The view among this minority of folks was that Google still only has one main killer product. And that they’ve acquired innovation — not built it organically.
Mama, say what?
It’s one heck of a product.
Not sure why it matters if you innovate via M&A. If you can innovate through acquisition, that’s fine. They’ve picked up YouTube, Android, Waze, and Doubleclick, among others (here are Google’s 12 best acquisitions of all time). In fact, given how frequently acquirers screw up acquisitions, it’s even more impressive.
Google is one of 5 companies that experiments regularly and religiously. And yes — many things they try fail. But that is the nature of innovation. You gotta be in it to win it.
BTW, one of the non-tech companies that we see innovating and experimenting is Goldman Sachs.
Some exciting news on that front below.
Whistle while you work
We mapped out the startup landscape within IIoT, with a new approach that categorizes companies by where they sit in the tech “stack,” starting from hardware all the way down to AI-powered analytics.
Ooooh…that founder narrative
The idea that tech startup founders take a bunch of financial risk when starting up is on average pretty BS. It’s generally manufactured cuz it’s great for PR.
Let’s understand the risk.
Most are highly employable if their startup doesn’t work out
The reality is that many are middle-class or better
If they raise money, they’re taking a salary (even if modest) as well
Many have families/spouses who bring insurance, paychecks, financial support, etc
This is not roughing it despite the stories they tell when trying to get press for their startup.
I’m not saying it’s easy, but this whole “we burned the ships. There was no turning back” narrative is kinda horse-isht.
If you dig into the background of founders who say this, more often than not, they’ve got a safety net.
Heck, a lot of them raise from friends & family so it’s clear their families have some discretionary dinero lying around. (BTW, I’m not talking about the 0.1% of people whose parents take a 2nd mortgage out to pay for their kid’s startup. That’s just dumb.)
Again, I’m not saying the startup life is easy or some folks don’t struggle significantly financially. I’m talking on average.
The problem with this “woe is me, I took all this risk” narrative besides it being false for the purposes of PR is it makes people think their success is due to them and doesn’t give credit to luck or other advantages. It’s tiresome and dangerous.
If you’re truly living hand-to-mouth, a tech startup is prob the last thing you build. You’d want a cash flow generating business. Not on-demand laundry.
BTW, tech startups are socioeconomically, a middle, upper-middle, and upper-class game. This should not come as a surprise to anyone.
Top pharmacy retailers
We look at where the top 4 pharmacy retailers — Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, and Rite Aid — have made private market investments and acquisitions. Walmart is the most active of the 4 by far with 21 deals or acquisitions since 2012.
Goldman is coming for retail banking
Goldman revealed plans 2 years ago to launch an online lending platform directly targeting consumers and small businesses.
Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein told Bloomberg he sees it as an opportunity “to capture this opportunity at accretive returns and without the burdens of legacy costs and fixed infrastructure.”
The unit, since dubbed Marcus, saw an invite-only launch in October. The platform provides $3,500 to $30,000 to help consumers pay off high-interest credit card debt.
I’m excited to announce that Harit Talwar, the head of Goldman’s new lending platform Marcus, will be joining us at The Future of Fintech. We’re looking forward to digging into Marcus’ results and Goldman’s longer-term retail and digital ambitions.