Weekend Reading

20 April 2019 | by Ensemble Capital

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

Don’t Panic Over Netflix’s New Rivals (Elizabeth Winkler, @elizwinkler, Wall Street Journal)

While Apple and Disney have increased their focus on streaming video, Netflix continues to be the dominant player in the space.  As other players continue to invest in their streaming platforms and see strong results in the number of subscribers as a result, some investors worry whether Netflix will be able to keep its superstar status as the leader in streaming.  While domestic growth has begun to slow somewhat for Netflix, international growth continues to be quite strong.  “Netflix says it expects 5 million net subscriber additions in the second quarter, including 4.7 million internationally.”

Jamie Dimon says the US economic expansion ‘could go on for years’ (Hugh Son, @hugh_son, CNBC)

According to J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, the current economic expansion has no signs of ending anytime soon.  “If you look at the American economy, the consumer is in good shape, balance sheets are in good shape, people are going back to the workforce, companies have plenty of capital,” Dimon told analysts during a recent conference call.  While Dimon knows there will be recession at some point in the future, he believes that no one can know exactly what the confluence of factors is that might cause it.  Ensemble’s CIO Sean Stannard-Stockton also recently wrote about why we might not have a recession for a long time.

Forget the Black Hole Picture – Check Out the Sweet Technology That Made It Possible (Maggie Koerth-Baker, @maggiekb1, FiveThirtyEight)

On Wednesday, researchers released the first ever recorded images of a black hole.  The technology to capture these images required 10 Earthbound radio telescopes, linked together to collect high-frequency radio waves from space.  Then, four different teams of scientists used algorithms to convert the radio signals into visual images.  “The final system was able to collect and store 5 petabytes of data. If 1 byte were a 2-foot-by-2-foot tile, then 1 petabyte would cover the entire Earth.”  But the incredible technology used in visually capturing the black hole isn’t just for converting data from space into images, it is also used for medical imaging and self-driving cars.

Adidas’s radical new shoe could change the way the world buy sneakers (Mark Wilson, @ctrlzee, Fast Company)

The Adidas Futurecraft Loop shoe is the first ever performance running shoe designed for a circular life cycle.  “When you wear out this product, you give it back to us. And we recycle it,” says Tanyaradzwa Sahanga, materials engineer at Adidas. “We can take that recycled output, those ground bits of shoe, and put them into new shoes again.”  While not all of a shoe can be recycled (right now, about 10% of a shoe will consist of recycled material from a previous version), Adidas hopes to continue perfecting the process to move towards a 1:1 ratio.  Adidas will be giving away the first round of shoes in an unannounced manner.  The question will be whether they can make future generations as desirable as the first.

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