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(#48) Europe's two competitive advantages; Apple's long game strategy; Amazon Prime strategy; Humane AI pin
In this noise you must understand the the global news became local news.
We continue this week with the usual suspects: Apple, Amazon, Meta, Chinese EVs, and some bonuses: Chinese EVs IPO, Humane AI, Europe’s competitive advantage, and more.
On to update:
Apple’s long game
I think I finally got Apple’s long game. Here it is:
1/The iPhone: due to incremental tech advancements, Apple will focus in some years on the hardware and in others on software. Several software options will be limited to the latest model. We see this even today with the Apple Watch 9 and its double-tap feature. LINK
2/ Vision Pro sales might take 5-7 years to contribute to the overall profits. We know this because it happened the same with the ipod, iPhone, and many other products. LINK
3/ Next year the focus will be on Generative AI solutions, including Siri AI. That’s why they bought the most generative AI startups so far. LINK
4/ Spacial video on the iPhone 15 works only when you film horizontally, but most (all?) people consume content vertically. LINK
5/ Probably the watch and Vision Pro can play a role in health. LINK
6/ The iPads are limited by software, so hopefully this will be addressed at some point. LINK
Competitive advantage in Europe
I’ve said on other occasions that Europe’s competitive advantage lies in (1) artisanship (e.g. LVHM) and (2) advanced tech in key industries (ie. Novo Nordisk, ASLM, etc).
Now, Novo Nordisk - the most valued company in Europe, has a drug that is called Ozempic which is also good for losing weight. It makes you feel so you don’t feel the need to eat. Consequences: Restaurants bet Ozempic will make diners buy more salads in the hope that they will eventually eat something. LINK
Humane, a startup led by former Apple executives, just launched the AI Pin - a wearable device designed to revolutionize our interaction with technology. Will cost $699 + sales tax. LINK
What's fascinating? The AI Pin attaches to clothing and integrates sensors, projectors, and AI tech, promising a range of advanced features.
🤔 Why I'm skeptical?
While the concept of a frictionless AI experience is alluring, I'm somewhat skeptical. For AI to truly integrate into our daily lives, it needs to perceive the world as we do. It should not only be about effortless interaction; it needs to see what we see, hear what we're saying, and perhaps even understand our surroundings with similar intuition. LINK
👓 Towards a frictionless world:
This leads me to think - wouldn't glasses be a more suitable form factor? Glasses sit naturally at the intersection of our vision and hearing, providing an ideal platform for an AI to engage with our environment more holistically.
This isn't to undermine the potential of the AI Pin. It’s a step towards the future of wearables. But it sparks a conversation: What is the ultimate form of wearable AI? How do we balance innovation with practicality and comfort?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Could glasses be the next frontier for wearable AI? Or is there another form factor that could better bridge the gap between technology and human experience?
The most compelling announcement from last week’s Dev Day was the announcement of GPTs, ie. customizable versions of ChatGPT tailored for specific purposes
1/ These GPTs can be created by anyone without coding skills for personal, professional, or public use. GPTs are designed to assist in various tasks such as learning board game rules, teaching math, or designing stickers
2/ The GPT Store, launching later this month, will feature user-created GPTs, which can be shared publicly, become searchable, and may feature in leaderboards.
3/ The development of GPTs emphasizes privacy and safety, with controls over data sharing and usage
These features will likely kill 1000 AI startups, but this is how innovation moves forward.
Chinese premium electric car brand Zeekr (owned by Geely) made its US IPO paperwork public but is probably unlikely to raise the money it wants. LINK
When I first saw it I said: “Is this the new Porsche Macan?”. Nope, just a copy-cat.
Amazon and healthcare
After many acquisitions in this industry, Amazon is finally launching its medical subscriptions: $9 (with Prime). The focus of Amazon with Prime is to (1) to bring as many products and services as possible under it (hence commoditizing it) and (2) go for industries with high margins or not disrupted by software yet. LINK
So, when we’ll have local players competing on this? Emag?
Buybacks are down, production is up in the USA. That’s the bullish sign you will ever need to know about the economy. Buybacks are typically done when companies don’t have any clue what to do with the money. It seems that now they do. LINK
How Meta plans to incorporate AI into its products
Meta Platforms, led by Chief Product Officer Chris Cox, is actively integrating generative AI across its range of apps and the metaverse, inspired by ChatGPT's success. This initiative started with the launch of Llama, Meta's large language model, and its subsequent iterations. Meta aims to make AI a core aspect of its products, as seen in its collaborations with celebrities like Naomi Osaka and Snoop Dogg for AI chatbots. These AI chatbots, designed with distinct personalities, are set to feature in WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram, assisting in tasks like group chat coordination and information queries, while maintaining a focus on safety and security.
Meta's long game is AI integration into its business applications, offering tools for businesses to engage customers more effectively through AI-assisted communication and operations. LINK
Samsung unveils its generative AI model
Do you remember when Samsung’s employees put proprietary software in Chat GPT? Well, that was neither smart nor safe. You can select 2 options out of three: quality, cheap, and safe. It is clear what Samsung chose. LINK
AI at Boston Consulting Group
A study on 100s of consultants at BCG using ChatGPT helped, especially the low-skilled workers. LINK
Lindy - the first platform letting you build a team of AI employees that work together to perform any task. LINK
A child with 6 fingers is a child generated by AI for propaganda. LINK
It seems China has been able to successfully implement reusable rocket designs and data stolen from SpaceX. LINK
Associations Between Screen-Based Media Use and Brain White Matter Integrity in Preschool-Aged Children
“Conclusions and Relevance This study found an association between increased screen-based media use, compared with the AAP guidelines, and lower microstructural integrity of brain white matter tracts supporting language and emergent literacy skills in prekindergarten children. The findings suggest further study is needed, particularly during the rapid early stages of brain development.”
“Crypto rights are fundamental American rights”. Disclaimer: I am short on crypto (including Bitcoin) and long on the technology behind it. LINK
China vs. the rest of the world
1/ Israel wants cheap drones, regardless of where are they from (ie. USA or China). LINK
2/ China Is making too much stuff and other countries are worried. Two key observations:
a) In the 2000s’ it was Germany producing too much stuff.
b) Competitive countries with negative demographics have only one solution to their economy: exports. Hence, a major vulnerability. (e.g. China, Germany, South Korea, etc.). LINK
How Carlsberg lost its Russian business. LINK
EVs need a lot of…trees too. LINK
Greta Thunberg reportedly deleted a 2018 tweet claiming ‘climate change will wipe out all of humanity’ by 2023. LINK
Bill Ackman’s letter to the President of Havard University. LINK
In 2007 AirBnb was an idea. LINK
US population projections. LINK
The IMF forecasts 0.7% growth for the Eurozone in 2023 and 1.2% in 2024. One word: DEREGULATE!
Investments in China (aka “derisking” in progress)
In Q3 2023, foreign direct investment (FDI) into China experienced an unprecedented drop, going into negative territory for the very first time. This "negative" figure signifies that on the whole, foreign companies either repaid loans to their headquarters or withdrew investments from China. If you look also at the outbound FDI the situation is disastrous.
China and SE Asia. In the EU and USA, these are decreasing since the ‘90s.
Pretty impressive how a city known for drug addicts, violence & all the bad things has become super safe and clean overnight. That is San Francisco and it got in this situation thanks to the visit of the Chinese leader. Lesson? The government can stop the bad things that are happening there, but won’t do it. LINK
Our brain is shrinking
"The human brain, after growing for millions of years, has begun shrinking...such shrinkage is consistent with increased cultural innovation...allow more people to survive...simply by copying what most other people are doing." LINK
An essay about the Gaza war. LINK
The record heat and drought from 1530-1540 devastated both Europe and America. LINK
Imagine you are a Roman soldier in Britania and you are hearing the Celtic sounds before the battle. Somebody recreated that sound. LINK
“Modern positional warfare and how to win it” essay from Valerii Zaluzhnyi Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, - published in The Economist
1. Gain air superiority
2. Breach mine barriers in depths
3. Increase effective counter-battery
4. Built up electronic warfare (EW) capabilities
5. Create and train necessary reserves
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