Tidbits #24 – Convergence AND Divergence

Here’s the articles that I found interesting recently.

While the world is increasingly converging on the need to go digital because of the pandemic, it is also becoming increasingly clear that the digital leaders are diverging in how they think about the future.

This is in contrast to the last 5-10 years where mobile was the key and singular focus amongst the digital leaders.… Read the rest “Tidbits #24 – Convergence AND Divergence”

Tidbits #23

Here’s what I found interesting recently.

🌎 Our World

#1 China’s Chang’e-5 Probe Successfully Lands on the Moon

Chang’e-5 is one of the most complicated and challenging missions in Chinese aerospace history, as well as the world’s first moon-sample mission in more than 40 years.

Source: Xinhua

I changed the usual “Geopolitics” heading to “Our World” because I think it’s all too easy to look at this from a geopolitical / military lens.… Read the rest “Tidbits #23”

Tidbits #22 – A Lot to Be Thankful For

Here’s what I found most interesting recently.

It was a relatively quiet week in the US due to Thanksgiving holiday, but still a little bit of something for everyone.

In recognition of the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to extend a warm and hearty “thank you” to you for your support and readership.

Especially since the internet has dramatically increased the amount of content available, and there are a many other things you could be reading.… Read the rest “Tidbits #22 – A Lot to Be Thankful For”

Tidbits #21 – Land Up for Grabs

Here’s a selection of what I found most interesting recently.

Unlike prior editions of Tidbits where I had a clear narrative or theme laid out before writing, this time was different. However, after I wrote everything below, the narrative easily fell into place…the world (both physically and digitally) continue to shift along existing fault lines. This shift continues to open up new territory, and all that land is now up for grabs, especially in fintech.… Read the rest “Tidbits #21 – Land Up for Grabs”

Tidbits #20 – Finish Line in Sight

Here’s a selection of what I found most interesting recently. I started experimenting with some design changes in recent editions of Tidbits…the design changes don’t come through all that well via WordPress’ default email feature, and I’m not confident I will figure out a better alternative to the default email feature soon. May be better to read directly in the browser while I continue to experiment.… Read the rest “Tidbits #20 – Finish Line in Sight”

Tidbits #19 – What Happens Now?

Here’s a selection of what I found most interesting recently. I started experimenting with some design changes in the last edition of Tidbits…the design changes don’t come through all that well via WordPress’ default email feature, and I’m not confident I will figure out a better alternative to the default email feature soon. May be better to read directly in the browser.… Read the rest “Tidbits #19 – What Happens Now?”

Tidbits #18 – Calm Before the Storm?

Here’s a selection of what I found most interesting recently. I’m experimenting with some design changes…not sure how it looks via email. May be better to read directly in the browser.

Of course, the real item of interest is what happens with the elections, whether there will be a constitutional / election crisis, and whether the global state of affairs change in anyway for all citizens of the world.… Read the rest “Tidbits #18 – Calm Before the Storm?”

Tidbits #17

đź’° Economy

#1 The Number of New Businesses in America is Booming

The government regularly releases figures on new-business formation, derived from applications for tax registrations. And “high-propensity” business applications—those displaying characteristics typically associated with firm-creation and the employment of staff—recently reached their highest quarterly level on record (see chart).

All this has surprised economists. In the last recession the number of “high-propensity” business applications sharply declined.

Read the rest “Tidbits #17”

Tidbits #16 – Skipping the Elephant in the Room

I sensed October was going to get really crazy, but it got crazy, faster than I thought. You know what I’m talking about. Since the whole world already knows what happened yesterday, I’m just going to skip mentioning the elephant in the room because you and I know I have no useful commentary to add there at all.

Let’s see how well I can take your mind off of that topic and onto other things.… Read the rest “Tidbits #16 – Skipping the Elephant in the Room”

Tidbits #15

Here’s some of the things I found interesting recently. Some of the articles can be a bit dated but still worth considering in the grand scheme of things.

🎮 Games + Virtual Worlds

#1 Next Installment of Call of Duty Black Ops About to Launch

While this isn’t my type of game, Call of Duty is one of the world’s largest franchises.… Read the rest “Tidbits #15”

Tidbits #14 – The Long and Short of It…May We Find Ourselves in Good Health

Below are some of the items that I found most interesting in the last few days.

In comparison to prior editions of Tidbits, there isn’t any major cohesive theme that demands our attention. But companies of interest continue to push their agendas forward that will likely lead to industry shifts down the line.

Luckily, that gave me the opportunity to digest a number of long-form essays that may also be of interest.… Read the rest “Tidbits #14 – The Long and Short of It…May We Find Ourselves in Good Health”

Tidbits #13 – A Summer to Remember…A Summer to Forget?

In times of chaos, Capital Flywheels’ preference is almost always to invest in change, not to invest in incumbency. Chaos will eventually be followed by a return to normalcy, but the protagonists almost always change.

This is because the incentives asymmetrically benefit the disruptors. In chaos, incumbents are incentivized to merely survive, while disruptors are incentivized to destroy. Incumbents have much to lose that must be protected, while disruptors have nothing to lose and much to gain.… Read the rest “Tidbits #13 – A Summer to Remember…A Summer to Forget?”

Tidbits #12 – Buy, Buy, Buy

No…not stocks (maybe depending on the stock!)…but if Amazon, Shopify, and Pinterest’s results last week did not make the point painfully obvious enough, e-commerce IS commerce now. Some data providers estimate that e-commerce share of total commerce increased from 15% last year to 40% in Q2. Normally, e-commerce share only grows about 1% per year and has taken 20 years to get to 15%…

The way we buy, buy, buy is changing at an incredible pace.… Read the rest “Tidbits #12 – Buy, Buy, Buy”

Tidbits #11

What I found interesting recently.

đź—ş Society

Why the US needs racial progress:

Two years ago, Marian Croak was hiding in her office at Google’s YouTube offices, convinced the police would enter and shoot her dead.

There was an active shooter on the San Bruno, Calif. campus, and police were moving door-to-door to clear out staff. Though the soft-spoken, petite Ms.

Read the rest “Tidbits #11”

Tidbits #10

A hodgepodge…

🛍 Commerce

#1 Shopify continues to “Arm the Rebels” with a Walmart partnership

Starting today, Shopify merchants across the U.S. will be able to apply to sell through Walmart.com. If approved, they’ll be able to connect their Shopify store to their Walmart Seller Account, enabling them to quickly and easily sync their product catalog and create product listings on Walmart.com.

Read the rest “Tidbits #10”

Tidbits #9 – Uncertainty and Risk

The most important events recently are all macro-related, and hence this issue of Tidbits is very light on company-specific news…

Change is always an uncomfortable thing. In stable times, existing power structures resist change…hence progress is often slow, and incumbents often do not see or feel the sand shift beneath them. But in chaotic times, incumbent power structures are weakened and cannot hold back change.… Read the rest “Tidbits #9 – Uncertainty and Risk”

Tidbits #8 – Eyes on Facebook

Just two weeks ago, Tidbits #6 – Shopping Edition highlighted shifts in e-commerce because of COVID19 driven by players like Shopify and Pinterest. Capital Flywheels speculated Facebook as a potential wildcard, and we did not have to wait long to see what Facebook is up to. Very, very exciting.

In a similar vein, in Tidbits #7 – Strong Balance Sheets in Motion, Capital Flywheels commented that Zuckerberg is an underestimated operator.… Read the rest “Tidbits #8 – Eyes on Facebook”

Tidbits #7 – Strong Balance Sheets in Motion

Now that we are several months into the COVID19 pandemic, many companies have gotten over the initial stage of shock.

Many (weak) companies have already declared bankruptcy. Like JC Penney. Like Nieman Marcus. Like J Crew.

But, there’s another side to the coin. As discussed in a recent post, companies with strong balance sheets are not only defensive in periods of stress, but strong balance sheets can be deployed offensively to aggressively box out weaker competitors during periods of stress.… Read the rest “Tidbits #7 – Strong Balance Sheets in Motion”

Tidbits #6 – Shopping Edition

Assuming I am not that far from average, COVID19 has very likely changed our collective behaviors in a very big way.

Probably more Netflix. Probably more Zoom / video conferencing for work. Maybe some more gaming through console, PC, or mobile. And probably a lot of online shopping.

Over the last few days / weeks there has been an incredible shift in the ecommerce and omnichannel landscape.… Read the rest “Tidbits #6 – Shopping Edition”

Tidbits #5

Starbucks – After decades championing “the third place“, Starbucks has been experimenting with newer store formats. Initially the company moved upmarket with their Reserve/Roastery formats. This one is from the Seattle location:

Seattle Reserve Small Roastery

While the move upmarket feels quite natural for a company that has focused so heavily on building a well-recognized and beloved brand, the recent experimentations with smaller, more convenient stores is an interesting one:

Starbucks Pick Up Store

What’s interesting is that Starbucks is experimenting with these smaller stores after having been outgrown by an aggressive Chinese competitor named Luckin.… Read the rest “Tidbits #5”

Tidbits #4

As previously mentioned, Nintendo is following in the footsteps of Disney and will be building theme park attractions. Bloomberg recently published more details on what that may look like ahead of Super Nintendo World opening at Universal Studio Japan:

Super Nintendo World is slated to open this summer in Osaka, featuring a Power Up Band wearable that lets visitors collect coins and battle bosses while exploring a physical environment.

Read the rest “Tidbits #4”

Tidbits #1

Going forward, I’m planning on publishing posts with assorted links of interest under the headline “Tidbits”. Makes it easier to create lightweight thoughts while I wait for bigger ideas to finish baking.

A couple of items that almost slipped by during the Alibaba Single’s Day hullaballoo…

About 24% of U.S. retailers say they plan to run promotions for Singles Day, Adobe said, after conducting a poll of 402 U.S.

Read the rest “Tidbits #1”