Newsletter #5

Joaquín Mencía
Feb 16, 2017 · 2 min read

TL;DR: I’m now trying to write a newsletter. If you wanna follow, subscribe here. Here is the last one.

In one of the funniest Ted Talks ever, Amy Webb described how to reverse-engineer online dating algorithms. Years later, she has written one of the most insightful books I read in the last few years. The Signals are Talking truly shows how to detect the signal inside the noise in a way even Nate Silver will surrender at. Read it.

After reading Amy’s book you will find the need of using her framework to analyse companies and momentum. And you will find out the most amazing paradigm: we are in a totally new era of owning markets.

It was really controversial when Peter Thiel said, in his class at the archfamous Stanford CS183 course, that competition is for losers; but the main point behind his affirmation is to understand how the market supports you even when you are planning against the most elemental principles of business management. And surprisingly, it’s been lawyers (lawyers!) the ones describing perfectly the Amazon paradox on this, drilling down all the frameworks around:

  1. Predatory Pricing…
  2. …enabling Vertical Integration
  3. Foregoing profits…
  4. …allow multiplying business lines
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Amazon, revenues and profits; 1995–2015

The point of a law-driven analysis? None of this is possible without the elephant in the room: regulators are so worried enabling old monopolies, that are not able to think counterintuitively, understanding that should accelerate competition in order to avoid to avoid new emperors. Regulators never understand balance between entry barriers and exit barriers.

At some point, within the next ten years, someone will write the same around Uber. Read it all, at the Yale Law Journal.

And remember the advise telcos forget since 1995: culture defeats strategy, every time.

ps. Within the next 45 days I will be in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Lisbon, London, Milan, Paris and Berlin. If you wanna meet, leave a message.

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