What We’re Reading

Here are a few good articles the Collaborative Fund team came across this week.

Transportation

This is a wonderfully detailed look at the potential of self-driving cars:

We are on the cusp of one of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruptions of transportation in history. By 2030, within 10 years of regulatory approval of autonomous vehicles (AVs), 95% of U.S. passenger miles traveled will be served by on-demand autonomous electric vehicles owned by fleets, not individuals, in a new business model we call “transportation-as-a-service” (TaaS). The TaaS disruption will have enormous implications across the transportation and oil industries, decimating entire portions of their value chains, causing oil demand and prices to plummet, and destroying trillions of dollars in investor value — but also creating trillions of dollars in new business opportunities, consumer surplus and GDP growth.

The disruption will be driven by economics. Using TaaS, the average American family will save more than $5,600 per year in transportation costs, equivalent to a wage raise of 10%. This will keep an additional $1 trillion per year in Americans’ pockets by 2030, potentially generating the largest infusion of consumer spending in history.

Pessimism

Ev Williams comes to terms with the tenor of open content platforms:

It was just another Utopian dream, Mr. Williams says. “The problem is that not everyone is going to be cool, because humans are humans,” he says. “There’s a lock on our office door and our homes at night. The internet was started without the expectation that we’d have to do that online.”

Culture

Etsy’s employee culture programs look like wasteful spending to some. But it’s an investment like any other:

He credits it with allowing Etsy to recruit talented engineers away from Google and Facebook and helping it attract a distinctive crowd of buyers and sellers. “This is something a lot of investors miss and don’t understand is an asset,” he says. “It does translate into growth.”

Purpose and profit

ESG investing is currently a special slice of the market. Soon, it won’t be:

So at some point in the future, what we call ESG investing today, will simply be called ‘investing.’

Career advice

If Bill Gates graduated college today, here’s what he’d go into:

One is artificial intelligence. We have only begun to tap into all the ways it will make people’s lives more productive and creative. The second is energy, because making it clean, affordable, and reliable will be essential for fighting poverty and climate change. The third is the biosciences, which are ripe with opportunities to help people live longer, healthier lives.

Ego

High-fee platinum cards are more symbol than function:

Demand for the platinum card is substantially higher than demand for its tangible benefits and services. Transaction data reveal that platinum cardholders are more likely to use the card in social contexts where others may notice it, implying social image concerns.

Have a good weekend.


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