Archives For robertc

Some biz related books I’ve really enjoyed this year:

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz taught lessons about how not to fail. A must read for startup founders.

Since I’m contrarian to a fault, Peter Thiel’s Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future was hugely enjoyable. Interesting how folks seemed to have zoomed in on his view of monopolies.

Which brings me to Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, which had U.S. economists up in arms and their Euro counterparts swooning.

According to the sheeple I ought to buy a copy of Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street by John Brooks. It was brought back to life by Open Road Media after Bill Gates mentioned it was his favorite biz book in a WSJ piece.

Last and most certainly not least is Michael Lewis’ Flash Boys. If Lewis’ prior works The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine and Liar’s Poker, hadn’t made it abundantly clear how rigged Wall Street and financial markets are this sealed the deal. I read Flash Boys in one sitting and promptly bought Liar’s Poker and Big Short: they’re that good!

Telsa (TSLA) stock hit the skids this week after Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas wrote in a client note and as reported by WSJ:

“We believe the shares are worth $320, but perhaps not so quickly and not for some of the reasons we believe are driving the market,” Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas wrote in a note to clients. He added that he doesn’t foresee the stock appreciating “so consistently and one-directionally from here.”

So Jonas/Morgan Stanley is still bullish and overweight on TSLA, but because it’s a car company?

Toyota (TM), the world’s biggest car manufacturer, trades at $117; Volkswagen, the world’s most impressive car co (imho, behind Tesla) trades on a number of Euro exchanges in the range $179-$218; while Ford (F) trades at $16, GM at $34 and Honda (HMC) at $34.

Yes Tesla obviously makes cars, but to me it looks like a battery tech and electric drive train company. Valued at $320 ..?

How well Tesla can scale this business beyond its own vehicles should determine the company’s forward value, especially since the $35,000 tagged “consumer” Tesla is still well out of reach of most consumers. (It obviously doesn’t look like it for Tesla-philes or Wall Street analysts, but it most certainly is.)

Perhaps Morgan Stanley’s $320 price target is right and the underlying business was discussed in the client note? If so the media missed it.

As an aside, I totally agree with Adam Jonas’ astute observation regarding the “end of driving”:

“Our 15 year [discounted cash flow] coincides with the end of human driving and the dawn of crowd sourced mobility and mega fleets,” Mr. Jonas said. “Assuming people even buy cars at all, what will determine Tesla’s strategic and competitive advantage as a provider of mobility? … The rules are changing and at least some incumbent [auto makers, such as BMW] are not falling asleep at the (disappearing) steering wheel.”

airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky completely nailed the disruption fallacy, at least as it relates to the sharing economy, when speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival:

“Maybe hotels disrupted what we were doing in the first place. People used to stay in homes. We didn’t invent that idea.”

Marc Andreessen made a similar comment recently about ride sharing services, that in a great number of (mostly developing) countries people still catch a lift rather than own a car.

Time will show that the business models created to serve the industrial revolution were an historic anomaly.

Mobile will paradoxically return us to a futuristic form of the bazaar where there’s price and product transparency across a market and where commerce is significantly more personal, yet because of mobile potentially global.

Any questions about Australia’s ability to produce amazing music (or tech startups for that matter)? Flight Facilities feat. Emma Louise released by Future Classic. It’s a trifecta! Discovered via Stephen Phillips’ awesome new thing wonder.fm.

I have posted this album before, but it’s one of my faves and I listen to it often. I love the record for its remarkably chilled groove. It really is something special.