Posts Tagged ‘technology’

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.


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)



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: , ,

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:

The great wall around China’s tech market

February 20, 2018 1 comment

One normally assumes that the enterprise software market is pretty uniform across countries. Someone wanting say CRM software (or a NoSQL DB) in Narobi is going to have say ~80% of the same requirements as someone in London. But this doesn’t have to be a given. An article in the Economist this week piqued my interest where it stated:

One scenario is that national-security worries mean China’s and America’s tech markets end up being largely closed to each other, leaving everywhere else as a fiercely contested space

This is not academic fluff. This is pretty much what’s happened in the telecom equipment space where Huawei is ascendant everywhere except in America. This would imply that the dominant software players will have to re-think their “China strategy” more fundamentally than just thinking about it from a go to market model.

Categories: technology, trends Tags: ,

Nice stack view of the enterprise IT market

February 14, 2018 Leave a comment

Nice simple view of the enterprise IT market (from a report Nov 2017 report on AWS from Oppenheimer).

IT market stack

The only thing I would show differently is the relative sizes of the boxes so that you can visualize the large areas vs. the ones that are smaller.

Categories: cloud, technology, tips Tags: ,