From Alphabet to Uber and 1 Year on with Sameer Singh
Sameer Singh, our first guest on the podcast, joined us to discuss all things business and technology from Alphabet to Uber. We began instead with an interview our host of the show, Bernard on his reflections on the first year of Analyse Asia to the future plans of the podcast including the upcoming launch of a new podcast entitled 15 Minutes. Then we dived deep into our usual major topics: (a) the implications of Alphabet to Google and its impact in Asia, (b) the Apple Watch sales and what will be happening on the upcoming Apple event rumored on 9 Sep, (c) the eventual fate of Samsung and (d) analysing Uber’s financials and scrutinising whether it’s really growing with a justified valuation.
Here are the interesting notes and links to the discussion (with timestamps included):
- Sameer Singh (Tech-thoughts.net, @sameer_singh17)
- Reflections after one year since the birth of Analyse Asia podcast. [0:37]
- What has the journey been like so far? What are the key milestones for Analyse Asia? Some important metrics milestone: 1000 downloads per episode after 8 months, 50% Month on Month growth [1:17]
- Topics requested by listeners [3:39]
- Suggestion 1: CEOs of important Asian companies
- Suggestion 2: Analysis of Asian Companies (SoftBank, LINE, Foxconn, Baidu, Alibaba, Tata Group, Infosys) and also looking into countries with startup and investor ecosystem such as India, Thailand, Philippines and Myanmar.
- Suggestion 3: Live show
- What will the next year look like for Analyse Asia? [7:36]
- Improving the show quality.
- Discuss other interesting topics in Asia: Family businesses, Commodities, Conglomerates and technology intersecting with traditional industries (logistics)
- Introduction of a new show: 15 minutes beta season focusing on startups with Justin Rotman (@justinrotman) [9:25]
- Google / Alphabet [11:27]
- With Larry Page’s letter for restructuring Google under a new entity called Alphabet, what are the implications for the entire organization? How does it affect Google as an organization as a whole? [11:37]
- Why do you think Google have made such a bold move? One way is to resolve the issue of disruption within the company by giving individual companies the autonomy to disrupt the company [15:34]
- The failure of Google securing domain name. Reference: Paul Graham: Change your name.
- Different industry watchers (Om Malik, Jan Dawson, Horace Dediu, have offered their perspectives, what do you think are the reasons why they have made this move? Is it really about being transparent? [17:16]
- Using Horace Dediu’s Google A/B analogy and given most of the international offices are serving the Google B. Sameer Singh disagreed with Horace Dediu’s Google A/B Analogy and provided his objection with the argument of mistaking narratives with business models. Will there be consequences such that people might leave Google for the other letters of Alphabet? Sameer also argued that Google learned from their mistakes which contradict the view of the industry watchers, for example, Google Plus. [17:52]
- Seriously, is Google the new Berkshire Hathaway of technology? Bernard argues that SoftBank is probably the better candidate for that title against Google in the context that Berkshire Hathaway is actually a conglomerate with a private equity investing in traditional industries with strong fundamentals. SoftBank has shown more of that record than Google where it behaves more as a venture capital firm within a conglomerate. [24:26]
- Apple Watch Sales and September event predictions [27:00]
- What are the difficulties in predicting Apple Watch sales? How did you come up with your estimates? How is the Apple Watch actually doing? Sameer predicts 3 million shipments & 2.5 million sales based on the 1B revenues in the Others category from their Q2 2015 earnings. [27:15]
- Is it too early to call Apple Watch a flop? Is the future of the Apple Watch will be more like the iPod than the iPhone? [33:17]
- Should Apple open Apple Watch to Android? [35:11]
- What are your predictions for Apple September 9 2015 event? [37:26]
- Apple TV
- iPad Pro (12 inch)
- With Chinese markets facing an equities crash, will Apple’s China growth be affected? [39:40]
- Samsung’s eventual fate
- A year later, their smartphone sales are still tanking. How are they going to turn it around? (Ref: Samsung’s Challenging Turnaround by Jan Dawson) [41:47]
- Analysing & Scrutinising Uber’s Leaked Financials
- Uber’s fundraising has raced past its fundamentals (as of 2014) [43:03]
- Can Uber disrupt logistics? [46:00]
The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bleongcw) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) and Linkcious (and check out their other product, Chiibi).