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Omnivore Digest 6/8/2024

·4985 words·24 mins
  1. 4 Minute Fridays: 3 hidden causes of fat gain, the best time of day to workout & how to find your VO2 max (202 words)
  2. The Attention Cottage, Steel Man Technique, & More (215 words)
  3. First Citizens, Jane Street Take Talent Wars to Court With Trade Secrets Suits - Bloomberg (270 words)
  4. Private Equity Titans’ Nerves on Edge at Lavish Industry Party - Bloomberg (267 words)
  5. Canada Makes The First Move (255 words)
  6. War in Ukraine Reveals Aging US Factories in Ammunition Race (229 words)
  7. A $457 million deposit, 100 million masks from China, and the tiny Chain Bridge bank | Semafor (259 words)
  8. The Steel Man Technique, Attention Cottage, & More (218 words)
  9. 📱Apple’s rough draft (228 words)
  10. 💳 Scammy gift cards (220 words)
  11. What Type of Nerd Are You? There’s a Cruise for That. - WSJ (248 words)
  12. 🟡 Nuclear options (199 words)
  13. The humbling of Narendra Modi (234 words)
  14. 🐱 Purring kitty (167 words)
  15. (1) Deals getting done | LinkedIn (287 words)
  16. 🟡 Biden’s border U-turn (233 words)
  17. LLMs Turn Every Question Into an Answer (183 words)
  18. June 7, 2024 (232 words)
  19. Football, ‘Bama Rush Draws East Coast Students South for College - Bloomberg (210 words)
  20. How to build the perfect pitch deck: a step by step guide with examples and an analysis of my Airbnb’s deck (286 words)
  21. Rauch’s step-by-step guide includes
  22. 👔 Big 4 Visualized - by App Economy Insights (244 words)
  23. The Briefing: Apple and Musk to Dominate News Next Week (239 words)

4 Minute Fridays: 3 hidden causes of fat gain, the best time of day to workout & how to find your VO2 max (202 words) #

Dan Go identifies three hidden causes of fat gain: mindless snacking, alcohol consumption, and emotional eating. He uses a client’s experience to demonstrate how addressing these habits led to a five-pound weight loss in two weeks. Go highlights that many people consuming “healthy” diets may still unknowingly add extra calories through these behaviors.

Go also discusses the best time of day to work out, citing a study that found strength and endurance gains are optimal in the late afternoon (2 pm-6 pm) due to circadian rhythms. Yet, he emphasizes that consistency in workout timing is more important than the specific hours, particularly for non-athletes.

Addressing a reader question, Go critiques the accuracy of Apple Watch VO2 max measurements, suggesting that laboratory tests are ideal, with the Cooper Test as a crude yet somewhat effective alternative.

Finally, Go shares a success story of a client, Janelle, who improved her health by changing food quality, incorporating weight training, increasing protein intake, and walking daily—resulting in significant weight loss and enhanced energy levels.

The Attention Cottage, Steel Man Technique, & More (215 words) #

In his article “The Attention Cottage, Steel Man Technique, & More,” Sahil Bloom presents five intriguing ideas for the weekend. He prompts readers to question conventional boundaries and consider living outside the box, drawing on Nassim Taleb’s critique of societal norms to emphasize the mundanity of conformist living.

Bloom presents the “Steel Man Technique” as a method to strengthen arguments by constructing and engaging with the best version of an opponent’s argument. He argues this technique is valuable in business for making crucial decisions, understanding competitors, and addressing risks.

Bloom also shares a Rumi quote to highlight that mental limits are self-imposed. He introduces the concept of an “Attention Cottage,” a dedicated space for focused creative work, underscoring its potential to enhance productivity away from constant connectivity.

To underline the significance of finding joy in routine, Bloom cites a poem from William Martin’s book. Lastly, he encourages readers to explore Sidebar, a service that connects users with expert mentors to expedite career growth.

Bloom supports his claims with anecdotes and insights from credible sources, effectively intertwining practical advice with philosophical reflections.

First Citizens, Jane Street Take Talent Wars to Court With Trade Secrets Suits - Bloomberg (270 words) #

Rachel Graf’s article delves into legal battles revolving around talent poaching in the financial sector, focusing on lawsuits involving First Citizens Bank & Trust, Jane Street Group, and Barings LLC. According to Graf, First Citizens sued HSBC for $1 billion, claiming that HSBC orchestrated a mass defection of 42 employees from the tech and life sciences departments of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), framing it as an illegal scheme to tap into SVB’s core profitability. The dispute echoes a broader trend where companies, amid relaxed non-compete regulations, increasingly resort to trade secrets litigation as employees defect to competitors.

Graf recounts how Jane Street Group accused two former traders of stealing a proprietary $1 billion trading strategy, resulting in a significant drop in profits, while Barings faces similar issues with a 22-person poach by Corinthia Global Management.

Legal experts, such as Linda Jackson and Jennifer Baldocchi, underline the challenges of proving trade secrets theft, emphasizing the need for robust protection of confidential information. Tying the cases to the broader regulatory landscape, Graf notes the Federal Trade Commission’s approval of a rule largely banning non-competes, potentially sparking more litigation over trade secrets.

According to First Citizens, proprietary information was allegedly stolen by David Sabow to generate significant profits for HSBC’s new franchise, cited as Project Colony. However, HSBC argues that their offers were lawful, given the uncertain status of the SVB employees post-acquisition.

Private Equity Titans’ Nerves on Edge at Lavish Industry Party - Bloomberg (267 words) #

Loukia Gyftopoulou and Jan-Henrik Foerster assert that despite the upbeat facade at the SuperReturn International conference in Berlin, private equity (PE) executives are privately expressing deep concerns. Hugh MacArthur from Bain & Co. notes that about 20% of general partners (GPs) typically fail to raise new funds during financial downturns, a period he suggests many firms are currently experiencing. Private discussions reveal that distributions — the return of capital to investors — are at a decade-low due to high interest rates, which hamper refinancing, dealmaking, and valuations.

Scott Kleinman of Apollo Global Management admits the industry’s returns will remain suppressed until economic conditions improve, challenging GPs to deliver the expected returns to their investors, known as limited partners (LPs). Loukia and Jan-Henrik highlight that this pressure is causing a significant number of GPs to market future funds under financial strain.

Furthermore, MacArthur’s data underscores the critical nature of this issue, with distributions dwindling and high rates exacerbating the problem. Sunaina Sinha of Raymond James adds that many GPs haven’t completed a deal in 12 months, signaling a potential breakdown of the PE cycle.

Lastly, optimism prevails on stage, with expectations of a dealmaking rebound following anticipated interest rate cuts. However, Bain & Co.’s analysis warns that 2024 may still be one of the worst years for exit values since 2016, reflecting the industry’s ongoing challenges.

Canada Makes The First Move (255 words) #

In “Canada Makes The First Move” by The Daily Peel, the author discusses the Bank of Canada’s recent decision to reduce interest rates by 25 basis points, making it the first G7 country to cut rates this cycle. This move contrasts with the U.S. Federal Reserve’s “higher for longer” stance and signifies Canada’s proactive approach amid concerns over inflation and economic growth. The article highlights Canada’s economic sensitivity to interest rates because of high personal and corporate debt, necessitating swift actions to manage inflation.

The author underscores that the direction of interest rates is often more critical than their current level, influencing decisions in housing and overall economy. Evidence shows that Canadian inflation peaked at 8.1% in June 2022, lower than in the U.S., with Bank of Canada targeting a return to 2% inflation by 2025.

Furthermore, the rate cut may affect the Canadian dollar’s value and trade balances, particularly with the U.S. The piece touches on broader implications, stating that other economies may follow Canada’s lead, particularly those in Europe, while the U.S. remains cautious.

Additionally, the article mentions significant market activities, such as GameStop’s stock surge and Robinhood’s acquisition of Bitstamp, reflecting broader economic dynamism and investor sentiment.

War in Ukraine Reveals Aging US Factories in Ammunition Race (229 words) #

Roxana Tiron and Billy House argue that the US is struggling to produce sufficient 155mm artillery shells, crucial in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, due to outdated and neglected manufacturing infrastructure. They note that after the Cold War, the Pentagon shifted its focus to high-tech weaponry, leaving facilities for traditional munitions in disrepair. As a result, monthly shell production has drastically fallen from Cold War standards.

The authors highlight a major mobilization effort, citing a $5 billion investment to revamp plants in Scranton and other locations, with the goal of reaching 100,000 shells per month by the end of next year. This mobilization includes initiatives like reopening the Goex black powder plant and building a TNT production facility.

Tiron and House utilize historical production figures and recent Congressional funding allocations as data points to support their claims. They reflect on Doug Bush’s comments regarding long-term investments needed for modernizing and expanding US munitions production.

Furthermore, the article underlines the strategic errors of neglecting basic munitions, with NATO now requiring allies to bolster their stockpiles. The authors stress that this renewed emphasis on traditional munitions should be seen not only as support for Ukraine but also as a critical boost to US national security and industry.

A $457 million deposit, 100 million masks from China, and the tiny Chain Bridge bank | Semafor (259 words) #

According to Liz Hoffman, the story of Blue Flame Medical’s failed delivery of $457 million worth of masks to California isn’t just about pandemic fraud. Instead, it’s a convoluted tale involving a small Virginia bank, Chain Bridge Bank, and JPMorgan.

Hoffman reveals that Chain Bridge Bank, which had Blue Flame’s account, realized it couldn’t handle the massive deposit, prompting a hasty reversal of the funds with the assistance of JPMorgan. Internal communications show panic among Chain Bridge executives, fearing regulatory penalties due to the size of the deposit. Despite initially crediting Blue Flame’s account, they urged California’s bankers at JPMorgan to recall the funds, leading to disputes and cancellations of Blue Flame’s contracts.

Hoffman supports her claims with internal bank records, emails, and recorded phone calls, illustrating the motivations and actions of the involved bank executives. She further contextualizes the banking industry’s chaos during the pandemic, highlighting systemic issues and regulatory pressures. Blue Flame’s co-founder John Thomas argues that Chain Bridge and JPMorgan’s actions unjustly ruined his business, and he is now seeking reimbursement through legal and regulatory channels.

Hoffman’s examination of the federal investigation, the banking industry’s response, and the broader financial implications provides a thorough and data-backed recount of the Blue Flame Medical controversy.

The Steel Man Technique, Attention Cottage, & More (218 words) #

In Sahil Bloom’s “The Steel Man Technique, Attention Cottage, & More,” he shares five stimulating ideas to inspire curiosity. Bloom emphasizes the importance of stepping outside conventional boundaries, quoting Nassim Taleb to illustrate how society’s norms confine individuals. Bloom invigorates readers to challenge these limits, urging them to live ‘outside the box.’

He introduces the Steel Man Technique, which contrasts with the Straw Man Fallacy, urging individuals to engage with the strongest form of opponents’ arguments to make well-informed decisions and mitigate risks. Bloom explains that this approach is vital in business for decision-making, understanding competitors, and managing risks.

Additionally, Bloom highlights the need for focused attention, inspired by the concept of an “Attention Cottage,” a secluded space for undisturbed focus. He reflects on a William Martin poem, encouraging readers to find joy in the ordinary.

Bloom’s arguments are evidenced by integrating perspectives from prominent thinkers and practical business strategies, supported by his personal and professional experiences.

Lastly, Bloom recommends Sidebar, a platform that brings together experts to provide customized career advice, and endorses Athletic Greens for maintaining health.

📱Apple’s rough draft (228 words) #

Ina Fried argues that Apple’s forthcoming generative AI strategy, to be revealed at its developer conference, is a preliminary attempt rather than a definitive solution. According to Fried, Apple is feeling significant pressure to present a coherent strategy but is still developing its approach. She highlights that Apple’s upcoming updates to Siri are expected to incorporate generative AI for improved user interaction but will likely depend on partnerships for chatbot capabilities, potentially involving OpenAI.

Fried notes that Apple prefers in-house solutions for crucial technologies, citing potential disruptions caused by chatbots that could challenge Apple’s app-centric business model and the privacy risks of handling data via third-party clouds. She also mentions Apple’s lag behind competitors like Microsoft, Google, and Qualcomm, who are already deeply integrating generative AI into their products.

Fried supports her claims with references to expert opinions and highlights Apple’s negotiations with AI giants to sustain its market position. She points out the possible future role of on-device AI processing, which aligns with Apple’s strengths in privacy and hardware integration.

Overall, Fried suggests that while Apple’s genAI efforts are still nascent, they could significantly evolve, leveraging its loyal customer base and technological capabilities.

💳 Scammy gift cards (220 words) #

According to Sam Sabin of Axios, American retailers are struggling to curb a significant rise in gift card scams, with the FTC estimating losses at $217 million last year— likely more due to underreporting from ashamed victims. At the National Retail Federation’s cybersecurity conference, experts noted that scammers often target vulnerable populations through various deceptive tactics involving both virtual and physical means to harvest gift card details.

Amy Nofziger of AARP emphasized the severe impact on victims, sharing data about their helpline receiving 100,000 scam calls annually and cases involving losses as high as $31,000. She criticized the collective failure to protect these victims adequately.

Walmart is actively combating these scams by tracking and freezing suspicious gift card activities and working with law enforcement. Despite some measures being in place, Nofziger and other experts suggested more could be done to alert potential victims, including better warning signs on gift card racks and enhanced collaboration between retailers and vendors to share scam information efficiently.

Sabin concludes by highlighting the prevalent targets of these scams—Apple, Google Play Store, and payment gift cards—and the creative resale strategies used by scammers to monetize the stolen gift cards.

What Type of Nerd Are You? There’s a Cruise for That. - WSJ (248 words) #

According to Donna Bulseco, specialized cruises have emerged as a significant draw for travelers desiring educational experiences. Annemarie Tilton, a traveler, highlights an 8-day Galápagos excursion by Quasar Expeditions, noting its structured daily excursions and educational lectures, which attracted travelers with shared curiosities. Todd Nielsen, from Eos Study Tours, confirms the growing popularity of such “seminar-on-the-sea” packages, which often come with a hefty price tag.

Bulseco details various educational cruises:

Science-Fair Champs: The Explorers Club collaborates with Ponant for expeditions led by experts like geologist Ulyana Horodyskyj Peña, highlighting unique landscapes and wildlife. Prices range from $9,220 to $25,780. Infrastructure Nerds: Alyse Cori praises cruises that showcase engineering marvels like the Panama and Suez Canals, with detailed explanations. Seabourn’s cruises cost around $9,349. Holiday Hounds: Tauck’s “Christmas Markets Along the Danube” cruise offers a deep dive into holiday traditions in Europe. Costs start at $3,990. Civil War Buffs: American Cruise Lines’ 36-day tour explores major and minor Civil War sites with historian-guided lectures. Prices start at $24,700. Amateur Archaeologists: Georgia Raysman praises the Archaeological Institute of America’s tours, featuring renowned scholars. Their “Petra to the Parthenon” itinerary costs from $12,490. Dark path (264 words)

According to The Bloomberg Open, Michael Hartnett from BofA warns that a potential rate cut by the Fed could lead to economic trouble, increasing the likelihood of a hard landing. Hartnett suggests that confidence in lower rates could see bonds outperforming. The ultra-rich are significantly impacting private equity, contributing to a $20 billion buyout wave, as wealthy families increasingly become key capital sources for firms like KKR and Silver Lake.

Japan’s largest banks are planning an $8.5 billion sale of Toyota shares, signaling a move to unwind cross-shareholdings. Meanwhile, U.S. investors are keenly awaiting a jobs report that may reflect a cooling labor market, with nonfarm payrolls predicted to grow by 180,000 in May.

In other corporate news, Aramco’s share sale has raised approximately $11.2 billion, while a Tesla investor challenges a proxy vote concerning the company’s corporate relocation to Texas and a substantial pay package for Elon Musk.

Bloomberg also highlights that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the U.S. Congress on July 24, and concerns persist about Mexico’s ruling party potentially rushing reforms before the new president-elect takes office. Additionally, tuna fishing has become a popular activity among Wall Street workers in the Hamptons, driven by improved boat speeds and more fish near the shore.

Overall, the article underscores the economic activities and maneuvers influenced by significant financial players globally.

🟡 Nuclear options (199 words) #

Semafor Principals argue that the Biden administration plans to adopt a more assertive nuclear weapons strategy due to China and Russia’s refusal to discuss arms control. A senior administration official stated the US believes it needs “to adopt a more competitive approach to non-proliferation and arms control” and adjust its capabilities accordingly. This strategy shift will be detailed by NSC’s Pranay Vaddi at an arms control conference, responding to the ineffectiveness of previous overtures to Beijing and Moscow, as reported by Mathias Hammer.

Additionally, the article highlights that US and European officials are close to using profits from frozen Russian assets to secure a $50 billion loan for Ukraine, specifying that a Treasury official mentioned making “a lot of forward progress.” This move is intended to signal a committed stance against Vladimir Putin’s actions, with White House official Daleep Singh emphasizing the sustained resolve.

Through these data-supported statements and officials’ direct quotes, the article underscores the US’s strategic pivot in arms control and its financial support mechanisms for Ukraine amidst ongoing geopolitical tensions.

The humbling of Narendra Modi (234 words) #

In “The Humbling of Narendra Modi,” Roula Khalaf portrays a significant shift in Indian politics following the 2024 elections. Narendra Modi, previously radiating confidence about securing a third term, experienced a surprising electoral setback. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won only 240 seats, losing its outright majority and necessitating reliance on coalition partners for governance. This outcome starkly contrasts with prior exit polls predicting a strong BJP victory.

Khalaf attributes this shift to anti-incumbency sentiments, focusing on economic challenges and concerns over constitutional rights. Analysts like N Ram argue that Modi must significantly alter his approach, as a more robust opposition and invigorated parliament emerge. The state of Uttar Pradesh, pivotal in past BJP victories, saw a drastic reduction in seats, with opposition parties like Congress and the Samajwadi Party making notable gains.

The article highlights the economic implications of these results, with investors reacting negatively, evidenced by a $1.5 billion outflow from Indian markets. Khalaf suggests that Modi will need to adopt a more conciliatory stance and potentially retreat from key policies like the uniform civil code to maintain coalition stability.

Ultimately, this electoral rebuff forces Modi into a more complex political landscape, where coalition dynamics and opposition pressure significantly influence his governance.

🐱 Purring kitty (167 words) #

According to Hope King from Axios, GameStop’s meme trader Keith Gill, also known as Roaring Kitty, hosted a YouTube livestream during which he maintained his supportive stance on the company’s direction despite troubling financial news. King notes that during the livestream, Gill, in a playful guise with fake bandages and sunglasses, reassured viewers about GameStop’s future. Despite his efforts, the video game retailer’s stock experienced a significant plunge, dropping from 19% to about 40%. King highlights that the broadcast attracted over 644,000 concurrent viewers, a number substantially higher than typical business news shows. This wide reach underscores the persistent public interest in the GameStop saga, a phenomenon that has blended finance and internet culture. Through the diverse audience metrics, King illustrates the impact of Gill’s influence and the growing engagement with financial news in unconventional formats.

(1) Deals getting done | LinkedIn (287 words) #

Summary of “Deals getting done” by Milana Vinn

Milana Vinn reports on several significant deals in the tech and media sectors. Vinn highlights Bain Capital’s agreement to acquire the EdTech provider PowerSchool for $5.6 billion, noting her keen interest due to the competitive nature of the acquisition (“people familiar told me”). She mentions that Thoma Bravo-backed Instructure might also be exploring a sale, keeping the market dynamic for potential shifts in interest.

Vinn reveals that Yext is preparing to explore a sale, which led to a 21% rise in its stock, giving it a market value around $700 million. In another move, Clearlake Capital is exploring a sale of Confluence Technologies with hopes for a valuation exceeding $3 billion.

Vinn, alongside Amy-Jo Crowley, reports that London Stock Exchange Group and S&P Global are potential bidders for the data provider Preqin, with a possible sale exceeding $2 billion.

In the media sector, Dawn Chmielewski reports tensions between Paramount Global’s chair and Skydance Media over a reduced offer for the company’s controlling stake. Additionally, Apollo Global Management will acquire a 49% stake in Intel’s new facility in Ireland for $11 billion, allowing Intel to reallocate its investments.

Other notable deals include SAP’s acquisition of WalkMe, Robinhood’s $200 million purchase of Bitstamp, and news of a potential settlement between Elon Musk and Jamie Dimon.

Vinn extensively uses firsthand information from sources familiar with the deals to support her reporting.

🟡 Biden’s border U-turn (233 words) #

In “Biden’s border U-turn,” Semafor Americana explores how President Joe Biden has shifted his stance on border policy, reverting to procedures reminiscent of the Trump era. Previously critical of Trump’s handling of asylum seekers, Biden now supports executive orders allowing for rapid deportations unless migrants arrive at official ports of entry. Semafor Americana highlights criticisms from progressives like Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who accuse Biden of using Trump’s tools, and promises legal challenges from the ACLU.

Semafor Americana uses polling data from Gallup and Pew Research Center to illustrate increased public support for mass deportations, including among Latinos, which may have influenced Biden’s policy shift. Despite backlash, some Democrats in vulnerable races, like Ruben Gallego and Jon Tester, have endorsed Biden’s move. Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro argues that this shift betrays Biden’s 2020 campaign promises and warns of long-term damage to the asylum system and American values.

Republicans remain unmoved, offering no credit to Biden. The article underscores the complex political landscape Biden navigates, shaped by dwindling resources and Republican opposition. Ultimately, Semafor Americana suggests that Biden’s policy reversal represents a significant, contentious shift in the Democratic party’s approach to immigration.

LLMs Turn Every Question Into an Answer (183 words) #

In “LLMs Turn Every Question Into an Answer,” Dan Shipper explores the transformative power of language models in creating text. Shipper asserts that, historically, computers merely conserved text created by humans; however, language models now generate text autonomously. He likens this process to glass being blown or an acorn growing into a tree, emphasizing that language models provide the conditions for text to flourish.

Shipper underscores the importance of this capability for fostering creativity, arguing that language models allow every question to become an answer. He uses evocative metaphors rather than hard data to illustrate his points, painting a vivid picture of the potential for language models to revolutionize text creation and expand human creative possibilities.

The ongoing series aims to redefine human creativity in the age of AI, detailing practical uses for language models, such as enhancing productivity in note-taking through tools like Reflect. Shipper promises further exploration of these themes in subsequent entries, encouraging readers to subscribe for more in-depth analysis.

June 7, 2024 (232 words) #

According to Heather Cox Richardson, two major news stories on June 7, 2024, collectively reveal broader trends in the U.S. economy and judiciary. Richardson highlights a strong jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, noting that the economy added 272,000 jobs in May, outpacing the 180,000 jobs predicted by economists. Various sectors contributed to this growth, and wages have increased by 4.1% over the past year, surpassing the 3.4% inflation rate.

Richardson also reports on Justice Clarence Thomas amending his 2019 financial filings to include two trips funded by billionaire Harlan Crow, initially omitted. ProPublica’s investigation found that Thomas has received over $4 million in gifts over 20 years, raising questions about potential compromises in the Supreme Court’s integrity.

Richardson contextualizes these stories within a critique of supply-side economics, tracing its rise since Ronald Reagan’s 1981 presidency. She argues it shifted wealth to the top 1%, a trend Biden’s administration is attempting to reverse by focusing on policies that benefit ordinary Americans. Using recent data, she outlines how Biden’s policies, such as enhancing IRS capabilities and expanding health coverage, contrast with Republican strategies of tax cuts and deregulation.

Football, ‘Bama Rush Draws East Coast Students South for College - Bloomberg (210 words) #

According to Francesca Maglione, a growing number of students from the Northeast are opting for Southern colleges, driven by a desire for school spirit, big-time sports, Greek life, warmer weather, and cheaper tuition. Long Island native Ava Finnegan, now at the University of Georgia, highlights this trend, noting that many out-of-state students hail from the North and have adopted Southern college culture.

Maglione cites Common Application data showing a 50% increase in applications to Southern colleges since 2019, compared to less than 30% in New England and the Mid-Atlantic. Universities like Clemson and LSU have seen record application numbers, particularly from New York and New Jersey. Financial considerations play a significant role; the return on investment at public Southern universities often outshines that of pricier liberal arts colleges.

Additionally, Maglione references a Bloomberg analysis showing escalating costs at Ivy League institutions, which now exceed $90,000 annually. In contrast, Southern schools offer a more affordable alternative with robust academic and social offerings. The trend mirrors a broader migration of Northern workers to low-tax Southern states, reshaping both the academic and economic landscapes.

How to build the perfect pitch deck: a step by step guide with examples and an analysis of my Airbnb’s deck (286 words) #

In “How to Build the Perfect Pitch Deck: A Step-by-Step Guide with Examples and an Analysis of Airbnb’s Deck,” The VC Corner delivers a comprehensive guide for startup founders on crafting effective pitch decks. Hugo Rauch, a financial analyst at Microsoft and podcast host, emphasizes the importance of a well-constructed deck given the competitive landscape for venture capital.

Rauch defines a pitch deck as a concise presentation to communicate business ideas to investors and underscores its necessity due to the limited availability of investment capital. He provides a systematic approach, advising to first ensure the startup is scalable, addresses a large market, and receives positive customer feedback.

Rauch’s step-by-step guide includes #

Introduction: Clearly state the business offering using a simple, accessible language, exemplified by Airbnb’s early pitch. Problem: Illustrate the problem your solution addresses to elicit empathy from investors, as demonstrated by Revolut. Solution: Highlight the unique value proposition without delving into features, akin to YouTube’s approach. Market: Show the market potential, aiming for a 100x return, exemplified by Square. Product: Provide a visual demonstration of the product, following Quora’s example. Validation and Traction: Present key metrics showing traction and growth, as done by LinkedIn. Team: Highlight the team’s expertise relevant to the startup, following Square’s model. Rauch concludes by noting the importance of strong storytelling and alignment with investor checklists, supported by data and real-world pitch examples to underscore his points.

👔 Big 4 Visualized - by App Economy Insights (244 words) #

In the article “Big 4 Visualized” by App Economy Insights, the author highlights the dominance of Deloitte, PwC, EY, and KPMG in the accounting industry. App Economy Insights notes that these “Big Four” firms audit most of the world’s largest public companies and have a combined workforce exceeding 1.5 million.

According to the author, their growth has been substantial, particularly in consulting and advisory services, which has led to conflicts of interest and regulatory violations. The author utilizes data to demonstrate their expansive reach and revenue growth, such as Deloitte’s $65 billion in revenue and PwC’s $53.1 billion for FY23, with consulting being the fastest-growing segment for both.

Recent insights reveal heavy investments in AI and digital transformation. For instance, PwC’s $1 billion initiative in generative AI and EY’s creation of its own AI platform, EYQ, are underscored with accompanying growth statistics. The article also addresses their challenges, including regulatory scrutiny and maintaining audit independence, illustrated by specific incidents like PwC’s audit of FTX and EY’s role in the Wirecard scandal.

The author concludes by cautioning that while their influence grows, balancing this power with integrity remains critical to avoid repeating past pitfalls exemplified by the Arthur Andersen-Enron scandal.

The Briefing: Apple and Musk to Dominate News Next Week (239 words) #

According to Martin Peers, Nvidia’s CEO Jensen Huang gained significant attention at Computex in Taipei, where the company’s prominence in AI and U.S.-China trade issues was highlighted. Huang’s stardom reflects the rising importance of Nvidia, briefly overtaking Apple in market value. This situation ties into Anissa Gardizy’s report revealing how Chinese firms bypass U.S. export controls on Nvidia’s AI chips by acquiring them within the U.S.

Peers anticipates that next week will focus heavily on Apple and Elon Musk. Apple’s annual developer conference is expected to unveil AI-enhanced features for its products. On Thursday, Tesla shareholders will vote on Musk’s $45 billion compensation package, with divided opinions among shareholders hinting at a pivotal decision.

Peers also discusses the visibility of chip leaders including AMD’s CEO Lisa Su, and the skepticism within Taiwan’s industry about Sam Altman’s aggressive chip manufacturing plans. Jensen Huang emphasized Nvidia’s reliance on TSMC, supporting its price hikes—a rare stance for cost-conscious Nvidia.

Peers uses these industry events and data to illustrate the shifting dynamics and influential players in the tech world. His detailed coverage underscores the ongoing developments’ potential impacts on the market.