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Tesla Shows How Traditional Business Metrics Are Outdated (Eddie Yoon)

A great article using Tesla as an example of how in the digitalization age traditional business metrics get outdated. How do we compare new concepts, businesses, ecosystems to related traditional counterparts? Here’s some very useful food for thought:

“Elon Musk is having a moment. Tesla just delivered its first Model 3, the affordable model that he envisioned in his “secret” strategy some 11 years ago. He wanted to build a sports car, then build a more affordable car with zero emissions. He’s basically already there. The Model 3 has mostly rave reviews and a multiyear waiting list, which is quite a feat, even for an industry leader like Musk.

And yet confusion still abounds regarding Tesla. There are roughly the same number of buy, hold, and sell ratings on the company, which means Wall Street has no idea what’s going on. Tesla’s recent announcement to raise $1.5 billion in debt was largely met with a yawn by stockholders, as shares moved down a slight 0.5%. Tesla’s ability to surprise has analysts wondering if it is wise to ever bet against Elon Musk…”

Read the article on HBR: Tesla Shows How Traditional Business Metrics Are Outdated

Great Comparison of Amazon’s Alexa approach vs. Microsoft, Google, Facebook: Amazon’s Operating System (Ben Thompson)

It was apparent on day one that the Echo was a much more compelling product than the Fire Phone:

  • The physical device (the Echo) was simply a conduit for Alexa, Amazon’s new personal assistant. And critically, Alexa was a cloud service, the development of which Amazon is uniquely suited to in terms of culture, organizational structure, and experience.
  • The Echo created its own market: a voice-based personal assistant in the home. Crucially, the home was the one place in the entire world where smartphones were not necessarily the most convenient device, or touch the easiest input method: more often than not your smartphone is charging, and talking to a device doesn’t carry the social baggage it might elsewhere…

Source: Alexa: Amazon’s Operating System – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

7 Blockchain Startups To Watch Out For (James Ovenden)

With blockchain still in its infancy, the race for domination is still a long way from being resolved. Evidence is there, however, that it is kicking off in a big way. Venture Capital firms pumped a record amount of investment into Bitcoin and blockchain-related startups last year at nearly $1 billion, and we have seen signs that major IT corporations, particularly IBM, and Microsoft, are making a long-term commitment to the support of blockchain development.

Microsoft, for one, has recently teamed up with Bank of America Merrill Lynch to try and make trade finance transactions faster, cheaper, safer, and more transparent using a blockchain-based framework. They also recently launched Project Bletchley, the Ethereum-based consortium blockchain technology they announced in June…

Source: 7 Blockchain Startups To Watch Out For | Articles | Big Data | Innovation Enterprise

Very worthwhile Read: The rise of APIs (Matt Murphy)

It’s been almost five years since we heard that “software is eating the world.” The number of SaaS applications has exploded and there is a rising wave of software innovation in the area of APIs that provide critical connective tissue and increasingly important functionality. There has been a proliferation of third-party API companies, which is fundamentally changing the dynamics of how software is created and brought to market.

The application programming interface (API) has been a key part of software development for decades as a way to develop for a specific platform, such as Microsoft Windows. More recently, newer platform providers, from Salesforce to Facebook and Google, have offered APIs that help the developer and have, in effect, created a developer dependency on these platforms…

Source: The rise of APIs | TechCrunch

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