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Google vs. Amazon (Link)
Steve Yegge spent years at both Amazon and Google. His famous posting from 2011 gives an insiders look what Amazon was able to figure out early on and what hindered Google. Google did nearly everything better than Amazon, yet Amazon continued to be more successful. The difference came down to products vs. platforms and Amazon’s CEO Bezos was fierce about building platforms and Google didn't understand this. Products are always built on top of platforms. Platforms are all about long-term thinking. The power of a platform comes from the variety and sophistication of the products it enables. Bezos realized long before the vast majority of Amazonians that Amazon needs to be a platform.
Relative sizes of world stock markets 1899 vs 2019 (Link)
At the start of the 20th century, the UK equity market was the largest in the world, accounting for a quarter of world capitalization, dominating even the US market (15%). Germany (13%). Of the US firms listed in 1900, over 80% of their value was in industries that are today small or extinct. Today the US equity market us the largest in the world, accounting for 50% of world capitalization with the UK now under 6%.
What Happened When I Bought a House With Solar Panels (Link)
I’d soon learn that the system was tied to the title of the house. It appeared that if we bought Jug’s place, we’d have to assume his lease arrangement with Sunrun. On consumer review sites and in local news reports, rueful customers warn others to stay away from TPO solar offered by Sunrun and other companies. State attorneys general and politicians have fielded complaints from people who say they were sold expensive systems they can’t afford after signing contracts they didn’t understand; or are paying more now on their electricity bills, not less as promised; or are having trouble selling their homes because potential buyers are turned off, just as I was. (Customers of Sunrun and other companies must sign binding arbitration clauses, barring them from suing or joining in class actions.) Salespeople would cherry-pick data, skim over crucial details, and prioritize speed above all, he told me. A trainer from California who listened in on hundreds of sales calls for quality control estimated that 60 % of customers knew no more than half of what they were signing up for and 10 % had no clue.