(#23) Google (re)joined the AI-league; Tesla is changing a 100 years old manufacturing system; Apple is joining a category that is extremely unproven
China's economy may never overpass the US economy, EVs are hard for Europeans and Shein does non-Shein stuff
The week was marked by Google’s O/I annual conference. I had the impression in the last months that Google will be at least partially hit by generative AI. The company embodied LLMs in all its products proving that the technology was not disruptive.
Onto the update:
Google Strategy Day
Last week we saw a tour de force for Google which announced new 100 things. Here are my main points:
1/ The company has 15 products with more than 500m users and 6 with more than 2 billion users. Imagine deploying AI to all these products and the moat that you are building around them.
2/ Generative search is coming to the traditional search, but the impact in terms of money will be massive.
3/ What Microsoft demo-ed with the Business Copilot we now Google doing the same on their workspace suite. In the past more documents meant more trouble when trying to retrieve information. Now, more documents mean better information output generated by an AI.
4/ New products launch: phone, foldable phone, tablet, etc. Who buys this stuff, anyway? I don’t see anyone using these devices in Europe. Not even people working and Google
5/ The Generative search is called Bard. Just a measure if the product goes wrong for the brand not to follow.
Apple’s headset is coming
We are so close to Apple’s WWDC where they are supposed to announce their first headset. We have some signs in this regard. They just registered the operating system in New Zeeland. LINK
Why is this important?
1/ Apple is joining a category that is extremely unproven.
2/ Are they following a Google Glass design or something similar to Meta PRO Quest? Because if they will go with the latter their market will be probably hardcore gamers with a perspective on entertainment (ie. max. 300m pro users). If they choose the Google Glass approach the overall consumer market will be much higher.
3/ Sensors, moves, and new rules had to be invented. These things are much more complicated vs. swipes, taps, and clicks.
4/ It’s been a decade since their latest product launch (ie. iWatch). Maybe the first iteration of the product will not be appealing, but just like the Watch, it will dominate its industry, eventually.
I’m optimistic about the future release.
Selling EVs in China
Ford announced that they will reduce investments in China due to…competition. With the competitive advantage moving to scale, distribution, and a new skillset (ie. software) the old winners are having a hard time competing on these new terms. The new winners will be the Chinese new entrants: BYD, Great Wall, SAIC, and Changan. Of course, plus Tesla.
Two on Tesla
1/ The manufacturing process is 100 years old (!). It’s amazing that some “computer guys” figured out a new way to manufacture a car.
The prices continue to go down due to better integration and manufacturing process. Maybe some of you forgot how Tesla is preparing to build the new Y model, resulting in a process called “unboxed” which achieves a 40% reduction in manufacturing footprint and -50% in costs (!)
Save yourself 10 minutes and watch the video. LINK
2/ Elon is teasing a new car
Now, for Tesla to ready justify their market value and to compete with the Chinese the price must go down. And it will go with scale. Probably they will look to launch a car in the range of $28,000.
WhatsApp’s Chat Lock
The company starting the global roll-out for its latest feature: chat lock. Now, when you share your phone with somebody you don’t have to be afraid that will see specific messages. LINK
Shein launches a Marketplace in the U.S.
Shein’s business model is related to many new SKUs, unlimited ad budget, no stores, a top-notch ERP system, and everything delivered in a TikToky experience. My impression is that the company is doing this initiative for other reasons, rather than growth. LINK
Does Japan deserve a fresh look in the post-globalization era? LINK
Do you remember the Silicon Valley Bank? It seems that the regulators had their part of the share too. LINK
“Supervisors did not fully appreciate the extent of the vulnerabilities as Silicon Valley Bank grew in size and complexity”. (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserce System)
Knowledge Partner: EY Romania
EY study: Employees prioritize life-changing international work experiences:
93% of employees say working internationally would "change their lives"
88% of employers believe mobility can help address the global talent shortage
Only 47% of companies currently have a coherent mobility policy to meet the growing demand for flexible working. Read the full study (in Romanian).
Coca-Cola’s latest ad is done by generative AI. Insanely good! LINK
Visla is an AI video tool for quick and easy engaging video creation. LINK
Why does AI computing cost so much? We have a detailed answer. LINK
Gamma can help you with instant presentations generated from your existing notes and docs. LINK
Generative AI is moving towards ERPs. SAP is on the line with Microsoft. LINK
Microsoft has an interesting report related to working in AI times with three key findings:
1/ Digital debt is costing us innovation
2/ There’s a new AI-employee alliance
3/ Every employee needs AI aptitude. LINK
Top 5 Obstacles to Productivity:
According to the data, 61% of Americans believe that AI poses risks to humanity, while only 22% disagreed, and 17% remained unsure. LINK
Italy’s exports to China are booming and it’s not clear why. LINK
PC & Console Gaming Report 2023 from NewZoo
Some key takeaways
1/ PC and console revenues reached $92.3 billion in 2022, a decline of -2.2% year on year
2/ Average playtime dropped by 23% across Steam, Xbox, and PlayStation from 2021 to 2022
3/ More AAA and AA publishers are pivoting their main franchises to service-based and subscription models
4/…and more. LINK
State of Grocery Europe 2023 (by McKinsey)
One word: inflation. LINK
Bill Gates’ portfolio has been updated
When will China’s economy become larger than America’s economy?
2026? 2030? 2035? Or never? LINK
One in five youngsters in China is unemployed. LINK
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