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Benedict's
Newsletter

This is a weekly newsletter of what I've seen in tech and thought was interesting. I work at Andreessen Horowitz. See more or subscribe at www.ben-evans.com.
My blog posts

Surfing, metrics and creation: Facebook and Snapchat. Link

News

Having cloned Snapchat stories into Instagram, Facebook is now putting a version into WhatsApp too. Setting aside jokes about how Evan Spiegel is FB's head of product, there are some interesting things going on here. Part of FB’s thesis: with 4 different mobile apps it has flexibility to bolt on anything Snapchat creates without straining the UX too much. Conversely, when it tried copying Instagram it had to build its own experience much more from the ground up, not just copy filters. But this presumes Snap’s innovation is as superficial as filters (which are now forgotten anyway) - 'just' a flow of neat ideas to bolt onto any UX. Perhaps.  Link

Uber is doing flying cars (maybe). Uber uber. Link

Group M wants to do its own ad measurement. There's a slow burn on 'trouble in ad tech' stories, but worth keeping an eye on - this feels like an unstable situation. Link

Tesla claims 1/3 battery cost reduction with its new plant (JV with Panasonic). Link

Reliance Jio, the would-be price-disruptive new-entrant mobile operator in India, claims 100m subscribers (boosted by hyper-aggressive launch offers). Unless I've lost track this is the Ambani family's third Indian mobile operator... Link

Insurance companies think smartphone distraction is driving up accident rates (wait for AVs to solve this...) Link

Blog posts

Refugee's stories through their smartphones. Link

Mark Zuckerberg essay on using Facebook to build community. Link 

Snap's IPO roadshow presentation. Link

12 things about product-market fit. Link

a16z podcast - pivots. Link

Amazon goes to the Oscars (ruffling feathers as it goes). Link

The AWS AI blog. Link

Apparently, India loves reading about crimes involving software engineers. Link

Statistics

70% of Mongolian nomads have solar power (from 2013). Big implications from solar for connecting the next billion - charging your phone is often harder (and more expensive) than connecting it. Link

Apple Music is now 'well past 20m' subscribers. Link

BBC iPlayer use continues to grow, but only in a straight line. Lots of interesting usage stats. Link

Apple Pay is now accepted at a third of US retail outlets. Remember when this was going to change payments? Much more about driving repeat iPhone purchases. Link
 
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