Square's earnings & patent update. 3D printed rockets. Auto suppliers in the private market.

Another mp3 player (ugh)

Hi there,

For the last couple of years, we've ranked the top 100 VCs along with The New York Times.

It's a great list recognizing the top VCs in the game.  

But after seeing a story about the Forbes 400 (the richest 400 folks in the world) and Wilbur Ross, I realized that we need to step up our game.

Because our rankings will not have arrived until truly successful people are lying to get on them.

A story in Forbes details the lengths that Ross, current US Secretary of Commerce, went to to get on the list. (See The Blurb).  

It's quite amazing how far a successful person like Ross went (excerpt below).

If there is any consolation to take from all of this, it is that the US Secretary of Commerce doesn't take no for an answer and will do whatever it takes to get the job done. Yay.

Square away

Square reported its earnings today, highlighted by a 45% rise in adjusted revenue, reaching $257M vs the expected $244.9M. We also found a patent highlighting the company's potential crowdfunding ambitions. The patent, titled “Mobile point-of-sale crowdfunding,” outlines a method for merchants to request crowdfunding from patrons.

We previously analyzed the company's hiring activity, investments, M&A, and product development in our recent Square Strategy teardown.

Computer. Print me a rocket.

Let’s say you find yourself on Mars and in need of a rocket. Tim Ellis thinks he’ll be able to help you out with that.

Ellis — a former staffer at Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin — co-founded Relativity Space with Jordan Noone, a former staffer at Elon Musk’s SpaceX. The pair plan to someday build rockets using 3D printers and no human labor.

Relativity Space thinks that its “Stargate” printer will get rockets down to 1,000 moving parts and a paltry $10M in launch costs, with no human intervention required.

Can they do it? Some smart people including Mark Cuban, Social Capital, and Y Combinator who’ve invested seem to think so.

Tim’s joining us at the A-ha! Conference this December 12-13 in San Francisco. We look forward to hearing about his mind-bending idea.

Offering a sweet deal — 2 tickets for $1990. Good until end of day Thursday.

Or use code escapemars to save $500 off your ticket.

iPod — haters gonna hate

Big corporations aren't the only ones to totally miss disruptive trends or competitors.

Consumers do it pretty frequently as well.

If you go back to the MacRumors forums from 2001 when the iPod launched, you'll see some great commentary. (See The Blurb).

Like from this person who is def upset about another freaking MP3 player.

... And is asking Apple to think differently.

You auto read this

We identified the 5 most active automotive suppliers — Delphi, Continental, Bosch, Magna, and Harman — in private markets since 2014 and analyzed their bets through 2017 year-to-date.

Bosch, with its sprawling business lines and active corporate VC arm, is unsurprisingly the top player, followed by Continental.

Look at those curves

Yesterday, we talked about the consultant hack to show random curves with inflection points. Sometimes, 2 curves won't do it.

Then, you go big. Like this one.

The Industry Standard

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

Forbes. A look at why no industry is safe from tech disruption with a mention of data found in CB Insights' Fortune 500 Tech Investment and M&A Report.

Reuters. Kane Wu (@geniuswu) and Julie Zhu (@julie_zhuli) write about China's Meituan-Dianping's potential IPO in the US in 2018 and reference CB Insights valuation data.

Digital Journal. A report on pharmaceutical company Invirsa's latest seed round with a reference to CB Insights data on the most active VCs.

I love you.


P.S. Want to know how Amazon, Sephora, Lowe’s, and other retailers are leveraging AI in stores and online? Find out here.

The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

The case of Wilbur Ross' phantom $2B. Dan Alexander (@danalexander21) reports that the US Secretary of Commerce lied about his net worth.

Apple's new thing. A MacRumors forum from 2001, right when the iPod was first launched.

Going to market when no market exists. Martin Casado (@martin_casado) shares the how, when, and what of pricing; marketing to early markets; and what kind of sales motion you need and when to deploy it.

Jeff Bezos' guide to life. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ (@jeffbezos) tips about inspiration, work-life balance, and how to be an inventor.
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