January 04, 2017
Thanks for subscribing to the first newsletter of Twenty/Twenty.
I started this newsletter for a few reasons, one of which being my related to my dissertation. But another is technology companies displacing jobs. Mark Zuckerberg announced his 2017 goal which is to visit people across all 50 states of the U.S, and he articulated why he’s doing this really well:
“…it seems we are at a turning point in history. For decades, technology and globalization have made us more productive and connected. This has created many benefits, but for a lot of people it has also made life more challenging. This has contributed to a greater sense of division than I have felt in my lifetime. We need to find a way to change the game so it works for everyone.”
This week starts off with some data points/summarisations from 2016 and then digs into a few AI applications. Thanks again!
During 2016 technology companies held all top five spots for the world’s most valuable public companies. Google, Facebook & Amazon showed strong growth in mobile, Apple experienced slowing growth, Twitter and Yahoo revenue growth fell, and legacy tech companies had layoffs in the thousands.
With Amazon announcing it’s first brick-and-mortar stores with Amazon Go, Amazon is at the front line of displacing jobs with innovative technology similar to that found in self-driving cars. Cashier employs approximately 3.3 million people in the U.S (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Note that the charts includes Amazon’s other businesses such as Amazon Web Services (which has had a lot of commentary this year) and Twitch, the live streaming site that was acquired for $1 billion back in 2014 that could be a $20 billion company this year. Part of the reason why it’s hard to value Amazon is because it is experiencing such strong growth across many different vertical businesses.
Amazon also started peer-to-peer selling in Bangalore, India. Not quite sure what this means for eBay, Facebook also recently moved into peer-to-peer selling when it announced Marketplace back in October. A product space to watch.
YouTube’s spot at #3 gives a lot of clarity on why video is a big priority for Facebook right now.
Although I’m taking the ranking with a pinch of salt, the lack of WhatsApp and Snapchat is interesting, and I’m left wondering on how Nielsen collected its data.
Nice to see Instagram in the top 10, it wasn’t so long ago that the acquisition for $1 billion was mocked.
Great summarisation of the forces that combined to make Deep Learning the most interesting development in technology that’s made its way into consumer apps over the last two years.
Uber is poised to monopolise the trucking industry. It will combine its acquisition of Otto, the self driving truck company, with its extremely well scaled global operations offices.
There’s fun competition here, Uber is competing with other technology companies on developing self-driving car tech but will bump into Amazon along the way of trying to monopolise logistics.
Here’s two articles, one from a large hedge-fund and one from a Japanese life insurance firm that shows a willingness to continue to invest AI in an effort to reduce the costs of employees.
Thanks for reading! If you have any comments, questions or feedback please get in contact. Have a nice Thursday.
I'm Henry Moulton, a software design and development freelancer living in London, UK.
My portfolio will be online soon.