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ResearchThree Things (10/10)

Three Things (10/10)

Oct 10, 2023

“Change is always around the corner. Sometimes, you proactively invite it in, and sometimes it just comes a-knocking." — Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon

Amazon shoots for stars

Amazon successfully launched its first two prototype satellites, marking a significant step toward its satellite-internet venture, Project Kuiper. The e-commerce giant aims to compete with SpaceX's Starlink and other rivals by delivering high-speed, low-latency broadband services to subscribers globally. The launch, conducted by United Launch Alliance (ULA), demonstrated the satellites' performance in space and tested various systems.

While some analysts have questioned its competitive edge, Amazon's CEO, Andy Jassy, views Project Kuiper as a significant business opportunity. After having successfully built three massive businesses, and searching for a fourth, could this be Amazon’s next big hit?

AI’s profit puzzle

Tech giants like Microsoft and Google are grappling with the profitability of their AI initiatives, primarily due to the significant operational costs associated with generative AI tools and their extensive infrastructure requirements. While companies are experimenting with different pricing models, such as introducing additional charges for AI software upgrades or capping monthly usage, they’ve yet to find the answer.

Even as the valuations of AI-related companies surge, the uncertainty surrounding profitability lingers. Over time, innovations and advancements may help lower operational costs, but for now, there remain steep hurdles.

Lone Star State

Texas cities like Houston, Dallas, and Austin are grappling with soaring office vacancy rates. In the third quarter, roughly 25% of office space remained unoccupied in these cities, a sharp contrast to New York's 12% and San Francisco's 17% vacancy rates. The root cause of this issue can be traced back to excessive construction during the 1980s and 1990s, driven by developer incentives and lenient lending practices.

Despite Texas' rapidly growing urban centers, the trend emphasizes a persistent problem in the U.S. office market – overdevelopment. While the office sector more broadly struggles to rebound, this long-standing issue remains its biggest challenge. (WSJ)

As of writing this newsletter, AMZN, GOOG, and MSFT are holdings in Titan Flagship. Twitter is a 2.22% holding in the ARK Venture Fund and TSLA is a 4.12% holding in the ARK Venture Fund.

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