(#14) Me, myself and Chat GPT; The TikTok-ization of everything; Samsung has a "camera-gate"
Is your app prepared to be TikTok-like? Or your web page? Or the shopping experience? It seems this is only thing that matters these days.
GPT-4 should be “Person of the Year” in Time Magazine
Many were surprised this week to see that the new chatbot version is getting better. How much? In the top 10% for most standard exams: the BAR, LSAT, GRE, SAT and many more.
What I was more interested in, besides the technicalities, was seeing real-case business applications. So, we have at least three powerful examples:
1/ Duolingo - deeper conversations
2/ Stripe - streamlining the user experience and combating the fraud
3/ Morgan Stanley - to better organize their knowledge base in Wealth Management.
Overall, I remain committed to what I said on the 23rd of February: the real value will be in entertainment, not search. (probably to pass through “utility” before reaching the entertainment phase).
META is delivering on The year of efficiency
“At this point, I think we should prepare ourselves for the possibility that this new economic reality will continue for many years. Higher interest rates lead to the economy running leaner, more geopolitical instability leads to more volatility, and increased regulation leads to slower growth and increased costs of innovation. Given this outlook, we’ll need to operate more efficiently than our previous headcount reduction to ensure success." (Mark Zuckerberg, 14 March 2022, on laying off another 11k employees and closing 5k opening roles) LINK
Now, the press release is long, but here are some key messages:
1/ META employed on average +26% YoY; still, more room to cut
2/ if Twitter can be run with 20-30% of initial stuff, why not META? Shareholders are asking for it
3/ The "year of efficiency" should be seen in real results. Large "cost centers" should be analyzed and decided accordingly
4/ Other companies will copy Twitter and Meta in this regard
Spotify app redesign
The TikTok-tification of apps is a work in progress: Instagram, Amazon, Netflix, Shein, Reddit, Youtube, and many others. Of course, Spotify could not miss this trend and announced yesterday their new design app. Everything was announced in the On Stream event. LINK
Main takeaways from the event:
1/ The user interface moved from being static to …alive and interactive
2/ By introducing separate feeds the company has more leverage to introduce more ads
3/ Like Apple, Spotify is pursuing a much more clear differentiation between the free and premium plans (e.g. the latter has AI DJ and other new features)
4/ Vertical scrolling is coming to Spotify (hint! taping is better)
5/ The audience at this event was only artists (e.g. musicians, podcasters etc). Spotify wants the platform to be the “go-to” for all artists. They can take leverage of all the analytics, all infrastructure and focus on want they want: creating stuff
6/ Finally, artists can create their own communities in the app which will nurture and eventually monetize (e.g. merch, concerts tickets etc)
7/ One of the announcements that I really like was a feature called “Clips” - which lets artists add a 30-second video. (for podcasting or audiobooks it offers also autogenerated subtitles)
Spotify wants to be a better aggregator because it will never be a super aggregator (like Google or Meta). Somehow, the music industry was not disrupted like most industries by aggregators. The labels are the real winners.
To have a zero marginal acquisition cost per user Spotify needs to come up with different services (ie. podcasts) and different ways to monetize music (ie. bidding for songs in playlists etc)
Designing a 10-star experience at AirBnb
An interview with Brian Chesky, Co-Founder and CEO. It was great watching and listening, especially to the following key messages:
1/ Rejection emails & investor stories
2/ Accuracy over speed to market & accelerator’s advice
3/ Dealing with regulators
4/ Crisis Management Lessons
5/ Advice to future entrepreneurs
The interview happened at Stanford Graduate School of Business. LINK
Bank runs in 2023? Yes!
At the core of the business is trust; especially when it comes to money.
This is so concerning because the lack of trust comes from the only place that was built on trust: Silicon Valley itself! Ben Thompson has a long piece on this topic, but other analyses from Matt Levine, Marc Rubinstein, or Noah Smith are also mandatory reads.
The obvious steps would be:
1/ The FED to make an assurance mechanism in place for funds over 250k, because…
2/ Most small and medium banks will be squeezed by customers moving their money to banks that are too big to fail:
While the promised metaverse was something for VR/AR (immersive), we are getting a rebranding. Closer to reality I’d say. Here is a guide from McKinsey. LINK
On Deep Tech
EU should not only look for business regulation opportunities, but also for investing in what is known today as deep tech. Currently, the block is far behind the USA and China:
Ads as a revenue stream
For long companies looked at ads and said “not out of business”. Last year Amazon made $38 bn (with a “b”) from ads. The overall pie is getting bigger and the supper aggregators (ie. META, Google) can’t be everywhere.
Youtube and gaming
With a new CEO comes…a new strategy. Main new focus: gaming. Here are some numbers from Youtube:
500 million daily gaming viewers
2 trillion gaming views in 2022
120 billion hours of gaming content watch time in 2022
Gaming is a $180 to 300 bn market (depending who’s counting). Not that much, but important to create communities and to cross-sell/up-sell. LINK
BCG has a good paper on customer loyalty in web 3.0 LINK
Innovation at Microsoft
Harvard Business Review has an article on this topic which comes shortly after other articles had the opposite feedback for companies like Google. Innovation is hard, especially if you run a large company. But once you identify the right strategy path (ie. the cloud for Microsoft), everything else will come into place.
Is your leadership sponsoring change and innovation? If not, is time for a (personal) change. LINK
Samsung lied about its camera
The company is faking the moon photos (remember the “Space zoom” capability?) How to call this scandal “Moon gate”...“Camera gate”? LINK
Questions for the company:
1/ Who approved this stunt?
2/ Do senior leaders take corrective actions?
3/ Is Samsung doing other tricks to mislead consumers?
4/ How can we expect that this will not happen again?
Top jobs that Chat GPT will replace, according to Business Insider:
1/ Software engineers
2/ Data analysts
6/ Market Research analysts
8/ Financial analysts
9/ Graphic designers
11/ Customer service agents
Google wants to be your personal assistant
On Tuesday the company released AI in their Google Workplace. Includes generating images, presentations, emails, docs and more:
This will be the productivity standard. LINK
Microsoft is introducing Copilot 36: “the world’s first copilot in both CRM and ERP, that brings next-generation AI to every line of business”. We are going to get more productive. LINK
Open AI, the founding company of DALL-E and Chat GPT, has a blog post on AI: reviewers, biases and future building blocks. LINK
Improving Digital Experience
With most of the sectors now disrupted by software, offering a compelling digital experience should be on every CEO’s agenda. LINK
15 websites powered by AI to finish hours of work in seconds. LINK
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Romania ranks 26th in the Economic Complexity Index (ECI). Together with the Product Complexity Index (PCI) it measures the relative knowledge intensity of an economy or a product. LINK
The Activate’ Tech & Media annual outlook is out. LINK
Source: Activate Consulting
Tesla will be fine. Not sure about the others.
Source: @ cleantechnica
Demographics is destiny. China lost 40m people since 2020 and its population will be half in 2100.
An interview with the mayor of Paris about the future of the city and much more. LINK
Do you remember the SR-71 Blackbird from Top Gun 2? Lockheed hints to a faster plane:
US motorist got stuck in the snow on a remote road in Oregon and used a phone and drone to send a help message. LINK
New York was first named New Amsterdam and it looked like this in 1662. LINK
Fixing back pain permanently. LINK
If you have made it to Forbes cover you might regret it:
6 continental African countries will have at some point coastlines. The continent is will split in two. LINK
Samsung bespoke water purifier is out and selling for $650. Why? Because is a market for this. LINK
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