Top articles of the week | September 26

September 26, 2020

Every week, we put together a list of our top 5 articles of the past week. Happy reading!

Tencent’s Dreams Not Boring by Patty McCormick (reading time: 25 minutes)

We covered Tencent a few weeks ago and this is part two. It covers its ambitions to own the “metaverse”, an opaque concept that many companies are chasing.

It’s always-on, real-time world in which an unlimited number of people can participate at the same time. It will have a fully functioning economy and span the physical and digital worlds. Data, digital items, content, and intellectual property (“IP”) will work across the Metaverse, and many people and companies will create the content, stores, and experiences that populate it.

If you are interested in understanding what a completely new world (and economy) looks like, this an epic article. Tencen’t ambitions are fantastic in their scope.

In Defense of the IPO, and How to Improve It a16z (reading time: 20 minutes)

There’s been a lot of ink spilled about the IPO process and how it “screws” over founders & early investors. There’s a recent trend toward direct listings and SPACs. This article from a16z hits back against those detractors and explains the IPO process in greater detail. It’s an eye opening read for a noob like me that doesn’t understand the intricacies of corporate finance.

Amazon’s profits, AWS and advertising Benedict Evans (reading time: 6 minutes) and How Amazon Automated Work and Put Its People to Better Use Harvard Business Review (reading time: 5 minutes)

This is a two for one Amazon special. The first from Ben Evans demystifies Amazon’s revenue and profit drivers. It’s a great analysis of the most disruptive company in North America.

The second article covers Amazon’s use of the “force”, essentially how it employs its machine learning capabilities to automate processes. Instead of reducing headcount, it reassigns employees and helps them level up.

Amp it up! Frank Slootman, Chairman and CEO Snowflake (reading time: 16 minutes)

Snowflake is getting a lot of attention with their monster IPO a few weeks ago. Their CEO wrote an epic article on what is takes to build a performance culture. It is not for the weak of heart. He outlines his philosophy on executive compensation, hiring, vision, growth and more. It’s a no BS view of what it takes to win in the extremely competitive cloud space.

An Executive Framework for Value Creation and Strategic Planning Georgian (reading time: 16 minutes)

Georgian (formerly known as Georgian Partners) is putting out amazing content. This a nice high level framework for value creation. It starts with two simple questions.

  • What does your business look like today?
  • What do you want it to look like in the future?