Weekend Reading

7 July 2018 | by Paul Perrino, CFA

A summary of this week’s best articles. Follow us on Twitter (@INTRINSICINV) for similar ongoing posts and shares.

Atul Gawande, a surgeon injecting humanity into US healthcare (Anjana Ahuja, @anjahuja, FT)

A profile of Atul Gawande, who is tasked to head the “non-profit venture funded jointly by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase.”  Dr. Gawande is “an endocrinologist and surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a professor of public health at Harvard.” He has also written several books. I’ve read his book The Checklist Manifesto, which is fantastic. I look forward to seeing his continued positive impact on the health care industry.

How Amazon Steers Shoppers to Its Own Products (Julie Creswell, @julie_creswell, NYT)

Amazon’s move into the private label retail space started small and quiet. As the article says, “It started with a simple battery.” Now, AmazonBasics batteries account for a third of online battery sales. To stay competitive, brands like Energizer are paying to advertise at the top of relevant search results. While AmazonBasics only has about 100 products, the room for growth is large, and they have the data to see what products to take private next. “About 70 percent of the word searches done on Amazon’s search browser are for generic goods. That means consumers are typing in “men’s underwear” or “running shoes” rather than asking, specifically, for Hanes or Nike.”

Amazon Has a Business Proposition for You: Deliver Its Packages (Julie Creswell, @julie_creswell, NYT)

So far, Amazon has done an amazing job managing the speedy delivery of its products to customers. In typical Amazon fashion, they’re looking into optimizing it even more and becoming more vertically integrated. One new option is the use of contract drivers. This will help reduce their dependence on current shippers like USPS, UPS, and FedEx.

Industries, Looking for Efficiency, Turn to Blockchains (Laura Shin, @laurashin, NYT)

The uses of Blockchain are great and they’re now moving from being theoretical to practical. Firms from insurance companies to logistic companies are developing processes to utilize Blockchain technology. It has the potential to reduce fraud and improve efficiency. One of the biggest hurdles is the lack of a clear network. In order for this technology to be effective, there needs to be enough people on the network to make it worth it.



While we do not accept public comments on this blog for compliance reasons, we encourage readers to contact us with their thoughts.

The information contained in this post represents Ensemble Capital Management’s general opinions and should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment, financial, tax, legal, or other advice. No advisor/client relationship is created by your access of this site. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investments in securities carry risks, including the risk of losing one’s entire investment. If a security discussed in this blog entry is owned by clients invested in Ensemble Capital’s core equity strategy you will find a disclosure regarding the security held above. If reviewing this blog entry after its original post date, please refer to our current 13F filing or contact us for a current or past copy of such filing. Each quarter we file a 13F report of holdings, which discloses all of our reportable client holdings. Ensemble Capital is a discretionary investment manager and does not make “recommendations” of securities. Nothing contained within this post (including any content we link to or other 3rd party content) constitutes a solicitation, recommendation, endorsement, or offer to buy or sell any securities or other financial instrument. Ensemble Capital employees and related persons may hold positions or other interests in the securities mentioned herein. Employees and related persons trade for their own accounts on the basis of their personal investment goals and financial circumstances.