What I wrote last week
Book review: Twelve years of turbulence
Google execs tell employees in testy all-hands meeting that Bard A.I. isn’t just about search. Leadership is about providing vision and belief. If you are paid to think of big pictures, instead of doing the dirty work every day, wouldn’t it be disappointing to provide ambiguity and inconsistent answers to a high-profile product like Bard? I get that it’s difficult to know what to do with an experiment like Bard. But a rushed announcement, followed by ambiguity and a botched demo, erodes trust in the leadership of Google.
Buffett ❤️ Apple: Case Study. I often see folks go out of their ways to be contrarian and find whatever reasons they can to justify buying other stocks than Apple. But as Buffett said: you get paid to be right, why wouldn’t anyone consider Apple as an investment? I am not saying that it’s THE best investment choice out there as any given time. I am saying that Apple and the boring index fund are a lot better than many stocks out there.
($) How Chili’s Is Prepping for Tough Times, Starting With the Fries. The article offered a couple of good examples on what CEOs can do to increase productivity and save costs. Chili’s CEO considered the practice of counting shrimps a time-waster. By ending that practice, the company estimated cost savings at $6 million a year. The changes made at Chili’s restaurants aren’t popular with everybody, proven by comments cited in the article. However, the stock price rebounded handsomely this year and same-store sales increased despite declining traffic. At least there is that.
Amazon’s big dreams for Alexa fall short. Alexa is an interesting innovation in that it enabled the birth of many smart devices; which offers value to consumers (I am one of those), while lacking a way to monetize its value. Amazon has not been able to prove that Alex is additive to sales on its platform and I am not surprised. How many shoppers call Alexa when they want to discover something? If it’s a routine purchase, there is already Subscribe and Save. I don’t believe that Amazon staff lacks the effort to prove Alexa’s worth. I do believe that they couldn’t find it because there likely isn’t any
Business Breakdowns on Wise. A really interesting Business Breakdowns episode on Wise. Wise is my go-to platform whenever I want to send money back home to Vietnam. There are two factors that affect the net amount that my family receives: exchange rates and platform fees. Accounting for these factors, Wise usually beats other alternatives such as Xoom or Western Union. Hence, it’s really fascinating to learn about Wise’s origin, how it works in general and what competitive advantages the company enjoys
Other stuff I find interesting
($) The Surprising Ways Walking Delivers a High-Intensity Workout. “Walking with more intensity can burn as many calories as higher-impact activities such as running or even HIIT classes, experts say. That could mean incorporating weights, hills, intervals or a faster pace without breaking into a jog. Taking an 11-minute brisk walk daily will also lower your risk of stroke, heart disease and a number of cancers, according to a study from the University of Cambridge published in February.”
This website collects many dark patterns on the Web
The tech workers exiled from Europe’s last dictatorship. It’s always disturbing to learn about a dictator suppressing citizens’ wishes. It’s equally sad that some good folks have their lives turned upside down and must live away from their family & friends, just because they have the courage to do something.
In Scramble for Clean Energy, Europe Is Turning to North Africa. “Solar panels in sun-rich North Africa generate up to three times more energy than in Europe. And North Africa has a lot more room for them than densely populated Europe. Result: Europe’s drive to end its reliance on Russian natural gas supplies, triggered by the Ukraine conflict, is resulting in a rush to install giant solar energy farms and lay underwater cables to tap into North Africa’s abundant renewable energy.“
A lack of water leaves Vietnam’s coffee farmers high and dry. Another example of unsustainable growth.
Uber CEO revealed at Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference that New York makes up 2% of its global delivery bookings
2.1 million people visited Kentucky Bourbon Trail in 2022
U.S. solar and storage manufacturing jobs expected to grow to 115,000 by 2030