Another Beach edition - some of the things I am reading and top news, but light on Views. Normal service resumes next week.
Lots more financial results;
Lots of smart thinking on Amazon around at the moment;
This is a long read on What is Amazon;
So, what is Amazon? It started as an unbound Walmart, an algorithm for running an unbound search for global optima in the world of physical products. It became a platform for adapting that algorithm to any opportunity for customer-centric value creation that it encountered. If it devises a way to keep its incentive structures intact as it exposes itself through its ever-expanding external interfaces, it – or its various split-off subsidiaries – will dominate the economy for a generation. And if not, it’ll be just another company that seemed unstoppable until it wasn’t.
Good NYT piece on Amazon aspirations in Grocery. Given how the UK leads the world in online grocery I think we will see more action over here and an acquisition seems inevitable - but will it be Sainsburys or Morrisons? ( I don’t think Walmart would sell Asda to Amazon)
It feels like some big changes are imminent in Social. The Information did a piece on an internal Facebook project that warned of a Tipping Point and how Instagram and WhatsApp were driving all the growth. A UK study showed what we hear from many places; the young are dismissive of Facebook. And with both Snap and Twitter showing significant growth we have to ask where that time comes from?
But the fallout from The Great Hack does seem likely to be a tipping point. Mainstream journalists understand how data and phones are political tools and US politicians want to eliminate autoplay and endless scrolling so the ‘weather’ for Facebook is deteriorating. And with news that Boris is testing Facebook ads in the UK the focus on data, politics and Facebook isn’t going away.
I think Facebook should stop taking political ads. There is no upside - other than the revenue. And could Brand safety fears have an effect on revenue? When people (foolishly) avoid News sites to avoid Brand Safety issues do they want their ad in the News feed next to a political one?
Another Benedict Evans piece, this time on Netflix and software. He makes the good point that while we may look at newTV and DTC through a tech lens, the key issues for these businesses are not really Tech issues. Tech is a tool.
But many of the issues are relevant when we look through the advertising lens. Acquiring and retaining customers revolves around ad issues and the business model of advertising remains hugely important.
Finally ….In case you missed this last week; some personal news as I close out my time with TMK and go back to being independent after the summer. I am keen to talk and plot with potential collaborators, partners and clients so do get in touch if you think we could help each other in any way. More to follow as I develop my plans.
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