Issue 9 : A quick update

And a request for feedback

Good morning. This will be a short issue as I am currently on convalescence after a major RTA due to no fault of my own. We’re fine, so let’s not dwell on that too long!

I usually pre-write a number of articles but this time I didn’t have the time to finish anything that I would be proud to publish. In that respect I thought I’d take a quick retrospective look at the past issues and show you what I’m currently working on as drafts and ideas. I’d love your feedback (hit reply to this email) about these in-progress topics and if you think I should cover anything else. I know many of you are French native speakers, don’t be shy, write to me in French ;) Oh, I’ve also added a nice little header graphic to each email.

Anyways, as always, I’m very grateful for your support and I hope this newsletter is of value to you. Have a good weekend.


I’ve so far written and published 8 Issues on subjects that trace the beginnings of digital technology to looking at the current state of digital in this region. Along the way I’ve taken a look at a couple of local initiatives (more are coming) to implement Digital Transformation strategies and only time will tell if they are successful or not.

A couple of articles have touched on the strategic and psychological aspects of the effects of this revolution in business. I even discussed the very definition of Digital Transformation, after witnessing after talking to clients and contemporaries, that a globally accepted definition of Digital Transformation doesn’t exist — mine is a best attempt.

Work in progress

What have I been working on and what other ideas do I have on the boil?


One of the biggest subjects related to Digital Transformation is Blockchain. I’m currently researching its beginnings and potential use scenarios from cryptocurrencies to supply-chain management possibilities. As I’ve previously stated, I am very sceptical of the future of cryptocurrencies, so I’d like to get in to the weeds on that.

Aggregation Theory

I’ve references this a lot over the weeks, so I thought it would be good to better explain what it is and why it is important.

Autonomous Vehicles in the Caribbean

You can’t move these days, without coming across talk of fully autonomous cars on the roads anytime soon. Some companies are literally spending billions of dollars, but seemingly progressing in fits and starts. I’m writing about the potential and the difficulties in relation to our market. While we have many things in our favour (climate for electrical recharging - let’s face it they are going to be electric) but those same advantages present enormous difficulties.

Ride-sharing in the Caribbean

If your island is anything like mine, the state of local public transport is an utter mess. We live with it in two ways. We shut our mouths and just get on with it, or we buy a car. Surely there’s a better way? This article was written a while back, where as a thought experiment I wondered if ride-sharing could be part of a better public transport mechanism, better adapted to our particularities than mass public transit (buses, trains, trams and subways).

Practical examples of Digital Transformation

Theory is all well and good, so I think it’s high time I write about some practical examples of Digital Transformation and how you can envision your own transition.

Management Obesity

Digital Transformation and automation is understandably, very scary for workers. Particularly those in manually repetitive roles, but I’ve had a theory for a few years that it is actually middle-management that has most to fear from AI. I’d love to expand on that and debate in public these ideas.

The Security and Privacy Wars

Digital information, being inherently reproducible quickly and widely with minimal effort and minimal cost, provides purchase for the worst of us to exploit these data to devastating results for some — see the Mexican Rockstar that took his own life recently (btw, I have no idea if he is innocent or guilty, that’s not what this newsletter is about). But what is evident, is that a new digital war has erupted between the biggest of actors pushing the virtues of their security and privacy policies. I’ll not get in to the details of who is better and worse, this is more of a philosophical discussion on the conflict.

That should keep me busy for a while. Let me know what you’d like to read first and if you have a fetish topic, you’d like me to explore. Once again, have a great weekend.

Reading List

CDB grant to help CARICOM Investigate suitability of plantation white sugar for Regional manufacturing - CARICOM

Ostensibly not a Digital Transformation story as it an economics topic (imports versus exports of white sugar). However, when you look in to the details, they are financing what I have been advocating for years now, better data availability to help make better business decisions. You should read and reflect on this if you run a business. Improvising, intuition or using the “The Force” to run your business is nothing short of suicide in present times. Regardless of the fact that your business plans and strategy may require no changes, your clients are changing, and it is that change that will eventually for change upon your business.

Guadeloupe Moves to Set Up Internet Exchange Point - OECS Business Focus

Great news for the internet infrastructure in the French West Indies. Coupled with the current rollout of FTTH in Martinique, Guadeloupe and Guyane, this can only have positive effects for digital business locally.

Barbados Innovators Find Difficulty Accessing Financing - OECS Business Focus

This is clearly a problem across the region. There’s surely a better way to finance start-ups by the banks and their partners. Perhaps CARICOM or the OECS could group its members to form an association to promote inter-regional financing for entrepreneurs?

The Future is Digital Newsletter is intended for a single recipient, but I encourage you to forward it to people you feel may be interested in the subject matter, it really helps. Thank you for your support.

Have a great weekend.

Matthew Cowen @matthewcowen