Things I found interesting this week:
- It’s the time of year for people to make predictions for the year ahead. So far, Tom Fishburne’s has been the only predictions piece to make me laugh.
- On a more serious note, the annual Fjord Trends report was interesting for taking a broad view of how capitalism and growth are evolving.
- There’s a lot of valuable material in Deloitte’s TMT Predictions for 2020. I was particularly interested in the section on podcasting and audiobooks, which includes some original research on the US audio audience.
- It’s almost a year since Tumblr banned adult content, and the Atlantic looks at how the platform has evolved: average monthly traffic nearly halved, Android DAUs down by more than a third, but still surviving.
- There’s a good visualisation here of how many streams of a track it takes to earn $1: 136 on Apple Music, 229 on Spotify and nearly 1,500 on YouTube.
- Once you've hit your 1,500 streams, how would you spend the proceeds? This piece on funding trends might give some ideas: “If you had a dollar to invest in VC, how would you allocate it?”
- Strategy 1: This is a thought-provoking look at the issues for FMCG brands developing direct to consumer propositions: in particular, how do they balance D2C with existing retail channels, and whether it’s better to buy or build capability.
- Strategy 2: There’s a fascinating take on competitive strategy in this piece on finance platform Mint: “Adversarial interoperability was once commonplace. It's a powerful way for new upstarts to unseat the dominant companies in a market... But stories like Mint are rare today, thanks to a sustained, successful campaign by the companies that owe their own existence to adversarial interoperability to shut it down, lest someone do unto them as they had done unto the others.”
- A provocative view on venture/product: the first stage of startup development is the “drunken walk” phase, and 99% of startups don’t get past it.
(Housekeeping notes: I’m planning one more newsletter before the holidays and then a break until 2 January. Also, welcome new subscribers and thanks to everyone who has passed the newsletter to friends and colleagues recently. If you've found it useful over the last year, please hit the forward button below...)