inspiral + strategy   833

Apple’s Social Network – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
Third, starting with the December quarter, we will no longer be providing unit sales data for iPhone, iPad and Mac. As we have stated many times, our objective is to make great products and services that enrich people’s lives, and to provide an unparalleled customer experience so that our users are highly satisfied, loyal and engaged.
Apple  strategy  revenues  results  profitability  ARPU  Stratechery  2018 
28 days ago by inspiral
What's happening at Rapha? An interview with founder Simon Mottram | CyclingTips
For a deeper look at where Rapha is now, and where it’s going, we rang up Mottram. The following is a condensed version of a 35-minute interview with Rapha’s founder, including a few notes for context. We discussed Rapha’s new investors, changes to RCC, the company’s new partnership with the EF Education First-Drapac WorldTour team, and more.
SimonMottram  interview  Rapha  RCC  strategy  cycling  CyclingTips  2018 
9 weeks ago by inspiral
Media Giants Rev Up Streaming Services to Compete With Netflix – Variety
The direct-to-consumer streaming video business model refined by Netflix is the reason Disney and Comcast chased 21st Century Fox with such fervor. It was a big part of AT&T’s motivation for scooping up Time Warner. It marks the biggest shift in entertainment industry economics in decades, and it is an evolution largely driven by a company that has been in the original content business for barely six years.
television  streamingmedia  Netflix  Disney  Comcast  AT&T  HBO  HBOGo  competition  strategy  review  USA  Variety  2018 
august 2018 by inspiral
Why Netflix’s share price dropped.
Netflix famously commissions new shows by looking at enormous amounts of data on who watches what. The assumption is that people watch what they like and that the more they watch, the more they value the service. But that’s not necessarily true: It suffers from the same fallacy as Facebook’s assumption that people click on and engage with the content they most want to see. If people stream hours on end of garbage shows on Netflix six days a week while they wait for the next episode of the show they really care about on a legacy cable channel, then Netflix will never have the market power to raise its subscription price to a profitable level.
Netflix  strategy  growth  results  review  streamingmedia  television  Slate  2018 
july 2018 by inspiral
AT&T's Doomed Plans to Turn HBO Into Netflix - The Atlantic
The channel’s stature is what makes it baffling to learn of reports that the new Warner Media chief executive John Stankey recently lectured HBO employees on the hard times ahead. In the eyes of Stankey, an AT&T veteran, HBO is apparently too small, too nimble, and too boutique—ill-fitted for a media world that’s all about size.
HBO  television  streamingmedia  strategy  review  TheAtlantic  2018 
july 2018 by inspiral
Xiaomi IPO: Xiaomi is looking less and less like Apple, and more and more like Muji — Quartz
Xiaomi originated as a smartphone maker less then a decade ago, and later branched out into other gadgets like drones, fitness trackers, and smart home devices that sync with an app—such as this wifi-enabled rice cooker. Over the past two years, however, it has offered an increasing number of decidedly low-tech products to its customers.
Xiaomi  comparison  Muji  strategy  Quartz  2018 
july 2018 by inspiral
How Amazon Steers Shoppers to Its Own Products - The New York Times
Amazon has roughly 100 private label brands for sale on its huge online marketplace, of which more than five dozen have been introduced in the past year alone.
Amazon  ownbrands  privatelabel  growth  strategy  monopoly  retail  ecommerce  NYTimes  2018 
june 2018 by inspiral
The Dropbox Comp – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
It’s been two years since I wrote that, and while Slack is still growing, albeit more slowly, the question of which company controls the future of enterprise computing remains an open one. Is it Amazon via infrastructure, Microsoft via infrastructure and identity and email, Slack via chat? Google via all-of-the-above?

What seems clear is that it won’t be Dropbox — both because files weren’t the right route and also because the company spent far too much time and energy chasing a non-existent consumer opportunity — but that’s ok. There is still value — at least $10 billion in value, I’d bet — in doing a job and doing it well, whether that be as a startup in 2008 or a public company in 2018.
Dropbox  Box  cloudcomputing  cloudstorage  strategy  review  valuation  collaboration  Stratechery  2018 
february 2018 by inspiral
How Amazon Rebuilt Itself Around Artificial Intelligence | WIRED
How deep learning came to power Alexa, Amazon Web Services, and nearly every other division of the company.
Amazon  artificialintelligence  machinelearning  deeplearning  strategy  Wired  2018 
february 2018 by inspiral
Apple’s Middle Age – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
In this view, Apple Music serves as a “bridge” to translate iPhone market share into smart speaker share; services is a means, not an end, which is exactly what we should expect from a company with Apple’s vertical business model.
Apple  strategy  HomePod  launch  integration  AppleMusic  Stratechery  2018 
february 2018 by inspiral
Facebook’s Motivations – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
It follows that Facebook’s ultimate threat can never come from publishers or advertisers, but rather demand — that is, users. The real danger, though, is not from users also using competing social networks (although Facebook has always been paranoid about exactly that); that is not enough to break the virtuous cycle. Rather, the only thing that could undo Facebook’s power is users actively rejecting the app. And, I suspect, the only way users would do that en masse would be if it became accepted fact that Facebook is actively bad for you — the online equivalent of smoking.

This is why I find Facebook’s focus on what is good for users to be so fascinating. On one level, maybe the company is, as they can afford to be, simply altruistic. On another, perhaps they are diverting attention from problematic trends in user engagement. Or perhaps they are seeking to neutralize their biggest threat by addressing it head-on.
Facebook  strategy  onlineadvertising  review  MarkZuckerberg  Stratechery  2018 
january 2018 by inspiral
CES 2018: Real Advances, Real Progress, Real Questions
After my 3 days and 87,207 steps I offer these five observations about the direction of products and technology on display at CES.
CES  review  consumerelectronics  voicerecognition  virtualassistant  Google  GoogleAssistant  television  OLED  headphones  Samsung  LG  strategy  augmentedreality  PCs  laptops  wirelesscharging  Qi  innovation  author:StevenSinofsky  LearningbyShipping  Medium  2018 
january 2018 by inspiral
Behind the Fall and Rise of China's Xiaomi | WIRED
Xiaomi learned from that experience, and has been building its portfolio of some 5,700 patents ever since — most generated internally, some acquired from firms like Microsoft and Nokia. If Xiaomi doesn’t “gun up” with the necessary patent protection by the time it launches in the US, Apple or another big smartphone player will be eagerly waiting to slap the company with a billion-dollar patent suit.
Xiaomi  turnaround  strategy  review  advocacy  Wired  2017 
december 2017 by inspiral
Disney and Fox – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
The implication of Netflix’s shift to original programming, though, isn’t simply the fact that the streaming company is a full-on competitor for cable TV: it is a competitor for differentiated content as well. That gives Netflix far more leverage over content suppliers like Disney than the cable companies ever had.
Disney  takeover  Fox  review  cableTV  streamingmedia  comparison  Netflix  strategy  Stratechery  2017 
december 2017 by inspiral
The Sound of Music | Asymco
So there is some good reason to honor music at Apple. If it wasn’t for music, Apple would probably not exist today.
Apple  music  strategy  history  iPod  AppleMusic  Shazam  AirPods  HomePod  Asymco  2017 
december 2017 by inspiral
Forking The iPhone – Monday Note
After the early fast growth iPhone years, Apple appeared to stumble. Profit and revenue began to fall starting in 2013. Now, a bold bet, the iPhone X, covered by the iPhone 8, appears on the verge of paying off.
Apple  smartphones  strategy  iPhone8  iPhoneX  iPhone  review  advocacy  author:JeanLouisGassee  MondayNote  2017 
november 2017 by inspiral
Silicon Valley | Asymco
So while the “Silicon” in Silicon Valley has come to be seen as an anachronism, silicon development today means competitive advantage. The only problem is that it takes years, decades even to establish competence. The same duration that it took for the building of Apple as a design-centric business fronted by Jony Ive.
Apple  strategy  competitiveadvantage  microchips  Asymco  2017 
october 2017 by inspiral
Defining Aggregators – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
Aggregation Theory describes how platforms (i.e. aggregators) come to dominate the industries in which they compete in a systematic and predictable way. Aggregation Theory should serve as a guidebook for aspiring platform companies, a warning for industries predicated on controlling distribution, and a primer for regulators addressing the inevitable antitrust concerns that are the endgame of Aggregation Theory.
aggregator  aggregationtheory  strategy  Netflix  Uber  Google  Facebook  review  define  Stratechery  2017 
september 2017 by inspiral
Uber’s New CEO – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
To that end, Uber’s strength — and its sky-high valuation — comes from the company’s ability to acquire customers cheaply thanks to a combination of the service’s usefulness and the effects of aggregation theory: as the company acquires users (and as users increases their usage) Uber attracts more drivers, which makes the service better, which makes it easier to acquire marginal users (not by lowering the price but rather by offering a better service for the same price). The single biggest factor that differentiates multi-billion dollar companies is a scalable advantage in customer acquisition costs; Uber has that.
Uber  management  DaraKhosrowshahi  strategy  aggregationtheory  accommodation  Expedia  comparison  Stratechery  2017 
august 2017 by inspiral
Amazon (AMZN) owns a whole collection of secret brands, USPTO trademark filings reveal — Quartz
It’s now gotten to the point where it’s quite easy to pay Amazon three times in one order: for shipping, which you get access to through Prime, and for a product that’s actually just an Amazon-made product. And it’s possible to imagine a time when your clothes, your food, your TV shows, your gadgets and your furniture are all made and sold by the same company: Amazon.
Amazon  ownbrands  growth  strategy  review  Quartz  2017 
august 2017 by inspiral
Microsoft’s Monopoly Hangover – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
Still, the fact that enterprises no longer have data centers doesn’t mean integration is no longer valuable; rather, the locus of needed integration has shifted to the cloud as well. The average enterprise customer uses 20~30 apps, data is often scattered on and off premise, or stuck in email or personal accounts, and while IT departments may be happy to no longer upgrade servers, managing identity and security across all of these services and on a whole host of new devices far more likely to be used outside a company’s intranet calls for the same sort of integrator Gerstner wanted IBM to be.

This seems to be the long-term goal of Microsoft 365.
Microsoft  strategy  comparison  IBM  cloudcomputing  enterprise  integrations  review  Stratechery  2017 
august 2017 by inspiral
Content isn't king — Benedict Evans
Taking a step back, though, it’s not clear how much all of this really matters to tech. The tech industry has been trying to get onto the TV and into the living room since before the consumer internet - the ‘information superhighway’ of the early 1990s was really about interactive TV, not the web. Yet after a couple of decades of trying, the tech industry now dominates the living room, and is transforming what ‘video’ means, but with the phone, not the TV. The reason Apple TV, Chromecast, FireTV and everything else feel so anti-climactic is that getting onto the TV was a red herring - the device is the phone and the network is the internet. The smartphone is the sun and everything else orbits it. Internet advertising will be bigger than TV advertising this year, and Apple’s revenue is larger than the entire global pay TV industry. This is also why tech companies are even thinking about commissioning their own premium shows today - they are now so big that the budgets involved in buying or creating TV look a lot less daunting than they once did. A recurring story in the past was for a leading tech company to go to Hollywood, announce its intention to buy lots of stuff, and then turn pale at the first rate card it was shown and say “wow - that’s really expensive!”. They have the money now, not from conquering TV but from creating something bigger. 
content  strategy  television  music  books  Amazon  Apple  Google  Netflix  review  BenedictEvans  2017 
july 2017 by inspiral
Amazon’s New Customer – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
In the long run, physical grocery stores will be only one of the Amazon Grocery Services’ customers: obviously a home delivery service will be another, and it will be far more efficient than a company like Instacart trying to layer on top of Whole Foods’ current integrated model.

I suspect Amazon’s ambitions stretch further, though: Amazon Grocery Services will be well-placed to start supplying restaurants too, gaining Amazon access to another big cut of economic activity. It is the AWS model, which is to say it is the Amazon model, but like AWS, the key to profitability is having a first-and-best customer able to utilize the massive investment necessary to build the service out in the first place.
Amazon  WholeFoods  takeover  strategy  groceries  review  Stratechery  2017 
june 2017 by inspiral
Apple’s Strengths and Weaknesses – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
This, broadly speaking, is the challenge for Apple moving forward: in what other categories does its business model (and everything that is tied up into that, including the company’s product development process, culture, etc.) create an advantage instead of a disadvantage? What existing needs can be met with a superior user experience, or what new needs — like the previously unknown need for wireless headphones that are always charged — can be created? To be clear, the iPhone is and will continue to be a juggernaut for a long time to come; indeed, it is so dominant that Apple could not change the underlying business model and resultant strengths and weaknesses even if they tried.
Apple  strategy  WWDC  tvOS  watchOS  AppleWatch  MacOS  iOS  iOS11  HomePod  Stratechery  2017 
june 2017 by inspiral
Above Avalon: iPhone Evolution
The iPhone's most remarkable quality is the degree to which its role in our lives has changed. In 2007, the iPhone was a computer that fit in our pocket. The product evolved into the most valuable communications tool in our life thanks to advances in camera technology. We are now on the verge of the iPhone becoming a new kind of personal navigator as Apple embraces augmented reality. The iPhone's role in our life doesn't remain static, but rather it evolves. This fact has major implications when it comes to thinking about iPhone sales and pricing, screen size preference, upgrade trends, and even how other gadgets will fit into our lives. 
iPhone  Apple  review  history  strategy  pricing  forecast  AboveAvalon  2017 
may 2017 by inspiral
Why Amazon is eating the world | TechCrunch
This all said, I believe that Amazon is the most defensible company on earth, and we haven’t even begun to grasp the scale of its dominance over competitors. Amazon’s lead will only grow over the coming decade, and I don’t think there is much that any other retailer can do to stop it.

The reason isn’t the bullet-point moats that are talked about in headlines, and it isn’t the culture of innovation or Bezos’s vision as CEO (though I do think Amazon’s culture is incredible and Bezos is the most impressive CEO out there). It’s the fact that each piece of Amazon is being built with a service-oriented architecture, and Amazon is using that architecture to successively turn every single piece of the company into a separate platform — and thus opening each piece to outside competition.
Amazon  strategy  management  productise  AmazonWebServices  FulfillmentbyAmazon  advocacy  Techcrunch  2017 
may 2017 by inspiral
Boring Google – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
The opening to Google I/O couldn’t have been more different. There was no grand statement of vision, no mind-bending re-framing of how to think about the broader tech ecosystem, just an affirmation of the importance of artificial intelligence — the dominant theme of last year’s I/O — and how it fit in with Google’s original vision.
Google  GoogleIO  review  strategy  GoogleAssistant  GooglePhotos  GoogleLens  virtualassistant  imagerecognition  Stratechery  2017 
may 2017 by inspiral
Apple’s China Problem – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
That, though, is a long-term problem for Apple: what makes the iPhone franchise so valuable — and, I’d add, the fundamental factor that was missed by so many for so long — is that monopoly on iOS. For most of the world it is unimaginable for an iPhone user to upgrade to anything but another iPhone: there is too much of the user experience, too many of the apps, and, in some countries like the U.S., too many contacts on iMessage to even countenance another phone.

None of that lock-in exists in China: Apple may be a de facto monopolist for most of the world, but in China the company is simply another smartphone vendor, and being simply another smartphone vendor is a hazardous place to be. To be clear, it’s not all bad: in China Apple still trades on status and luxury; unlike the rest of the world, though, the company has to earn it with every release, and that’s a bar both difficult to clear in the abstract and, given the last two iPhones, difficult to clear in reality.
Apple  iPhone  strategy  review  critique  competitiveadvantage  WeChat  China  Stratechery  2017 
may 2017 by inspiral
Three kingdoms, two empires: China’s internet giants go global | The Economist
All three firms differ from their Western peers in important ways. First, Western companies usually prefer to focus on a few core areas, whereas Chinese internet firms typically try to do everything from cloud computing to digital payments. When this works, as with Tencent’s wildly successful app, WeChat, the results can be impressive.

Second, with the exception of political censorship, the internet sector in China is lightly regulated. Facebook, Apple and Google, in contrast, face increasing scrutiny. Chinese internet firms can achieve market domination of a sort that would attract close attention in other markets.

The third difference is that they can succeed on a rapid and massive scale because the state-dominated economy is so inefficient. Often there is not even a physical infrastructure to leapfrog—so-called third-tier cities, for example, often lack big retail centres. Nationwide there is one shopping mall per 1.2m people.
Tencent  Alibaba  Baidu  internet  ecommerce  growth  review  strategy  China  Economist  2017 
april 2017 by inspiral
No Silver Bullets: Why I DIDN’T join a podcast network
This isn’t meant to be a chest-pounding proclamation of my independence from podcast networks. It’s quite possible that I made the totally wrong decision. I’ll likely never know.
podcast  podcastnetwork  monetisation  strategy  review  author:DavidKadavy  StartupGrind  Medium  2017 
april 2017 by inspiral
First resort — Remains of the Day
For us at Amazon, being the site of first resort for an online shopping trip was an obsession. This is why it was so critical to expand out from books to other product lines quickly. We didn't want to cement ourselves in shoppers' minds as the site of first resort for buying books but nothing else.
Amazon  ecommerce  default  strategy  author:EugeneWei  RemainsoftheDay  2017 
april 2017 by inspiral
How Spotify is finally gaining leverage over record labels | TechCrunch
The problem with Spotify going public has always been that the record labels own the music. They force Spotify to pay 70 percent or more of its revenue to them for royalties, and could jack up that price if Spotify got too profitable.
Spotify  recordlabels  strategy  review  music  Techcrunch  2017 
march 2017 by inspiral
Intel, Mobileye, and Smiling Curves – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
Indeed, with this acquisition Intel’s greatest strength and greatest weakness is its dominant position with established manufactures: there is the outline of a grand alliance between car manufacturers, HERE maps, and Intel/Mobileye; the only hang-up is that the future of transportation is one in which the car manufacturers are the biggest losers. Companies like Uber or Google, meanwhile, have nothing to lose (well, Uber does, but they seem to grasp the threat).

Regardless, it’s a worthwhile bet for Intel: the company seems determined to not repeat its mistakes in smartphones, and given that the structure of self-driving cars looks more like servers than anything else, it’s a worthwhile space to splurge in.
Intel  MobileEye  automotive  selfdrivingvehicles  microchips  strategy  Stratechery  2017 
march 2017 by inspiral
7 Steps to Get Started with Account-Based Marketing
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a powerful B2B strategy for reaching and engaging specific, named targets in order to grow your sales pipeline. For B2B firms with high-value, low-volume deals, ABM can help align the efforts of marketing and business development, while providing more intentional support during a long and complex sales cycle.
accountbasedmarketing  b2b  marketing  strategy  guide  CircleStudio  2017 
march 2017 by inspiral
Study: CPG Now Spends More on Digital Than Traditional Ads | CMO Strategy - AdAge
Packaged-goods marketers now spend more on digital than all forms of traditional advertising combined, according to a new study by Cadent Consulting Group. Yet the firm's online survey of 600 brand marketers, retailers and shoppers finds the latter two groups give digital lower marks for effectiveness than any other marketing option – something that could cap that growth in years ahead.
FMCG  media  onlineadvertising  spend  growth  effectiveness  research  marketing  strategy  CadentConsultingGroup  AdvertisingAge  2017 
february 2017 by inspiral
Twitter, Live, and Luck – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
The companies that thrive in this new world are those that build new businesses uniquely enabled by the Internet; those that struggle are those with businesses built on old limitations — like, for example, the idea that “live” can only be experienced, well, “live.” That Twitter would seek to leverage its only-on-the-Internet initial product insight — the fact that anyone anywhere can read the musings of anyone else, and broadcast in turn — into an old-world business (“live” when live) is the best evidence yet that the company was the product of sheer luck, not insight.
Twitter  strategy  live  critique  Stratechery  2017 
february 2017 by inspiral
Above Avalon: Apple Doesn't Need to Buy Netflix
Apple never had iTunes-like mindshare in the video space. That title went to a collection of traditional broadcast and cable companies. Looking ahead, Apple isn't trying to be like HBO, Showtime, Netflix, or Amazon Video by owning large swaths of content. Instead of buying Spotify, Apple bought Jimmy Iovine's vision for regaining relevancy in music. Apple is now looking to translate Jimmy Iovine's music vision around relationships, ideas, and mindshare into a broader strategy for video. The strategy doesn't require owning Netflix. 
Apple  Netflix  takeover  review  strategy  critique  onlinevideo  streamingmedia  AboveAvalon  2017 
february 2017 by inspiral
A Comparative Guide to Russia’s Use of Force: Measure Twice, Invade Once
This is part and parcel of a Russian strategy defined by reasonable sufficiency, compelling an outcome with the least amount of force required. It contrasts sharply with working to achieve battlefield dominance and overmatch at the outset. Perhaps, this is best understood for what it is not. The Russian approach is the polar opposite of the Weinberger Doctrine, which Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger laid out in a famous 1984 speech. Weinberger’s six conditions for the use of force included, “if we are unwilling to commit the forces or resources necessary to achieve our objectives, we should not commit them at all,” and the “need for well-defined objectives and a consistent strategy is still essential.”
war  conflict  strategy  Russia  Crimea  Ukraine  Syria  WarontheRocks  2017 
february 2017 by inspiral
Responses to Disruptive Strategic Innovation: EBSCOhost
Of the 98 established companies that completed our survey questionnaire, two-thirds had responded to a disruptive innovation in their industry by adopting it in some form -- either by setting up a separate organizational unit or by using the existing organizational infrastructure. Of course, the way those established players adopted the innovation proved to be more nuanced than simply deciding whether to create a separate unit. Among the companies that did not adopt the innovation in their industry, there were also a variety of strategic responses -- including, but not limited to, ignoring the disruption. Overall, we identified five key responses to disruptive strategic innovation.
disruption  response  strategy  management  EBSCOhost  MITSloanManagementReview  2003 
february 2017 by inspiral
Snap’s Apple Strategy – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
I do, though, have faith in Snap itself: Spiegel and team are the most innovative in tech, brilliantly laddering up to new opportunities, and creating new markets. The products will be great; we’ve known for 30 years, though, that that is not always enough.
Snapchat  IPO  revenues  ARPU  strategy  comparison  Facebook  socialmedia  Stratechery  2017 
february 2017 by inspiral
Inside Instagram’s reinvention - Recode
That realization led to a massive product push in 2016 designed to make Instagram more authentic, encouraging users to share with friends in places outside of the traditional feed.

The list of major updates since May include:

Instagram Stories — Montages of photos and short videos that users can share with their followers. Stories expire after 24 hours.
A feed ranking algorithm — A computer model that surfaces the posts Instagram thinks you’ll like, not just the most recently published content.
Live video broadcasting — The ability to stream live video directly to your followers, who in turn can send you messages while they watch. The video feeds disappear after they’ve ended.
Ephemeral messages — A new messaging feature that erases the photos or videos you send friends after they’ve been opened.
Instagram  strategy  KevinSystrom  interview  InstagramStories  algorithms  livestreaming  ephemeral  Recode  2017 
january 2017 by inspiral
The iPhone Unsung Sine Qua Non
Much has been said about the original iPhone’s success factors: an innovative multi-touch interface, a never-seen-before combination of cell phone, iPod and Internet “navigator”. All good, but missing one crucial element: removing the carrier’s control on the iPhone’s features and content.
iPhone  Apple  distribution  strategy  history  SteveJobs  review  author:JeanLouisGassee  MondayNote  2017 
january 2017 by inspiral
Alexa: Amazon’s Operating System – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
In short, Amazon is building the operating system of the home — its name is Alexa — and it has all of the qualities of an operating system you might expect:

All kinds of hardware manufacturers are lining up to build Alexa-enabled devices, and will inevitably compete with each other to improve quality and lower prices.
Even more devices and appliances are plugging into Alexa’s easy-to-use and flexible framework, creating the conditions for a moat: appliances are a lot more expensive than software, and lot longer lasting, which means everyone who buys something that works with Alexa is much less likely to switch
Alexa  AmazonEcho  Amazon  operatingsystem  strategy  review  advocacy  contrast  MicrosoftWindows  Facebook  Google  Stratechery  2017 
january 2017 by inspiral
2017 Digital Music Scoreboard |
But as 2017 starts, I do think it’s worth pausing to reflect on where the industry is and how it’s trending. After all, without a scorecard, how are we supposed to know who’s leading? So I offer you my 2017 Digital Music Scoreboard.
music  streamingmedia  review  management  strategy  Spotify  Amazon  AppleMusic  SiriusXM  Google  GooglePlay  GoogleMusicAllAccess  PandoraTidal  Napster  Deezer  Soundcloud  JonMaples  2017 
january 2017 by inspiral
In 2017, GE Will Buy More Tech Startups Than Google | Hunter Walk
We had our first taste of this trend playing out early in 2016 when GM acquired self-driving tech startup Cruise for north of $1b. Even though we were only supporting investors (aka small check) it was a great return multiple to our fund. It also helped us flesh out our hypotheses about how corporates would behave as the US left industrial capitalism behind and entered a new era of technology capitalism. With all due respect to Maslow, here’s our Hierarchy of Corporate M&A Needs
startup  takeover  strategy  review  author:HunterWalk  HunterWalk  2017 
january 2017 by inspiral
macOS is becoming legacy software - The Verge
It might be arguable that Apple is melding its two operating systems into one, but the weight of evidence is heavily on the side of the company making iOS as good as it can be, and then dragging macOS along for the ride. Everything happening with macOS and the computers running it seems to be a retrofitting or adaptation of Apple’s leading-edge stuff on iPhones and iPads. We’ve long ago passed the point of "trickling down" desktop features to the mobile realm — Apple has been "mobile first" for much longer than competitors like Microsoft have been touting that slogan.
Apple  strategy  operatingsystem  iOS  MacOS  TheVerge  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
Facebook at a Crossroads
In 2017, Zuckerberg will have to manage the awkward adolescence of his existing business and try to show real progress on his aspirations for one day doing something larger.
Facebook  strategy  revenues  growth  forecast  TechnologyReview  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
Line Sets Sights on a Messaging Shake-Up - Bloomberg
Line Corp. is planning to shake up its staff and business to build on the 20-plus percent share gain since the messaging company pulled off the tech world’s biggest public offering of the year.

Chief Executive Officer Takeshi Idezawa is tapping top lieutenants Jun Masuda and Joongho Shin to lead the hunt for fresh growth ideas. Their new responsibilities will be announced as part of a broader revamp of the Tokyo-based company’s corporate culture at a town-hall meeting in mid-January, two people familiar with the matter said. 

While it might seem strange to alter strategy so soon after July’s market debut, subscriber growth is slowing, as is revenue from games and digital stickers. Line is under pressure to come up with new ways to make people spend on what is otherwise a free messaging service. At the same time, it’s seeking to expand its user base of 220 million in the face of competition from Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Facebook Inc. Line shares were down less than 1 percent on Wednesday, giving it a market value of 888 billion yen ($7.71 billion).
Line  mobilemessaging  strategy  management  restructure  Bloomberg  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
Facebook begins testing ways to flag fake news
Facebook will try out new ways to report and flag fake news this week, setting up a partnership with fact-checking organisations to try to address the “worst of the worst” hoaxes spread by spammers. 

The world’s largest social network is testing several ways to try to limit the rapid proliferation of fake news stories. This was highlighted by posts that went viral during the US presidential election campaign, such as a report that the Pope endorsed Donald Trump or the “Pizzagate” story that claimed Democrats were involved in a paedophile ring. 
Facebook  webjournalism  fakenews  strategy  moderation  Poynter  partnership  FinancialTimes  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
Google studying ways to deal with offensive search suggestions & results
Facing criticism over "fake news," inappropriate search suggestions and more, the search company is looking for long-term and comprehensive solutions.
Google  search  moderation  algorithms  innovation  autocomplete  fakenews  strategy  SearchEngineLand  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
Alphabet Shifts Self-Driving Cars Into New Unit Called Waymo - Bloomberg
Google parent company Alphabet Inc. is separating its self-driving car project into a new business called Waymo, seeking to sharpen its focus on changing the transportation industry.

John Krafcik, chief executive officer of Waymo, announced the move on Tuesday at an event in San Francisco. The company has been developing autonomous vehicle technology for more than six years, as part of its X research lab. Waymo is emerging from this research phase as a standalone business owned by Mountain View, California-based Alphabet.
Alphabet  Google  Waymo  selfdrivingvehicles  spinoff  strategy  Bloomberg  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
Google Makes So Much Money, It Never Had to Worry About Financial Discipline - Bloomberg
Critics, including more than a dozen former top Google executives who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they signed nondisclosure agreements, describe a company having trouble balancing innovation and its core business, search advertising. Over the 12 months ended in September, Google’s ad business accounted for 89 percent of Alphabet’s revenue, or $76.1 billion. As one ex-executive puts it, “No one wants to face the reality that this is an advertising company with a bunch of hobbies.”
Google  Alphabet  strategy  management  innovation  profitability  RuthPorat  Bloomberg  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
Microsoft + LinkedIn: Beginning our Journey Together | Satya Nadella | Pulse | LinkedIn
Today is an exciting day, one I’ve been looking forward to since June. It marks the close of the agreement for Microsoft to acquire LinkedIn and the beginning of our journey to bring together the world’s leading professional cloud and the world’s leading professional network.
Microsoft  LinkedIn  takeover  review  strategy  opportunity  author:SatyaNadella  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
How Google Is Challenging AWS – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
To be sure, Google’s success is not assured: the company still has to grapple with a new business model — sales versus ads — and build up the sort of organization that is necessary for not just sales but also enterprise support. Both are areas where Amazon has a head start, along with a vastly larger partner ecosystem and a larger feature set generally.

And, of course, AWS has its own machine learning API, along with IBM and Microsoft. Microsoft is likely to prove particularly formidable in this regard: not only has the company engaged in years of research, but the company also has experience productizing technology for business specifically; Google’s longstanding consumer focus may at times be a handicap. And as popular as Kubernetes may be broadly, it’s concerning that Google is not yet eating its own dog food.

Still, Google will be a formidable competitor: its strategy is sound and, perhaps more importantly, the urgency to find a new line of business is far more pressing today than it was in 2006. Most importantly, the shift to cloud computing is still in its beginning stages, and while Amazon seems to be living the furthest in the future, the future has not happened yet; it will be fascinating to watch Google’s attempt to change the rules under which said future will operate.
AmazonWebServices  Google  cloudcomputing  Kubernetes  modularisation  machinelearning  strategy  review  Stratechery  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
How Apple Lost China to Two Unknown Local Smartphone Makers - Bloomberg
Oppo and Vivo trace their origins to reclusive billionaire Duan Yong Ping and employ similar strategies. That includes harnessing the spending power of rural customers away from top-tier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. It’s where Apple’s vulnerable given the iPhone’s lofty price tag. They eschewed e-commerce to instead court the stores where three-quarters of smartphone sales take place. Apple has been more reluctant to relinquish the retail experience to local free-agents, who sometimes charge brands for in-store displays and posters.
Oppo  Vivo  growth  comparison  Apple  smartphones  strategy  retail  China  Bloomberg  2016 
november 2016 by inspiral
The Right Way to Resist Trump - The New York Times
And an opposition focused on personality would crown Mr. Trump as the people’s leader of the fight against the Washington caste. It would also weaken the opposition voice on the issues, where it is important to conduct a battle of principles.
DonaldTrump  politics  opposition  strategy  SilvioBerlusconi  comparison  USA  Italy  NYTimes  2016 
november 2016 by inspiral
How UPS stays steady in center of e-commerce shipping storm | Retail Dive
Despite Amazon's shipping ambitions and myriad other forces driving market upheaval, UPS continues to invest in a future defined by e-commerce opportunities and obstacles.
UPS  logistics  delivery  profile  review  strategy  Amazon  Deliv  iParcel  RetailDive  2016 
november 2016 by inspiral
The New Game of Global Tech
Because the companies in the ICT sector no longer compete within the old sector boundaries, they must now define themselves another way: through the manner in which they offer value to their customers. There are many methods of doing so, but five value propositions are particularly prevalent in this industry. All five are viable ways of reaching customers, especially enterprise customers, with technological solutions. Each of the five has a business model and economic profile distinct from the others and distinct from the overall ICT 50 formula. Each has its own approach to growth, profitability, scale, and investment. The archetypes are detailed here, along with the indicators used to identify them.
tech  IT  enterprise  strategy  IBM  Microsoft  SAP  Oracle  Cisco  HewlettPackard  Tata  Apple  EMC  Alphabet  Google  Samsung  Intel  Accenture  Infosys  WiPro  HCLTechnologies  Symantec  Salesforce  ComputerAssociates  CGIGroup  Qualcomm  Amadeus  Adobe  StrategyBusiness  2016 
november 2016 by inspiral
The Story of the Self Destruction of Deutsche Bank - SPIEGEL ONLINE
For most of its 146 years, Deutsche Bank was the embodiment of German values: reliable and safe. Now, the once-proud institution is facing the abyss. SPIEGEL tells the story of how Deutsche's 1990s rush to join the world banking elite paved the way for its own downfall.
DeutscheBank  banking  decline  management  strategy  critique  Spiegel  2016 
november 2016 by inspiral
How Apple could have avoided much of the controversy
A lot of it boils down to this concept: We demand Apple innovate, but we insist they don’t change anything.
Apple  AppleMacBookPro  review  strategy  niche  PCs  laptops  Chuqui  2016 
november 2016 by inspiral
The future of PCs and Macs is expensive - The Verge
The personal desktop computer used to once be an exclusive and expensive machine, though we now know it and its laptop counterpart as a mass-market commodity that most people can afford. This week, however, the companies that defined the personal computer, Microsoft and Apple, gave us a glimpse of the future and it looks like a return to the past: the PC is going back to being an exclusive and expensive machine.
PCs  niche  premiumisation  strategy  Apple  Microsoft  AppleMacBookPro  MicrosoftSurfaceStudio  launch  review  TheVerge  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
CILP Action Plan 2016-2020
We will deliver our objective by focusing on 4 priorities:
 Advocating for library and information skills and professional ethics
 Developing a library, information and knowledge management workforce for the future
 Delivering value for our members
 Investing in innovation, standards and improvement
strategy  management  libraries  professionalbodies  CILIP  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
Microsoft goes all in on VR – GHVR – Medium
What we’re seeing here are the final steps in a strategy that has to have been some years in the making — Microsoft is turning itself into the preeminent VR company, providing both core software and hardware technologies, at a price point that will range from $299 — for a VR headset plugged into an Project Scorpio Xbox or Windows 10 workstation— all the way up to $3000 for a stand-alone mixed reality headset, the Hololens.
Microsoft  virtualreality  augmentedreality  HoloLens  Xbox  Windows10Holographic  strategy  review  author:MarkPesce  GHVR  Medium  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
EBay Testing ShopBot on Facebook Messenger | Digital - AdAge
EBay is testing a personalized shopping assistant called ShopBot on Facebook's Messenger application, hoping win more of the social network operators' 1 billion users as customers by making it easier to find items to buy.
The trial service will use artificial intelligence to learn more about shoppers through their Facebook profiles and questions about what they're seeking. EBay said ShopBot can remember details such as clothing sizes to make future online shopping easier.
Smartphone users are spending their time on fewer apps, with Facebook Messenger among the most popular. EBay wants access to as many of these people as possible, by enabling shopping through the chat service. Once a shopper finds an item by chatting with the bot or submitting a photo, they go to eBay to complete the purchase.
FacebookMessenger  Facebook  eBay  eBayShopBot  chatbots  launch  strategy  socialcommerce  AdvertisingAge  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
Google’s Schizophrenic Pixel Positioning – Beyond Devices – Medium
If, though, this is the real motivation behind Pixel (and I strongly suspect it is), then all this stuff about targeting the iPhone and tightly integrated hardware and software is really something of a smokescreen. I would bet Google’s OEM partners can see that pretty clearly too, and for all Google executives’ reassurances that the OEMs are fine with it, I very much doubt it.
GooglePixel  Google  strategy  smartphones  review  author:JanDawson  BeyondDevices  Medium  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
Twitter Has Never Been Stronger—or Weaker - The New Yorker
Yet it’s important to see that even these critiques of Twitter, sensible as they may be, are predicated on the idea that the proper goal for the company is to grow ever bigger. It’s a way of criticizing Twitter for not being Facebook or Google. But the truth is that not every company needs to be—or should be—huge. Nor is growth the only, or even the most important, metric by which to judge a company. Indeed, if you look at Twitter in terms of social impact and user engagement, you would say that the company is doing quite well and adding a great deal of value. The problem is that, for a publicly traded company, that value is irrelevant if it can’t be translated into continually rising profits. Going public pushes you to define yourself in the market’s terms rather than your own. As a private company, Twitter might be seen as a great success. As a public company, it’s a perpetual disappointment.
Twitter  profile  review  IPO  valuation  strategy  critique  NewYorker  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
Chat and the Consumerization of IT – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
So which definition of the Consumerization of IT is most meaningful? Is it consumer products ported to IT, consumer UI on traditional enterprise products, or a new business model that transforms the relationship between buyers and sellers? Certainly all three factors are important to the rise of software-as-a-service, but the upcoming chat wars will provide an interesting test as to which is the most important.
consumerisation  IT  enterprise  collaboration  WorkplacebyFacebook  SkypeTeams  Slack  comparison  strategy  Stratechery  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
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