What I wrote last week
Macy’s, Gap and Other Clothing Stores Are Stuck With the Wrong Items. An interesting report on how retailers got forecasting and inventory badly wrong. Macy’s, Walmart, Gap, Kohl’s, just to name a few, have a lot of inventory that they can’t sell at the moment or at least can’t sell fast enough. Remember that the executives at such companies are experienced and paid handsomely to nail down forecast. The fact that their calculations are so far off shows how unpredictable consumer behavior changes in this environment
Grocery’s Greatest Stories. Progressive Grocer has an interesting multi-part series on the history of grocers in the U.S, ranging from the start of Albersons or Walmart to the acquisition of Whole Foods by Amazon.
Axon Ditches Plans for Weaponized Taser Drones as Majority of Ethics Board Resigns. It’s a dangerous, revenue-driven and badly-conceived idea to develop drones to address mass-shootings. What are they trying to achieve with this kind of products? Who would fly these drones and could those drones even navigate through schools’ hallways? If a shooter knows about the drones, comes to a school, shoots people and leaves quickly before anyone could even fire up those expensive toys, what good would it be? More importantly, what if these drones fell into the wrong hands? I am happy that folks on Axon’s Ethics Board stood up for what they believed in and resigned in protest. As a shareholder of Axon, I am disappointed.
Charlie Munger: Full Transcript of Daily Journal’s 2022 Annual Meeting. It’s mind-blowing that Charlie Munger can be this clear in his thinking at 98. I am such a strong admirer of him.
Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto explains five-year journey back to top end of F1. It’s down to the people and the “no blame” culture, not the machinery. This issue is about the painful recovery of Ferrari. As the most famous and successful team in F1, Ferrari has disappointingly failed to win a title since 2008. 2020 was the worst year on record. The car was as slow as a tractor. However, Ferrari has bounced back amid the largest rule changes in the last few years. The Prancing Horse won the most poles this year, bagged two wins and are the two top teams of the paddock along with Red Bull.
How Two Africans Overcame Bias To Build A Startup Worth Billions. A sneak peek into the fintech startup scene in Africa. Much as I admire the two men on the cover, I was abhorred by the fact that a VC firm wanted a discount because Chipper Cash is from Africa.
Engineer Who Fled Charges of Stealing Chip Technology in US Now Thrives in China. Semiconductor is so important that whatever country “owns” it will have outsized influence in the world. China wants global domination and definitely doesn’t want to be beholden to any country for chips. Yet, semiconductor is the one area that it still lags behind other advanced nations. Hence, it resorts to theft of intellectual property to close the gap. It deserves every condemnation there is.
Behind Apple’s Megadeal for Brad Pitt Formula One Racing Film From Joseph Kosinski. “The key to the deal is a theatrical distribution component. But instead of a token release in a small number of theaters or a day-and-date opening, the movie would have an exclusive — and global — run of at least 30 days (one source says it could even go as high as 60 days) before heading to the Apple TV+ platform. In another first, insiders say the theatrical component is structured in a way that would see Apple and the filmmakers split the take from the big-screen release 50-50. The unique deal, in essence, pays the creative team three ways: their upfront fees, their hefty buyout fees and the theatrical backend.”
Other stuff I find interesting
Cao Bang – a green pearl in northeastern mountains. Imposing, magnificent and beautiful Cao Bang in Vietnam
How to buy a chicken sandwich in Shenzhen. Fascinating read on the livestream e-commerce space in China. Total Addressable Market is estimated at $100 billion. In 2021, there were 461 million people who shopped on livestream in China.
The New LaGuardia Is Haunted by the Mistakes of its Past. An interesting read on the redesign of LaGuardia airport. I was there a few months ago and I had to say that I was surprised to see the modernity of the airport. I still held onto this notion that LaGuardia was this old place in a decaying condition. Landing in the new Terminal B from Omaha was an eye-opener. Hence, it’s great to read the context on why the airport went through such a transformation
Adult Children of Work-Visa Recipients Forced to Return to Parents’ Countries. It’s just terribly sad to read that children of Dreamers have to voluntarily leave the US because they cannot get a valid status. It is NOT their fault at all. The only thing that is wrong for them is to spend most of their lives in a country with a broken immigration system. Look at the biggest companies in the US and in the world. From which country are their CEOs? India! Then, how come do we need to make them wait for years and years to get a Green Card? It’s insanely infuriating.
The epic story behind the Ferrari and Lamborghini rivalry. A great story and reminder that you should not piss off your customers