Jean-Charles Samuelian-Werve
Co-founder & CEO @ Alan
14 avr 2020Jean-Charles' Newsletters

Jean-Charles' newsletter: n°15

Chaque semaine, je partage quelques articles que j’ai trouvés particulièrement enrichissants. J’espère qu’ils vous aideront autant qu’ils m’ont aidé.

Newsletter #15

Certains articles sont en français, la plupart sont en anglais (je copie certaines citations en anglais). Ils ne sont pas tous récents et vont au rythme de mes lectures.

Si vous aimez, vous pouvez vous inscrire, partager (par email ou le blogpost) ou encore me suivre sur Twitter.

Bonne lecture !

📱Monde des technologies

👉Est-ce que la crise actuelle augmente le potentiel des plateformes de livraison de nourriture ? (The Information)

  • Le chômage augmentant malheureusement, de plus en plus de personnes seraient prêtes à travailler pour les plateformes
  • Il y a plus de sources potentielles car les restaurants et les distributeurs cherchent à maintenir leur revenu
  • Mais, tout le monde risque d’être touché par la récession : “Ming Maa, president of Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab, said on the call he expected the recessionary period to last 24 months.”

👉Slack émet 750 M$ de dette dans des termes excellents (Business Wire). Cela confirme l'intérêt du "direct listing" et d'un modèle de revenu récurrent et prédictible qui permet de réduire la dilution tout en finançant le futur.

👉Apple et Amazon ont signé un deal pour qu'Amazon puisse être intégré sur Apple TV (The Stratchery). Je vous invite à lire la très bonne analyse de Ben Thompson. J'ai aussi beaucoup aimé cette analyse de la stratégie de Netflix (et comment créer des avantages compétitifs sur le long terme) :

  • Netflix started by using content that was freely available (DVDs) to offer a benefit — no due dates and a massive selection — that was orthogonal to the established incumbent (Blockbuster). This built up Netflix’s user base, brand recognition, and pocketbook.
  • Netflix then leveraged their user base and pocketbook to acquire streaming rights in the service of a model that was, again, orthogonal to incumbents (linear television networks). This expanded Netflix’s user base, transformed their brand, and continued to increase their buying power.
  • With an increasingly high-profile brand, large user base, and ever deeper pockets, Netflix moved into original programming that was orthogonal to traditional programming buyers: creators had full control and a guarantee that they could create entire seasons at a time.
  • Each of these intermediary steps was a necessary prerequisite to everything that followed, culminating in yesterday’s announcement: Netflix can credibly offer a service worth paying for in any country on Earth, thanks to all of the IP it itself owns. This is how a company accomplishes what, at the beginning, may seem impossible: a series of steps from here to there that build on each other. Moreover, it is not only an impressive accomplishment, it is also a powerful moat; whoever wishes to compete has to follow the same time-consuming process.

👉Interview du fondateur de SoftBank, Masayoshi Son (Forbes) et de sa vision des différents cycles.

👉Apple et Google font un partenariat historique pour le tracing afin de sortir du Covid19 (The Verge).

👉Notion (que nous utilisons chez Alan) lève $50m avec Index (NY Times).

🏯 Construire une entreprise

👉Quelques leçons de la crise de 2008 par des fintechs (Alt Fi):

  • “The important thing to remember when you come out of a crisis is to realise that the next crisis is going to be different from the last.” (...) “It is so very easy to become fixated on what has just happened and over correct but be blind to what could happen in the future,”
  • “Every challenge brings its own opportunities; but, as LendInvest experience shows, it all comes down to how open and prepared you are to identify them, position yourself to capitalise on them and move fast to own them.”

👉Matrice simple de Sequoia sur comment approcher les différents scenarios Covid19 (Sequoia).

📚 Réflexions

👉Les Etats-Unis (à tous les niveaux : Etat, entreprise, individus) et le monde sont en face d’une montagne de dette qui pourrait transformer l’ordre mondial (WSJ):

  • Government, businesses and some households will be loaded with mountains of additional debt.
  • The debt surge is set to shape how governments and the private sector function long after the virus is tamed.
  • Past crises and buildups in U.S. government debt led to changes in the tax code and sharp fluctuations in inflation. In the private sector, debt loads could become a dividing line between firms that fail and those that emerge more dominant in their industries.
  • Past crises accompanied by swelling government debt led to dramatic changes in the government’s role in economic life. Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first Treasury Secretary, consolidated state debts at the federal level after the Revolutionary War, one of the nation’s first steps toward centralizing power. The vast expansion of lending from Washington today could further increase its sway over the economy.
  • Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, offers additional evidence that inflation might not surge. Japanese government debt is even larger than U.S. government debt, at two-times GDP.
  •, an online lender, says it has seen a 500% increase so far this year in applications by households for mortgage refinancing that involves taking cash out of the equity held in homes.
  • Business debt was high and rising before the crisis, as firms took advantage of low interest rates and steady growth. Now debt is increasing as firms scramble for funds to keep themselves running while profits evaporate.

👉La suite de l’essai de Ray Dalio sur la montée et la chute des Empires et qui confirme la potentielle chute à venir de l’Empire Américain (Ray Dalio). Beaucoup de citations (et la lecture complète de l’article vaut vraiment l’investissement).

Tous les Empires perdent leur pouvoir à un certain moment :

  • When they lost that power—which has been true of every past empire—the wealth, power, and world order changed in very big ways that had big effects on economies, markets, and all aspects of life, including technology, culture, and the arts.
  • The big swings in wealth and power are caused by a number of things, most importantly money and credit cycles, though I have identified 17 in total. These big forces generally transpire in classic cycles that are mutually reinforcing in ways that tend to create a single very big cycle of ups and downs that has played out repeatedly throughout history.

La situation actuelle de l’Empire Américain :

  • We recently hit 0% interest rates while having large amounts of debt in an economic downturn. This is leading to the creation of massive amounts of more government debt that central banks are printing money to monetize at the same time as there are big political and values gaps within countries, and there is an emerging world power (China) challenging the leading world power (the United States).
  • I believe that we are now seeing the archetypical big shift in relative wealth and power and, with this shift, we are seeing a profound shift in the world order that will affect all countries.
  • (...) while the American Empire has controlled more via rewards and threats—though that is not entirely true, as at the time of this writing the US has military bases in 70 countries.
  • Underneath this relatively smooth upward trajectory of productivity are the turbulent times that include booms, busts, revolutions, and wars. Because these turbulent times are small in relation to the evolutionary uptrend, they show up in the chart as relatively minor wiggles. Yet these wiggles seem very big to us because we are so small and short-lived.

Un des meilleurs indicateurs du succès futur d’un empire :

  • For example, quality of education has been the long-leading strength of rises and declines in these measures of power and the long-lagging strength has been the reserve currency.

Comment les Empires deviennent de moins en moins compétitifs :

  • Those who are most successful typically have their ways of being more successful copied by emerging competitors, which also contributes to the leading power becoming less competitive. For example, British shipbuilders, who had less expensive workers than Dutch shipbuilders, hired Dutch shipbuilding architects to design ships that were more cost-effectively built than Dutch ships. Because it takes less time and money to copy than invent, all else being equal, emerging empires tend to gain on mature empires through copying.
  • Those who become richer naturally tend to work less hard, engage in more leisurely and less productive activities, and at the extreme, become decadent and unproductive.
  • The currencies of countries that are richest and most powerful become the world’s reserve currencies, which gives them the “exorbitant privilege” of being able to borrow more money, which gets them deeper into debt. This boosts the leading empire’s spending power over the short term and weakens it over the longer run. In other words, when the borrowing and spending are strong, the leading empire appears strong while its finances are in fact being weakened. (...) When the richest get into debt by borrowing from the poorest, it is a very early sign of a relative wealth shift.
  • Those with wealth and power (e.g., those who are commercially benefiting and those who run the government) naturally work in mutually supportive ways to maintain the existing system that benefits them while other segments of the population lag, until the split becomes so large that it is perceived as intolerably unfair. This is an issue in the US.
  • When debts become very large, when the central banks lose their abilities to stimulate debt and economic growth, and when there is an economic downturn that leads to debt and economic problems and to more printing of money, that eventually devalues money.
  • When these sorts of disruptive conditions exist, they undermine productivity; that shrinks the economic pie and causes more conflict about how to divide the shrinking resources well, which leads to even more internal conflict that increasingly leads to fighting between the populist leaders from both sides who want to take control to bring about order. That is when democracy is most challenged by autocracy.
  • When other exogenous shocks, such as acts of nature (e.g., plagues, droughts, or floods), occur during times of vulnerabilities such as those mentioned above, they increase the risks of a self-reinforcing downward spiral.

Le résumé du phénomène :

  • To summarize, around the upward trend of productivity gains producing wealth and living standards, there are cycles that produce 1) periods of building in which the country is fundamentally strong because there are a) relatively low levels of indebtedness, b) relatively small wealth, values, and political gaps, c) people working effectively together to produce prosperity within countries, d) good education and infrastructure, e) strong and capable leadership, and f) a peaceful world order that is guided by one or more dominant world powers. These are the prosperous and enjoyable periods.
  • When they are taken to excess, which they always are, the excesses lead to 2) periods of destroying and restructuring in which the country’s fundamental weaknesses of a) high levels of indebtedness, b) large wealth, values, and political gaps, c) different factions of people unable to work well together, d) poor education and poor infrastructure, and e) the struggle to maintain an overextended empire under the challenge of emerging powerful rivals lead to a painful period of fighting, destroying, and restructuring that establishes the new order that sets the stage for the new period of building.
  • Because all of these factors, both ascending and descending, tend to be mutually reinforcing, it is not a coincidence that large wealth gaps, debt crises, revolutions, wars, and changes in the world order have tended to come together. They come as a perfect storm.

🏥 Santé

👉Google va donner accès à de la télémédecine aux médecins aux US (Google).

  • Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve seen interest in virtual care and telehealth rise dramatically.
  • Providing individuals with access to high-quality and authoritative information and supporting them throughout their health journey.
  • Over the coming week, we’re beginning to roll out two new features in Search and Maps that make it easier for people to connect to virtual healthcare options, whether it’s to a doctor’s office down the street, the hospital across town, or a national telehealth platform.
  • Healthcare providers like hospitals, doctors, and mental health professionals can now enter a virtual care offering in their Business Profile, (...), and in many cases, schedule a virtual healthcare visit with a provider.
  • This includes helping doctors support patients remotely with HIPAA-compliant G Suite products (including using Google Meet for telehealth or virtual visits), deploying virtual agents to field questions related to COVID-19, and helping with capacity-planning and demand forecasting of key medical supplies to better manage their supply chains.
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