Today we are reaching the limitations of Moore’s Law where semiconductor efficiency is at a point where it can be scaled all the way from the world’s most powerful supercomputer (Fugaku) down to the phenomenal capabilities exhibited in products as diverse as Apple Airpods and autonomous vehicles. To get to this point though, it’s taken an entire ecosystem of innovators both upstream (chip fabs, designers) and downstream (CPS, GPU, SoCs) all the way through to the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). This piece breaks down what is quite a complicated piece of technology into simple explanations so you can understand what semiconductors are, how we’ve arrived here and where we’re going. …

Cybersecurity attacks have surged during the coronavirus pandemic in line with a rapid shift towards remote-working and online transactions. This surge has catalysed a more rapid rise in demand for cybersecurity platforms and services such as Crowdstrike, Palo Alto Networks, Okta, Fireye and national-security focussed firms such as Raytheon.

In the US, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has seen the same number of complaints from Jan-Mar 2020 as they saw in the entire year of 2019 whilst, across the board, there has been a surge in covid19 related attacks.

According to Accenture, it is estimated that the 2019–2023 global business/economic value at risk from cybercrime will be US$5.2 …

The AV Market is Complex!

Despite markets being highly inflated (relative to macro risks), the next decade will undoubtedly see incredible investment opportunities across rapidly growing emerging technology themes such as clean energy, artificial intelligence, cloud and edge computing, nanotechnology, space tech, satellite tech……and autonomous vehicles (to name but a few).

One of the key areas I’ve covered recently is the relationship between key brands in the autonomous vehicle market — both passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles.

Read up on the article links above or, for a recap, you can refer to the AV market maps below:

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Australia is economically dependent on China. Import dependent, export-dependent and increasingly education and tourism-dependent. This article highlights just how dependent Australia is and that, despite initial tough-talking on a coronavirus inquiry, for Australia’s economy to succeed, it must continue to embrace China and simultaneously strengthen its trade relationships in the region (i.e. India, Indonesia) and abroad (i.e. US, UK).

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Source: Shutterstock

Before diving into the numbers it’s important to recap on how it (the trade tensions) have come to be.

In late April, Australia led calls for an independent inquiry into the source of the coronavirus.

In response, China’s Ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, said “Chinese public is frustrated, dismayed and disappointed with what you are doing now” and that “the tourists may have second thoughts. Maybe the parents of the students would also think whether this place, which they find is not so friendly, even hostile, is the best place to send their kids”. Further, “maybe the ordinary people will think why they should drink Australian wine or eat Australian beef”. …

At the end of March, I published a chart showing the change in global stock markets relative to the countries daily cases of covid19 per million.

What this highlighted (below) was the resilience of some markets vs others. For example, the NASDAQ was down just 16% whilst Canada and Australia, despite managing the crisis considerably better, saw much more severe market sell-offs.

The obvious factor in this is that the constituents of the Nasdaq are the more resilient tech stocks (i.e. …

Pinterest, despite some 1Q headwinds, is well entrenched in a strategic transformation from a fairly unengaging, unprofitable and uninspiring platform, to one heavily focussed on profitability via a seamless e-commerce experience — connecting users/pinners with the products they love.

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eSource: Search Engine Journal

Pinterest has long been an interesting platform for pinning, creating boards and getting inspiration….but that’s about where it stopped.

Compared to Instagram and all other social media platforms (TikTok, Snap, Twitter) it’s never really been hugely inspiring.

Over the years, Pinterest has acquired a very specific user-base — 60% women - with a majority being mums. In fact, according to the company prospectus, 80% of internet-using women in the US, from 18–64 with children, have a Pinterest account. …

The amount of data China’s TikTok gathers on their, mostly 16–25 y/o, users is astounding. What makes this even more concerning is whether that data is secure. TikTok assures users that it is, however, significant scepticism has raised eyebrows in countries like the USA and Australia. What are these concerns, are they warranted and should we be concerned?

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Source: Slate (“The furore over TikTok is about something much bigger”)

In August 2018, China’s ByteDance purchased — establishing the foundations for the all-conquering video/social-media platform TikTok which has since gained 2 billion downloads globally, with 315 million downloads in the last quarter alone (beating all competitors including Facebook’s WhatsApp and Instagram).

In the US, it is estimated that approximately 60% of TikTok’s users are 16–25 years old. …

Snap shares rallied by 30% last week following a quite impressive set of quarterly results. This highlights that the once ‘down and out’ social media platform is regaining ground with a suite of innovative tools (Snap Originals, Lenses, Geofilters, Games) designed to close the gap on ad revenue and user engagement.

Towards the end of 2018 Snap Inc was seen as a bit of a has-been. Average Daily Active Users (DAU) of 186 million were flatlining with zero year-on-year (YoY) growth, executives were flying out the door with 15 exec departures within two years and there was a battle to remain relevant with a demographic churning to more engaging and user-friendly platforms like Instagram and TikTok. …

In a recent interview with TED, Ray Dalio, founder, chair and co-chief investment officer of Bridgewater Associates (US$160bn AUM), was asked about which companies would stand the best chance of riding out the current storm. Alongside consumer staples (the products/services we can’t live without) he mentioned:

“the innovators…..those who can adapt well and innovate well and don’t have balance sheet problems…..they will be great winners”.

Innovation doesn’t just mean ‘tech’ companies but companies, such as insurers, banks, retailers and mining companies who have the teams, architecture, relationships, technology and systems to thrive during and post the current crisis.

However, how do you go about measuring innovation? Forbes, BCG and Thompson Reuters (to name but a few) try to answer this question with various methodologies. …

The current panic around the spread of coronavirus has triggered major market disruption, to put it mildly.

There are also a number of certainties and uncertainties, or, as the other Donald (Rumsfeld) once said — the “known unknowns; that is to say, we know there are things we do not know.”

In the current climate, the known unknowns are mounting, and the best tactic is not to panic, listen to professionals and take a long-term fundamental view. High-risk short term and/or leveraged trading may reap substantial rewards — but it’s more likely to cause significant financial pain.

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The below commentary does not give any financial advice (what to buy or not to buy) but aims to provide some guidelines around ‘best practice’ investing. …


Charlie Nave

Granite Bay Capital & YBF Ventures. Analysing global emerging technology and innovation ( /

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