el producto #120 👉 a weekly round-up of Tech and Product goodness

Q1 earnings, Airbnb shows, Slack’s IPO and new features, Galaxy Fold delays, Tesla’s platform advantage, Managing uncertainty, Distributed design,…


Welcome to another week full of fresh ideas and innovation at el producto.

🎰 The week in figures

+$1B - potential valuation of plant-based meat substitute company Beyond Meat after upcoming IPO; plans to raise ~$200M with the float of 8.75M shares; the top-of-range $21 per share would value the company at $1B-plus.

500M - DAUs Facebook Stories has across its main platform and Messenger; WhatsApp’s Status also has 500M DAUs; Instagram reached the same metric in the last quarter; Facebook says 3M advertisers have purchased Stories ads across its apps.

$103M - Raised by online education company Coursera on a Series E at a $1B-plus valuation; works with universities and other educational institutions to deliver online courses to ~40M students.

~$44-$50 — expected price per Uber share; that range would value the company at $80B-$90B, and would raise $8B-$10B; the company is expected to debut on the New York Stock Exchange next month.


📰 What’s going on

Apple to unveil new Siri intents and improvements to Marzipan and AR at WWDC in early June; the new Siri intents will enable developers to implement voice search, media playback, ticketing, more; new APIs for Marzipan reportedly will enable integrations with Touch Bar, menu bar, more.

Airbnb plans to create shows and movies focused on travel; the company reportedly has considered licensing travel content for the last three years, and has discussed creating shows featuring Airbnb rentals.

Amazon expands its in-home and in-car delivery service, Key, to 13 new US markets, bringing the total to 50; also launched in-garage deliveries via Chamberlain’s myQ software; the company ultimately plans to extend Key services to include dog walking, home cleaning, more.

Slack files for direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange under symbol “SK”; the paperwork reveals Slack has 10M daily users across 600k organizations; 88k of those organizations were paying customers as of Jan 1 (up from 59k a year earlier); reports ~$400M in annual revenue.

Slack announces new email and calendar integrations, universal search, and workflow builder; Slack-email conversations will work both ways and convert to Slack conversations when the email user joins; calendar integrations will automatically change a user’s status and underline dates for rapid scheduling; workflow builder will enable the code-free creation of apps.

Google rolls out Chrome 74 for Windows, macOS, and Linux; adds dark mode for Windows, motion reduction for macOS and Windows, and more.

Google Duo launches group video calls in Indonesia and other select markets; lets a caller add up to three other participants.

The FAA approves Alphabet’s drone company, Wing, for commercial delivery operations; plans to begin deliveries in parts of VA within the next few months.

Snapchat completes the rollout of Project Mushroom: a re-engineered Android app designed for better performance in emerging markets; the app is 25% smaller and 20% faster; people with lower-end devices published 6% more snaps within a week of updating.

Samsung postpones the launch of Galaxy Fold indefinitely. AT&T has notified US customers who have pre-ordered the Samsung Galaxy Fold that the device will ship June 13; Galaxy Fold was initially set to launch US on April 26 but Samsung pulled following reports of review units breaking; Samsung is yet to provide a new release date.

Lyft launches its Grocery Access Program in 15 new US markets; the company offers discounted grocery runs in areas where healthy food is difficult to find or significantly overpriced; local partners, including farmers markets and food banks, determine the requirements for eligibility; piloted the program in Washington DC.

Elon Musk says Tesla plans to launch an autonomous taxi service next year; the company plans to leverage its Autopilot tech for the project; Tesla will operate its own fleet of self-driving vehicles and riders will be able to summon a car via a mobile app; in some areas, Model 3 and Model S owners will also be able to temporarily lease out their vehicles for the service.

Autonomous driving tech company Pony.ai is testing an autonomous ride-share service called PonyPilot; currently exclusive to employees and select invitees; limited to a geo-fenced area within Guangzhou.

IBM announces the expansion of its Q Network and partnerships with multiple universities for joint research in quantum computing, and to co-develop curricula to prepare students for careers in the field. New partner universities include Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Harvard, and Duke.

Harvard researchers develop radio-transmission tech using semiconductor lasers; the system modulates, emits, and receives radio waves, potentially allowing for ultra-high-speed Wi-Fi; Facebook and Google have experimented with laser-based internet access in underserved areas.

Shopify launches retail hardware: Tap & Chip Reader (for card and contactless payments), Dock (for holding and charging the Reader), and Retail Stand (for holding and charging a Shopify POS tablet).

Walmart launches AI-powered shopping experience in Levittown, NY; Intelligent Retail Lab (IRL) uses sensors and cameras to monitor inventory and availability in real time to improve efficiency; also ensures the freshness of meat and produce; will ultimately anticipate sales demand to ensure items are in stock on time.

Peer-to-peer car-sharing company Getaround acquires Parisian car-sharing platform Drivy for $300M; the deal will facilitate Getaround’s first expansion outside the US.

NY-based MongoDB ($7.4B market cap) to acquire CA-based mobile database company Realm for $39M; MongoDB Co-Founder and CTO Eliot Horowitz said the two companies are a natural fit because they provide complimentary products; Realm claims 100k developers as users.

UK officials agree to use Huawei tech for non-core parts of the country’s 5G network.


💰Earnings Q1

Huawei reports Q1 revenue of $26.8B, up 39% YoY; claims to have shipped 59M devices for the quarter; Huawei also reports $107.4B revenue for 2018, up 19.5% YoY; the company is not publicly traded, but has opted to release figures on a quarterly and annual basis, audited by KPMG.

Amazon ($936B market cap) Q1 beats: $59.7B revenue, up 16.9% YoY ($59.7B expected); $7.7B AWS revenue, up 41% YoY; the company predicts Q2 profit of $2.6B to $3.6B.

Microsoft Q1 beats: $30.6B revenue, up 14% YoY ($29.8B expected); $9.6B commercial cloud revenue, up 41% YoY. Microsoft’s market cap briefly passed $1T for the first time following its earnings report.

Twitter ($26.4B market cap) Q1 beats: $787M revenue, up 18% YoY ($776M expected); 134M monetizable DAUs, up from 126M in Q4 2018.

Snap ($15.8B market cap) Q1 beats: $320M revenue, up 39% YoY($307M expected); 190M DAUs, down from 191M YoY.

Next week:

ALPHABET (April 29)

APPLE (April 30)


📚 Something to think about

The underlying challenge of leading innovation is managing uncertainty. Disruption introduces new levels of uncertainty that then require us to reinvent our business model.

You cannot eliminate uncertainty by building a backlog. Anders Toxboe on the importance of doing discovery work, and the need of looking beyond Agile playbook.

Designing distributed: collaboration on Doist’s fully-remote design team. Extensive post highlighting some key aspects to successful remote collaboration. “Remote collaboration is neither impossible nor difficult; it just demands thoughtful communication.”

On Tesla’s incredible platform advantage. Steve Cheney explores how Tesla has developed a hardware and software foundation from the ground up, taken the helm on its chips, and became more ready than competitors for an electric AV future.


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