Weekend Reading

1 September 2018 | by Paul Perrino, CFA

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

Late to the Driverless Revolution (Lawrence D. Burns, WSJ)

Auto manufacturers have been focusing on delivering attractive vehicles for so many years, so when the self-driving unit of Google went to them to discuss their software, they received a bit of resistance. Ride-sharing companies didn’t have the same reaction once they learned of the technology. “Mr. Kalanick knew that a ridesharing business that operated driverlessly could provide its services for much less than a human-operated rival; the human driver accounted for a reported 70% to 90% of Uber’s cost per mile.” Detroit executives didn’t start paying attention until Uber virtually hired the entire team at Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center.

How Netflix outsmarted everyone else in TV (Eric Johnson, @HeyHeyESJ, Recode)

A number of smart people in the media industry have expressed their humility and admiration for what Netflix was able to accomplish. Jason Hirschhorn is one of those people.

How Netflix Redesigned Board Meetings (David Larcker and Brian Tayan, @StanfordCorpGov, Harvard Business Review)

The information deficit in the board room can hinder their ability to “make fully informed decisions on key matters, such as strategy, succession, and performance monitoring.” Netflix implemented two different, but simple practices to help overcome this issue.

‘Overtourism’ Worries Europe. How Much Did Technology Help Get Us There? (Farhad Manjoo, @fmanjoo, NYT)

Current technology, rising wealth, and cultural trends have increased foreign travel. Airbnb is one of the companies being blamed for this rise. Politicians in these countries are trying to pass laws to help curb this growth. ” In Amsterdam, the authorities are pushing to slash the number of nights that residents can rent their homes to 30 from 60. Several other cities, including London and Barcelona, Spain, have also instituted stringent home-sharing rules.”

Parts Shortages Crimp U.S. Factories (Doug Cameron and Austen Hufford, @dougcameron and @austenhufford, WSJ)

There is a boom in U.S. manufacturing. Companies are reporting strong sales and profits, but that may start to slow because their suppliers aren’t able to keep up with them. “Machinery giant Caterpillar Inc. and power-equipment maker Eaton Corp. are among those struggling to keep up with orders as supply-chain kinks join labor shortages and cost pressures from transportation and import tariffs as threats to the sector’s recovery.”

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