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All posts by Paul Armstrong

Paul Armstrong
Paul Armstrong runs HERE/FORTH an advisory that helps business leaders decide how to best use rapidly changing and emerging technologies.
  • Apple Pay: the little guys may just benefit more than the big guys

    I’ve been a big proponent of Apple Pay ever since I first saw it in action early this year during a trip to the States -- the seamless (ish!) process and the high customer satisfaction of the vast majority of users I saw made this technology progression a no-brainer -- but it is not without its challenges and issues -- it will upset a few apple carts (pun intended). I recently spent some time at Wired Money and got to speak with senior several execs who are equally excited and hesitant for some parties. I asked them all...

  • 4 things clients, agencies can do to create a greater sense of parity

    It’s round this time of year -- post-"yesweCannes" -- many reflect on changing the agency world, client relationships, service, creativity and how they combine or -- in most cases -- jar wildly, causing much "frustration" on both sides. The problem is...there is no problem, just simple miscommunication and misunderstanding of the new rules and roles at play. The brunt of such pieces really boils down to the power “struggle” between both parties when in fact, there is only one of three scenarios at play; you’re the one with the power, you think you’re the one with the power, or you...

  • 9 massive predictions for how tech will impact ‘the next billion’

    Quartz held an impressive event this week with speakers from Uber, frog, and EVRYTHING to name but a few. Titled "The Next Billion", the conference focused on the challenges and the opportunities society faces with the "new world" we are fast seeing emerge. With a heavy vein of mobile and emerging markets peppered throughout, the morning was packed with insight and data on the opportunities the next billion people who come online will pose - some only emerging in the last few months based on new coding and political technology barriers being removed. I spoke with several of the...

  • Contagious 2015: 5 massive takeaways around why you should be ‘obsessing experience’

    A jam-packed room of brand managers, heads of development, insight folks and agency bods came to listen to Contagious 2015. Introduced by Contagious CEO, Paul Kemp-Robertson, the theme was “Obsessing Experience” or as Will Sansom, Contagious Insider, puts it “experience is overused in our industry, it is everything a brand does and stands for, it’s about the promise and making it come alive through the multiple touchpoints available”. Sansom explained a good point that is rarely mentioned, experience is an iterative process (or at least should be), it’s not deciding something once, it’s an ongoing focus...

  • Impact 2015: why ambiguity may be your brand’s best friend

    The first session of Impact 2015 (the MRS annual conference for insights and data bods) got off to an interesting start by Unilever CEO Paul Pollman, who challenged the members of the audience to change themselves in order to change others after a particularly climate changed focused speech. One interesting takeaway was his obsession with the new generation beyond Millennials -- Generation Z, a generation who "are not anti-business solving problems or getting involved...so get involved and let them help ." I chose to avoid the privacy camp and instead focused on the unknown...or VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity...

  • Gearburn’s 2014 Christmas gift guide to trendy gizmos and gadgets

    It's that time of year again. Unfortunately (or fortunately for those receiving gifts) the Holiday Season comes with its own set of headaches and charms. One of the latter is definitely not gift shopping. So, to help you out on your quest, we here at Gearburn have compiled a Christmas gift guide for you, yours and others. These products may not be for everyone, and some might not be available in your country but it's a great guide to take heed of what possible gifts are out there. Read more on Gearburn.var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • 23andMe: how one company is using spit to change the way we see our health

    In a few weeks I'll be finding out about my ancestry and receiving a bunch of genetic data that could potentially be used to establish what medical conditions I am predisposed to. That's all thanks to a kit from 23andMe, a company that boasts the largest collection of spit in the world being the largest independent, saliva-based DNA service that is pretty much akin to the FBI's database (CODUS). The premise is simple, get a pack, spit (a lot), pay $99 (plus shipping) and wait about a month. Then you are in the club that (currently) contains more than 750...

  • 3 key takeaways from Wired 2014 day one

    Wired 2014 kicked off this morning with a ballsy session ("Decoding The Body") -- considering the time and lack of caffeine -- that sought to explain quantum computing, DNA sequencing, autodesked viruses and 3D printed bones. Among the many speakers for the second section "Technology without Limits" were several new faces from the Innovation Fellowship Wired started for young people who are doing extraordinary things. First up was Ionut Alexandru Budisteanu, a Romanian 20-year-old who last year hacked his way into creating a driverless car using artificial intelligence. Not impressed? What if we tell you that he did it...

  • How SodaStream is proving that you can still differentiate through good design

    Despite current political woes, you have to give SodaStream kudos for having somewhat of a renaissance recently design-wise. You know the drill, ordinary water gets fizzy with the ultra satisfying blasts of compressed CO2 injected into it. Experience (and the environmental positives) aside, the biggest area of improvement is the design thanks to a hefty partnership with interior designer Yves Béhar. Béhar is no stranger to brand work working with Herman Miller, Puma, Samsung (amongst others) however he is probably most well known for his work at Jawbone, OUYA and currently with the FUSE Project. ...

  • 3 key takeaways about how the relationship between money and tech is changing [Wired Money]

    Finance is a difficult industry at the best of times but mix in the theoretical and technological changes it has faced in a very short period and you have an unsure industry that appears to be standing at a precipice waiting for a pair of hands to push it over the edge. Steeped in regulation, “history is the business model” mentality and risk aversion as standard it’s hardly surprising how the industry got to where they find themselves yet, the full room at Wired Money 2014 conference (held in the impressive Level 39 at Canary Wharf) was hopeful...

  • Screw innovation, the New York Times need to focus on TBD

    The New York Times Innovation Report has been ripped to pieces by many brains in the media world but the issues are the familiar TBD framework I work with, namely Technology (can/does it do what is needed?), Behaviour (will people do what we need/want?) and Data (will enough people do what we need?). After ploughing through it, despite a slightly depressing overtone, I am confident the New York Times will pull through...the industry can't afford it not to (read: have an R&D budget). The very fact it is doing a report of this sort (especially considering who asked for...

  • What happens when biology, data and our brains meet? [#ChinwagPsych14]

    A feisty crowd of 200 behavioural psychologists, analysts, researchers and agency folk poured into the annual Chinwag Psych London this morning to hear the latest in tech, psychology and brain science to help everyone be happier, more effective shillers of their respective wares. The morning saw an interesting lineup from the first two of the four areas Chinwag have split the day into (Anticipate, Optimise, Analyse and Persuade). Ed Weatherall (VisualDNA) opened up the morning with a look at the connection between the digital, physical and emotional elements of humans and why there is a big knowledge gap for businesses when...

  • Detection and treatment: the real spaces for innovation in healthcare [Wired Health]

    Over 300 attendees crammed into the very apt Royal College of General Practitioners in London for the inaugural Wired Health conference last week. Content-wise the day was broken into three main areas diagnosis, data-driven health and body repair (kudos to Wired’s Science Editor João Medeiros for a jam-packed and 360 degree line-up). During the day, attendees were continually bombarded with the blurring lines of science, technology and data. From Claire Hooper’s DuoFertitlity Kit, which helps women conceive naturally in a less invasive and more effective way than IVF, to how fashion played the biggest role in the success...

  • We’re headed for a really big ‘collision’ between content and connection networks

    It was an interesting morning at the Socialbakers Engage 2014 brand summit. Heavy hitters from Lenovo, Renault and AO.com waxed lyrical on the benefits of analytics and Facebook mainly but if the Cheerometer in the dedicated event app is anything to go by people were impressed by the opening session from CEO and co-Founder Jan Rezab. In the opening session Rezab remarked about the changing pace and space social is seeing. In particular, a movement towards what Rezab interestingly referred to as a "collision" between content and connection networks has really big implications for both brands and agencies as they...

  • 3 very good reasons why you should tread carefully with native advertising [#GDNCMS]

    Some interesting tweets from the #GDNCMS Conference by the Guardian appeared this morning and there was heated debate about algorithms being better than young planners, innovation and native advertising was unsurprisingly a big part of the day's talks. Words like authentic, hoodwinking, value and engagement were banded about and there are clearly those that are ready to merge these worlds and others that are clearly opposed to it. Titled, "What's the value for the publisher, advertiser and consumer? Whats the risk?" the dedicated afternoon panel (moderated by Senior Forrester Analyst, Ryan Skinner the panel, whilst small) was full of...