Tidbits #39

Hello, hello!

Here’s what I found interesting recently.

Thanks for reading.

🗺 Geopolitics

#1 Peter Thiel- “I do wonder whether at this point Bitcoin should also be thought in part of as a Chinese financial weapon against the U.S.”

Peter Thiel: Well, you know, I think there’s sort of a lot of different things that fall under digital currency, presumably one that’s electronic form that China envisions is one that can be monitored even more granularly the way they’re being monitored currently.

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Tidbits #33 – “I am not a cat”

Hello, hello. 👋🏻👋🏻

I usually start off each Tidbits with some overarching theme relative to what’s going on in the world in order to make sense of it all or themes that I believe people should spend more time thinking about…

But nothing I say can better encapsulate the disruptive (but rejuvenating?) chaos that is bubbling underneath all of society at the moment than Keith Gill’s (a.k.a.… Read the rest “Tidbits #33 – “I am not a cat””

Tidbits #32 – The World Continues to Spin

Hi, friends. 👋🏻👋🏻

Hope you’re all enjoying the long weekend. If you have a significant other, hopefully you were able to do / enjoy something nice together for Valentine’s Day. For all my Asian readers, happy lunar new year! And for all my American readers, happy President’s Day!

As always, thanks for sharing a little bit of your time to hear what I have to say.… Read the rest “Tidbits #32 – The World Continues to Spin”

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 U.S. Over Post on Uighurs

Twitter Inc.

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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 competitors never actually compete against Amazon at all but instead compete against Amazon’s past.Read the rest “Competing Against the Past, Competing Against the Future”

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”

World’s Two Most Interesting Companies Today…or the Intersection of Computation, Energy, and Human History

Open any (literally any) history book and you will find that historians (and people) believe the course of human history has been defined by an endless list of critical factors, events, and circumstances that ultimately defined the outcome.

This is true for very long arcs as well as very short arcs.

For example, this is true for long arcs like the thousands of years that make up Judeo-Christian history (or civilization history of the Far East).… Read the rest “World’s Two Most Interesting Companies Today…or the Intersection of Computation, Energy, and Human History”

Hardware, Software, and Platforms

The recent Wework debacle seems to have opened up a bit of soul-searching within tech companies and among investors. Cynics are largely looking for ways to say, “I told you so,” with the main conclusion being we have somehow gone full circle back to the cash-burning bubble experienced back in 2000.

While reflection and soul-searching is indeed needed, I think the cynics’ conclusions will likely prove to be the wrong ones when we reflect on this period in the future.… Read the rest “Hardware, Software, and Platforms”

Apple’s Diversified and Robust Business Model

About 2.5 years ago, I wrote a post discussing how Apple’s business model (monetization through hardware) better positions them for our coming AI-future relative to Google’s (monetization through advertising). I argued that despite Google’s leadership in AI, their ad-driven business model could potentially be damaged in an AI-centric world, limiting the (business) degrees of freedom for them to push AI adoption.… Read the rest “Apple’s Diversified and Robust Business Model”

Apple Card’s Strategic Value

Apple Card launched earlier this week to wide interest and seems to be generating more consumer buzz than I would have guessed from the reward structure (which looks average). But I’m glad the company has launched such a product because it gives me an opportunity to write about Apple, a company that holds a special place in my heart not least because I have been an Apple product user for almost 3 decades.… Read the rest “Apple Card’s Strategic Value”

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 direct buying and selling of goods.… Read the rest “The Future of Ecommerce: Utilitarian vs Social”

What Apple, Google, and Facebook’s Business Models Tell Us About Their Ability to Adapt to the Coming AI-Future


Judging from market multiples, it’s clear the market is skeptical of Apple’s ability to continue to succeed and has been for many years (currently, 1-yr forward P/E of ~15x despite recent re-rating), while holding limited concern for Google and Facebook (both 1-yr forward at ~26x).

This concern is understandable given the ever-changing tech environment and the long list of tech companies that have been buried over time (e.g.… Read the rest “What Apple, Google, and Facebook’s Business Models Tell Us About Their Ability to Adapt to the Coming AI-Future”

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, large cap vs small cap, etc. … Read the rest “The Importance of Focusing on Business Models”