Bernstein’s Brutal Letter, Reels Vs. TikTok

Hello from London, readers. Nathan Rennolds, an associate editor, here. 

A lot has been written about Apple’s new Vision Pro since it was unveiled at a launch event on Monday.

While its sleek design has won some admirers — with a disproportionate number of skiing enthusiasts among them, I imagine — it’s astronomical price tag is hard to justify for a product that seemingly has no clear purpose.

And that’s not to mention the reports of red marks users get from wearing the headset.

But now, let’s find out why a major Wall Street research firm has hit out at Amazon.

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Andy Jassy

Andy Jassy, who leads Amazon Web Services, will replace Jeff Bezos as Amazon CEO and leaves an opening for a cloud new leader.

Mike Blake/Reuters

1. A top Wall Street firm wrote a brutal open letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy. In the letter, Bernstein urged the tech giant to reassess its direction and “quell investor concerns.” 

  • Over the past five years, investors would have made a higher return by just sticking their money in an index fund rather than investing in Amazon.
  • Bernstein analysts say that the company is “pursuing too many ideas,” which is taking away from its core business and “initiatives that ‘only Amazon can do.'”
  • Most importantly, Bernstein said Amazon should get back to its famous “Day One” mindset, which preaches the importance of the speedy, risk-taking entrepreneurial zeal found on a startup’s first day.

Get Bernstein’s six recommendations for Amazon’s leadership here.

In other news:

Mark Zuckerberg participates in jiu-jitsu tournaments and Bill Gates has played tennis against Jeff Bezos.

Mark Zuckerberg participates in jiu-jitsu tournaments and Bill Gates has played tennis against Jeff Bezos.

Mark Zuckerberg on Instagram and Getty

2. Instagram and Facebook are reeling in TikTok. Meta’s short-form video service, Reels, is starting to make headway against TikTok, according to a new survey by Morgan Stanley. Analysts noted the “flattening of TikTok adoption as other platforms rise.” More on Reels’ rise here.

3. “I’m a former Google engineer who founded an AI startup.” Zach Smith said that AI will take over many tasks, and some jobs — but it will leave people free for more creative work. Here are the tech jobs that will disappear and the AI skills to learn now.

4. What’s the price of AI? More loneliness. Americans are trapped in a loneliness epidemic, and AI chatbots like ChatGPT may make it worse by further replacing the critical social interactions that help us build communities. Read more.

5. Move over Gen Z — the over-55s are taking over. More and more older users are posting fun videos on TikTok. They’re sharing life lessons, fashion advice, cooking tips, and snippets of being a grandparent. Go inside the trend.

6. Apple’s new Vision Pro is “the future of the Mac.” Ben Thompson, a noted technology analyst, said the Vision Pro’s ability to extend a Mac desktop could be crucial for productivity — an area where Apple had failed with the iPad. More here.

7. Amazon is reportedly plotting an ad tier for Prime Video, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. And that means you could end up paying more money. Get the details here.

8. The pitch deck Yuvo used to raise $20 million. Yuvo wants to help the 1,400 Federally Qualified Health Centers in the US grow revenue and capacity. It just raised a Series A that was led by Mastry Ventures. See the pitch deck it used to secure the funds here.

Odds and ends:

YouTuber Matt Mikka and his "Cordless" Tesla Model S.

YouTuber Matt Mikka and his “Cordless” Tesla Model S.

Warped Perception

9. A YouTuber put a gas generator in his Tesla to avoid plugging in. Matt Mikka traveled 1,800 miles without stopping at a charger — but the trip wasn’t hassle-free. Here’s what happened.

10. The best Samsung phones in 2023. Insider looked at Samsung’s flagship S series, the more moderate A series, and its foldable phones to help you decide which is right for you. Get the full list here.

Today’s team: Nathan Rennolds and Hallam Bullock in London.

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