A bit of follow-up from yesterday’s post on WeWork, and a broader discussion about the ongoing bubble talk and the squeeze on VC. Then a discussion on Uber’s losses and why no one should be surprised, and finally the end of Microsoft’s consumer business.
WeWork Worth $10 Billion, Three WeWork Comps
WeWork has shocked almost everyone by raising money at a $10 billion valuation, just months after raising at $5 billion. How on earth does this make sense? The answer might be found by making comparisons between WeWork and three seemingly unrelated companies. In the end, though, absent real numbers we can only look at the investors.
Summer Update, Slack Strong, The Dropbox Cautionary Tale
Slack has more numbers out, and while from a certain perspective the company still seems small, a step back reveals just how significant the opportunity is. Still, nothing is guaranteed, and Dropbox happens to offer a very useful cautionary tale.
Curation and Algorithms
More and more companies are announcing new products based on human curation, even as the most important content players — Google and Facebook — rely on algorithms. When does curation make sense, and when are algorithms better? And ultimately, who is responsible for both?
YouTube Gaming, Network Defensibility, The Applicability of Metcalfe’s Law
YouTube Gaming is taking on Twitch, which raises a number of interesting questions: is YouTube Gaming like Google+, and if not, why not? Will it succeed, or should Google have simply bought Twitch? Also, a fascinating paper about Metcalfe’s Law and when and where it applies.
Taylor Swift v Apple
Eddy Cue is dancing again, but this time it’s figuratively and the tune is provided by Taylor Swift. Seventeen hours after Swift decried Apple’s plan to not compensate artists for songs played during the Apple Music demo period Apple changed course. What can be learned, and what does this say about Apple Music — and about Taylor Swift?
Exponent Podcast: In Aggregate
On Exponent, the weekly podcast I host with James Allworth, we discuss Unicorns. Listen to it here.
Twitter Lightning, Twitter’s Communication Problem, Buzzfeed’s New News App
Word is out about Lightning, a new Twitter feature that lets people dip in and out of current events. It’s a great move. The question, though, is why talk about it now? The timing highlights a big communication problem. Also, BuzzFeed News’ new app, and the importance of notifications to its future monetization.
Unicorns Follow-up; Uber, Contractors, and Employees; Microsoft and the End of the Ballmer Era
This Daily Update follows up on my Unicorns article by pointing out how the behavior of most late-stage investors is totally rational. Then, a discussion about a recent decision by the California Labor Commission that one Uber driver is an employee, not a contractor, and a translation of Microsoft’s latest reorganization.
There are a lot of unicorns, but not all unicorns are created equally: even if some die the value of them in aggregate is significant.