Why does the CEO of the richest company on earth look like he’s drowning in… air?
It was just three years in the making…
Here’s the quick summary for those of you who don’t have time to read the next 3,000 words.
The Apple Watch went on sale for pre-orders on April 10, 2015, and the Apple Store tells us that delivery dates for all orders now stretch into summer and beyond. We know that the initial production run of Apple Watch has sold out; what we don’t know is how many Apple Watches that represents. I’ve built a simple model that predicts that the initial run of watches was more than 3 million units and will yield Apple Watch revenues of over $2 billion for the first two weeks of sales. While this figure is smaller than first weekend sales of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, it dwarfs all other smartwatch sales to date and represents a milestone in wearable sales. The model suggests that while Sport Watch will lead sales in volume, selling 1.8 million units through May 8, Apple Watch will actually lead in revenue during that period, garnering about $900 million versus Sport’s $675 million. I also believe that Apple’s decision to introduce the Edition will be validated by $500 million in sales on only 40,000 units.
While I believe that these figures will be considerably below the number of pre-orders for Apple Watch, I believe Apple did this for an important reason. Apple is offering 38 different models of Apple Watch and it has no order history to go on. Instead of guessing at the right mix of models to manufacture, I believe that while Apple has manufactured a large number of Apple Watch electronics modules, it will perform the final assembly of actual products—the unique combinations of module, case, and band—to order. This approach will allow it to keep inventory costs low and satisfy as many consumers as possible.
The Origins Of This Model
Now the long version.
Earlier today, TechCrunch published a report indicating that Yahoo may be in talks to purchase local search and discovery service Foursquare for $900 million. “One source says that the “deal is done” but details are still being ironed out. Others have also confirmed a Yahoo/Foursquare deal is in the frame,” TechCrunch wrote.
However, just a few minutes ago, Peter Kafka of Re/Code debunked TechCrunch‘s report after talking to “multiple people familiar with the companies.” WSJ reporter Doug MacMillan (particularly notable for his direct access to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer) also cited a source saying that Yahoo isn’t in talks to buy Foursquare.
Sources The Michael Report have pinged since the news broke confirmed both Kafka and MacMillan’s account, adding that the rumors originated from Foursquare’s side rather than Yahoo’s.
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recently announced her bid to run in the 2016 presidential election, which would exert the influence of the Clinton dynasty further into the lives of Americans. In fact, Hillary Clinton is such a dominant candidate for the Democratic Party that it has been generally accepted by many in Beltway that she’s not going to have an opponent for the Democratic presidential nomination (senator Elizabeth Warren comes close, but there hasn’t been much indication that she’s planning to run, or if she’s even considering the possibility of it at all – “I’m not running, I’m not running”).
Clinton’s lack of a political opponent from the Democratic party is a double-edged sword: on one hand, her path to the general election is virtually guaranteed… on the other hand, an uncompetitive primary means that if the press wishes to attack a candidate from the Democratic party, there’s only one viable target, and that’s Hillary. Over the last few weeks, we’ve indeed seen this version of the narrative play out in the press, with the resurfacing of Clinton’s old and damaging emails.
The mainstream press chased the original story and milked it for all its worth: that Clinton used a private email instead of a government-issued one during her time as the Secretary of State (for what it’s worth, that email address is HDR22@clintonemail.com), thus violating standard federal record-keeping regulations. Once that story died down, however, a more sinister narrative began to emerge – one that was barely covered by the mainstream press, and one that has a potentially devastating effect on Clinton’s political campaign, not quite unlike how the Watergate scandal affect Nixon’s campaign.
After a deep investigation and reviewing email records available on public domain, we’re now revealing the down and dirty details of Clinton’s secret spy network, which included an off-the-books intel operation, which she directed under the cover of her personal email address.
Americans are a hardworking bunch.
In fact, recently released data charted by DaDaviz shows the average American is more hardworking than the average worker in France or Germany… by a huge margin. Take a look:
Data for the chart came from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ Economic Research department.
The chart falls more or less in line with what we’ve known for a long time: Americans are hardworking, and they’re not smart about taking advantage of the vacation days they’re awarded at work.
According to Project Time Off, an organization that focuses on changing people’s perception of taking breaks in the American workforce, 41 percent of American workers did not plan to use all their paid time off in 2014, even though it is part of their compensation.
It should be no surprise then, that nearly three-quarters of workers say they are stressed at work, with one-in-four reporting they are either “very” or “extremely” stressed.
Take a break, America!
Recently, many smart people (investors, analysts and bloggers) have begun ringing the alarm bell: startups are overvalued, and since everything that goes up is bound to come down, these startups with massively inflated valuations will crash – hard.
Here’s a sample of the headlines we’ve been seeing in just the last few months (for the uninitiated, “unicorns” describes companies whose valuation exceeds $1 billion. They’re supposed to be rare, just like unicorns.):
“Are Tech Companies Overvalued? Top Investors Think So” – TechCrunch
Legendary VC Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures and John Lilly of Greylock both argue at startups are massively overvalued, with Wilson lamenting, “I think in general the public market valuations got too high, and then that went down into the private market, and the private market valuations got too high, and now the public market valuations are correcting, and now there’s a bunch of companies that raised money at really high valuations in the private market and they’re going to have to deal with that.”
“Top VC: A lot of tech startup failure coming in 2015“- Fortune
Bill Gurley, another legendary investor in the VC community who has led investments in companies such as Uber, NextDoor and OpenTable, thinks that the private startup investment is overheated, and after a relatively smooth past few years, we’ll start to see some of the 80+ unicorns that exist today collapse. Gurley’s primary area of concern are the privately-held companies “that raise lots of funding at higher and higher valuations eventually build up tons of liquidation preferences.”
“Disruptions: Are Eager Investors Overvaluing Tech Start-Ups?” – The New York Times
Well-known tech writer Nick Bilton argues that in the startup market space,”enthusiasm is once again getting ahead of reality” and that VCs are making numerous bad bets (to the tune of $200 million in some cases) because they’re under-pressure to deliver a return of 10 times on investments (these enormous returns would compensate for all the other companies that promised a return of 10 times but ended up tanking instead).
So, if there’s one thing we learned from all the smart people who rang the alarm bells, it’s probably this: most startups are insanely overvalued, and many of these startups’ valuation on paper will never materialize in reality.
But for all the brouhaha surrounding the unicorns lately, most investors seem to be oblivious to one fact: the value of every tech unicorn in the United States combined is still less than one Facebook.
Research compiled by CBInsights highlighted that the combined worth of all U.S.-based tech unicorns is $211 billion. Facebook, on the other hand, is worth $229.99 billion.
Take a look at this graph:
The highlighted bar represents the combined value of all U.S.-based tech unicorns.
Here’s a table that compares the cumulative worth of all 57 U.S.-based tech unicorns relative to other public tech companies (for example, unicorns are worth 7.94 Netflixs, 7.79 Intuits, or 1.19 Amazons):
In other words, if all of the U.S.-based tech unicorns we’ve been hearing about fails, it’d only be equivalent to 0.29 Apples.
Reality is often different from what is portrayed in the media: even if all these unicorns fail, it most likely won’t be the end the world (even though those in Silicon Valley want you to believe so…). Breathe easy, people.
Hillary Clinton, the Democrat Party’s frontrunner for the 2016 presidential elections, once told Barack Obama in 2008 that she would disclose all donors to the Clinton Foundation (the family’s omnipresent philanthropic empire) in the interest of transparency. Her foundation would publish the name of all donors on an annual basis to prevent accusations of undue foreign influence while she served as the Secretary of State (directly in violation of federal law), she promised at the time.
However, that promise only lasted two years, according to several reports and documents examined by The Michael Report.
In the first two years of making that pledge, the Clinton Foundation did indeed publish the supposedly complete list of names that donated to the charity that year – more than 200,000 of them. The foundation continued to update that list until 2010, when it became more selective about the names it published.
A recent Reuters investigation also showed that the foundation’s flagship health program, CHAI (Clinton Health Access Initiative), which spends more than all the other foundation initiatives combined, stopped publishing names all together. The foundation only published a very selective, vetted list of names following inquiries from the media.
The implication of this is huge: from 2010 to 2013, while Clinton was still serving in official government capacity, no one really knows who was donating to the foundation.
No one knows whose money was potentially influencing Clinton’s decision making process in the State Department… until today.