Birth of the Frankenfirm

I think the Frankenfirms trend will not affect the Big Tech (FAMGA) that are already too big to have UE or US (perhaps only China can…) impose anything major that will cause a real dent in their market positions.

It’s easier to attack TikToks or impose things to companies like ARM in a M&A scenario, than to split Amazon or impose change to Google or Facebook.

We are going perhaps to see an economic cold war between China and US but these Big Tech are meta-state companies. It’s going to affect a lot more the rest of the pack… I believe.

Great article from The Economist:

Will TikTok survive?

The contortions at TikTok and Arm are an unfortunate sign of things to come

On august 6th, when the White House told TikTok that it had 45 days to shut down or find an American buyer, there was a risk that the Chinese-owned video app would disappear from America, infuriating its 100m users there and destroying billions of dollars of investors’ wealth. Now a last-minute fudge seems to have been found. TikTok has said it will enter a complex partnership with Oracle, an American tech giant, that is designed to show it is more under American sway. The day before Nvidia, an American semiconductor company, bid $40bn for Arm Holdings, a British-based chip-design firm, triggering a storm in Britain about how to stop its tech champion from being dragged into America’s trade war. Far from being oddities, the two episodes offer a preview of how the new age of nationalism will change the way multinational firms are run—for the worse.

Both companies straddle geopolitical divides and are at the heart of the digital economy (see article). TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese tech star. The White House says it fears that users’ data are being sent to China, where Big Brother can spy on them, and that the algorithm which selects videos is vulnerable to Chinese manipulation. Arm’s designs are used worldwide, not least in America and China, its two largest markets. Britain’s government worries that a takeover will see key activity shifted abroad (in 2016 Arm was bought by SoftBank, a Japanese firm, which promised to keep the firm’s base in Britain until 2021). A further concern is that, under American ownership, Arm will no longer be a “neutral” supplier, instead becoming an instrument of Uncle Sam’s expanding sanctions regime.

Throughout history companies have adapted to geopolitics. In the freewheeling era of globalisation that began in the 1980s, the idea took hold around the world that all firms should be treated equally, regardless of their nationality. That made it efficient to operate as a global firm with a unitary management, capital structure and system of production. By contrast the 1930s and 1940s were plagued by wars and protectionism. Businesses such as General Motors responded by allowing their foreign operations to become semi-autonomous. Rather than merge, many firms co-operated across borders through alliances and cartels.

The proposed TikTok deal shows how business is heading in a 1930s direction. Although the details are not yet public, the firm’s ownership will probably change, with American shareholders, including Oracle, and possibly Walmart, holding a large minority stake, perhaps with rights to veto some decisions. The location of key assets will shift, with the headquarters moving to America and Oracle managing the data-storage there (and monitoring the algorithm). Arm, meanwhile, has already contorted its structure once to deal with geopolitics: in 2018 it sold a 51% stake in its China operation to mainly Chinese investors, including state-backed funds. Now it may face a new metamorphosis. The British government, for example, may demand further legal guarantees that it is run autonomously in Britain. That would be part of a push to bolster the country’s industrial base, which has triggered a row with the European Union (see article).

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EV 100x sales – why not?

The company logo for Snowflake Inc. is displayed on a banner to celebrate the company’s IPO at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., September 16, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

 

Snowflakes in the sky

Snowflakes in the public eye

Valuations of the roof

Warren Buffet entering in the tech loop

Interesting stories of people becoming billionaires

Snowflake and their impressive IPO!

 

chained

In the last few years, multiple transformations in the service and product industries linked to information technologies have taken place – all at a frantic pace as the web 3.0 evolved, matured, and found its place in the market. However, when considering the one that has the potential to be the most disruptive, blockchain is definitely in the spotlight. Nevertheless, since its announcement, there’s been ups and downs and it hasn’t exactly lived up to the hype.

Many factors make the world question if blockchain will effectively be part of our daily lives. Yet, at the same time, there’s already enough proof that the technology is more than Bitcoin and it can actually have a positive impact across different sectors. But don’t let us preach to you about it, let us show you what’s coming next.


Way beyond Bitcoin…

The popularization of blockchain happened mainly due to the use case of digital assets, commonly known as cryptocurrencies. In the aftermath of the 2008 crisis, Bitcoin was created in a totally decentralized approach without requiring governance from any formal entity. In an almost utopian yet controversial way, it poses as a mechanism for transferring and saving “value” in a fully digital and distributed format. Nonetheless, there’s a myriad of other applications aiming at changing the world:

  • Insurtech has stepped up the game and is using blockchain to reduce fraudulent claims and ease a process that typically takes up a lot of time and energy (checking evidence and making reinsurance more efficient). Lemonade is the reference startup (which has become the best IPO in 2020), but several other startups are disrupting the space with P2P Insurance (such as Teambrella or, once again, Lemonade) and Claim Management & Risk Assessment (Tierion is improving claims processes while Cropt is supporting insurers with satellite data to confirm the actual damage presented by farmers, and machine learning algorithms to predict the yield of crops and the risk associated).
  • Supply chains have been drawing a lot of attention with blockchain solutions being deployed to keep track of the goods’ route and also optimize logistics. We don’t have to go far for this one. Both Auchan and Lidl Portugal announced they’ll be tracing the origins of all food with blockchain as a quality control measure to meet the growing demands of today’s consumers. As for some of the hottest startups, it’s worth highlighting:Everledger, Provenance and  TE-Food.
  • In the civic domain, a lot is going on. Startups like WalliD, which is turning to blockchain to privately store users’ ID documents in a digital wallet and design a global protocol for digital ID transactions, and Civic, which has the same principles but applies them to the management of digital currencies, are exclusively focused on identity. Plus, if we take a collective standpoint, there are many other compelling initiatives such as Follow My Vote, which is fighting to bring more transparency to polls and put an end to election fraud, or, speaking of transparent voting, TAIKAI, born in our MVP program as a blockchain-based platform for hackathons, which is fostering open innovation by connecting tech enthusiasts to companies that have challenges and are desperate to solve them.
  • Regarding security, decentralized storage platforms are picking up steam. Nowadays, data is seen by many as more valuable than money, so hackers are sort of modern pirates. To avoid being looted, or in other words, to prevent breaches and better safeguard data, decentralized storage platforms such as the ones that are being built by SIA, Storj or FileCoin (based on IPFS) look like a good option because, instead of having all files stored at the same place, they’re broken apart and scattered across multiple nodes on a network, making it impossible to read the entire content from one fraction.

Blockchain can be set up to operate for a variety of purposes, and its community is committed to expanding the technology’s level of influence. Judging by its success and increased use, I would say it seems that blockchain is poised to rule the digital world soon.

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learn how to sleep

Sleep is the most powerful learning tool!

Sleeping 7-8 hours per night has an enormous impact on your ability to learn. Cutting sleep, even for as little as one night, can have irreversible impacts on what you learn both before and after, in your fatigued state.

Pulling all-nighters should be banned from your life as a valid tool to cram information. The costs are simply too high.

Even if you’re not staying up for days on end trying to learn, few of us get the sleep we need to learn at our best.

What You’re Doing When Sleeping

Sleep is not a passive activity. Although it seems like you’re doing nothing but resting, the mind is highly active during your moments of slumber.

Sleep is broken into different discrete phases, mostly falling into two catagories of REM (rapid eye-movement, aka dreaming) and NREM (non-REM, which includes deep sleep).

While your head is on the pillow, your brain is engaging in very important work. This includes:

One of the first studies to demonstrate the importance of sleep to memory was the 1924 study by John Jenkins and Karl Dallenbach. In it, they compared rates of forgetting over the same time period when subjects were awake and asleep. The results are quite dramatic:

NREM sleep plays a particularly important role, with sleep researcher Matthew Walker explains:

“Indeed, if you were a participant in such a study [on sleep and memory], and the only information I had was the amount of deep NREM sleep you had obtained that night, I could predict with high accuracy how much you would remember in the upcoming memory test upon awakening, even before you took it.”

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