AWS valuation approaches HP’s

April 19, 2015 Leave a comment

Two interesting tidbits from a recent Economist article on cloud.

cloud

  • AWS (Amazon Web Services) is thought to be ~$5B/year in revenue and valued at ~$44B (vs. HP valuation of $60B). Wow.
  • Azure seems to be on fire (~doubling of revenue from previous year)
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Uber accounts for half of all rides expensed as business travel

NPR had a interesting fact this morning: Uber accounts for half of all rides expensed as business travel. Lyft, by contrast, accounts for 1%. Now wonder Uber has a sky high valuation.

I actually think this figure is understating the case. At least among consultants, Uber is the ride of choice by far. On a related note, SPG recently announced that members will get points for riding Uber. Uber should (righly) expect to see a bump from consultants ordering black cars.

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HBS to ban management consultants from the class of 2018

Some fun for April 1: http://www.harbus.org/2015/hbs-to-ban-management-consultants-from-the-class-of-2018/

Now I won’t have to listen to a third of my section claiming mastery of the airline industry because they spent three weeks making a powerpoint deck for Southwest

Well worth a read.

Categories: consulting, funny Tags: ,

Fun financial stories. No really.

January 25, 2015 Leave a comment

I’m the last person to get excited about finance. How refreshing then to read a book that makes stories around finance/Wall Street actually readable, and then some. Business Adventures

The book, Business Adventures, is a set of stories that the author (a former, now deceased, writer for the New Yorker) wrote in the 1960s. The scope of the stories is impressive: from the launch of the ill fated Edsel to insider trading to international finance. The complete list is here:

  • The fluctuation: the little crash in ’62
  • The fate of the Edsel: a cautionary tale
  • The federal income tax: its history and peculiarities
  • A reasonable amount of time: insiders at Texas Gulf Sulphur
  • Xerox Xerox Xerox Xerox
  • Making the customers whole: the death of a president
  • The impacted philosophers: non-communication at GE
  • The last great corner: a company called Piggly Wiggly
  • A second sort of life: David E. Lilienthal, businessman
  • Stockholder season: annual meetings and corporate power
  • One free bite: a man, his knowledge, and his job
  • In defense of sterling: the bankers, the pound, and the dollar.

But it was not the topics that kept me reading. It was the way the story was told – clearly, without fuss and with a subtle sense of humor. Highly recommend for any consultant that wants to get a better understanding of how the (finance/business) world works.

Categories: tips Tags: ,

Uber growth in SFO comes at expense of limos, not taxis

January 3, 2015 Leave a comment

I found the chart in an article (“There’s an app for that“) in the most recent issue of the Economist interesting.

uber growth

If this is based on real data, then what it seems to imply is that the total “taxi/limo/on demand car” market (in SFO) has actually grown, with most of the “on demand car” growth coming at the expense of the limo operators, and not (as is popularly believed) at the expense of taxis. Interesting.

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Great course on machine learning

December 29, 2014 Leave a comment

For those looking to get a good (yet deep) understanding of machine learning, they could do worse than sign up for the course offered by Andrew Ng at Coursera.

ml course

The lectures are clear, the exercises make you think (and force you to code a bit) and the topics covered seem pretty practical (rather than just academic). While there’s clearly dross on MOOCs in general, this course is a goldmine. Highly recommended.

Categories: tips Tags: ,

Top 5 tech companies invest more than any other company in the world

December 21, 2014 Leave a comment

The top 5 tech companies (Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Twitter) invested about $66B in the last 12 months. That’s more than any other single company in the world.

frothy

This amount is 8x what they invested 5 years ago. This is also double the amount invested by the entire VC community. No wonder the prices in SFO are insane. The full article can be found in the Christmas issue of the Economist.

Categories: trends Tags: ,
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