Paradigm - January 2018
Ray Anderson’s Point of View: The smart speaker market is hot, really hot. It’s the fastest growing segment in consumer technology, as people choose the convenience of interacting with the web and retailers by voice rather than other interfaces. As a result, large players such as Amazon and Google are discounting their hardware to gain market share. Potential victims that may be disrupted by this trend include traditional media (as advertising moves to voice platforms), audio companies and other devices used to interact with the web.
TechCrunch, January 2018
Brian Buebel’s Point of View: The government funding bill signed into law on January 22 contains multiple tax cuts, and delays the implementation of three healthcare-related taxes. The move to delay enforcement of the taxes, which were created as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is seen as a positive for businesses. The postponed taxes (one on medical devices, an employer tax on expensive health insurance plans and another on health insurance benefits) will increase the federal deficit, but may mitigate the steady increase in healthcare insurance premiums.
This delay, the elimination of the ACA’s individual mandate, and the push to eliminate the mandate that employers with more than 50 full-time employees provide health insurance, further diminishes the ACA’s effectiveness and economic viability. But hits to the ACA that are implemented without a plan to replace it will drive increases in healthcare costs and industry instability.
The New York Times
D’Andre Davis’ Point of View: During a panel discussion at NRF 2018, retail executives outlined ways the industry can shift its investment strategy to technologies that improve the customer and employee experience in order to capture more value.
While there is value to be gained by taking part in digital transformation, I also urge retailers to focus on the fundamentals that connect consumers with the in-demand product and services they want. As a consumer, I appreciate how technological investments improve my in-store experience with lower wait times, easier ordering and checkout, but the store still has to lure me in and provide goods and services I want at that time. Those fundamentals must include purchasing and design decisions supported by deep insights gained from customer analytics.
Coley Brown’s Point of View: Tesla announced a new compensation plan for Elon Musk that is an all-or-nothing, 100% equity-based model tied to lofty market capitalization ($50 billion yearly increases) and operational goals (yearly incremental sales increases starting at $20 billion).
Elon Musk’s Zip2, PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, SolarCity and The Boring Company show that he doesn’t care about compensation or market capitalization—he cares about changing the world. Musk continually invests his personal fortune to start or save his companies from bankruptcy all while giving away inspiration, ideas and resources for free in the spirit of innovation. Has Musk also changed executive compensation packages for the betterment of employees and shareholders?
Matthew Fisher’s Point of View: Delaware leaders argue that Chapter 11 venue selection under section 1408, or “forum-shopping,” has given corporations access to the state’s unrivaled depth and expertise in corporate legal issues and bankruptcy. A recently proposed bill to change the bankruptcy code in a way that requires a debtor to file cases in the jurisdiction in which it is primarily located or operated would impact Delaware’s local economy in sectors ranging from hotels to law.
Despite the bill’s negative impact on Delaware’s overall influence and local economy, states and districts that have long served as hosts to many sectors of the U.S. economy (such as California, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Texas) would provide a forum that is more neutral to creditors, employees and other stakeholders alike.
Delaware Business Now
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