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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 karthiksuresh.me

Issue #10 - June 25, 2018

Note: This summer I am challenging myself to read 1 book everyday for the next 10 weeks. I would greatly appreciate any book recommendations on GoodReads. Thank you to those who have already recommended me some books!

NEWS:
Apple is planning on making high-end AirPods. Targeted around $159, these AirPods are water resistant, noise cancelling, and offer other health tracking info. It is important to note that the focus of these miscellaneous items (Airpods, Apple TV, Apple Watch, etc.) is whats driving Apple's value, not core products like a few years ago. This is whats helping them balance out dropping iPhone and Mac sales over the last few quarters; expect to see a huge push for the Apple HomePod in the next quarters as well.

Venmo is creating its own debit card. With ever-increasing competition from p2p apps and online banks that are drawing in millennials, Venmo is doing everything it can to stay relevant.

Reddit is launching a beta news tab.


E-commerce companies are now required to collect sales tax on online purchases. E-commerce companies weren't required to collect taxes previously unless they had an office or warehouse in that state. States will obviously benefit as they gain taxes that they missed out on (roughly $8-12 Billion) and small retail stores will also benefit as they don't have to compete with larger e-commerce stores in terms of taxes. 

Instagram launched IGTV. It is a longer video product inside the existing app and in a new stand-alone app.


Startups:
Trivia App Proveit is taking on quiz app HQ. Proveit is a quiz game that allows you to play against a random opponent and wager a few dollars. Its 10 question, multiple-choice style is a quick alternative to play trivia and win instead of waiting for millions of people on HQ for a fraction of the winnings. Definitely one of the more exciting (and in my opinion revolutionary) games on the market right now.

Ride/Bike Sharing companies Go-Jek and oBike have launched in Vietnam and Singapore respectively. Extremely interested to see how well these companies do in communities outside the US.

IRL, a social planning app, just released on the Android Play store. IRL (In Real Life) is a app that allows users to send "lightweight" invitations to a larger group of their friends and lets people opt in and decide what to do. In just a couple days, it already has over 10 thousand downloads.


Interesting Articles:
Network effects of the largest tech companies. Great article that summarizes the network effects and potential moats of Google, Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Microsoft, Amazon, and Uber. I really like the small graphs that explain the relation of each companies network effects and relational supplier dependence.  

John Oliver's segment on China's censorship causes HBO to be blocked in China. I think this just proves John Oliver's point...

LimeBike's scooter data. In roughly a couple months, LimeBike has crossed nearly a quarter-of-a-million rides in SF and demand is increasing.

Instagram has hit 1 Billion users.
     
     
 
Cool Image of the week:
 
Comparing Gas Prices and Oil production in the last 3 decades.

Credit: Chris Canipe/Axios
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