In comments from last week, Porsche executive Detlev von Platen talked about Porsche’s interest in flying taxis.
What’s interesting about comments on this space from automakers like Porsche (beyond the inherently sci-fi idea of a flying taxi) is the impact automakers’ entry into the space would have on:
Redrawing competitive lines. Porsche and other automakers become competitors with the likes of Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, and more.
Changing supply chains. The suppliers to auto OEMs would change in a world with flying taxis, as would the suppliers to aircraft manufacturers.
Creating new competition for talent. How does the market for talent look when automakers are hiring aerospace engineers? We saw this with GM’s acquisition of Cruise (our convo with Kyle Vogt, CEO/founder of Cruise is here), which let GM acquire both technology and talent to help it advance its autonomous vehicle ambitions.
I’m proud to say that it was our first-ever keynote referencing Ernest Hemingway.
More below on competition.
Clash of the (e-commerce) titans
Amazon and Alibaba have avoided direct competition by dominating different parts of the world — but as the e-commerce giants expand their international footprints, they could step on each other’s toes.
From payments to insurance to shipping, Amazon is a great example of how an unusual suspect can threaten to redraw competitive lines.
You can see Amazon’s impact on earnings calls where Wall Street analysts and public company executives clearly have Bezos on the brain.
But it’s not just Amazon entering your space.
Take American Express, whose competitors might traditionally be thought of as Mastercard, Visa, or Citi, to name a few.
Now, it’s Alipay, PayPal, Adyen, etc.
As a point of reference, Alipay and WeChat saw payment volumes grow from $81.6B to $3.9T in just 4 years.
Yes — life comes at you fast.
Give me all of the AI
AI startups are at the top of many big corporations’ shopping lists. Last year, 120 AI startups exited for the first time. 115 of them were acquired. As of February, 2018 has already seen 8 acquisitions.
These startups are in relatively short supply, so big corporations across all industries are in a race to snatch them up. See who’s in the lead here.
Life comes at you fast
One of my favorite graphs from the discussion of “Gradually, Then Suddenly” is the stock chart of a particular tech company.
Note: It should be obvious who this is but if unsure, see page 51.
When you fail to see that competitive lines have been redrawn, it can be deadly — as the graph above so clearly illustrates.
A hands-off approach
Last week, the private sector met with federal and state regulators at the US Department of Transportation headquarters to chat about driverless cars.