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From What I've Read This Week...

Weekly Newsletter of what I've read and thought was interesting. I am a Venture Partner at Contrary Capital. Read more at

Issue #17 - Aug 20, 2018

Amazon is looking to acquire Landmark theatres. This would put them in the brick-and-mortar world for movie theatres similar to the acquisition of Whole Foods. Amazon already has a TV/film studio and a music service and Landmark could be the key to a broader entertainment distribution.

Bird and Lime shut down their e-scooters in Santa Monica. They have temporarily deactivated their scooters in Santa Monica in protest of the city's move to limit the number of companies that can operate in the city. Many cities have started to place temporary bans (see last week's news of NYC ban) to evaluate the impact of the e-scooters. While this should worry investors, interestingly enough e-scooters are still getting ridiculously high valuations.

Amazon's Twitch is trying to take on YouTube. While at the moment this is a David v. Goliath scenario, Amazon is trying to poach influential YouTubers (read: multi-million contracts) and increase Twitch's reach as not just a gaming platform, but something more than that.

Trump tweeted about doing away with quarterly earnings reports and I agree for the most part. He tweeted that regulators should look into scaling back how often companies should report financial results. In tech, short-term thinking, or "short-termism", is usually only done to lift quarterly earnings and can discourage companies from investing in tech, personnel, and research. Many times, these quarterly reports are just added pressure for a company to meet arbitrary goals or "beat" financial predictions and companies that are forced to focus on the short-term goals often skip investing in R&D for future large-scale investments. The only argument against long-term (or biannual) reports is that companies would have not have to disclose as much information, which would limit the info available to investors. I believe that reducing the number of earnings reports would be an overall benefit to tech companies and would reduce the overall volatility of the tech industry as, "anything from trade talks to the weather", can affect a company's quarter. It's going to be interesting to see how the SEC handles this.

Interesting Reads:
WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum is resting and vesting.

Apple might be launching AR glasses in the coming years. While AR glasses are cool and all, they need to make interesting applications in conjunction with the standalone glasses. If they are able to integrate Apple Maps or some sort of gaming feature, this can can work, otherwise this will just be a Google Glass replica.

Using AI to make pizza.

Y Combinator is launching in China.

Andreessen Horowitz is raising a $15M 'Culture Fund'. They are working with exclusively black celebrities as investors like Will Smith and Kevin Durant in an effort to improve the tech industry's diversity problem.

DoorDash just raised another $250M, bringing its valuation at $4B.
Japan now has more electric car charge points than gas stations.
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From what I've read this week... · 110 8th St · Troy, NY 12180 · USA

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