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Fastest unicorn ever

Nice article in the Economist about the rise of electric scooters + bikes. The part that caught my eye was economics. E.g. Bird (one of the startups) has a valuation of $2B and has now become the fastest startup to become a unicorn.

bird

The fact that each scooter costs about $300 to $400, and with each earning about $20/day, it takes just 15-20 days to pay one off. In the US if 2M get deployed (across all providers, not just Bird), we are looking at earnings of about $15B a year. Wow.

(By the way: If you haven’t tried one, the electric scooters are fun to ride and a cinch to activate and drop off)

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Unscaling

May 14, 2018 2 comments

 

unscaledIt has been “common” knowledge that in order to drive more business, make it harder for competitors to compete, for companies to drive down prices etc. they have to scale. A new, pretty well written book argues that those days may be over. It makes a pretty compelling argument that with all the “for rent” infrastructure out there (computation, manufacturing, potential consumers etc.) plus the advances in AI companies no longer need to build scale, but can rather rent it.

It’s not a academic book. The author is a VC and has personally invested in companies that illustrate this. Some examples / tidbits

  • Voodoo Manufacturing wants to be the AWS of cloud manufacturing. It has a factory full of 3D printing machines available for “rent”
  • Forward thinking utilities will evolve to become platforms essentially operating an energy version of the internet
  • Mobility as a Service (MaaS) that allows one to pay for all types of journeys in one go (e.g. Whim)

And so on. Worth a quick read.

 

 

 

Categories: books, technology, trends Tags: , ,

MBB vs AI?

There are so many articles about how AI is going to take over the world that it’s hard to keep up. However, one such (well written) article in the Economist this week caught my eye. In particular the following quote on the impending demise of the consulting business model:

The Googles, Amazons and Microsofts of the world may take over from the McKinseys, Boston Consulting Groups and Bains,” says Roy Bahat of Bloomberg Beta, a venture-capital firm. “Consultancies are built for two-by-two matrices. AI’s matrices are a million by a million

Although I’m clearly biased, I don’t think that’s the right framing. It’s not MBB vs. AI (or MBB vs the tech firms) it’s going to be whichever firm is able to leverage AI to support its consultants.

Categories: consulting, technology Tags: ,

Apps market framing

February 28, 2018 Leave a comment

When talking about ‘enterprise applications’ most of the discussion is in often what I would have called the traditional areas – HR, CRM, ERP, collaboration. And most of the discussion is really the hand wringing on how the SaaS players are (mostly) eating the legacy’s players’ lunch (e.g. SFDC vs. Oracle/SAP); but that doesn’t paint the whole picture. It was that mindset I found the following framing from UBS (Software 2.0, Nov 2017) valuable.

apps framing

It makes the (cogent) argument there’s more than one way to play in this market. One is to go towards more simpler apps targeted at individuals / small groups that are less costly and simpler while the other is towards more strategic apps (think predictive maintenance) that are more expensive and complex.

Categories: technology Tags: ,

Cloud perceptions favor Azure

February 23, 2018 Leave a comment

Two charts from a recent report from UBS (Microsoft, Nov 2017) caught my eye. They point to the fact that Microsoft has a very positive perception from enterprise buyers on their cloud vision but lags on their understanding of the client’s business.

cloud perception 1

cloud perception 2

IBM leads the pack on this second dimension, presumably because of their services + consulting group.

Categories: technology, trends Tags: ,

Elon Musk in a nutshell

February 22, 2018 Leave a comment

I found this chart of Elon Musk’s achievements over the last ~30 years useful and of course, awe inspiring.

elon musk nutshell

Categories: technology Tags:

IBM has ~30% of Blockchain market

February 21, 2018 Leave a comment

Apparently IBM has ~30% of the enterprise Blockchain market (worth around $700M) according to a new study by Wintergreen. They also have about 1500 people dedicated to this group, are doing about 400 projects, have revenues that have growth ~10% YoY and have appointed the former head of services to lead this effort.

While’s there no doubt that IBM has captured the headlines and is aggressively pursuing this space, I wouldn’t put too much credence in the market share number; it’s way too early to call winners yet.

Categories: blockchain, technology Tags: