Lemon8 enters the Social Media's war; Google is clueless; Twitter's "everything app"
The 4 biggest French companies are all fashion brands and that says it all for the French economy. Meanwhile, the news and reports are dominated by the tech companies: Stripe, ByteDance, BYD, Twitter
Onto the update:
Twitter becomes X Corp (aka the road to the “everything app”)
I had the chance to discuss this week at Aleph News (“Ce casting azi?”) about Twitter. Here are my main points:
1/ Twitter wants to become something like WeChat, a Chinese app incorporating messaging, social networking, and in-app payments. It will be hard to achieve this; Alphabet and Meta are still struggling in these areas.
2/ By changing its legal name to X Corp, the company is probably following a similar parent structure to Alphabet
3/ Musk said the company is valued at $20 bn. I doubt it. Given its debt, cost structure, and revenue plummeting, I’d say that the value is around $7 bn
4/ At the end of this ongoing transformation, Elon looks at a $250 bn valuation. Hard to justify how things are going
5/ Twitter needs a new business model; the ad one proved its limit (more than half of its most important 1,000 corporate clients halted or paused their ad spending on the platform)
Finally, seeing how things will unfold in this “inverse startup” experiment will be interesting. LINK
Twitter’s acquisition by Elon
According to SEC's filing, I wrote 11 months ago that Elon would eventually be forced to buy Twitter (Section 9.9). This week he admitted exactly that, as reported by TechCrunch. LINK
Tokenization of everything (work in progress)
A real house in Texas is now sold as NFT. Some ideas on this topic:
1/ The tokenization of everything will eventually happen
2/ If you bought/sold a house you know how cumbersome it can be; not anymore in web 3.0 LINK
3/ More details about this industry can be found here:
New business models, new winners
BYD, an automotive Chinese company, wants to be the largers automaker in China in 2023. Nothing weird here, but it gets pretty soon because the company was founded in 2003. Like Xiaomi is perceived as China’s, BYD is perceived as China’s Tesla.
Apple’s VR headset
Probably, the VR headsets have one last chance to get mass adoption. And that chance comes from Apple. In a recent survey, 52% of teens were “unsure or uninterested.” That’s a big percentage, especially for a device costing around $3,000. LINK
Apple’s supply chain
Shifting production from China to Vietnam and India will be Apple’s main focus in this decade, especially that an war over Taiwan is looming. Here is a list of their suppliers, by country:
META and AI
I have advocated in my courses that the end goal for META is to have enough GPU power to generate content. Guess what? It is cheaper and probably better than the one generated by users, or at least it can work side-by-side (especially in periods when the content inventory is low). Now we have a hint. LINK
Google and Chat AI
The interview with WSJ was a good reminder of multiple things. LINK
Four main takes:
1/ I don’t think Sundar Pichai is the right CEO for Google today, which needs a wartime CEO. LINK
2/ The first mover advantage makes you cool. Microsoft was right to “move fast and break things”
3/ For the first time (after the ‘90s), companies look at Microsoft for innovation and not at Google
4/ Eventually, this Chat AI will eat Google’s hefty profit margins.
Stripe’s Annual Letter
Three main takeaways:
1/ Focus on start-ups
2/ Advancements in ML and AI will continue to enhance the quality of their products and make them simpler to use.
3/ Enterprise - 7 of the world’s 15 largest businesses are technology companies…and growing
4/ Payments - still loads to do. (e.g. 10% of payments for no good reason when transacting
…and more. LINK
Overall, I remain bullish on Stripe.
Piper Sandler completes the 45th semi-annual Generation Z survey. LINK
1/ TikTok declined as the favorite social platform (37% share) by 100 bps vs. Fall 2022. SNAP was No. 2 at 27% share, followed by Instagram (23% share)
2/ Cosmetics held the highest priority of beauty spending
3/ Nike remains the No. 1 brand for all teens in both apparel
4/ 57% of teens cite Amazon as their No. 1 favorite e-comm site; Nike, SHEIN, lululemon, and PacSun took spots No. 2-5
ByteDance has a new app
Lemon8 is a photo-based app that resembles a mixture of Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok. The social media war continues. LINK
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Should we pause the AI development for 6 months? Nope, that’s not the right approach,
In the meantime, a team of researchers from Stanford and Google populated a virtual town with 25 AI agents.
Imagine agents who perform daily tasks, cultivate artistic abilities, form opinions, and engage in conversation. A novel architecture that extends a large language model enables these agents to recall past events and plan their next moves.
Here is one example:
John: Good morning, Eddy. Did you sleep well?
Eddy: Good morning, dad. Yeah, I slept great.
John: That’s good. What are you working on today?
Eddy: I’m working on a new music composition for my class. It’s due this week, so I’m trying to get it finished. But I’m having so much fun with it!
John: That sounds great!
What is also striking is the emergence of social behavior: a party is coming, and not all characters are invited. Some of those invited invite other AIs because they have a crush on it. Of course, some of the AI agents are not invited to the party at all.
We are living in some exciting times, aren't we?
Read the full article. LINK
2023 AI Index Report, by Stanford University. Some takeaways:
1/ Industry research is way ahead of the academia
2/ AI is good and bad for the environment
3/ The best scientist is…an AI. LINK
AI in medicine has arrived.
“Draft a clinical plan with Glass AI”
The 4 biggest French companies are all fashion brands.
How to scale a health tech business to $100 million ARR and beyond. LINK
A great report on China’s ambitions in the chip-making industry. LINK
China Artificial Intelligence Index
On fertilizers, or more precisely, on a world without fertilizers.
There are three options:
1/ Eliminate (ie. starve to death) half global population
2/ Convert most, if not all, arable land globally to farmland (ie. ecological catastrophe)
3/ Global vegetarianism by force. LINK
A Chinese social media app turned Düsseldorf into a foodie destination. LINK
How to understand California. LINK
Baileys Irish Cream was invented in 45 minutes in 1973 by two ad creatives in Soho. LINK
A community of 100 Zimbabweans has been clearing mines in the Falkland Islands for the last decade. LINK
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