Weekly Readings – 16th March 2019

How the epic ‘Lord of the Rings’ deal explains Amazon’s slow-burning media strategy. Interesting insights into angles Amazon may be pursuing in their media strategy. I am curious to know the activities to which Amazon prefers users watching videos.

How Equifax neglected cybersecurity and suffered a devastating data breach. I encourage you to read or at least skim it. The data breach affected more than 140 million accounts. So, there is a high chance that you are one of the affected. As one of the three main Consumer Reporting Agencies, Equifax is important in our lives, yet it displayed a shocking lack of care about our sensitive data. According to the report, Equifax didn’t have proper documentation or policy in place. It had 8,000 vulnerabilities that were past the due dates for patching. It didn’t even track the expiration date of SSL certificates, something that is definitely not rocket-science. Upton notice of an Apache vulnerability, Equifax failed to respond in a timely manner. The other two CRAs did and as a result, avoided a similar fate.

Writing is thinking. I don’t think I need to elaborate more on this. I love writing and it’s one of the reasons why I have this blog.

The Clear Case for Capitalism. I am a fan of true capitalism. With emphasis on the word “true”. There I said it. The article lays out the benefits that we can gain and have gained from capitalism. I urge you to read the article before listening to politicians or anyone talk about capitalism.

Lyft IPO: Cautiously Optimistic Unit Economics Despite Significant Losses. I have a pessimistic view on the outlook of Lyft after reading their S-1. However, this is an interesting and positive take on the ride-sharing company’s unit economics.

Where Warren’s Wrong. A 4,900-word masterpiece by Ben on Senator Warren’s proposal to break up big techs.

Microsoft, Facebook, trust and privacy. I find it great for us to have folks like Ben Evans, who has a lot of years of experience in tech and business. His experience, reflection, connecting the past and the present, the writing and multi-dimensional view are always helpful and informative. I agree with him that even though the new change in vision may render it irrelevant the strategic issues Facebook is facing, the new vision asks as many questions as it answers.

Formula 1: The secret aerodynamicist reveals design concepts. Formula 1 isn’t a popular sport in America even though the country features one of the best tracks in the world and has one world champion back in 1980. Formula 1, as people usually say, is the pinnacle of motorsports. It has arguably the fastest cars, at least in corners, and the most advanced technologies. The post will reveal great information on the aerodynamics of the cars.

Don’t Read This If You’re Bullish About Lyft. The title is quite self-explanatory.

Weekly readings – 9th March 2019

Shared scooters don’t last long – a bear case for shared e-scooters. I rode Lime once in Austin. Coming from a country where the primary transportation means is scooters, I see it first-hand what a similar experience is like. Don’t get me wrong. The technology is impressive, but I wasn’t that excited. There is a lot to figure, not only from the economic perspective, but also from the logistics side. People throw scooters left and right on pavements. When the number of scooters explodes, what would happen then? On top of that, there have been quite a number of documented accidents so far from scooters. Finally, I am a fan of public transportation. I’d love to see America invest more in public transit than in shared scooters.

Civil rights under Trump – Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj. Important information on what is going on in the US and the Census going into 2020.

Warren Buffett’s FAQ. An impressive collection of WB’s perspectives in different areas

HQ2: Understanding What Happened & Why. I don’t really care that much about the whole situation because 1) different stakeholders (Amazon, citizens in the neighborhood, politicians who want to create jobs, politicians who dislike the potential impact on the neighborhood) have different interests. 2) Nobody could guarantee the outcome if the deal went through. Nonetheless, it’s a very good and informative piece, most of which I tend to agree with.

Its Not Capitalism, its Crony Capitalism. An interesting perspective that is elegantly explained. To me, greed is good, but too much greed is terrible. What people hate and talk about on the news is too much greed. Who wouldn’t want to make money out of their innovation or effort? On the other hand, if education and healthcare are too expensive to afford as they are in the US, why would it be a draconian thing to give some support to the citizens? Social benefits DONT equal to socialism. You also need a nationalization of the economy which the US doesn’t have.

How to Shoot on iPhone series. I am a big fan of short, simple and educational marketing videos. Love this series from Apple. If they can continue to release videos like these to help unlock the functionalities and usage of the hardware, chances are that users would love them even more.

This is actually a double. BestBuy and Target transformation. Retail is interesting as a space to watch. I don’t believe in the apocalypse of bricks-and-mortar stores as many predict. In fact, Target, as mentioned in the article, increased its footprint. I documented some retailers which increased footprint here as well. It’s a matter of responding to the changes in the business environment. If a retailer refuses to embrace technology or to change, the doom is imminent. But if you have a game plan to leverage technology to keep your competitive advantages, it’s not a “it’s Amazon’s to lose” situation. At least not yet.

Weekly readings – 2nd March 2019

I spend quite a lot of time on reading or at least as much time as I can possibly afford nowadays. Long posts, interesting news articles, books or tweets. Sometimes, I share with my friends interesting pieces and reciprocally get some in return. I benefit from the exercise a lot. Since I tend to catch up on the reading during the weekends thanks to the requirements of the new job, I decided to run an experiment in which I would collect interesting content I read during a week on every Saturday, if possible. The content may not need to be recent, but it’s interesting in some aspects, at least to me. Plus, the number of links will vary, depending on what I come across every week. Let’s see how it plays out. Here is the first one:

Lyft S-1

Status as a Service (StaaS)

The questions that matter

Rightscale 2019 State of the Cloud report

The value chain constraint

Privacy complaints received by tech giants’ favorite EU watchdog up to more than 2x since GDPR