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Jul 31, 2017 | 3 min read

Economy

This Week in GAFAnomics, July 31st

“This Week in GAFAnomics” features top articles from FABERNOVEL’s internal Slack discussions. Read here your weekly dose of curated news about the Network Economy.

Joachim Renaudin

Project Analyst


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GAFAnomics [ga-fɑː-nom-iks], noun: A modern, networked, economic system spurred by the eponymic GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) but also encompassing Unicorns, Chinese tech giants and all other companies changing our lives through computer technology.

#The week of July 31st

So what happened this week in GAFAnomics ?!

 

How Tesla has already changed the car industry

source: Tesla

On Friday, Tesla officially celebrated its first sale of a model 3, its first mass market car. Tesla has already registered over 400,000 pre-orders for the electric car (which costs $35,000) in what can be called the largest crowdfunding campaign in history.
Tesla’s sales numbers hardly compare with those of the traditional automakers, who each sell millions of cars every year. Yet, we believe that Tesla has already succeeded in its mission to change to world. Tesla’s original mission statement is to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transport”. Therefore, by proving to other automakers that electric cars can have a long range, appeal to the grand public, for a reasonable cost, Tesla has spurred a wave of investment in electric cars. All major global automakers have already promised to ramp up their electric car programs. Tesla was just the spark, now comes the true revolution.

 

The sharing economy is booming in China

source: Geralt

Over the last two years, most of the attention on the sharing economy in China was dominated by the Uber – Didi war for the on-demand transportation leadership. Since Didi acquired UberChina last year and ride hailing is now a monopoly, investors and the media have turned to other ventures for financing and press coverage. Today, there are more than 30 bike sharing startups across the country, and the 1st mover, Ofo, is already worth more than $1billion. But beyond transportation, finance, food, health, accommodation, are currently being disrupted by matchmaking platforms. Over 600M chinese have used sharing economy services last year, in a market that is worth over $500 billion. It’s no longer just the sharing economy, it’s the consumer economy as a whole that is being eaten by digital platforms.

 

You might not like how your Facebook virtual reality profile looks like

source: Geralt

Facebook is betting that virtual reality (VR) is the future of social networking. Mark Zuckerberg and his company believe that in the future, people will hang out with their VR avatars wearing headsets. Earlier this year, Facebook released a version of Spaces, an app designed to use Facebook on VR. What’s striking in the app is that while the overall design of the world is realistic, the look of everyone’s avatar is “cartoonish”. Indeed, Facebook believes that having a too realistic avatar could frighten users or create a weird feeling. Therefore, they created “welcoming and charming” cartoons that are just realistic enough to recognize yourself. What’s funny is that part of Facebook’s early success was precisely due to the fact that they used real names, unlike previous social platforms like Myspace. In 2004, using your real name online felt just as weird as discussing with your friends virtual clone with a headset on your head. Time flies.

 

Trump’s chief advisor wants to regulate Facebook and Google as Public utilities

source: HypnoArt

Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s chief of staff stated last week that Facebook and Google should be regulated like public utilities, because they have become so dominant in our daily lives and in market share. Steve Bannon argues that the online giants have tremendous network effects resulting in high barriers to entry for competition. Moreover, even Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook was a “social utility”. So Steve Bannon’s agenda is merely to protect competition and the interest of the american consumers?

Well, at FABERNOVEL, we also think that the chief of staff’s motivations to regulate Facebook can be explained by its desire to tackle Mark Zuckerberg… who is rumored to be running for president in 2020!

 

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