Global e-commerce battle. Heated AI race. Corporate cars going hands-free.

Porsche vs Boeing??

Hi there,

In a CBI research brief on flying cars from 2017, we highlighted the increased media chatter to the space, as well as some of the startups building flying cars. Here's the graph via CBI Trends.

Now, Porsche has its eyes on flying taxis.

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.
We talked about this redrawing of competitive lines and the impact on incumbents in our recent presentation, "Gradually, Then Suddenly."

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 key battlegrounds to growth strategies, our new Amazon vs. Alibaba report breaks down how each company plans to go global. 

Changing the face of competition

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. 

Public officials want to interfere with the technology's progress as little as possible — good news for corporations. We took a look at 44 corporations working on autonomous vehicles.

Smart(er) car

Acquired by Samsung in 2017 for $8B, Harman is helping vehicles communicate with smart fridges, light bulbs, and other devices in the IoT ecosystem.

The company is an important part of the technology set that is changing both the inside and outside of the car as the industry charges ahead toward an autonomous future.

Harman’s head of strategy Roopa Unnikrishnan will be joining us for our first Point of View event on March 29. 

If you’re a client eager to listen in on this conversation, RSVP for Point of View here

It’s a completely free event.

The Industry Standard

CB Insights data is the most trusted by those in the industry and the media. A few recent hits.

Bloomberg. Fathiya Dahrul reports that Go-Jek is seriously considering an IPO and cites CB Insights unicorn data.
Los Angeles Times. The article looks into Amazon’s possible new checking account services and refers to CB Insights research.

Futurism. Patrick Caughill (@pmcaughill) writes about Facebook's new job posts tool and quotes CB Insights' VP of Intelligence Marcelo Ballvé (@ballve).

I love you.


P.S. This Thursday, we'll be discussing the retail apocalypse. Join us to learn what started it, which companies are surviving, and more.

P.P.S. See how one of the most active investors in IoT keeps on top of the IoT ecosystem and collaborates internally using CB Insights Collections. Read the GE case study here.

The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

Undercover. Palantir has secretly been testing its predictive policing technology in New Orleans, unbeknownst to city council members.
The Verge
$1B in four months STOP. Messaging company Telegram is set to pull in $1B in only four months, thanks to an initial coin offering.
New York Times
Off-putting. Tech companies’ problematic recruiting tactics could account for why there are so few women in tech.
Bank of Amazon. Amazon is in talks with big banks like JPMorgan Chase about creating a checking-account-like product to appeal to younger customers and people without bank accounts.
Wall Street Journal
Define: existence. Technology could grant lexicographers’ wish to capture the entire English language — but would that mean the extinction of dictionaries?
Cutting back. Lyft is committing to halving the number of people with non-emergency healthcare transportation issues by the year 2020.
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