What I wrote last week
Make Something Wonderful – Steve Jobs In His Own Words
($) The Unexpected Reason Apple Is Dominating the U.S. Smartphone Market. It’s very hard to pinpoint one reason why Apple dominates. It’s a list of factors. But I like the fact that the article mentioned how Apple worked to retain customers within its walled garden. Support old phones, retain customers, milk service revenue and incentivize customers to upgrade with new capabilities. The company understands that once a customer leaves the ecosystem, they may need to wait 1-2 years before they can get that customer back. It’d be lost revenue.
Tim Cook on shaping the future of Apple. One of the best profiles that I have read on Tim Cook. Folks are so obsessed with Steve Jobs (rightfully so) that they don’t realize how important and great Tim Cook is to Apple. As a shareholder myself, I am not ready for the day when this man decides to retire. It will be a big blow to the company and shareholders. Not only because of his world-class management skills, but also because of the person he is and the values he brings.
($) The World’s Richest Person Auditions His Five Children to Run LVMH, the Luxury Empire. An interesting read on succession plan and parenting in business. It makes sense that Bernard Arnault gives his children assignments at some companies in his empire and closely watches how they are doing. After all, if they can’t run a child company, how would they run an entire empire? I also find it inspiring how Bernard strives to be rational and still wants to learn at an old age. According to the article, he once pulled out a mathematics textbook on a plane to refresh his memory. He also said this about the education that he received from Polytechnique: “It is above all a program that gives you a rational mindset, which allows you to analyze a situation or a problem very quickly”.
Ford F-150 Lightning fire footage highlights a growing EV risk. Even though this is a freak incident, there is no denying that the authorities and manufacturers must address the safety issues while pushing the adoption of EVs.
($) When Apple Comes Calling, ‘It’s the Kiss of Death’. I understand that business is cut-throat. Any company has to find a way to beat the competition to avoid being eaten. It sounds unfair that Apple uses its limitless resources to lure talents to their home turf. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like the sound of that either, but from a legal perspective, how can it be ruled illegal? Should there be a law that prohibits big companies from recruiting from smaller ones? It doesn’t seem feasible or sensible to me either. I; however, do think that lawmakers should look into whether Apple abuses its position as the platform owner to access others’ technologies to gain unfair advantage or even violate copyrights.
($) Will Apple take a big bite out of the banks? “A former Apple executive says the company’s cost of acquiring new customers for Apple Card was “laughably lower than every other credit card company” because it had so many distribution channels. Apple also has another, longer-term advantage of iPhone user data — which could potentially be used to assess credit risk more comprehensively than a traditional Fico score.” The report confirmed some of the things that I long suspected. The marketing appeal of Apple and the distribution channels at their disposal make their cost per account competitive. In addition, even though online credit card applications are riskier than pre-approved direct mail ones with data from the bureaus, Apple has an advantage that they can leverage first-party data to battle fraud and lower risks. Much as I like to conjecture stuff about business, I don’t know if I believe Apple will bypass banks and the networks.
Other stuff I find interesting
How Tokyo Became an Anti-Car Paradise. Tokyo puts down a lot of deterrents to discourage citizens to own cars. Need to own a parking lot approved by the local police to buy a car? Checked! An expensive inspection every two years that gets more expensive over time? Checked! Have no street parking or make it super pricey? Checked! Make the streets unfriendly to cars? Checked as well! Just a fascinating look at a fascinating city.
Purdue University goes all-in on Apple Wallet student IDs, will no longer issue physical cards. Apple is low-key and patiently making the Wallet app an indispensable element of their products. Consumers can use the apps to hold their driver license, state ID, student ID, many kinds of passes and tickets and cards. Soon, the Wallet app will replace physical wallets with more convenience and infinitely more capacity.
Why Does a Plastic-Wrapped Turkey Sandwich Cost $15 at the Airport? It’s infuriating that an agency charged with controlling prices at airports and bound by laws to be transparent does neither of those things. Great job by Hell Gate to raise this issue and doggedly hold the Port Authority accountable.
($) Just 2 Minutes of Walking After a Meal Is Surprisingly Good for You. “All seven studies showed that just a few minutes of light-intensity walking after a meal were enough to significantly improve blood sugar levels compared to, say, sitting at a desk or plopping down on the couch. When participants went for a short walk, their blood sugar levels rose and fell more gradually. Although light walking at any time is good for your health, a short walk within 60 to 90 minutes of eating a meal can be especially useful in minimizing blood sugar spikes, as that is when blood sugar levels tend to peak.“
26% of alcohol buyers purchase beer, wine and spirits
Alcohol saw 6.3% increase in prices due to inflation, half of the inflation in food & beverages in total
Better-for-you beverage (low ABV) totalled around $8.3 billion in sales in the US in 2022