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(#46) Apple's not so 'scary' event; Amazon's strategy, and X turns one
McDonald's main competitor may be a pill...like Ozempic 😉
This week we saw many companies from the S&P 500 reporting their earnings, so in the last weeks, I deep-dived into their take on AI. It seems all of them have a strategy. Here is my article:
The blessing of being an outsider is that if you fail probably everyone will just ignore the event, but if you succeed you can be the king of the jungle.
Apple’s ‘scary fast’ event
This was probably the shortest event that the company has held. Here are what I think are the most important things:
1/ The new Mac line-up compared most of the time its new M3 chip with M1 launched two years ago. Probably, they are targeting mostly the M1 users to switch.
2/ The new Macs look gorgeous and they represent somehow what is called “quiet luxury”. It’s the software that lags now.
3/ All benchmarks in this recorded video were positioned against other laptops, not desktops. Apple is not leading the pack in the desktop area.
“Third-quarter revenue gained 13% to $143.1 billion”, according to Bloomberg, as detailed by the App Economy:
1/ The company has now 8 different fulfillment centers, compared to one in 2022. This is crazy. Why they have waited so long to do this? Countries like France, Poland, or Romania have at least 3 fulfillment centers given the area served, while the USA is a continent.
Why does this matter? Faster delivery means cheaper service, which means hiring more people to cover the area even faster, which will draw more sales.
Key learning. Customers take into consideration the following (in this order): price, trust, and delivery.
2/ The cost of advertising is between 20% - 40%, depending on who you ask. If you apply the 20% of the revenue from ads you will see that they made more money (ie. profit) from ads than from the cloud (AWS).
3/ The strategy “Infrastructure-as-a-service” can continue
So, what are Amazon’s top priorities?
Facebook and Instagram to offer subscriptions for no ads in Europe
Well, if you regulate the industry until you make their ad-targeting useless, what do you expect? Meta has two options: (1) subscriptions or (2) leaving the EU market. They will try these options one by one. LINK
Elon’s roadmap for the company is pretty straightforward:
1/ Transitioning X to a subscription: Premium+ for $16 ad-free, Premium for $8, and Basic for $3 (per month). LINK
2/ Audio and video platform. LINK
3/ Becoming a bank/fintech. Employees have one year to deliver that. LINK
Bonus! Employees received recently stock options at a $19bn valuation for X, down from $44 bn when acquired. Probably the valuation is much lower. WSJ dedicated a long piece on Twitter's performance after one year under Elon. LINK
The company has only one mission: to convince you that their name = search = what you are looking for. Including solutions to math problems. LINK
“TikTok needs to go”
In his short essay, Sam Lessin makes the case I made long ago: these tools can be used to influence elections. In this specific case, to mount hate and rage against the Jews. LINK
Google agrees to invest up to $2 billion in Anthropic. Hint! Last month Amazon invested close to $4 bn in the same company. Reason? They want access and a competitor for Open AI. LINK
Oracle’s generative AI strategy. LINK
“Is this the most important new computer technology ever? Probably.” - Larry Ellison, Chairman and CTO, Oracle
Podcast. How the United States Air Force accelerated AI adoption. LINK
ChatGPT Plus unleashes powerful new features: PDF Analysis and Automatic Tool Switching for an enhanced chat experience…only to selected users for the moment. LINK
White House drops an AI regulation. Mashable made a top 10 ‘to-know’ and Steven Sinofsky argued that this regulation is the real AI risk. I totally agree with his response. Regulation, Steven Sinofsky
Nice website: Find my AI Tool. LINK
Evan Osnos has a long piece on China’s slow collapse. I am very skeptical of everything that China is doing. In a best-case scenario, their economy will follow Japan’s trend. At best. LINK
How Saudi Arabia’s wealth fund and MBS aim to build a post-oil future. LINK
The Change Merchants. Why rule by nerds leads to perpetual chaos. LINK
The Techno-Optimist Manifesto discussed live by Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreessen. LINK
Why America doesn’t build. American environmentalists have developed tools to help citizens delay or block development. “These tools are now being used against clean-energy projects, hampering a green transition." LINK
Beyond ‘quiet luxury’: Brunello Cucinelli’s billion-dollar growth formula. LINK
Accenture Life Trends 2024. LINK
From Micro to Macro: Emerging fitness trends.
1/Macroeconomic trends in spending data beyond health & fitness
2/ Pre- and post-pandemic shifts in the Health & Fitness category
3/The growth of omnichannel fitness. LINK
The iPhone 15 Pro is Apple’s worst-reviewed premium phone ever. LINK
Interesting analysis from FT on the education debt. What the hell is going on in Norway? LINK
McDonald’s is doing fine:
Sales +9% Y/Y.
Digital channels accounted for 40% of sales (top 6 markets).
Probably their disruption can come from an outsider like…Ozempic.
A Yellowstone for Europe’: Romania’s ambition for a vast new wilderness reserve. LINK
Saudi Arabia was confirmed as the sole bidder for the 2034 men’s World Cup. LINK
68% of active-duty members in the US Army are overweight or obese. Wow! LINK
Read something wonderful. LINK
The Mississippi River and its tributaries. LINK
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