, Robotics, and Wearables, just to name a few. There will be north of 3,500 exhibitors showcasing 20,000+ product announcements for more than 40,000 attendees. It’s a frenzied four days to say the least.