Starbucks is changing too, Disney's turnaround, Ford layoffs due to EVs and Chat GPT makes errors (#10)
Twitter has disappointing results for Twitter Blue, Nat Bullard is presenting the steps to decarbonisation and the coal is still the king.
Many happened in the last 7 days: Disney announced their turnaround strategy, Ford is laying off because, well, building Electric Vehicles means using 10x less spare parts and Peter Thiel has an advice for product design.
On to the update:
The team from The Economy App are doing a great job with their graphics on quarterly results. Here is their take for last quarter for Starbucks:
With 36k stores worldwide Starbucks has multiple challenges:
1/ As can be seen from the graphic, food is still underrepresented. What happens in a Starbucks after 16.00? Nothing much…and that’s a problem.
2/ The future of restaurants is to go. LINK
3/ The most ordered drinks take more than 3 minutes to be prepared and involve a number of actions and machinery. A total redesign is under way. LINK
4/ Communities are crucial and entertaining and rewarding them is a new skill that Starbuck should excel at
5/ A new CEO is underway to take the lead. LINK
Goldman Sachs believes inflation has peaked in the US. That’s a relief for the entire world.
Peter Thiel: “Distribution should be part of product design”. LINK
Apple is still the KING
Having built a moat around the iphone makes the company invincible, for the moment. Here are some key take from their investor’s call:
1/ There are now 2 billion Apple devices, twice as many as 7 years ago
2/ Revenue was down 5% YoY for several reasons, but the most important was the supply chain disruption for Iphone PRO 14 and PRO 14 MAX in China
3/ Emerging markets are the newest source of growth (e.g. India, Brazil)
4/ Focus on India to shift a part of the production made in China. LINK
As expected, the new ‘old’ CEO, Bob Iger, presented his plan to turnaround the company:
1/ Cut 7,000 jobs and save $5.5 bn in costs, with split in three divisions: Disney Entertainment, ESPN and Disney Parks LINK
2/ More decentralisation, by giving power to content executives
3/ Greater emphasis on sports
4/ Focus on creativity. LINK
“The best way to spur great creativity is to make sure the people managing creative activities feel empowered” (Bob Iger, Disney CEO)
Many businesses units are losing money at Disney, but streaming is the most important. This will be probably the most affected by this turnaround.
Tesla's Master Plan - part 3
Elon is teasing again. In case you miss it, here are part 1 (from 2006) and part 2 (from 2016). My take is that the focus will be on batteries, energy storage and the next car platform.
Twitter has now 180,000 monthly subscribers for Twitter Blue
Well, that’s roughly $17m / year. Peanuts! Brand advertising is bringing somewhere between $1-2 bn down from $5 bn, insufficient with the current debt structure of the company.
What can be done beside the massive layoffs? Change the business model and make it Twitter-as-subscription. M.G. Siegler looks for a Premium version: PRO, Plus and PRIME. Again, this might not be enough. Subscribers; Twitter Plans
Ford to cut 3,800 jobs in Europe
Many people still don’t understand that an Electric Vehicle means 10x less moving parts, hence less need for people. The impact will be massive. At Dacia in Romania around 100k people work for the car-maker and its subcontractors at the Mioveni plant. Can you really help re-skill to re-enter the market for all? Or at least half of them? I doubt it. LINK
The business models shift towards software, a total new skill set. Are the good software developers willing to work at Dacia instead of…Google, Apple & co?
Reuters: EU lawmakers approve effective 2035 ban on new fossil fuel cars. LINK
Well, this is bad for several reasons:
1/ I discussed with many leaders in the automotive industry and even the most optimistic projection show that only 50% of people will prefer to buy EVs by that year
2/ The charging infrastructure is (completely) missing.
3/ EVs are 30% more expensive than ICVs
Louis Vuitton picks Pharel Williams to lead men’s design (RIP, Virgil Abloh). LINK
Deterministic model was better than the probabilistic model
Chat GPT returned wrong answers in both Microsoft and Google’s presentations. But unless there are no lives at stake, people will get over it easily. Generative Machine Learning will never be 100% correct. LINK
Garner presented their hype cycle for emerging technologies. LINK
When you have built a super-moat around Android nothing else matters. Maybe not even Chat GPT:
Nat Bullard has a great presentation on decarbonization and transition to net zero. LINK
In the meantime, many energy companies are stopping their clean energy projects due to weak returns, unregulated markets and more. Personal opinion: the future of energy is green but mixed with nuclear. LINK
99% of the Indian population has access to electricity. This is amazing since in 2000 this was just 59%. Even in 2010, this was just 76%.
Podcasting is losing its shine
The double-digit listener growth finally slowed in 2022. Spotify estimated this market at $20 bn, but generated only $1,5 bn in advertising.This is peanuts. TV is a $70 bn market for advertising. Market Decline; Advertising
Back to office….not
Bloomberg is saying that remote work is making Manhattan losing $12 bn in rent. This shoul not be a surprise to anyone that working 5 days per week in an office (for a specific type of job) is completely obsolete. This trend will only continue. LINK
Coal continues to dominate global pollution. Unless China and India takes real measures the overall negative trend will not change. LINK
Harvard Business Review has a great articole: Beware the Transition from an Iconic CEO. Disney, Starbucks and other large companies are going through this process. LINK
Some unspoken rules to get by in Estonia, mainly (1) don’t whine and (2) get sh*t done. LINK
Apple executives discuss the M2 chips, gaming on Macs, Intel and more. LINK
Jony Ive on life after Apple. This is a good reading for anyone leaving the “mother” company where he performed for a long time. LINK
The higher education system will eventually move to micro-credits. For example, a Bachelor certificate in Business has 180 credits, but how you will achieve these will be a mix between on-line and on campus to different universities. LINK
How Rihanna became a billionaire with the help of Louis Vuitton. LINK
Are you a software developer? Chat GPD can help you (at least) in 11 ways. LINK
How to become a Digital Nomad, from HBR. LINK
A spatial view of Beijing’s “forbidden city”. LINK
SEC is investigating the investment’s arm of…the Mormon Church ($100m at stake). LINK
The oldest hotel in the world is The Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan in Japan and has been in business for more than 1300 years (!). It has been a family business for 52 generations. LINK
Why do men live shorter? Tougher jobs. LINK
Tsutomu Yamaguchi is the only person in the world to have survived both atomic bombs from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. LINK
Los Angeles is starting to paint many streets white. The higher reflectivity would reduce city summer temperatures by up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. LINK
The Talibans complain about the 9-5 office job (mainly answering emails) and…traffic jams. LINK
Putin is working on a computer with Windows XP. LINK
Google Calendar, but it shows the cost of the meeting:
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