Uncover Tech Insights - November 27-1
Weekly market stock moves
Former Airbnb competitor shares his views on the company and the industry
The biggest hurdle smaller Airbnb competitors have is getting enough supply of properties. They try to gain new supply with more favorable pricing terms.
In the expert's opinion, the most significant advantage of a platform like Airbnb is the trust factor. Supply may not want to risk listing on platforms they don’t trust, and Airbnb sets the standard.
The expert is concerned about business travel. He thinks it won’t return to pre-pandemic levels because many companies see it as an unnecessary cost.
AI will help the industry in many areas. The expert cites customer trip planning as one area as recommendations for more personalized trips get better, and the second area is customer service because AI can replace some of the human labor and make it more cost-effective for these companies.
Former Head at Meta's WhatsApp about WhatsApp and its potential
In countries like India, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico they did a test and asked users what is the number one app they install first, and with 95% confidence, it was always WhatsApp.
It’s beneficial for WhatsApp to have payments integrated even if it’s UPI from India, on which you have no take rate. The reason is that with that data, your ads are more effective.
WhatsApp used for customer service is a growing trend. When the expert worked there (until last year), there were also some banks approaching WhatsApp to do customer service via WA.
The expert thinks WhatsApp in the next few years could alone be a +$15B revenue business.
Most impactful news of the week
Intel is facing a significant challenge for market share that could determine its future. The iconic "Intel Inside" sticker, present on PCs since 1991, may see changes as Intel competes with other manufacturers, including Qualcomm, Nvidia, AMD, and others like Amlogic and MediaTek. The outcome of these market battles in 2024 and beyond will shape the PC industry, and Intel's ability to maintain a dominant position is uncertain, making it a pivotal time for the company.
Meta Platforms Inc., formerly Facebook, is adopting an open-source approach to its AI technology, sharing open-source versions of its large language models, including those behind AI chatbots like ChatGPT. The company believes that by providing open access to these models, developers can build on top of them, leading to the creation of new products and services. Meta's open-source strategy is in contrast to some of its peers, and the company aims to leverage the collaborative nature of the AI community to advance technology and innovation.
Amazon has enlisted SpaceX, the space company founded by Elon Musk, to conduct three rocket launches for its satellite-internet division, Project Kuiper. This marks the first time Amazon has collaborated with SpaceX for its satellite venture. Previously, Amazon had chosen Blue Origin, Arianespace, and United Launch Alliance for the majority of the launches, utilizing new rockets that faced delays. The move to include SpaceX in the project reflects the collaboration between two tech giants, with Jeff Bezos' Amazon and Elon Musk's SpaceX playing key roles in the rapidly evolving space industry.
OpenAI's new board officially took control on Wednesday, introducing an observer role for partner Microsoft. The transition marks a significant development for the artificial intelligence (AI) startup, following the abrupt firing of CEO Sam Altman by the previous board. The new board, comprising Altman, Bret Taylor, and Mira Murati, has set priorities that include establishing an independent committee to review the events surrounding Altman's removal. The board is also focused on reassuring employees, customers, and investors about OpenAI's future. The changes signify a new phase for the company and come with the challenges of making crucial decisions.
Shein, the Chinese e-commerce giant, has been working on diversifying its growth sources to compete with Amazon. The company's plan involves offering faster shipping and expanding its merchandise range. While Shein has seen progress in newer markets like Brazil, it faces challenges in the U.S. and Europe, where it has the most significant sales presence.
Elon Musk responded to advertisers pulling their ads from his social-media platform, X, by saying, "Go f— yourself." X, formerly known as Twitter, has experienced the departure of several large advertisers after Musk's controversial post describing an antisemitic message as "the actual truth." The post sparked criticism, with accusations that Musk promotes antisemitic views. Musk expressed defiance during an interview at the New York Times's DealBook Summit, stating that if advertisers attempt to blackmail him with advertising, they should "go f— yourself." He also predicted that the advertising boycott would lead to the demise of the company.
Huawei Technologies Co. is playing a crucial role in China's semiconductor industry, extending beyond its known activities. In addition to being a major customer and leading chip designer, Huawei is providing engineering expertise and financial support to smaller companies in strategic areas of the chip supply chain. This involvement often occurs without public disclosure to avoid triggering US restrictions. Huawei's significant role in China's chip ecosystem positions it as a key player in the global semiconductor landscape, impacting the world economy for years to come.
The Tesla Cybertruck has been delivered to its first customers during an event at the company's headquarters in Austin, Texas. Elon Musk predicted that the Cybertruck would bring about a more exciting future. Tesla also provided updated details about the pricing, range, and features for the truck, with changes from the originally announced numbers. The rear-wheel-drive version of the electric truck will start at $60,990 and have 250 miles of range on a full charge, with availability expected in 2025.
The third-generation Amazon Echo Frames are now available for pre-order, featuring a $75 discount. The new Frames focus on a lighter, more balanced design with stylish and colorful options, marking an improvement from previous versions. The Echo Frames incorporate the Alexa voice assistant without the visual augmented reality features found in other smart glasses.
Generative artificial intelligence (generative AI) was a major focus, with Amazon Web Services (AWS) CEO Adam Selipsky and AWS Vice President of Data and AI Swami Sivasubramanian announcing a range of innovations to help customers move from simply testing the technology to using it to deliver real business gains. They presented new type of generative AI assistant called Amazon Q, next-generation AWS-designed chips, powerful new capabilities for Amazon Bedrock, expanded choice of models in Amazon Bedrock, 5 new Amazon SageMaker capabilities, AWS serverless innovations and more.
Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, plans to launch its microblogging service, Threads, in Europe in December. This expansion into Europe marks a significant move for Threads, which initially debuted in July and has now decided to enter its largest market since its introduction. The launch in the European Union has been delayed due to the region's stringent regulations for online services. In compliance with these regulations, Meta will offer EU users the option to use Threads for consumption without creating a profile to make their own posts.
Alibaba's attempt to persuade investors to take a stake in its cloud unit before spinning it off as a separate company at a $40 billion valuation failed as investors were cautious about the cloud business's slow growth and financial losses. One international investment firm was reportedly only willing to offer a valuation of less than $25 billion for the unit. This contributed to Alibaba's decision to cancel the spin-off plan for its cloud business.
OpenAI has decided to delay the launch of its GPT Store, an online platform for users to interact with customized chatbots, to early 2024 instead of the initially planned late 2023 launch. The delay is attributed to the recent disruption caused by the ousting and subsequent reinstatement of OpenAI's CEO, Sam Altman. OpenAI aims to provide a platform where users can access and interact with various versions of its ChatGPT chatbot, known as GPTs, which users can customize for different applications. The company intends to take the necessary time to address unexpected challenges and ensure a smooth rollout of the GPT Store.
During the AWS re:Invent conference, Amazon showcased its commitment to generative artificial intelligence (AI) and announced its own chatbot called Q. The move is seen as a response to the perception that Amazon has been trailing behind Microsoft in the field of generative AI. To strengthen its position, Amazon announced an expanded collaboration with Nvidia, with AWS being the first cloud provider to launch services with Nvidia's new GH200 NVL32 "superchips," scheduled to ship next year. This collaboration emphasizes Amazon's effort to enhance its AI capabilities and compete in the rapidly evolving AI landscape.
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Source: the expert interviews are found on Alphasense, a platform specialized for expert interviews and other investment data.
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