Notes week 24 - 2017

With Travis Kalanick taking a leave of absence and the resignation of Emil Michael, Uber is now run by a committee of middle management and the board. How can this go wrong?

M&A

In wake of Amazon/Whole Foods deal, Instacart has a challenging opportunity

I would never expected Amazon to buy Wholefoods. Wholefoods' mission and inventory are nothing like Amazon's. It's no secret that Amazon wants to move into the grocery business. One reason I can think of is that Wholefoods has a functioning logistics network and knowhow to distribute fresh food - eg. cold storage. That's something Amazon does not have and must be to particular interest to them. Also perhaps because of the different missions but with overlapping logistical needs, Amazon and Wholefood's will not clash on the marketplace but can benefit from a shared logistical infrastructure.

Verizon Seals $4.5 Billion Yahoo Purchase as Mayer Heads Out

This sale is an end to an era and an end to a slow demise of an icon of the internet industry. Verizon is collecting old internet icons.

Blockchain

$150 Million: Tim Draper-Backed Bancor Completes Largest-Ever ICO

Due to issues with Ethereum contracts this ICO went on longer than it supposed to. Bancor is an interesting concept. Their token shares are pegged to existing reserve currencies based on a defined ratio. Pricing bots on the Bancor network automatically adjust the price of the token shares based on the value of the reserve currency underlying it. Token shares on the Bancor network can be created by anyone and the idea is to create the "long tail" of cryptocurrencies. Good examples are loyalto programs.

More in depth description

AI/ML

Tim Cook Says Apple Focused on Autonomous Systems in Cars Push

Apple is working on autonomous vehicle software. We all knew that but now Tim Cook confirmed it in an interview. Tim Cook calls it "the mother of all AI and it's the most complex.". He emphasized it's more about autonomy (at this point) than the car for Apple.

Hardware

THE SECRET ORIGIN STORY OF THE IPHONE

What stood out to me that many groups at Apple were researching on projects were not really geared towards a real end product. Andy Grignon even calls it "spinning their wheels". But many of those research projects ended up being essential building blocks on the iPhone.