Lego a ‘better investment than shares and gold’ – Telegraph

Average Lego set has increased in value 12 per cent each year since the turn of the Millennium, providing a better return than mainstream investments

Source: Lego a ‘better investment than shares and gold’ – Telegraph

The Ultimate Collector's Millennium Falcon is the most expensive, having gone from a retail price of £342.49 in 2007 to £2,712 today

The Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon is the most expensive, having gone from a retail price of £342.49 in 2007 to £2,712 today

It may appear as no more than a popular children’s toy, but investors were able to secure a better return buying Lego sets over the past 15 years than from the stock market, gold or bank accounts, a Telegraph analysis found.

The value of the FTSE 100 is no higher than it was in February 2000, meaning the average annual return to savers over the past decade and half is just 4.1 per cent once dividend payouts are included.

By contrast, Lego sets kept in pristine condition have increased in value 12 per cent each year since the turn of the Millennium, with second-hand prices rising for specific sets as soon as they go out of production. Modern sets are performing even more strongly, with those released last year already selling on eBay for 36 per cent more than their original price.

The analysis found none of the main investments favoured by savers matched returns on the plastic building bricks.

Savers who invested in gold received a 9.6 per cent annual gain over the past decade and a half, while those who went with a savings account or Isa generated 2.8 per cent, according to investment company Hargreaves Lansdown.

Some Lego sets that once sold for less than £100 now fetch thousands on the secondary market.

Lego can only reach a top price if it has been kept in it's box, according to Ed Maciorowski, founder of BrickPicker.comLego can only reach a top price if it has been kept in it’s box, according to Ed Maciorowski, founder of BrickPicker.com

Many of the highest prices are for old sets based around films such as Star Wars or landmarks or brands such as the Taj Mahal in India or the Volkswagen Beetle. But data from investing website BrickPicker.comshowed even sets based on everyday scenes such as police stations and town roads are soaring in value.

The largest percentage rise in price for any Lego set has been on “Cafe Corner”, a model of a hotel which went on sale in 2007. The set, which has 2,056 pieces, originally sold for £89.99 but the price has risen to £2,096 since it went out of production – a return for investors of 2,230 per cent.

Ed Maciorowski, founder of BrickPicker.com, said the top price would be fetched only if the Lego had been kept in its box, in perfect condition. Used Lego is less valuable, but can still be worth hundreds of pounds more than its original price.

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“The neat thing is that all sets are retired at some point, and several hundred are retired each year a movie run ends, a licence expires or the Lego company wants to refresh its range,” he said.

“That means anyone with a set at home – large or small, it doesn’t matter – could have quite an investment on their hands if it’s in good condition, as this stuff appreciates very well in value.”

Most second-hand Lego is traded and bought on eBay. BrickPicker pays eBay for a breakdown of sales and compiles its own database of values and growth rates.

Mr Maciorowski said tens of thousands of investors across the world were pushing up prices of rarer sets.

He said the growth rates would continue. “Lego investing is not hitting bubble-like status,” he said. “That is partly because the Lego company doesn’t promote the secondary market, it wants to sell direct to customers.”

deathstarDeath Star II sold for £249.99 in shops, but is now worth £1,524, according to BrickPicker

Price rises can be disrupted if Lego restarts production of sets it had previously retired – but usually the effect is temporary as investors snap up the new stock, Mr Maciorowski said.

The most popular type of Lego is Star Wars themed, accounting for 10 of the 20 most expensive sets.

The Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon is the most expensive, having gone from a retail price of £342.49 in 2007 to £2,712 today.

Two slightly earlier models, the Death Star II and Imperial Star Destroyer, which were released in 2005 and 2002 respectively, also fetch more than £1,000.

Mr Maciorowski said the new Star Wars film, Episode VII – The Force Awakens will give the old sets a “new life” in secondary market.

“Demand is going to be off the hook,” he said. “Sometimes when the next instalment of a film comes out it boosts interest: the new Fantastic Beasts films, for example, should also see demand pick up for some of the recently retired Harry Potter Lego.”

Laith Khalaf, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The returns from Lego look pretty awesome, but investors need to beware that the value of collectables can be vulnerable to fads.

“There’s absolutely no harm in buying some pieces as a hobby, and you may well make some money, but as a main building clock for your retirement I would suggest sticking to more traditional shares and bonds.”

Seven Lego investing tips from a pro

Ed Maciorowski from BrickPicker.com says:

1 If you are interested in a particular Lego set, buy one to build and one to save for a rainy day. Even used Lego sets can appreciate to values higher than the retail price. Putting away a few large and exclusive sets to resell in years down the road can be very profitable.

2 Limited edition and seasonal sets do very well in the Lego secondary markets. Any sets with short production runs usually appreciate well. The rarer, the better.

3 Invest in Lego sets that were released after 1999. Pre-2000 sets were not really great investments. Many sets were basic and uninspiring. There are a handful of vintage sets that are viable collectables, but most have plateaued in value and many are in poor condition.

4 Keep the Lego boxes, pieces and instructions in excellent condition. Save all the components of a Lego set. Keep them in a dry and dark storage space. No sun … no moisture. The better the condition, the more the set will sell for in future.

5 Stack Lego boxes vertically like books. Horizontal stacking causes boxes to crush and seals to break.

6 Size doesn’t matter. Both small and large sets can appreciate very well percentage wise.

7 Lego mini figures are very valuable.

Most expensive Lego sets

Set – release date – pieces (mini figs) – retail price – current value

1 Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon – 2007 – 5,195 (5) – £342.49 – £2,712

2 Cafe Corner – 2007 – 2,056 (3) – £89.99 – £2,096

3 Taj Mahal – 2008 – 5,922 (0) – £199.99 – £1,848

4 Death Star II – 2005 – 3,441 (0) – £249.99 – £1,524

5 Imperial Star Destroyer – 2002 – 3,096 (0) – £249.99 – £1,467

Lego sets with biggest rises in value

Set – release date – pieces (mini figs) – retail price – current value – growth

1 Cafe Corner – 2007 – 2,056 (3) – £89.99 – £2,096 – 2,230%

2 Market Street – 2007 – 1,248 (3) – £59.99 – £698 – 1,064%

3 Holiday Train – 2006 – 965 (7) – £49.99 – £574 – 1,048%

4 Rescue from the Merpeople – 2005 – 175 (5) – £14.99 – £168 – 1,018%

5 The Batboat: Hunt for Killer Croc – 2006 – 188 (2) – £14.99 – £167 – 1,011%

Multimedia Technology Antwerp trend report 2016

Het ideale kerstcadeau
De voorbije jaren zijn we enorm geprikkeld geweest door de trend reports van de Belgische zwaargewichten uit de trendwatching wereld. Trend Wolves, Petra Sell, Wijs,…

Onze klas studeert af in 2016. En als laatstejaars van de richting Multimedia Technology willen we iets teruggeven aan onze helden. Een document vol nspiratie aan de sector waarin we in juni zullen instromen.

Vandaar dat we met heel de klas Web & UX studenten een eigen trend rapport voor 2016 hebben gemaakt.
Als kerstcadeau sturen we dit rapport de wijde wereld in. Om iedereen te inspireren en te prikkelen voor een super boeiend nieuw jaar.

De studenten Web & UX
Media Technology Antwerpen

Air New Zealand’s ‘Airband’ a world first

Air New Zealand brings another unique innovation to air travel @Airline_ratings

Source: Air New Zealand’s ‘Airband’ a world first

Air New Zealand has introduced a world first for children flying unaccompanied, giving parents and guardians the opportunity to follow the steps in their journey.

Children travelling alone on Air New Zealand services will now receive an Airband™ at check-in as part of the service.  The wristband is embedded with a chip which is scanned at key stages of the journey to trigger text notifications to up to five nominated contacts.

Air New Zealand General Manager Customer Experience Carrie Hurihanganui says Airband is a great example of the airline investing in technology to enhance the customer experience.

“We know that having your child travel on their own can be a nervous time for both children and their guardians.  While our staff have always taken great care of children travelling solo, we identified that there was an opportunity to enhance the experience for kids while at the same time giving caregivers further peace of mind and visibility of their journey,” says Ms Hurihanganui.

“We believe this is the first time this type of technology has been used by an airline anywhere in the world for the purpose of providing caregivers greater peace of mind when their child is travelling alone.  We have been trialling it across our network over recent months and the feedback from parents and guardians has been very positive with many welcoming the additional reassurance of knowing where in the journey their child is.”

The airline’s new service applies to all children aged between five and 11 who’re travelling alone – but those aged up to 16 years can choose to opt in.

The new service is being offered on a complimentary basis through until 3 February 2016.  Bookings made from this date will incur a fee of $15 per child for each one way domestic journey, or $40 per child for each one way international journey.

Suggested read: Air New Zealand brings the future of air travel – See more at: http://www.airlineratings.com/news/612/air-new-zealands-airband-a-world-first#sthash.HLL09sJ7.dpuf

The Top 10 Big Data Challenges: 2 Technological vs 8 Cultural

The Top 10 Big Data Challenges [Infographic].

This week’s infographic looks at the top 10 challenges organizations face in capitalizing on Big Data, courtesy ofTata Consultancy Services.

big-data-infographic

tweet infographic

The Top 10 Big Data Challenges

1. Cutural: Getting business units to share information across organizational silos

2. Technological: Being able to handle the large volume, velocity and variety of Big Data

3. Cultural: Determining what data, both structured and unstructured, and internal and external) to use for different business decisions

4. Cultural: Building high levels of trust between the data scientists who present insights on Big Data and the functional managers

5. Cultural: Finding and hiring data scientists who can manage large amounts of structured and unstructured data, and create insights

6. Cultural: Getting top management in the company to approve investments in Big Data and its related investments (e.g., training)

7. Technological: Putting our analysis of Big Data in a presentable form for making decisions (e.g., visualization/visual models)

8. Cultural: Finding the optimal way to organize Big Data activities in our company

9. Cultural: Understanding where int he company we should focus our Big Data investments

10. Cultural: Determining what to do with the insights that are created from Big Data

7 Technology Trends to enhance Brand customer journeys: from numbers keeping score, to numbers driving better actions

Behind The Scenes At The Breakout 12/26/2014.

Source: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/240588/behind-the-scenes-at-the-breakout.html

According to Kyle Lacy, Director of Global Content Marketing & Research at the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, in one of the breakout sessions at Connections 2014, there are 7 Technology Trends as well as recommendations for how brands can use these trends to enhance their customer journeys. Kyle shared key technology trends that are transforming how customers communicate, and how brands should be interacting with them.

1. Moments Matter

Take advantage of every experience the customer has with your brand no matter what the interaction is and what device it’s happening on. Moments really do matter when technology allows us to reach our customers at any stage along the customer journey. Think about your stage in the customer journey and how to optimize those moments and the experience your customers have with your brand, says the report.

2. Connected Consumer

Mobility is the largest trend seen in all the recent trends uncovered, and this is just the beginning, says the report. Smartphones still have a massive growth potential with only 30% of the total market using smartphones. 42% of US consumers purchased a product on their mobile phone in 2013 and 83% of US consumers research products while in-store on their mobile phone.

Kyle noted. “…as the global consumer becomes more connected, we don’t care with what device, only that they are connected…””

3. The Ecommerce/Amazon Effect

Amazon is revolutionizing ecommerce and retail. From things like Amazon Prime Air and enhancing product recommendations and personalization, Amazon continues to be on the cutting edge of technology. And, it’s not just Amazon. Ecommerce is continuing to be transformed from giants like Alibaba to startups like Partpic.

4. Brand Personalization

Personalization is everything. The ExactTarget Marketing Cloud’s recent Predictive Intelligence Benchmark Report found there is a 12-25% increase in sales if the transactional message includes personalized product recommendations.

5. Collaborative Economy

This is a collaboration between products, ideas, and people that is just another step in the social revolution, says the report.

The collaborative is defined as, “An economic model where creation, ownership, and access are shared between people and corporations.” Brands like Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, LendingClub, and many others have introduced a whole new economic model that has major implications for how consumers are interacting with each other.

6. Social Intelligence

Social media has gone from a handful of use cases and strategies to a new concept of social intelligence based on numerous key aspects of social media ranging from tactical to strategic value.

The main issue now, though, says Kyle, is that organizations don’t know how to build out groups to manage “digital.” When empowering the new collaborative company, it’s about embedding social media cross the fabric of the organization, to make one department’s outputs another department’s inputs. This the true value and efficiency with social media.

7. Humanizing Automation

Kyle finished his seven trends with “humanizing automation.” Automating the customer journey is a vital goal for most marketers. The challenge comes when you try to keep the human element to the customer journey while still maximizing efficiencies using automation. To do this, you need to be sure you’re making data-based decision. (Relevant) data is where you start and experience is where you end, says Kyle.

David Walmsley, Head of Multichannel at Marks & Spencer, concurs by concluding that “… we must move from numbers keeping score, to numbers that drive better actions…”

For additional information about the discussion and more data from the presentation, please visit here.

What will happen with marketing technology in 2015? – Chief Marketing Technologist

What will happen with marketing technology in 2015? – Chief Marketing Technologist.

BY 

Extract of:  http://chiefmartec.com/2014/11/will-happen-marketing-technology-2015/?_tmc=ikVT-mhlzpmGJIs1TIjdrGxuhUhJgFjABsLKMAvrZqQ

So here are 7 not-quite-predictions that I believe about marketing technology in 2015:

#1. Marketing technologists will multiply. Whatever label you want to put on them, the number of technical professionals working in the service of marketing is clearly on the rise. I’m hearing the term “marketing technologist” used more frequently, and I expect that it will gain more traction in the year ahead. Where will these previously nonexistent marketing technologists come from? Many will migrate from IT, where a subset of those professionals are eager to apply their technical talents in the pursuit of more exciting, customer-facing innovations that are recognized as driving revenue, not merely containing expense.

#2. The marketing technology landscape will grow, not shrink. Yes, there will continue to be big deals that feed the counter-narrative of consolidation. For instance, if Microsoft does fulfill my prediction, that will be a consolidation. However, the number of new entrants will continue to outpace the number of exits (happy or otherwise). As Neeraj Agrawal of Battery Ventures said in his Q&A with me, we’re just in the 4th inning of the game. There’s moneyThere’s opportunityAnd it’s never been easier to create software in the cloud.

I can make a promise — stronger than a prediction — that the 2015 version of my marketing technology landscape will have more companies represented than 2014. And yet it still will be woefully incomplete.

The next three factors, however, will make this incrementally more manageable.

#3. The ISV ecosystems around major platforms will flourish. 2014 was a remarkable year for the public support that many of the major enterprise marketing cloud providers — Adobe, IBM, Marketo, Oracle, Salesforce.com — gave to their ISV communities. Marketo recently celebratedover 400 third-parties officially in their LaunchPoint ecosystem. The message: one company can’t do it all. I believe these platform strategies will accelerate in the year ahead, and they will make it easier to find and integrate the right capabilities from a very large field of more specialized vendors. I expect that we’ll also see some impressive innovations in the depth of these plug-and-play integrations — they’ll fit into a platform’s user interface and data services features much more seamlessly.

#4. The adoption of “marketing middleware” will increase. Tag management systems, data management platforms (DMPs), customer data platforms (CDPs), cloud app connectors, enterprise service buses (ESBs), etc., have all had a terrific year and are poised for more growth in 2015. These software solutions provide a layer of marketing data management that spans many different systems. When implemented well, they make heterogeneous marketing stacksmore manageable — which also enables brands to avoid being cornered by a single vendor. Greater IT talent applied to marketing technology management will help proliferate these more advanced and adaptable architectures.

#5. The line between software vendors and service providers will blur. Everyone in the marketing technology field should read Software vs. Services: Is There Really A Difference byMartin Kihn of Gartner. This is so spot-on. And with Publicis’s pending acquisition of SapientNitro, the stakes for the major agency holding companies to embrace this blurring have ratcheted up considerably.

Having reflected on marketing-as-a-service (MaaS) since my debate (in the comments) about itwith Gerry Murray from IDC last month, I think he’s right: it’s going to be a major channel for marketing software. But not just for the big marketing clouds. This will be a tremendous channel for innovative and niche marketing applications — including specialized software programs, everything from custom algorithms to cross-system “glue,” that will be developed by those service providers themselves to create non-commoditized competitive advantages.

Those last three — ISV ecosystems, middleware, as software/service convergence — all help make a rich and diverse landscape of marketing software more accessible to marketers who don’t want to get bogged down in a bunch of complex integrations themselves. Effectively, they can now offload that technical effort to vendors, middleware architectures, and service providers. It begins to turn the vast scale of the landscape from a bug into a feature.

#6. Several big companies will become new entrants in the marketing tech space. Dell’s entrance is the most recent example. I’ve already made my prediction for Microsoft. Other classic tech giants that I would keep an eye on include Cisco, Citrix, Intel, Intuit, and Xerox. I also believe that Amazon, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and Twitter will significantly expand their software offerings to marketers — LinkedIn’s acquisition of Bizo is Exhibit A — which will start to impact the competitive dynamics with marketing clouds from the “traditional” enterprise software companies.

#7. All of marketing technology will be hot — but some categories will be really hot. 2014 was the year of content marketing and predictive analytics, which will remain big. Next year, I think we’ll see five other categories gain traction. Four of them — sales enablement, post-sale customer marketing, marketing finance, and marketing talent management — are all about hybridization between marketing and other departments: sales, customer service, finance, and HR, respectively. The fifth will be innovations related to the Internet of Things (IoT). Yes, I can’t but help cringe a bit when I say that, as I know there’s a lot of hype around IoT. But the reality is that with ubiquitous connectivity and device proliferation, the field of hybridized online/offline experiences is almost — almost — ready to blossom.

Actually, I believe there’s also a sixth category that will be on fire in 2015 — interactive content. I feel a little sheepish saying that because, well, my company, ion interactive, offers interactive content marketing software (you can read the story of our pivot here). So you could certainly argue this is my “hope” more than a prediction. But, if you’ll indulge me for a moment, it’s evident that content marketing is becoming a victim of its own success: the noise of passive content (the world-wide web of white papers and webinars!) is deafening, steadily reducing its efficacy in engaging and educating prospects. Interactive content changes the rules of that game, by letting marketers produce more permanent customer experiences instead of just more transient customer communications. And it’s not just me. I’ve been seeing a lot of new competitors emerge in the category. There’s going to be some really interesting innovations around interactive content in 2015. In keeping with the hybrid theme of the other five categories, think of this as the hybridization of communications and experiences.

Trends 2014 – onboard technology ex: Audi’s New Dashboard Gives Us Beautiful Information Overload (Wired.com)

Audi’s New Dashboard Gives Us Beautiful Information Overload | Autopia | Wired.com.

 

The new dash of the Audi TT will be fully configurable, with a choice of a map view or traditional gauges. Photo: Audi

The new dash of the Audi TT will be fully configurable, with a choice of a map view or traditional gauges. Photo: Audi

Dashboard gauges are so 20th century. The dash of the future is a flat, high-resolution, and fully customizable. And that’s what the next Audi TT will have when it lands in showrooms later this year.

At CES Audi showed off a full-sized mockup of the TT’s new interior, and the crown jewel is a 12.3-inch LCD screen behind the steering wheel that can toggle between a traditional tachometer and speedometer and a massive map with infotainment and navigation displays flanked by small virtual gauges.

Inputs are handled through Audi’s next-generation Multi-Media Interface control knob mounted behind the stick. It has fewer buttons but gets the latest iteration of Audi’s touchpad that allows you to write characters with your finger rather than endlessly scrolling through the alphabet.

The other notable bit is the removal of the traditional climate controls in the center console. Instead, the driver and passenger can change the interior temperature by twisting a knurled metal knob in the center of the vents, complete with a TFT display showing the fan speed and air temp.

Climate controls and temperature read-outs are exactly where they should be: in the vents. Photo: Audi

Climate controls and temperature read-outs are exactly where they should be: in the vents. Photo: Audi