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can insights from 
startups transform into 
public market calls?
TL;DListen 
• in investing in modern, public tech, most equity 
research often too far removed from core drivers 
of these...
disclaimers 
• hobbyist: i only trade/track tech stocks 
• day job: invest in early-stage co’s (illiquid) 
• not data-driv...
the trigger 
• $yelp 
• platform shift (mobile) cir. 2008 
• general search (web) -> local search (phone) 
• mobile distri...
the big one 
• $fb 
• mobile distribution constrained 
• apple not optimizing app store 
• $fb cheapest mobile acquisition...
obvious in hindsight 
• $tsla 
• google’s self-driving car (platform) 
• rise of ridesharing (networks, like Uber) 
• batt...
ok, that’s great @semil, 
so...what’s next?
ex: media consolidation 
• digital media = attention, and attention is the most 
scarce asset today 
• songza, stitcher, s...
ex: redmond mandate 
• $msft as the fifth horseman 
• new ceo > new mandate > RIFs > extended 
to iOS platform > focus on ...
tying it together 
• info shared is public, convergence of trends 
amassed via living inside startup ecosystem 
• key: how...
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Stocktoberfest 2014 - Semil Shah Breakout Session

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Can insights from startups transform into public market calls?

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Stocktoberfest 2014 - Semil Shah Breakout Session

  1. 1. can insights from startups transform into public market calls?
  2. 2. TL;DListen • in investing in modern, public tech, most equity research often too far removed from core drivers of these businesses • thesis: business driver knowledge is locked within networks of startup employees. • information isn’t private, but trickier to unearth. • today’s session, not a lecture: let’s debate that!
  3. 3. disclaimers • hobbyist: i only trade/track tech stocks • day job: invest in early-stage co’s (illiquid) • not data-driven • special time of tech seeping into real world • longer-term holds (no quick trades, shorts) • nervous: this isn’t a topic i’ve discussed publicly before, so thank you for listening
  4. 4. the trigger • $yelp • platform shift (mobile) cir. 2008 • general search (web) -> local search (phone) • mobile distribution constraining fast • market cap: @ IPO ($900m), today ($4.2B), high (~$8B).
  5. 5. the big one • $fb • mobile distribution constrained • apple not optimizing app store • $fb cheapest mobile acquisition channel • $fb acquiring mobile dev tools for SDKs (ex Parse) • market cap: @ IPO ($100B), today ($209B), high ($209B), low (<$50B)
  6. 6. obvious in hindsight • $tsla • google’s self-driving car (platform) • rise of ridesharing (networks, like Uber) • battery tech + integrated hw/sw (drivers) • market cap: @ IPO (<$20B), high ($35B), low (<$20B for years!), today ($29B)
  7. 7. ok, that’s great @semil, so...what’s next?
  8. 8. ex: media consolidation • digital media = attention, and attention is the most scarce asset today • songza, stitcher, swell, soundtracking, exfm, and too many others (in video tech, too) to list here. • tiny startups, next up big public digital media brands? • ex: $p, $gpro, $nflx > gobbled up?
  9. 9. ex: redmond mandate • $msft as the fifth horseman • new ceo > new mandate > RIFs > extended to iOS platform > focus on cloud + mobile > new investment in startup ecosytem • little moves, a prelude to a big move? • ’14: up ~33%, $80B+ cash on hand, $___?
  10. 10. tying it together • info shared is public, convergence of trends amassed via living inside startup ecosystem • key: how to unlock this knowledge? my thesis is current equity research not designed to discover this material. • 1: is this a viable or ridiculous method? • 2: can this apply outside of tech? • 3: is this a special time in tech, or unsustainable?

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