H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (3 May 2019) – Buffett says Berkshire Hathaway, finally, has invested in Amazon.com, says he has been an ‘idiot’ not to buy into Amazon.com


  • Chinese cosmetic surgery app So-Young has pretty debut on Nasdaq (Nikkei)
  • YY’s Like is now among the top ten apps in Indonesia (KRA)
  • Delta Electronics to expand China production for EV market (Digitimes)
  • Resmed back on track after better-than-expected third quarter (Age)
  • Volt bank to build mortgage platform with IRESS (ITN)
  • Nanosonics to Showcase Innovative trophon2 at ACOG 2019 Annual Meeting; HLD solution proven to reduce risk of ultrasound probe cross-infection without harm to environment (BW)
  • Bravura announces $165m raising to aid GBST acquisition (ID)
  • India’s Kajaria Ceramics rises; Jefferies starts coverage with ‘buy’; poised to benefit the most from a fillip to organised volumes, courtesy tightening compliance and the recent ban on coal gasifiers in Gujarat, which should shrink the price diff (Reuters)
  • This one stats shows how Nearmap is growing exponentially faster; LTV has grown from $480 million as at December 30 2017 to $1.07 billion as at December 30 2018 to what it revealed today as over $1.4 billion as at March 31 2019 (MF); NEA Showcases Strong Growth In 1H19; Customer Lifetime Value Exceeds $1B (KKM)

BATTSS – Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, TSMC, Samsung, Softbank

  • Samsung’s chip and smartphone segments face falling profits (Nikkei)

FAANNMG – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Nvidia, Netflix, Microsoft, Google

  • Facebook open-sources Ax and BoTorch to simplify AI model optimization (TC)
  • Mark Zuckerberg unveils plans for Facebook’s future; Social network warns integrating its messaging apps will take years; Facebook is encouraging its users to communicate in groups, rather than via individual public posts (FT)
  • Instagram Is the New Mall; The platform is allowing influencers to sell things to users directly through their posts. (Atlantic)
  • How Facebook and Google are using algorithms to predict your next thought (TNW)
  • Google launches CallJoy, a virtual customer service phone agent for small businesses (TC)
  • Google Strategy Teardown: Google Is Turning Itself Into An AI Company As It Seeks To Win New Markets Like Cloud And Transportation (CBI)
  • YouTube touts first new original programme under free strategy (Reuters)
  • Want to Predict Apple’s Stock Price? Watch Its Suppliers. (Barron’s)
  • iPhone hard hit as global smartphone shipments continue nosedive (TC)
  • Why Amazon didn’t make the cut in China (TIA)
  • Alexa in-skill purchasing, which lets developers make money from voice apps, launches internationally (TC)
  • Amazon Can’t Duck Williams-Sonoma Suit Over Furniture Sales (Bloomberg)
  • The Most Valuable Company (for Now) Is Having a Nadellaissance; Under Satya Nadella, Microsoft has more subscribers than Netflix, more cloud computing revenue than Google, and a near-trillion-dollar market cap. (Bloomberg); The Most Valuable Company (for Now) Is Having a Nadellaissance; Under Satya Nadella, Microsoft has more subscribers than Netflix, more cloud computing revenue than Google, and a near-trillion-dollar market cap. (Bloomberg)
  • Microsoft makes a push to simplify machine learning (TC)
  • Microsoft rolls out new cloud services for AI and blockchain, partnering with JP Morgan; Microsoft is also releasing tools to let users make AI models without having to write the underlying code (SCMP)
  • Microsoft Is About to Show Off for Software Developers. Watch What It Says About the Cloud. (Barron’s)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • We Should Worry About How China Uses Apps Like TikTok; Illiberal innovations created for China’s vast surveilled and censored domestic market are increasingly popular overseas. (NYT)
  • Chinese tech companies revel in convertible-bond boom; Cash-hungry businesses have tapped investors for a record $4.6bn this year (FT)
  • China in pole position for 5G era with a third of key patents; US and Japan lose market share, as Huawei and ZTE bulk up (Nikkei); How 5G will unlock the industrial internet, driving another dimension of mobile connectivity (SCMP)
  • ‘Ghost restaurants’ ride Asia’s food delivery boom; With no storefronts, takeout-only eateries offer less risk for would-be owners (Nikkei)
  • BrainCo CEO says his ‘mind-reading’ tech is here to improve concentration, not surveillance (SCMP)
  • Huawei said to introduce world’s first 5G TV amid increased security scrutiny of its products (SCMP)
  • Money’s too tight to mention for China’s outsized electric vehicle industry (Technode)
  • Toyota AI Ventures launches $100M fund to invest in robotics and autonomous tech (TC)
  • Supermicro Asks Suppliers Not to Provide Chinese-Made Motherboards (TET)
  • AI learns to read Korean, so you don’t have to; Artificial intelligence solved a problem reading character-based scripts in the search for key documents (FT)
  • Indonesia brings regulations for on-demand motorcycle taxis into effect (KRA)
  • Go-Pay aims to simplify mutual funds investments in Indonesia through a partnership with Bibit (KRA)
  • Behind the scenes of InMobi’s journey to unicorn (TIA)
  • Malaysia’s GHL enables GrabPay QR payments (TIA)
  • Deskera reportedly raises US$100M+ in extended Series A funding round at US$500 valuation (e27)
  • How Paytm killed its e-commerce dream in India; Paytm Mall’s losses mounted and in the financial year 2018. It posted a loss of nearly Rs 1,800 cr. (ET)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • FanDuel is now charging inactive users $3 per month for not playing (TC)
  • FreightHub, the European digital freight forwarder, collects $30M Series B (TC)
  • Flume Health is an insurance administrator cutting costs by pre-approving prices and paying on-demand (TC)
  • Adtech veteran Quantcast is latest tech giant to face GDPR privacy probe (TC)
  • Inspection robots are climbing the walls to monitor safety conditions in hazardous locations (TC)
  • Tinder launches ‘Festival Mode’ to connect music festival goers with profile badges (TC)
  • Spotify launches voice-enabled ads on mobile devices in a limited US test (TC)
  • Palantir’s software was used for deportations, documents show (TC)
  • Verizon reportedly seeking to sell Tumblr (TC)
  • How streaming services are changing the way music is made (qz)
  • This US mayor joked cops should “mount .50-caliber” guns where AI predicts crime (qz)
  • Checkout.com raises record $230m in Series A funding; London-based payments start-up that competes with Adyen secures valuation close to $2bn (FT)
  • Making a killing: The Uber IPO is a moral stain on Silicon Valley (Age)
  • One SaaS metric we monitor closely is net dollar retention. Net dollar retention tells you what percent of revenue from current customers you retained from the prior year, after accounting for upgrades, downgrades, and churn. (CB)
  • Expedia Shares Fall as Home-Rental Business Vrbo Goes Slow (Bloomberg)
  • Zynga Soars as Analysts Rave About `Compelling Investment’ (Bloomberg)
  • Square Slides as Street Wonders If It’s ‘Running Out of Steam’ (Bloomberg)


  • How i built this with Guy Raz: Live Episode! Peloton: John Foley (NPR)
  • Buffett says Berkshire Hathaway, finally, has invested in Amazon.com: CNBC (Reuters); Billionaire Buffett says he has been an ‘idiot’ not to buy into Amazon.com (Reuters)
  • The quest to find companies that have a lasting competitive edge: Finding companies protected by what Warren Buffett calls a “moat” is easy to talk about, but hard to do (Economist)
  • “The idea that rewards promote focus and skill is only true to a point; when the rewards get high enough it spins the other direction, because mental bandwidth that would otherwise go toward strategy and reason is overwhelmed by dreaming about the reward” (MH)
  • Adam Savage on Great Tools, Great Projects, and Great Lessons (#370) (TF)
  • China’s biggest online health care platform Ping An Healthcare and Technology fires back at short-seller report that labelled the firm ‘Ponzi scheme’ (SCMP)

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