Month: October 2017

Uber Killer? Waymo & Autonomous Ride-Hailing

Uber Killer? Waymo & Autonomous Ride-Hailing

 

It would seem to us that Alphabet (tkr: GOOG) has a greater probability of bringing a functioning autonomous ride-hailing service to market at scale via its Waymo unit more quickly than Uber or Lyft given the strength of Alphabet’s balance sheet. We cover Uber – although primarily from a corporate governance standpoint – in multiple episodes of the CEORater Podcast, which you may access via Apple Podcasts and SoundCloud amongst other platforms. Here’s Ep. 62:

 

How to Fix IBM: M&A and More M&A

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NEW YORK––IBM has created a computer, called Watson, that will play against the b

Recently we posited that IBM could easily fix its habitually declining revenue woes with a systematic acquisition strategy focused on Information Services companies. The benefit to IBM in targeting the Information Services sector goes beyond the obvious immediate-term revenue relief and operating margin accretion.

The key strategic benefit is that the Info Services companies are rich with data and information that could serve as grist for the mill with respect to IBM’s advanced analytics initiative – Watson.

Here is the Information Services M&A shopping list which we previously published some weeks ago: Info Services M&A Shopping List

Further, here is our recent podcast covering the subject: Ep.6: How to Fix IBM: M&A and More M&A

Finally – our podcast show notes presentation may be found here: Show Notes Preso

The Three “I”s for Selecting Board Members

The Three “I”s for Selecting Board Members:
1.) Intellectual Curiosity
2.) Industry Experience
3.) Inquisitive

ibm-booth

IBM lacks Board members that have Software industry experience other than CEO Ginni Rometty. We recommend that IBM turn over its Board and replace BoD members with new members who have significant Software industry experience given that Software – particularly a strategic M&A plan focused on Software/SaaS/AI/ML/Info Services acquisitions – is likely what will lead IBM out of its malaise. If IBM does not address its BoD and Executive shortcomings proactively it is probable that an Activist investor will make changes for IBM – with or without the latter’s consent. Click HERE for our CEORater Podcast episode concerning the 3 “I”s.

Movement & The Entrepreneur: A Conversation with Greg Walls of PE28

sc-hlth-0506-exercise-for-the-brain-20150430

Often the best advice one could give an entrepreneur is to “just do it“. “It” could be an idea/project/NewCo or it could be a discreet task. As entrepreneurs our business is our baby. As such, we want perfection. Perfection – while a noble aspiration – is not practical. Entrepreneurs must take action with imperfect information and limited data points – particularly if that which we are creating is paradigm-shifting. People won’t “get it” initially. Thus, it’s critical to get “it” out there. Let people use it, poke it, try to break it, have fun with it. The entrepreneur and team may then collect feedback, refine “it” and repeat the cycle (i.e. the feedback Loop) continuously. In my experience I’ve found that when I’m physically moving (left foot, right foot, walk, jog, run) I’m most creative. Ideas for new opportunities, creative solutions and everything in between rush through my temporal lobe like San Francisco 49ers fans rushing for the exits. Below is a link to a recent CEORater Podcast that took place this summer with fellow entrepreneur Greg Walls of PE28. Enjoy: CEORater Podcast Ep. 21 Movement & The Entrepreneur

The Auto Sector is as Fluid as Any. Who Will Dominate in an Autonomous, AI-Driven World?

WSJ article: Toyota’s Talking Car Wants to Be Your Clingy BFF

Toyota.jpg

Embedded voice-based intelligence/AI within the automobile – one more reason for Apple, Amazon, Google/Alphabet and Microsoft to insert/expand their footprint within the auto sector. Vehicles are feature-rich and lend themselves well to voice-based commands/ AIs. Each of Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft could readily (and in some cases do) open their respective AI platforms to auto OEMs for the purpose of embedding AI technology within the vehicle. The more strategic question however is whether “success” in this space necessitates that AAPL, AMZN, GOOG and MSFT own automobile operations. Google (via Waymo) and Apple are pushing forward. Will Amazon and Microsoft seek to “own” manufacturing in an effort to increase learnings in the auto sector? Other than autonomous vehicles, what will be the practical global reality 25-50 years forward regarding automobile ownership? Will today’s 20-somethings largely be ridesharers in 2050, or, will they own modular vehicles that may be customized like a mobile phone? The latter scenario would likely prove to be profitable for the automotive aftermarket sector to a degree it has yet to enjoy. Regardless of the practical reality AI will be deeply embedded in vehicles.