Tag: Innovation

Fiserv & First Data: Acquire in the Absence of Innovation

Fiserv & First Data: Acquire in the Absence of Innovation

Today’s announcement that Fiserv plans to acquire First Data in a $22 billion all stock deal continues the string of payments-related deals. More importantly it stresses what many know – that the incumbent payment companies are not innovation factories. Acquire in the absence of innovation – although I believe all companies should have an active M&A engine that is operated as a line of business.

Fiserv, First Data, Fidelity Info Services, Jack Henry, Bottomline Technologies and others are getting squeezed from below by innovative fintech upstarts such as Square, Stripe and Venmo (PayPal) while getting clobbered from above by Amazon, Apple, Google and Samsung and their respective payment operations.

The venture capital community ought to think extra hard about how their payments portfolio companies are going to differentiate in the fluid payments landscape.

Private equity needs to take a hard look at the incumbents to determine whether they have the chops to be relevant otherwise deal exits will be difficult. In other words, with the payments incumbents you run the risk of catching a falling knife. Thus, it makes sense for incumbent vendors to prop each other up in the meantime. Strategic-to-strategic deals ought to be the norm for the foreseeable future.

Smart Innovation: Innovation as a LOB or “Innovation as a Service”<span class="badge-status" style="background:red">Premium</span> 

Smart Innovation: Innovation as a LOB or “Innovation as a Service”Premium 

Successful product innovation is a bit like capturing lightning in a bottle. It is no different from creating a hit movie or a hit song. Despite its ethereal nature innovation can be run as a line of business. Make no mistake – innovation is a volume game – at bats matter. Below are six principles…

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Disruption – It’s the Punch You Don’t See that Hurts<span class="badge-status" style="background:red">Premium</span> 

Disruption – It’s the Punch You Don’t See that HurtsPremium 

Disruption Rarely Announces Its Arrival Ask Curtis Stevens – the gentleman who was knocked on his posterior by Gennady Golovkin in our header image – if he saw the punches coming.  Ask former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer if back in the early 2000’s he knew SaaS/cloud-based service delivery models would dominate the software landscape.  Ask…

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Apple – From Innovator To Fast Follower<span class="badge-status" style="background:red">Premium</span> 

Apple – From Innovator To Fast FollowerPremium 

Apple no longer innovates. Look no further than its cash cow iPhone. Prior to the iPhone’s initial launch in January 2007, Motorola, Blackberry and Nokia ruled the mobile phone universe. Today, rather than driving innovation, rather than striving to leapfrog the competition, Apple is content to play a feature/functionality cat and mouse game with Samsung,…

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Meet Luminar Technologies – the LiDAR Company Powering Toyota’s Autonomous Vehicle Program<span class="badge-status" style="background:red">Premium</span> 

Meet Luminar Technologies – the LiDAR Company Powering Toyota’s Autonomous Vehicle ProgramPremium 

What Is A LiDAR System? Light Detection And Ranging (“LiDAR”) sensors are detection and survey systems to estimate the proximity of a target object. LiDAR sensor systems consist of four primary elements: 1.) Lasers 2.) Scanners 3.) Photodetector receivers  4.) GPS navigation systems. LiDAR systems enable autonomous vehicles (or robots), to observe the world with: a.) Continuous 360…

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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.

Automobiles as a Service (AaaS); Uber Completes Tender Offer

Automobiles as a Service (AaaS); Uber Completes Tender Offer

Cadillac‘s “BookbyCadillac” premium automobile subscription service (we refer to as AaaS), sits comfortably between the traditional car ownership model and the pure rideshare model (Uber, Lyft, Waymo). Priced at $1,500/month (plus $500 initiation fee), we don’t believe that Cadillac’s bundled subscription service is a good value – flexibility and convenience come at a price. Listen to CEORater Podcast Ep. 102 to learn more.

In other news, Uber completed its tender offer to an investor group led by SoftBank. Listen to CEORater Podcast Ep. 103 to learn more.

The Wall Street Journal published Uber’s financials.

Uber Financials