Musk's New Clown Car
Patio weather continues to elude us here at the Six, though that doesn’t slowdown the Raptors.
This week we have Elon’s newest clown car; Amazon-as-a-Service; Snap’s resilience; and, an official Block Head.
Don’t forget Nominations for our second cohort are ongoing for our Expert Circle!
Analytics, Digital, Design In Action
Musk’s New Clown Car
“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a statement posted to Twitter. “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”
There’s much work to be done, even by someone like Musk who helms Tesla, SpaceX, OpenAI, and Boring. Twitter’s capitalization has been largely flat over its near decade stint, owing largely to management turmoil and lackluster execution. We’re already seeing some pushback, however, regarding the acquisition - highlighting Twitter’s geopolitical importance - from none other than Jeff Bezos.
Mike Forsythe 傅才德 @PekingMikeApropos of something: -Tesla's second-biggest market in 2021 was China (after the US) -Chinese battery makers are major suppliers for Tesla's EVs. -After 2009, when China banned Twitter, the government there had almost no leverage over the platform -That may have just changed
Meanwhile, Musk’s Boring Co., which has a mission to solve traffic through underground tunnels, has raised a fresh USD675M for its mission.
Newsletter Godfather, Ben Thompson of Stratechery, recently wrote a piece highlighting Amazon’s growing logistics offering that pits it against not only Fedex and UPS, but our homegrown hero Shopify. Indeed, we can’t do Ben’s piece justice here, but we want to highlight the concept of Amazon’s dominance of using Primitives: using its initial scale of AWS and a captive ecommerce customer to rapidly ramp up new business lines that few can pursue.
Over to Shopify, it’s now faced with Amazon’s differentiated merchant offerings, particularly logistics and payments, as epitomized by Amazon’s new Buy with Prime, a solution that brings Amazon's logistics to merchants' online stores. Amazon's merchants will be able to use fast and free delivery, free returns, and other checkout features for their customers. Shopify, on the other hand, has been struggling to ramp its logistics efforts, which it launched in 2019. It has recently acquired Deliverr, but this USD2Bn ticket is a pittance to Amazon’s USD100Bn spend just last year.
Unlike its eponymous Snaps, Snap’s business strength has proven to be more permanent following its latest results which showed it’s growing faster than its fellow U.S.-based competitors Facebook and Twitter. Meta reported its first loss in DAUs last quarter, while Twitter’s monetizable DAUs grew by 2% in the U.S. and 15% internationally. Snap grew its DAUs 18% year over year to 332Mn.
However, Snap missed its revenue goals in Q3 2021, citing Apple’s big iOS privacy change as the cause. Once iOS users were presented with a choice to opt-out of off-app tracking, most users chose not to hand over more personal data to the apps they use, which impacted the ad business of Snapchat and Facebook. Snap is still reckoning with this curveball form Apple when it comes to ad revenue.
We’ve written about Snap’s growth as a company here, and we’re keen to hearing what they have in store next week during their next Partner Summit. We bet it has some AR with it.
The Block Head
Jack Dorsey, the Twitter co-founder and current Block CEO, is no longer the payments firm’s “chief executive officer.” Instead, the executive is choosing to call himself “Block Head and Chairperson.”
We’re curious who would win: The Block Head or the Technoking.
We’re also recruiting for our ABD Team!
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