Total Business Magazine

This Week’s 5 Must-Read Stories You May Have Missed

Apple launch themselves into streaming and payments, UPS are first to the post in the world of commercial drones and McDonald's acquire machine learning company.

We caught up with our columnist, business transformation expert, author of The Interim Revolution and founder and CEO of Sullivan and Stanley, Pat Lynes, to discuss the biggest news stories you wouldn’t have wanted to miss last week.

1. Big week for Apple, announce credit card and the move into streaming

Apple’s announce their latest offering at their recent keynote in front of their adoring fans last week. Headlining this year was the announcement of Apple Card, which comes with nothing but your name and the Apple logo on its titanium base. There are still a few questions to be answered, but you will be able to connect it to your phone much like you would your wireless AirPods or Apple Homepod. It also just looks really slick.

The other major announcement was the unveiling of Apple TV+, its streaming service to take on Netflix and Amazon Prime. It boasts a number of big names such as Jennifer Anniston and Oprah Winfrey spearheading its original content, which it will spend $1 billion on in the first year (Netflix spends $10 billion).

CEO Tim Cook emphasised Apple’s need to provide more services and these two moves look like a new era for the tech giant.

2. WeWork hit with $2 billion loss

WeWork continues to lose more money than it makes, following a report to investors for 2018. Annual losses reached $1.93 billion, double its number from the year, while its revenue hovered around the $1.8 billion mark

It’s not a great surprise that WeWork has recorded losses like this. Building and leasing property in the best locations in cities around the world is going to hurt your back pocket. 425 locations and over 400,000 members is enormous as the co-working concept continues to gather steam.

Private investors SoftBank continue to top them up, having already poured $10 billion into the company. I’d imagine once the new building slows down, in time, they will see the revenue continue to increase and the losses drop.

3. UPS are the first delivery company to fly out commercial drones

UPS have beaten out the competition and are the first to get commercial drones in the air. The delivery company have teamed up with drone experts Matternet and has begun delivering medical supplies in North Carolina.

Moving medical samples around the WakeMed Raleigh’s campus can take some time in traffic – up to 30 minutes. That is a bit of an issue when some of the specimens are life-saving like blood or organs. With the drones, it will take just 3 minutes. Literally a lifesaver.

Obviously, you can’t just fly drones around anywhere without restriction, so they have been working very closely with regulators to ensure they meet all the requirements from the Federal Aviation Administration and North Carolina Department of Transportation.

4. McDonald’s is reverse engineering the future with big data acquisition

McDonald’s have made their biggest acquisition since buying Boston Market in 1999. They’ve agreed to acquire Dynamic Yield, a startup that provides retailers with ‘algorythmic decision making’ technology.

CEO Steve Eastbrook joined in 2016 and has since made a number of data focused investments and the acquisition of Dynamic Yield will tie them all together.

The king of fast food continues to look for growth opportunities despite hauling in $6B in net income last year. It’s a good example of an established company continuing to push the boundaries and continuously improve, as nobody is disruption-proof.

5. Wow Air shut down in mid-air

Icelandic budget airline suspended their service and ceased operations last Thursday, leaving quite a few travellers stranded. They had been scrambling to raise money through bonds back in September 2018 and copped a loss of $33.7 million for the first three quarters.

Pundits have pointed to the airline’s aspiration to go global too quickly, as well as the rapid expansion of the aviation industry (which dropped profit margins) and fluctuating oil prices for their demise.

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