Read — 2018-10-03

by shwolff

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Amazon sets $15 minimum wage for U.S. employees, including temps“, by Bill Chappell, Laurel Wamsley (National Public Radio, 2018-10-02). Props to Bezos and Amazon for taking care of its workers and its shareholders. Though AMZN is down in the days since this news, I believe it will be long-term beneficial for the company. It will be November-1-term beneficial for its workers.

    We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead.
    –Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon

  2. In praise of mediocrity“, by Tim Wu (NY Times, 2018-09-29). Wu’s encouragement, that we don’t have to be great at our hobbies, may seem at variance with how we conduct ourselves in other facets of life. What I would argue is that we should feel no expectation to be immediately great at our hobbies. (Disclaimer: If you use social media, you may very well feel such expectation.) If we enjoy it, keep at it, and focus on the enjoyment and improvement, not on how far you are from someone else. Odds are, if we keep at it, and have positive motivation, soon enough we’ll become fairly good. Maybe even great. Whatever that means.
  3. The first ‘social network’ of brains lets three people transmit thoughts to each other’s heads“, by Emerging Technology (MIT Technology Review, 2018-09-29).
  4. Uber Eats and the $6 billion bookings run rate: The AI success story no one is talking about“, by VB Staff (Venture Beat, 2018-10-02). The role of AI — and data sharing among Uber’s various ventures — in building business.
  5. America’s missing labor party“, by David Sessions (The New Republic, 2018-10-03). The article’s author uses Erik Loomis’s new book, “A history of America in ten strikes”, to briefly discuss the history of the U.S. labor movement.

    For most of American history, politicians and courts have given employers nearly unrestricted control over the terms of work, and they have offered the resources of the state—above all, the military and police—to enforce those terms.

    This next quote evokes sentiments expressed during recent teacher strikes in the U.S.:

    American labor militancy has always been about more than pay, with workers seeking respect and fairness in the workplace.

Selected articles on investing:

  1. Stitch Fix shares tank after sales miss, but analysts remain bullish“, by Tonya Garcia & Ciara Linnane (Market Watch, 2018-10-02).
  2. Eventbrite: What’s the upside from the IPO price?“, by David Krejca (Seeking Alpha, 2018-10-02). Note that the author owns shares of Eventbrite (EB). The analysis in this article seems limited to a digest of Eventbrite’s Form S-1 and a simple revenue-growth model that assumes constant 50% growth (EB’s year-over-year growth rate from 2016 to 2017) for the next three years.
  3. Is Eventbrite a buy?“, by Brian Feroldi (The Motley Fool, 2018-09-26). This article appears to focus on heuristics and thought experiment. (E.g., “Does it seem like content creators are sticking with the platform? Yes, it seems like they might be.”) While the article concludes that Eventbrite does not carry risk of excess customer concentration (“No single customer accounted for more than 10% of revenue or accounts receivable in the last three years”), it’s worth noting that 5% of content creators account for 46% of Eventbrite’s revenue (see here). (These 5% of content creators also happen to be non-self-referred, i.e. Eventbrite pays for advertising to attract.) I would contend the risk associated with excess customer concentration indeed exists for Eventbrite.
  4. Tesla wavers amid report James Murdoch floated to replace Elon Musk as chairman“, by Martin Baccardax (The Street, 2018-10-03).
  5. The 5 biggest investing mistakes I’ve ever made“, by Brian Feroldi (The Motley Fool, 2018-09-23). Reviewing your past performance to improve your future performance is a good exercise.