In the Know: Bi-Weekly Agritech Round-Up (May 25, 2018)

The world of agritech is changing every day. Check out our bi-weekly round-up to stay in-the-know on the evolving world that is agriculture technology.

Six Digital Transformation Trends in Agriculture

In order to meet the needs of a growing population, resource output must continue to grow. How are farmers keeping up with the demands in the industry? By utilizing these six new technologies as sustainable and scalable resources in agriculture.

Read more here, via Forbes. 

Manufacturing and Blockchain: Prime Time is Yet to Come

Blockchain technology is transforming the way that manufacturers conduct business and record transactions – not only currency transactions, but also with data transactions. Widespread adoption of this technology could have widespread benefits for the global economy and industry standards.

Read more here, via Coindesk.

How has Technology Sown the Seeds for Advancements in Agriculture

By educating famers on technological advancements, helping them build a marketplace online and removing the middleman in their sales, entrepreneurs are offering technological solutions to farmers to keep up with growth in the agriculture industry.

Read more here, via Entrepreneur

With Blockchain Insurers Opt for ‘Coopetition’

Coopetition is the chosen path for many industries embracing blockchain technology. Insurance companies, technologists and thought leaders are beginning to see the benefits of a shared services approach to conducting business.

Read more here, via Forbes.

Agriculture Conference Shines Light on Bluff City

More than 200 farmers, scientists and agriculture entrepreneurs attended the Davos on the Delta conference in Memphis.

Read more here, via WMC Action News 5.

Blockchain is Coming for Agriculture, and You Might Not Even Notice

Many farmers utilize a variety of technology and software to keep up with the growing demand for their crops. Industry leaders are discovering how blockchain technology delivers real value to growers.

Read more here, via Successful Farming.

Cotton Industry Coopetition

One aspect of The Seam’s initiative to bring blockchain technology to the commodities market that has surprised many people is the collaborative involvement of businesses that compete with one another. Participants in the cotton blockchain initiative include the biggest players in the market: Calcot, Cargill, ECOM Agroindustrial Corporation Ltd., EWR, Inc., Louis Dreyfus Company, Olam International and others.

In the case of blockchain for commodities, this cooperation is easy to explain: The only way these markets can make the transition to a decentralized environment – and make it a true transformation of the industry – is to do it together. Everyone stands to benefit, even though they compete with each other.

There’s a word for cooperation among competitors: coopetition. The principles of coopetition in business arise directly from game theory, which is a scientific approach to making rational, strategic decisions within competitive situations.

In business, there is often a clear benefit to competitors when they form a strategic alliance to accomplish a goal that will be advantageous to all parties. For instance, creating a new market or new industry standards will benefit everyone who is positioned to sell to or within that market.

A recent example is cloud computing, which needed to overcome security concerns in order to build the market it has today and that continues to grow. The major players in the sector worked together to improve technology to the point at which it gained wide acceptance and the competitors could go back to competing.

Similarly, companies in the telecom industry leverage each other to gain access to new markets or to expand services, while software and hardware developers work with their competition to establish systems or standards that all can then build upon.

Forbes has noted that blockchain technology itself has bred vigorous coopetition in a variety of directions. Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Intel and Cisco are working together on enterprise blockchain technologies, while others are pursuing interoperability among blockchains and cross-organizational transaction and smart contract functionality.

The lesson of coopetition and game theory is that winning in business is not a zero-sum game. The winner can’t take all – and often wouldn’t want to – so there is no reason to compete as if your competitors are mortal enemies. If you doubt the wisdom of that, consider that the United States Postal Service uses FedEx and UPS to carry some of its shipments, and that those two private carriers also use USPS to deliver some of their shipments. You could say that coopetition puts a strategic business spin on an old adage: If you can’t beat ‘em, maybe you should join ‘em, at least some of the time.