Weekly reading – 14th January 2023

What I wrote last week

Nike & Netflix partner

Business

The British are coming: Fleet Street’s ‘digital landgrab’ on US news sector. A fascinating piece on UK news outlets finding opportunity in the US. It’s all about finding more eyeballs and the huge ads market that the US has to offer. According to the article, UK newspapers either choose to be tabloidy or position themselves as a place where readers can get news neutrally. It’ll be interesting to watch the competition between the likes of TMZ and the tabloids from the UK pan out. In terms of being neutral news outlets, I have serious doubts over how one can stay neutral for a long time. Then, what’s the differentiation? What can British newspapers have to compete with the American incumbents?

The rise and fall of 15-minute delivery startups, an oral history. These 15-minute delivery startups never had a chance to succeed in my opinion. The unit economics is unfeasible. The cost of completing last-mile delivery is always high. So is the cost of subsidizing user activities or delivery drivers in the beginning. Throw competition, an unfavorable environment and low level of stickiness in the mix and you have a perfect recipe for a business that is destined to fail.

David Zaslav’s Rocky Ride as Hollywood’s Newest Czar. As CEO of a media giant like Warner Bros Discovery, David Zaslav is always going to get negative pieces like this one. And let’s face it: he may very well fail to overcome the current challenges. Investors put a premium on profitability AND growth. One is no longer enough. But to achieve both requires a lot of time, investments and execution; a luxury that the CEO doesn’t have because of the mountain of debt on the books. The combined entity is so big and complex that even to get two different organizations and cultures to gel is a monumental task. The changes that Zaslav made may not come to fruition, but being decisive is probably the only way any executive can succeed in this case.

OK, 2022 was a disaster for Tesla. What next?Now, some of you may have views about the sustainability of Tesla’s regulatory export credits, the value of their energy business, the prospects for an insurance business, the likelihood of reaching Level 4 or even Level 5 autonomous driving technology (and before anyone else does), or even the Teslabot. Some of these may be worth something, or all of them may be worth nothing. This certainly adds a wild card to the valuation of Tesla. But the main driver will probably remain the automotive business.”

How much Netflix can the world absorb? A long profile on Bela Bajaria, Netflix’s Global Head of Television. I wonder if this piece is supposed to support the executive in a time when the “be everything at everywhere” strategy at Netflix seems to run into trouble.

Other stuff I find interesting

Robberies at bank branches and ATMs in Denmark in 2022 dropped to zero due to the move to a cashless society.

India is learning to love electric vehicles — but they’re not cars. A quick look at EV vehicles in India. Similar to the US, India needs to overhaul the infrastructure, subsidizes EV purchases and needs to find a way to lower the manufacturing costs. The difference between the two countries? US favors electric cards while India is all about electric two-wheelers

Here’s how many EV chargers the US has – and how many it needs. The US currently has about 163,000 charging ports. To meet the demand of EV vehicles expected to be on the road by 2030, there must be A LOT more charging ports installed across the country.

Stats

Cash made up 59% of POS transactions and 42% of POS volume in EU in 2022

New York City welcomed more than 56 million visitors in 2022

The number of Mastodon active users dropped to 1.8 million in early January 2023, down from 2.5 million in early December 2022

Black founders raised just 1% of all VC funds in 2022

Dutch people are the most physically active in the world. They spend on average almost 13 hours a week exercising

Consumers spent $167 billion on mobile apps in 2022

Developers earned $60 billion from the App Store in 2022. Apple Fitness+ now has more than 3,500 workout and meditation sessions

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