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(#39) on Apple: innovation, environment and de-risking; Nike is all in on D2C and map of Greece
Apple spent $26 billions on R&D and people are somehow disappointed.
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Apple’s September event (ie. the iPhone launch)
So, the most anticipated event of the year was…okaish. I mean, no surprises.
Here is what drew my attention:
1/ Carbon neutral targets will be achieved completely by 2030; knowing Apple my estimation is that the target could have been easily by 2025.
2/ The pro models are going in an interesting direction: being really PRO. (hence the price increase for the Max)
3/ Who needs a 48MP camera to post on Instagram?
4/ Knowledge and capabilities sharing between products: action button from the Ultra Watch, cord from the Mac, and so on.
5/ The ongoing differentiation for Apple products is and will be done mainly through software: double tap for the Watch 9 is going to be extremely useful.
6/ The product videos were also a reminder nobody in the industry can match the quality of Apple’s hardware…unfortunately.
7/ The gamers will probably love the new chip.
This launch is also a confirmation of an era that is defined by incremental updates.
So, the real question is: when will Apple launch the iPhone Ultra?
Apple & China
This week was rumored that China banned iPhones in all its institutions. There seems to be a negation so far between the Chinese government and Apple, but here are some thoughts:
1/ Apple’s manufacturing is extremely vulnerable to China and started production in other countries. Probably they won’t succeed in producing more than 20% by the end of 2025.
2/ China accounts for 20% of their total revenues. Where they can find this cash heaven? Probably in India
3/ If Apple is not safe neither is any other company. LINK
Apple & environment
So, yesterday the company presented its environmental achievements under a supposed funny video. What I didn’t was how the message was refrained…in an ideological way. LINK
I think that technology will help us solve ALL environmental challenges.
Here is what drew my attention from another video (ie. Apple Watch):
Most of the CO2 emissions come, naturally, from electricity, but what is remarkable is that they saved 95% of the CO2 emissions on transportation by shipping them by water: it takes on average three weeks to arrive at a store. This means:
1/ Demand is stable and easy to predict
2/ Apple’s buyers are also willing to wait until they get their products (e.g. I waited for my iPhone last year for around 2 months…totally worth it)
Leadership lessons from Nvidia’s boss
If you wonder how to run a trillion-dollar company, here is Jensen Huang on how he runs NVIDIA:
1/ No 1:1 meetings. These are replaced by 40 direct reports
2/ System samples instead of status reports. (ie. Top 5 things happening on a specific topic)
3/ Open meetings to anyone who’s willing to contribute and share ideas
4/ no 3-years horizon strategy. Adapt daily/weekly depending on the market evolution
Take 20 minutes to listen in. LINK (P.S. here is another video from Jensen Huang at Stanford, where he lectures on topics such as NVIDIA's early days and how to build a great culture, hence company - LINK)
on Tesla’s valuation
Morgan Stanley sees Tesla’s Dojo bringing more than $500bn in valuation. Tesla’s shares increased 10% after the report. LINK
It is well known that:
1/ Tesla is looking to launch new cars (some with higher margins)
2/ Its software will play a significant role in bringing more ARPU
3/ Expand to new categories (e.g. humanoid robots, robotaxis, etc)
4/ Share know-how between all of Elon’s companies: Tesla, SpaceX, Solar City, etc.
“Almost all of Tesla’s value long-term will be from AI & robots, both vehicle & humanoid” - Elon Musk
Some guys from SoleReview.com came up with this graph from 2015 saying Nike was making $5 profit out of each pair of shoes. I am circumspect, but the lower margin made them make two bold decisions:
1/ Stop selling on Amazon (with 2017)
2/ Going direct-2-consumer (now with over 150m unique users annually and 40% of sales made D2C)
Before Asana and other companies alike, it was Basecamp. Here is an interview with its founder - Jason Freid.
If you think is not worth it I can give you a hint:
Sponsorship opportunity: Want to reach +2,000 intelligent subscribers?
OpenAi’s profile in Wired, by Steven Levy. LINK
Building an AI strategy, from BCG. LINK
Midjourney’s profile: no VCs, $200m run-rate and 40 employees. LINK
TikTok has 1,000 open positions in the US. LINK
China’s no 1 car exporter, thanks to EV.
The big winner of the western decoupling from China seems to be Mexico. Let’s not forget the others: India, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, and Eastern Europe (mainly Poland and Romania).
Solar deployment is now at ~ $500 bn/year
How the US dollar took over the world. LINK
A GLP-1 drug (semaglutide) led to a lack of need for insulin in 7 of 10 people with recent onset Type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes, and the other 3 of 10 had eliminated the need for insulin with meals. LINK
A Map of the different island groups of Greece. LINK
Interesting newsletters 💡
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