H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (22 February 2019) – Webjet shares soar as hotel business shines; for the first time, its booking arm WebBeds generated more than half of its earning + Charlie Munger on cheerfulness

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (22 February 2019) – Webjet shares soar as hotel business shines; for the first time, its booking arm WebBeds generated more than half of its earning + Charlie Munger on cheerfulness


  • Tencent Music Trades Song Copyrights for Stake in Douban FM; Internet giant hopes to revive foundering rival known for obscure and hard-to-find folk music. (ST)
  • Meituan denies claims it has plans to ditch Dianping under investor pressure (KRA)
  • Baidu’s video site iQiyi adds 37M subscribers in 2018 amid mounting losses (TC)
  • China’s Powerful Surveillance State Has Created at Least Four Billionaires; Tiandy’s Dai Lin is China’s latest surveillance billionaire (Bloomberg)
  • Lenovo’s reboot could run low on battery (Reuters)
  • Kogan earnings and profits fall despite record Christmas trading (AFR)
  • Afterpay share plunge probe explores ‘Chinese whispers’ (AFR)
  • Citadel grows ECM cloud userbase (IDM)
  • UK growth sees Iress profits grow (FTA)
  • Webjet shares soar as hotel business shines; for the first time, its booking arm WebBeds generated more than half of its earnings. WebBeds is the second largest business-to-business provider of hotel beds in the world. (SMH)
  • Info Edge invests in Wishbook Infoservices; Wishbook develops an application that allows catalogue distribution from manufacturers down to retailers and salespersons, who can show these catalogues and take orders (SI); Zomato Gold to bring in $20-25M in revenue by the end of 2019 (ET)

BATTSS – Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, TSMC, Samsung, Softbank

  • Baidu Reports 50% Quarterly Profit Drop but Revenue Beats Projections (WSJ); Baidu’s Acting Like a Startup, But Not in a Good Way; Spending outpacing revenue signals a desperate attempt to keep momentum going at an old company. (Bloomberg); Baidu under pressure to maintain pace of growth amid macro challenges and tough advertising market; Baidu beats estimates but its transformation into AI champion – along with heavy investments needed – will be tough amid slowing economy (SCMP)
  • Alibaba hits the gas on mobility as its bike-sharing service adds carpooling (TC)
  • SoftBank’s Vision Fund Leads $1 Billion Funding Round for Shipping Broker Flexport; Company arranges shipments using technology that mirrors travel-booking websites Expedia and Priceline (WSJ)
  • Samsung’s $2,000 Bid to Be the King of Cool; The South Korean company is aiming to give Apple a taste of its own medicine. (Bloomberg)

FAANNMG – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Nvidia, Netflix, Microsoft, Google

  • Apple, Goldman Sachs Team Up on Credit Card Paired With iPhone; Both companies are seeking new revenue sources as their bread-and-butter businesses struggle (WSJ)
  • Apple Snaps Up Two Startups In Rapid Succession (CB)
  • Stevey’s Google Platforms RantSteve Yegge’s Google Platforms Rant (PG)
  • YouTube’s Latest Quandary Deepens as AT&T Joins Ad Pause (Bloomberg)
  • Google’s new cloud boss has big task to catch rivals, Reuters data show (Reuters)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • China is driving Asia’s AI age – with some exceptions; China is leading the way with AI in Asia but more must be done to educate and re-engineer the work force to ensure successful adoption (SCMP)
  • Japan seeks more unicorns by easing rules on unlisted shares; New startup market proposed as country trails US and China (Nikkei)
  • Uber is reportedly close to making a tactical exit from India’s food delivery industry (TC)
  • Indian education unicorn Byju’s aims to ace global test; Tutoring app makes ‘accidental entrepreneur’ an investor darling (Nikkei)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Uber Eats to cut fees in battle with Deliveroo and Just Eat; UK and Ireland charges reduced while restaurants with own couriers allowed to use app (FT)
  • Afterpay rival Zip narrows losses, says regulation will be ‘business as usual’ (AFR)
  • Airbnb, Automattic, And Pinterest Top Rank Of Most Acquisitive Unicorns (CB)
  • Pinterest confidentially files for IPO: WSJ (Reuters)
  • DoorDash Shrugs Off Tipping Controversy, Raises $400 Million (Bloomberg)
  • Stamps.com Plunges 50% as It Ends Crucial Partnership With Post Office (Bloomberg)
  • Business of Renting Kitchen Space Heats Up in China; Travis Kalanick’s CloudKitchens is reportedly eyeing China (Bloomberg)
  • Hearing Without Listening to the Sound of Tesla; The electric-car maker sends conflicting signals that should raise doubts about its lofty stock price. (Bloomberg)


  • The Weekly Email. One of my favorite moves that I have seen founders do in the early stages of their company (think pre-seed, seed, and possibly into the Srs A stages), is the weekly email. This can take a number of forms; a weekly email to the team, a weekly email to the investors, a weekly email to everyone, even a weekly email to yourself! It matters a bit who the audience is for the weekly email because it determines what the founder can put into the email. But I am not sure it matters that much who the audience is. What matters more is a weekly cadence of what is on the founders mind, what happened in the last week, and what the objectives are for the coming week. Early stage startups are hyper-changing environments. The founder needs to keep everyone aligned and on-board as he or she weaves and bobs around product market fit, the positioning of the company, the composition of the team, and a lot more. The weekly email does a good job of accomplishing that. But more than anything, writing the weekly email is a tool for the founder to collect themselves, get grounded for the week ahead, and articulate what they and the company are doing and why. I like Sunday evening for the timing of the weekly email best. It sets up the week to come. But any time over the weekend, or even monday morning, works fine. If you are starting something new and want a routine that can help you get into a rhythm and stay there, consider the weekly email. It’s a great one. (AVC)
  • Charles Duhigg on job as a source of purpose and meaning, a place in the world. (NYT)
  • Charlie Munger on cheerfulness (VIW)
  • Damodaran: Profitability and Value Creation! (Damodaran)
  • The Dalai Lama on Why Leaders Should Be Mindful, Selfless, and Compassionate (HBR)
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