Tech

Gustavo Ballvé on September 16th, 2013

As long-term investors, we are always trying to understand where the companies we cover are competition-wise. We have to try to understand for years, sometimes decades into the future, something that very well-educated, intelligent and experienced company executives, industry consultants, academics (and so on) can get oh-so-wrong, so often. All this from reading a NY Times’ article about the semi-conductor industry, whose products power so many of our beloved consumer gadgets that make the likes of Apple so rich, and what they could do to change the game – if anything. Very interesting read, especially when you consider the technology-induced pickle in which the New York Times itself is in!

Read more about Innovation and competition

Gustavo Ballvé on May 17th, 2013

CNBC has a very interesting series of articles and videos on what they call the CNBC Disruptor 50, a list of 50 “disruptors” in several industries, including Healthcare, Travel, Transport, Retail, IT, Financial Services and others. Any disruptors creeping up on your portfolio companies yet?

Read more about CNBC’s Disruptor 50 series

Gustavo Ballvé on March 25th, 2013

H/T to My Investing Notebook, and his emphasis on what Buffett says of Jeff Bezos is spot-on as the best part of an altogether interesting interview. Just yesterday I had read an interesting piece on how well Amazon Prime is doing, so this connected immediately. Disrupting innovation indeed.

Read more about Buffett on Amazon.com and Jeff Bezos

Gustavo Ballvé on January 21st, 2013

Very interesting Wired interview with Google’s CEO, Larry Page. I love the “moon shot” reference in the title, and he apparently means it and tries to structure his company to allow for this sort of disruptive innovation. Does that translate into a bright future for GOOG shareholders? I have no clue, but companies like this are always in the radar, always teaching us something one way or the other.

Read more about Moon shots and disruptive innovation

Gustavo Ballvé on November 14th, 2012

More on Groupon’s woes, from a business model point of view. I really enjoy looking at innovative business models, and the Internet/Social Media realm is a very source of “disruptive” ideas. Caution and common sense still apply, especially when invited to invest in these companies (as per the many IPOs).

Read more about Groupon hurts

Gustavo Ballvé on August 14th, 2012

Two articles today discussing the coming end of the Facebook IPO lock-up. One argues there may be a sell-off; another, that there could be value in the stock and that the end of the lock-up could be a non-event. As one investor put it, in what has to be the irony of the year, “when does Facebook gets stupid cheap?” Cheap, I don’t know. Stupid, on the other hand, seems to apply to the whole episode.

Read more about Facebook lock-up ends, and…

Gustavo Ballvé on July 26th, 2012

Zynga’s “crash” story is a bit noisy, but still highlights the old investment dogma: a good business model does not necessarily imply a good investment – and in Zynga’s case, the assertion that it was a good business was never a sure thing.

Read more about Zynga’s woes

Gustavo Ballvé on May 30th, 2012

The Facebook imbroglio had all the elements of a Mexican (or Brazilian, I admit) soap opera: a build-up toward success, then unexpected twists and turns revealing involving falls-from-grace and perhaps even villains. We’re yet to see if there will be any bounce-backs and happy endings. However, the angry reaction to the “soap opera” from the “general audience” – in this case, retail investors who apparently went all-in for the story – still managed to surprise me.

Read more about Caveat emptor again

Gustavo Ballvé on April 11th, 2012

Facebook buys Instagram for US$ 1 billion and we do a linkfest, while wondering what it would take to invest in Facebook. Also: do Brazilians making waves in Silicon Valley signal that Brazil is booming in innovation?

Read more about Instabook or Facegram

Gustavo Ballvé on March 19th, 2012

Wells Fargo is now the US’ largest bank by market value and Apple will pay a huge dividend and repurchase shares. Microsoft and perhaps even Google can now be called “boring”, stable companies. Just a reminder of how limited our forecasting and modelling “mindsets” usually are. Also a reminder for keeping our minds open for positive surprises.

Read more about Evolving businesses

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