What I wrote last week
Apple had the first revenue decline since Q3 2019. Why I am not worried
‘iPhones are made in hell’: 3 months inside China’s iPhone city. As an Apple shareholder, I condone the working conditions at the company’s suppliers. With the bargaining power that Apple has, it can make a difference in this area, especially when the tech giant doesn’t seem to waste any opportunity to tout its efforts to improve everyone’s lives.
EV Startup Vinfast to Cut U.S. Jobs Amid Restructuring. VinFast delivered almost 1,000 cars to the US, only for them to be stopped there because of “software updates”. While cars haven’t hit the roads yet, VinFast is reportedly downsizing operations not only in Vietnam, but also in North America. I used to work for the conglomerate. I am not foreign to the way Vingroup does business and everything said in the article sounds awfully familiar
Elon Musk fires a top Twitter engineer over his declining view count. Firing employees on a whim, product management by tweets, low morale, lack of leadership. All the things that one can imagine of terrible management are on full display at Twitter owned by arguably one of the greatest business executives that we have seen. What power and wealth can do to a person.
Google employees criticize CEO Sundar Pichai for ‘rushed, botched’ announcement of GPT competitor Bard. The urge to launch an AI tool quickly is baffling to me. I mean, ChatGPT may be cool and offer some value, but it’s still not commercialized. What good does it go for Google to have a half-baked alternative out? Why didn’t they wait to have a working product? This is not a good look for Sundar and his leadership team. As a CEO, he made a mistake in hiring too many employees too quickly. Now, he botched this product launch. And there is a report out there that the company even got the layoff improperly. These make you wonder what kind of CEO Sundar is.
Disney CEO Bob Iger’s potential willingness to sell Hulu is a reversal in strategy. Given the important of bundles to Disney’s streaming business and the subsequent importance of Hulu to the bundles, I doubt that Disney will sell its stakes in Hulu. This interview is just Bob Iger trying to gain some bargaining power and changing the narrative. As much as I was not a fan of Bob Chapek, he is a smart guy (otherwise he wouldn’t be CEO of Disney) and if he and his team thought buying out Hulu was strategically sound, I don’t see how the rationale changed in only a few months between then and now.
Other stuff I find interesting
How New Ideas Arise. There are two takeaways from this article for me. The first is that ideas can come anytime from anywhere. How ideas come pretty much varies from one person to another. What works for one person may not work for others. Find what works for you. Second, the only commonality is that ideas are puzzles. The more pieces one has, the more likely one can put together the puzzles. Hence, your personal experience in life and what you read matter!
Visual design rules you can safely follow every time. Even when you are preparing for your term paper or a document to your boss, these tips can come in handy
A guide for Van Life in Japan. I found this post inspiring. As a long-time admirer of Japan, reading this blog makes me want to travel to and explore the country even more.
TikTok’s Secret ‘Heating’ Button Can Make Anyone Go Viral. “According to six current and former employees of TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, and internal documents and communications reviewed by Forbes. These sources reveal that in addition to letting the algorithm decide what goes viral, staff at TikTok and ByteDance also secretly hand-pick specific videos and supercharge their distribution, using a practice known internally as “heating.” “The heating feature refers to boosting videos into the For You feed through operation intervention to achieve a certain number of video views,” an internal TikTok document titled MINT Heating Playbook explains. “The total video views of heated videos accounts for a large portion of the daily total video views, around 1-2%, which can have a significant impact on overall core metrics.”
Fragrant fungi rewards Himalayan foragers. “For a few weeks each autumn, fine-dining kitchens across Japan are rich with the aroma of the matsutake mushroom. Japan consumes more than 500 tons of the delicacy in that short window, despite prices of up to 70,000 yen a kilogram. Ninety percent of the mushrooms are flown in, and foragers in exporting countries can earn a significant premium over their ordinary incomes. One Himalayan kingdom has been reaping the benefits. Matsutake grow wild at an altitude of 2,900 to 3,100 meters. Like that other prized fungus, the truffle, these mushrooms are hard to cultivate artificially. So foraging begins with a climb up the mountain path.”
Average price of a new car reached $47,362 in January 2023
Total credit card debt to a record $930.6 billion at the end of 2022
On average, Americans eat more than 9 pounds of Mexican avocados a year