The State of Best Buy 4Q FY18

Yesterday Best Buy reported 4Q FY18 results well above Street estimates. Comparable store sales in the quarter were up 9% (domestic) and 9.9% (international), compared with a 3% Street estimate. US comps were especially strong for entertainment (16.8%) and appliances (20.7%). Entertainment was up 26% year-over-year (likely driven by gaming). Appliance sales were up nearly…

A Simple Model of Smart Speaker Adoption and Sales

The market for smart speakers, also commonly referred to as voice-enabled smart speakers and virtual personal assistant (VPA)-enabled wireless speakers, is still a very nascent market. Yes, the market has enjoyed tremendous growth, especially over the last six months, but there is still significant growth yet to be had. I’m already beginning to see some…

A Global Cold War and the Fear Mongering AI

Earlier this week Eurasia Group published their Top Risks for 2018 which includes the risk of a global tech cold war. They write that, “achieving dominance in emerging technologies is the world's most important battle for economic power.” But what does “dominance” of an emerging technology mean? And what does that dominance look like? Does…

Amazon's Football Experiment is about Data

Amazon’s foray into streaming live sporting events is about digital data. It was never about audience size, new activations, or subscriber retention. Last night Amazon streamed their second NFL Thursday Night Football game. Bloomberg reported Amazon’s first NFL live streaming event last week attracted 372,000 viewers who watched the game an average of 55 minutes…

Cyber Risk and Changing Corporate Structure

With a growing list of CEOs losing their jobs because of cyber attacks and data breaches, it’s time for corporations to change how they operate. Escalating cyber risks necessitate two core corporate structural changes. First, the role of the CIO should be elevated, reporting directly into the CEO and gaining corporate board visibility. Secondly, corporate…