This week’s links: 29/9/19

Joe Rosenfield – Grinnell College Endowment

The Valeant Meltdown

The Empire Reboots – Vanity Fair

A long piece on Satya Nadella’s assumption of the CEO position at Microsoft. Interesting to see how he’s diversified away from Office and Windows and turned around the business after some very questionable strategic investments in the 2000s. Since Nadella took over in 2014, the company’s share price has risen from ~$40/share to ~$140/share today, or about 23% a year.

Becoming a publicly traded person – HackerNoon

“I am James Gallagher, and I am your latest investment.” He’s offering “shares” of himself as a publicly traded entity, and shareholders get to weigh in on his decisions. I’m not sure what I’m missing, but I’ve got a few questions. Do shareholders get a stake in his future earnings potential? Is he going to issue dividends? How many outstanding shares are being traded? How much voting power is carried per share? To what purpose will the funds raised be applied?

Evernote’s business model struggles

As an avid Evernote user, it’s a real shame that the company was unable to really take off and monetize it’s user base. This article explores the challenges of the freemium model and how a semi-engaged user base stagnates a SaaS business. It’s worth questioning whether the fundamental product – a notes app that competes with native apps developed by Apple, Google and Microsoft as well as Bear and other consumer apps – is one that a large and stable set of customers are willing to shell out more than a few dollars a month for.

“The chief products of the tech industry are (in B2C) developing new habits among consumers and (in B2B) taking a business process which exists in many places and markedly decreasing the total cost of people required to implement it.” – Patrick McKenzie

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