Lyft’s share price rear ends Uber’s IPO
Uber’s greatly anticipated IPO is rumored to seek a valuation of $100 billion, a figure that analysts consider extremely unrealistic, especially given that Lyft’s share price is already off 20% from its March 28th opening of $72. Uber is growing at a lower pace than Lyft and will likely be perceived as a less attractive investment. Forbes
dis-rup-shun: Uber lost $3 billion in 2018 and is counting on new revenues from more ride sharing, food delivery, and freight delivery — but if you have spoken to your Uber driver lately, you know they are not very happy with the company, as it continues to squeeze drivers to fatten its take rate. Forbes’ reasons for trouble ahead: there are no barriers to switching ride share providers — it is easy to switch to competitors; revenue growth in 2018 was half of 2017; the firm has been rebuffed in Russia, China and Southeast Asia; and the company will have to pay drivers a bigger share to build up market share — additionally stressing earnings.
Solving the Netflix problem
The problem: struggling to decide what to watch on Netflix, especially when negotiating with another watcher. TechCrunch has proposed three solutions: 1. Create channels for content, like cartoons, action films, sports movies; 2. Package together 2 or 3 shorts into a 45 minute thematic bundle; 3. Feature a “daily pick” that is an anticipated surprise for everyone to discuss the next day at the office. TechCrunch
dis-rup-shun: It seems to me that the proposed solutions to the Netflix problem are a lot like traditional, or cable TV, where you can select a channel based on your mood or interests or if much of the fun of a new show (like the current episode of GOT) is the anticipation and the impromptu discussions the next day. Perhaps online streaming will start looking even more like traditional pay TV, but without commercials.
Samsung delays the Fold for fine tuning
Samsung’s foldable phone has completely sold out pre-orders, but the company is delaying its April 26th launch due to some reported problems. The flaws may be the tendency of users to peel the outside membrane of the devices, thinking it is a protective shipping film, or may be that a member of the press received a phone that has subsequently quit. Gizmodo
dis-rup-shun: Samsung cannot afford another publicity disaster now that we have almost forgotten the flaming Galaxy Note 7. Even more, Samsung has gone way out on a market limb, bringing to market a folding phone priced at nearly $2,000. There is an important novelty value coveted by big spenders who need to be the first in their circle to unfold this big device in front of an audience — but after the Early Adopter novelty wears off, is this the shape of phones to come?
Sprint and AT&T settle suit over “5G E”
After AT&T advertised its “5G E” service, Sprint sued, stating that AT&T was misleading consumers to believe that their 4G LTE service was actually 5G. The lawsuit has now been settled. ZDNet
dis-rup-shun: Perhaps Sprint sued because AT&T’s marketing department is far more clever than Sprint’s, as, in the consumer’s mind, bigger numbers are better and AT&T did not actually say they had 5G. This is yet another reminder that the beauty of our legal system is that it keeps clever marketing departments from crossing the thin line, and protects consumers from harm.