Month: January 2018

15 Minutes of Fame: The Intersection of User-Generated Video, Social Media and Mobile Devices

15 Minutes of Fame: The Intersection of User-Generated Video, Social Media and Mobile Devices

Everyone Wants Their 15 Minutes of Fame

It’s a primary reason why Instagram “Stories” are so popular. That and the feature’s ease-of-use. Instagram has created an engaging, almost frictionless user experience that enables anyone to vlog their life in a series of micro videos with a 24-hour shelf life – i.e “Stories”. Stories is the platform feature that single-handedly kneecapped Snap before its March 2017 IPO (we reviewed in our piece about CEO overreach). We covered the “Stories” topic in episodes 58 and 67 of our CEORater Podcast.

Snap recently countered by opening its Stories feature to platforms outside of snapchat whereas Instagram remains within Facebook’s walled garden. Were the two platforms equal, Snap’s counter move likely would have provided an advantage. However, the two platforms are not equal. Instagram continues to enjoy the ease-of-use advantage over snapchat (a powerful advantage) and Facebook’s walled garden is an expansive one with 2 billion-plus monthly active users (“MAUs”).

Mobile Devices that Best Leverage Social Media Platforms Will Win

The “Stories” feature matters not only for social media companies but also for mobile phone OEMs as consumers increasingly record and consume mobile video. Therefore, mobile phone camera features, in-phone storage (external storage devices add friction to the user experience) and battery life will increasingly matter.

Here’s a look at four mobile phones across attributes:

Mobile Phone Pic

Platform Cloud Vendors Also Win

Facebook stores Instagram videos. Google stores Snap’s content. Expect cloud service leader AWS (Netflix on AWS) to make its mark as companies that were built on top of AWS roll out video content (Amazon/Open Tube?)

Hollywood “Validation”

The mobile video phenomenon extends beyond user-generated content to professional content. For example, Steven Soderbergh’s forthcoming theatrical feature – “UNSANE” –  was recorded entirely on an iPhone.

We published CEORater Podcast episode 120 subsequent to posting this article.

 

What if Alphabet Were to Acquire Walmart in an Effort to Better Compete with Amazon?<span class="badge-status" style="background:red">Premium</span> 

What if Alphabet Were to Acquire Walmart in an Effort to Better Compete with Amazon?Premium 

It’s fun to speculate. What if Google parent company Alphabet were to acquire Walmart in an effort to better compete with Amazon? One of the advantages that Amazon has in an AI-driven world is a fully integrated retail experience. Amazon customers may speak buy orders into their Alexa-powered smart device – “re-order paper towels” -…

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Alphabet’s Chronicle Gets the Shine While AWS Is The Sleeping CyberSecurity Giant Nobody Talks About

Alphabet’s Chronicle Gets the Shine While AWS Is The Sleeping CyberSecurity Giant Nobody Talks About

Chronicle vs. AWS

One of Alphabet’s Moonshot projects was released into the world last week. The company is named Chronicle  – read more about it here. In short, Chronicle is a CyberSecurity company whose value proposition is to sell its machine learning-driven offering to large enterprises. We believe this could be a difficult sale for reasons articulated in our recent podcast episode.

Meanwhile, Amazon’s AWS unit is the company that’s best positioned to deliver a CyberSecurity offering to the market at scale. Why?  Many companies are built on top of AWS (start-ups like CEORater to Netflix) – thus AWS already has the installed customer base. The heavy lifting is done. Offering new turnkey services to the installed customer base is substantially easier than winning new customers.

Apple Is Well-Positioned to Lead A Consumer-Driven Healthcare Revolution<span class="badge-status" style="background:red">Premium</span> 

Apple Is Well-Positioned to Lead A Consumer-Driven Healthcare RevolutionPremium 

Welcome to Apple Health Apple recently announced that this spring it will release an update to its iOS for iPhones and iPads that will include a new “Health Records” feature that will provide access to personal medical records covering allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals. Given the ubiquity of the iPhone we…

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Two’s A Trend: “CEORater Technology Founder CEO Index” Wins Second Match

CEORater-Technology-Founder-Index-1.png

We wanted to see how the CEORater Technology Founder CEO Index would fare if we were to market cap weight the components (review component details here). Therefore we compared our CEORater Index to the S&P 500 Information Technology Index (Ticker: S5INFT). We compared total stock returns for each for the period January 3rd 2017 – January 22nd 2018:

  • The market cap weighted total stock return for the CEORater Technology Founder CEO Index over the measured period was 63.72%.
  • The market cap weighted total stock return for the S&P 500 Information Technology Index was 46.05% over the same period.

These two most recent TEK2day posts are just the beginning of our analysis in an effort to test our hypothesis that Technology companies led by founder CEOs will in the aggregate outperform peer group companies led by non-founders.

CEORater Technology Founder Index Outperformed S&P 500 Technology ETF

CEORater Technology Founder IndexWe examined the stock performance of Technology companies led by founder CEOs vs. a broader Technology index where the CEOs of the component companies are not necessarily company founders. The CEORater Technology Founder CEO Index is an extract from our CEORater database. You may view the component companies here.

We reviewed the period from January 3rd 2017 through January 22nd 2018:

We’ve Been Critical of Xerox Since 2012

We’ve Been Critical of Xerox Since 2012

We have been critical of Xerox’s (tkr: XRX) senior leadership since 2012 when I wrote a letter to former Xerox CEO Ursula Burns advocating a strategic M&A plan (read my letter here). We agree with Messrs. Icahn and Deason that XRX put itself up for sale. Listen to our recent CEORater Podcast on the subject: Ep. 114: We’ve Been On The Xerox Case Since 2012

Amazon HQ2 – A Masterclass in Marketing

Amazon HQ2 – A Masterclass in Marketing

Earlier this week Amazon released the 20 finalist cities in the Amazon HQ2 sweepstakes. By running a prolonged, public HQ location selection process, Amazon is in effect running (and benefitting from), the world’s largest free marketing campaign. We discuss in CEORater Podcast episode 112 (which is now available on Amazon Alexa-powered devices such as the Amazon Echo product family via TuneIn).

Corporate Governance & Communicating Your Long-Term Strategy

Corporate Governance & Communicating Your Long-Term Strategy

BlackRock (tkr: BLK) is going “activist” within the passive investment (i.e. index funds) side of their house. Regardless of whether or not you agree with the approach (we don’t entirely agree with the social activist element nor the activist approach to passive funds) there is great merit to the idea of holding public company management teams and Boards accountable from a strategic, tactical, operational and general Corporate Governance standpoint.

Additionally, both institutional investors and company management teams need to do a better job of engaging one another. BlackRock’s Corporate Governance effort should be a catalyst to kick start a more substantive and frequent dialogue between institutional investors and public company management teams. For that, we applaud BlackRock.

We share our perspective on this matter in CEORater Podcast episode 111:

Further, here is Larry Fink’s open letter to CEOs and Boards: Read Here.

BLK
View BlackRock CEO Larry Fink and other CEO profiles at CEORater.com