Tidbits #30

Hello, hello! 👋🏻 👋🏻 Thanks for reading. A little longer than usual, but I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it. If you can’t get through all of it, please at least check out #20! It’s awesome. I guarantee it. 🗺 Geopolitics #1 Twitter Locks Out Chinese Embassy in … Continue reading Tidbits #30

Competing Against the Past, Competing Against the Future

Three years ago, Capital Flywheels wrote a post titled “Why Amazon is so Hard to Compete Against“. Specifically, I argued that Amazon’s greatest advantage is not the commonly cited ones of scale or cash flow or brilliant management… (those things make it even harder to compete against Amazon)… …but rather Amazon’s greatest advantage is that … Continue reading Competing Against the Past, Competing Against the Future

Payments and Loyalty

In my recent post, “The Coming Ecosystem War Over Your Wallet and Payments“, I argued that payments is increasingly becoming central to tech ecosystem strategies because of data: The desire for proprietary data (and the desire to keep proprietary data, proprietary) is driving further cracks into the open internet. Today, we live in multiple internet … Continue reading Payments and Loyalty

Paper Portfolio – December Update

During November, the paper portfolio outperformed the S&P500 by 0.92%. This number, however, masks the underlying strength of the portfolio since ~40% of the value is still allocated to cash. The stock-only portion of the portfolio outperformed the S&P500 by 3.89% with significant strength across almost all holdings except for Uber, Match, and Activision Blizzard. … Continue reading Paper Portfolio – December Update

Open Sesame

According to Wikipedia, Ali Baba opens the mouth of a treasure cave using the magical phrase “open sesame” in the story of “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”. In similar ways, our Alibaba has been making incredible progress in opening a multitude of modern treasure caves… Caves such as… Single’s Day. Just a few days … Continue reading Open Sesame

“Arming the rebels of the commerce industry”

Shopify announced quarterly results yesterday and raised guidance. Although the market appeared to be more short-sighted and reacted poorly largely because the results were “good but not good enough”, the company continues to execute well on its long term vision. Along with results, the company released a new report highlighting the impact of their business, … Continue reading “Arming the rebels of the commerce industry”

The Future of Ecommerce: Utilitarian vs Social

When people think about ecommerce today, they likely think about ecommerce along the lines of C2C (consumer-to-consumer), B2C (business-to-consumer), or B2B (business-to-business) – in other words, classification by type of buyers and sellers. Or perhaps people think about 1P (1st party) vs 3P (3rd party), depending on whether the ecommerce platform itself engages in the … Continue reading The Future of Ecommerce: Utilitarian vs Social

The Other Supply Chain Gorilla That May One Day Challenge Amazon

As detailed in my recent post, Amazon has built up quite a formidable competitive advantage through Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). Not just on the demand side, which every happy Prime subscriber is already familiar with, but also on the supply side. In that post I concluded the following: Fulfillment is clearly beneficial on the demand … Continue reading The Other Supply Chain Gorilla That May One Day Challenge Amazon

The Importance of Focusing on Business Models

“Investment is most intelligent when it is most businesslike.” – Benjamin Graham “I am a better investor because I am a businessman and a better businessman because I am an investor.” – Warren Buffett Most investors define themselves along a couple of axes: Technical vs fundamental, value vs growth, long vs (and/or) short, contrarian vs momentum, … Continue reading The Importance of Focusing on Business Models