From Snapchat to conspiracy theorists, the Futurum Tech Podcast this week was a very “social” podcast for our team of Fred McClimans, Daniel Newman, and Olivier Blanchard. Here’s why.
Our Main Event
The Q2 earnings announcement from Snap was good from a revenue and EPS (earnings per share) perspective, but cringeworthy from a user growth perspective; it lost 3 million daily active users during the quarter. While we all agree Snapchat has a lock on the younger sub-25 demographic, it struggles to appeal to older people, it’s not as user friendly, and we think it’s unlikely that it will ever become a community in the way that Facebook and Twitter have. Bottom Line: The era of heavy user growth appears to be over for the social giants. As the supply of new users gets a bit tighter and investors start to focus on user monetization, these companies must focus on earnings and delivering ROI for both investors and their users.
Our Fast Five
We dig into this week’s interesting and noteworthy news:
- Intel DCI Summit update and the arrival of Optane Persistent Memory, targeted squarely at the data center. For more information, check out Daniel Newman’s insights in his post Intel Data Center Summit 18: Silicon and Speed Equals Better Business.
- Qualcomm has launched the first fully-integrated 5G millimeter wave antenna module, and it’s a big deal for those tracking the development of actual 5G smartphones for the next evolutionary leap in mobile communications. Calls and internet will be lightning fast.
- Salesforce COO Keith Block becomes co-CEO, creating a leadership dynamic duo with founder and CEO Marc Benioff. It’s a great combination, as these two have been working together for several years.
- Qualcomm settles its ongoing litigation with the Taiwan FTC, ending an ongoing “monopoly or not” case. This is a big win for Qualcomm, and shows they’re trying to improve their standing around the world.
- Interest in Apple’s rumored “Project Titan” autonomous vehicle (AV) program is spiking as it appears Doug Fields, who left Apple five years ago, will be rejoining Apple after taking some “time off” from his lead engineering role at Tesla earlier this year.
Our winner of this weeks “tech that bites” award is semiconductor and chip manufacturer TSMC, whose production line was taken offline this week (allegedly) by a variation of last year’s #WannaCry virus that was inadvertently installed by a supplier who failed to run a proper virus check on a software load. TSMC is facing an estimated $170 – $250m hit as a result of the several days it took to return to full operations. Bottom line: The ripple effect of this error could impact delivery dates for some of its key customers own products, including Apple, Qualcomm, and Nvidia. This is a tech AND overall industry issue; security conversations need to be front and center, and companies need to dedicate more time and attention to details (and processes).
Crystal Ball: Future-um Predictions and Guesses
This week we gaze at the case of Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, vs Alex Jones, the controversial conspiracy theorist behind Infowars. While Facebook, YouTube, and Apple have banned Jones from their platforms, Twitter has not. “He hasn’t violated our rules. We’ll enforce if he does,” said Dorsey in a series of tweets.
We didn’t suspend Alex Jones or Infowars yesterday. We know that’s hard for many but the reason is simple: he hasn’t violated our rules. We’ll enforce if he does. And we’ll continue to promote a healthy conversational environment by ensuring tweets aren’t artificially amplified.
— jack (@jack) August 8, 2018
Tune in for our take on Dorsey’s position and our predictions on how this mess unfolds.
Note: While Apple banned Jones’ podcast from the iTunes store, it is allowing the Infowars mobile app to remain in the app store, saying the app itself has not violated Apple’s terms of service.
Listen to Futurum Tech Podcast 005
Disclaimer: This newsletter and associated podcast are for informational purposes only. We hope you find it educational and entertaining but no investment advice is offered or implied.