• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

‘For Businesses Today, Being Fast is More Important than Being Big’

How does the web change the market? How can users be involved in the development of new products? What principles are there for creating a new product? These were some of the issues addressed by Carlo d’Asaro Biondo, President of Strategic Partnerships for EMEA at Google, during his open lecture at HSE.

Web that has changed the business

The web, which allowed machines to ‘see’ and ‘understand’ each other, has altered approaches to business management. Information management has become a crucial factor for success, and the costs of this process, thanks to continuously developing IT technologies, are constantly decreasing. Every year, people are able to store more and more data at less and less cost.

As a result of the above, Google, according to Carlo d’Asaro Biondo, has made several bets. For example, companies don’t have to invest too much in creating huge machines; they can be replaced by networks of small machines, which helps varying costs. The same is true for software and computing technology. You don’t need to have them on your mobile phone, for example, when you can use them remotely.

This has led to fundamental shifts in business models. For companies, marketing has become a variable cost. ‘If I am a company and I want to sell to the world, I don’t need to create an office everywhere in the world (it was a fixed cost), I just transit on a website and use the tools of the web’, Mr. Biondo said.

Such a shift has changed the rules of market games. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) use web platforms to compete with big, but not very flexible companies which have a lot of employees and offices. In this new situation, market regulators are also facing a dilemma: should they defend the small businesses, which support competition, or traditional companies, which use the models of the past? How to find a balance?

But not only marketing is becoming a variable cost. Thanks to cloud technology, IT costs are also variable now. SMBs don’t have to spend money on purchasing and maintaining a powerful server.

‘You can look at me and say: “He is telling us something that’s obvious”. Well, if it’s obvious, I’m happy,’ Mr. Biondo emphasized, ‘because understanding those things are the rules of the new economy. The companies that developed in the old economy have lots of difficulties to understand what those things mean. And it means that being fast is more important than being big’.

The companies that understand these principles are able to create jobs in the economies of the future. For example, 3.5 million jobs have been created in the past four years to support Android and iOS apps. ‘It changes the logic of the economy we are living in’, the expert noted.

How new products are created

Business plans don’t start by comparing costs and revenues today, Carlo d’Asaro Biondo believes. The first question to ask is: what problem am I sorting out as I offer a product or a service? How important is this problem? Then, you have to understand what will be the cost of its solution. And only after that, do you think about revenue, which is only a ‘consequence of a job well-done’.

Mr. Biondo outlined five principles Google follows in this regard.

First, go back to the roots. Starting from scratch has its advantages, which has been proven by many start-ups that have become a success and changed the economy.

Second, keep it simple. Your product can be complicated for you as developers, but it should be simple for the user.

The third principle is to focus on the user, on how they can make use of your idea or product, and how they could interact with you.

The fourth principle is not to go for instant perfection, but to strive for continuous improvement. Users will tell you what you should change or add to your product.

That’s why the fifth principle is to default to open processes.

From mobile technology to machine learning

So, where is Google going? ‘If I came to talk to you five years ago, I would have said that we are going mobile’, Carlo d’Asaro Biondo assumed, ‘ The principle at Google was “mobile first”. That bet was good, but now the bet we make is machine learning, or “artificial intelligence”, as some people call it’.

Machine learning is particularly important when the cost of data storage is decreasing, and the volume of data is growing. These growing databases should be used smartly. Machines are able to see patterns and detect correlations in huge data arrays, which leads to new services as the outcome.

Machine learning is already actively used, for example, in health care to analyze health indicators and detect possible illnesses. This is merely one example that demonstrates how the development of IT eliminates borders between very different areas of the economy.

See also:

What You Can Do in Data Science: HSE University Invites Applications for IDAO 2020

The registration for the 3rd International Data Analysis Olympiad (IDAO 2020) organised jointly by the HSE Faculty of Computer Science and Yandex, is open until January 21, 2020. The international competition introduces young developers and analysts to current issues in Data Science.

First Cohort Graduates from Master’s Programme in Statistical Learning Theory

The Master's Programme in Statistical Learning Theory was launched in 2017. It is run jointly with the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech). The programme trains future scientists to effectively carry out fundamental research and work on new challenging problems in statistical learning theory, one of the most promising fields of science. Yury Kemaev and Maxim Kaledin, from the first cohort of programme graduates, sat down with HSE News Service to talk about their studies and plans for the future.

DNA Secondary Structures Lead to Gene Mutations that Increase the Risk of Cancer

Researchers have used machine learning to discover that the two most widespread DNA structures — stem-loops and quadruplexes — cause genome mutations that lead to cancer. The results of the study were published in BMC Cancer.

HSE Opens Laboratory of Financial Data Analysis

Part of the Centre of Deep Learning and Bayesian Methods and another partner project between Sberbank and HSE University’s Faculty of Computer Science, the laboratory will focus on applying machine learning methods to financial services.

International Data Analysis Olympiad (IDAO) to Be Held for the Second Time

The HSE Faculty of Computer Science and Yandex with the support of Sberbank are to organize the 2nd International Data Analysis Olympiad (IDAO). The Olympiad is held by leading experts in data analysis for their future colleagues and aims to bring together analysts, scientists, professionals, and junior researchers.

Join HSE's English-taught Courses on Coursera

In July, HSE is launching two English-taught courses on Coursera. Enrollement for the courses is still open. The full list of online courses offered by HSE is available on HSE MOOCs page.

HSE Professor to Head Up Machine Learning Research at Samsung Centre for Artificial Intelligence

On May 29, Samsung opened its new Artificial Intelligence Centre in Moscow. Dmitry Vetrov, Professor of the HSE Faculty of Computer Science, will become one of its leaders and oversee research in machine learning.

Machine Learning Helping to Save Money at CERN

Researchers at HSE’s Laboratory of Methods for Big Data Analysis (LAMBDA) and the Yandex School of Data Analysis have significantly reduced the cost of CERN’s future SHiP detector. The detector will search for particles responsible for still unexplained phenomena in the Universe. With use of modern machine learning methods, LAMBDA and Yandex scientists came up with very effective configuration of magnets which protect the detector from background particles. As a result, the cost of the entire structure was reduced by 25%.

HSE University Opens Joint Laboratory with Samsung Research

Samsung-HSE Laboratory will develop mechanisms of Bayesian inference in modern neural networks, which will solve a number of problems in deep learning. The laboratory team will be made up of the members of the Bayesian Methods Research Group — one of the strongest scientific groups in Russia in the field of machine learning and Bayesian inference. It will be headed by a professor of the Higher School of Economics Dmitry Vetrov.

IDAO Online Round Results. Next Up, the Final

On February 20, the first online stage of the International Data Analysis Olympiad (IDAO) was completed. IDAO was organised by the Faculty of Computer Science of the Higher School of Economics in partnership with Harbour.Space University (Barcelona), Yandex and with the Gold sponsor, Sberbank.