el producto #173

Angel Jaime
9 min readMay 2, 2020


Q1 financials, Google opens Meet, Product Management at Spotify, Fintech growth, Remote-working country readiness, Contact tracing apps, online events & more.

Welcome to a new edition of el producto

🎰 The week in figures

$3.2B: JD.com plans to raise as much as $3.2B via a secondary listing in Hong Kong; JD.com is planning to sell ~5% of its shares; it currently has a market cap of $65B.

2B: TikTok passes 2B downloads globally; the app saw 315M downloads from the App Store and Google Play in the first quarter alone; the 2B figure does not take into account downloads from third-party markets; Snapchat reported adding 11M daily active users in the first quarter; video messaging app Marco Polo grew 745% the last week of March.

$2B: Design software firm Figma raises $50M Series D on a $2B post-money valuation led by Andreessen Horowitz with participation from Index Ventures and others; the company offers a suite of collaborative design tools.

300M…of what? Zoom corrects an earlier claim that it has 300M daily active users (DAU); the firm made the assertion in a blog post earlier this month but has since adjusted it to clarify it has “300 million daily Zoom meeting participants”; a single person might partake in multiple Zoom calls in a day, but the company had counted them as an individual user each time.

$250M: Google is in talks to acquire cloud software firm D2iQ; the deal is expected to be worth more than $250M; D2iQ (formerly Mesosphere) operates a Kubernetes-based datacenter OS.

59M: Experience management platform geared towards customers, employees and citizens Medallia acquires real-time speech to text platform Voci Technologies, $59M.

75M: Microsoft Teams reaches more than 75M DAU, up from 44M last month; Microsoft notes it saw 200M meeting participants during a single day earlier this month.

3M: Google Meet is adding ~3M users per day, up from 2M earlier this month; more than 100M people participated in Meet calls on a daily basis; Sundar Pichai announced the figures during Alphabet’s Q1.

70%: WhatsApp says new restrictions for forwarded messages have led to a 70% drop in the sharing of popular content; users can now only pass along frequently forwarded messages to a single person or group at a time.

50%: China-based Vivo overtakes Samsung to become India’s second-largest smartphone seller based on shipments; Vivo has seen 50% growth YoY, shipping 6.7M units; it has 20% of the market; Xiaomi is first with 30.6% , and Samsung is third with 14% ; overall, the Indian market grew 12% YoY.

40%: A survey by London-based venture capital firm LocalGlobe, conducted with 200 startups in the UK, found that 40% of UK startups have 1 year of less of runway left, and 20% of them only think they have up to 6 months of runway. The majority of the startups had most recently raised a seed or Series A round. Since the onset of the crisis, fully 40% have delayed pitches to raise more capital for beyond 6 months, with another 35% having delayed pitching until a later date.

25%: TripAdvisor is laying off 900 staff, equal to ~25% of its workforce; 600 roles will be lost in the US and Canada; CEO Stephen Kaufer notes remaining salaried employees will see a temporary pay cut and a reduced work schedule over summer.

20%: Uber is considering cutting as much as 20% of its workforce; execs are discussing a plan to let go of up to 5.4k staff over several stages; as many as 800 engineers could be cut; separately, sources for the report say CTO Thuan Pham has left the company; reasons for the departure unknown.

13%: Q1 global smartphone shipments fell 13% YoY, according to data from both Canalys and Counterpoint Research; follows a 10% Q1 decline; Omdia puts the drop at 16% ; the three firms all note for declines Samsung, Huawei, and Apple.

🤑 Q1 Results

Microsoft ($1.3T market cap) Q3 beats: $35B revenue, up 15% YoY ($33.7B expected); $10.8 net income, up 22% YoY ($8.8B expected); Microsoft says the coronavirus pandemic has had a minimal impact on its business.

Samsung ($274B market cap) Q1 meets: ~$45.5B revenue, up 5.6% YoY; ~$5.2B profit, up 3% YoY; the company says it expects to see a significant decline in mobile and TV sales for Q2 because of the coronavirus pandemic; Samsung says the outbreak means the rest of its financial year remains uncertain.

Spotify ($25.9B market cap) Q1 beats: ~$2B revenue, up 22% YoY; ~$1M net income; claims 286M MAU; 130M Premium subscribers, 163M ad-supported users. Ad sales in the last three weeks of March were 20% below forecast levels.

Twitter ($24.4B market cap) Q1 mixed: $808M revenue, up 3% YoY ($776M expected); -$0.01 EPS ($0.10 expected); the company previously removed its financial guidance for the year citing uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic.

Apple ($1.29T market cap) Q1 beats: $58.3B revenue ($54.54B expected); $2.55 EPS (adjusted — $2.26 expected); gross margin remained flat at 38.4%; the company did not issue third-quarter guidance due to the pandemic, and previously withdrew second-quarter guidance; Apple plans continued stock buybacks during the pandemic.

Alphabet ($849B market cap) Q1 beats: $41.16B revenue, up 13% YoY; $33.7B ad revenue, up 10% YoY; CFO Ruth Porat indicated strong ad revenue for the first two months of the year and a significant slowdown in March; YouTube generated ~$4B in revenue, up 33% YoY; Cloud took in $2.7B, up 52% YoY.

Amazon ($1.23T market cap) Q1 mixed: $75.5B revenue, up from $59.7B YoY ($73.61B expected); $5.01 EPS, down from $7.09 YoY ($6.25 expected); the company saw $2.5B net income; AWS growth slowed to 33%, but the business passed $10B; subscriptions grew 28% to $5.56B; the “other” category, which includes advertising, grew 44% to $3.91B

Facebook ($554B market cap) Q1 beats: $17.74B revenue, up 18% YoY ($17.41B expected); the company reported 1.73B DAU and 2.6B MAU, with an average of $6.95 revenue per user; across all Facebook-owned apps, the company claimed 2.99B MAU; Facebook saw a steep decline in ad revenue in March, but now reports signs of stabilization.

Tesla ($147B market cap) Q1 beats: with $5.99B revenue, up 32% YoY ($5.81B expected); the company previously reported 88.4k deliveries for the quarter, up 40% YoY, but down from Tesla’s record 112k deliveries in the fourth quarter; the company noted first-quarter demand shifted toward more affordable models; Tesla’s gross margin grew to 25.5%; the company reported $16M.

📰 What’s going on

LinkedIn says tech, finance, and consumer goods companies are on a hiring spree amid the coronavirus outbreak; its platform data shows there have been tens of thousands of hires in the sectors since February; the Microsoft-owned firm is pulling data for seven countries across North America, Europe, and Asia; the overall hiring rate significantly fell in Q1.

Google makes Google Meet available to all users (previously only G Suite customers could set up meetings); supports calls for up to 100 participants, for any length of time (Google may restrict meetings to 60 mins from Sept 30); users must be logged into join a meeting; those who attend outside of a calendar invitation must first be approved by the host; Google is also introducing G Suite Essentials, which includes Meet and Drive, but not Gmail (price unknown).

Facebook’s tool for transferring photos and video to Google Photos rolls out in the US and Canada; initially launched in Ireland, the feature has since expanded to parts of Africa, Asia Pacific, and Latin America; it’s part of the Data Transfer Project, a data-sharing scheme between Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter.

WhatsApp is considering launching a lending service in India; the Facebook-owned platform has operated a peer-to-peer payments service in the country since 2018, though just 1M currently have access to it.

Singapore-based video streaming service Hooq shuts down; Hooq is majority-owned by Singtel, in partnership with Sony and Warner Bros; the five-year-old company had 80M subscribers across Southeast Asia; Hooq filed for liquidation last month, noting it was struggling to raise new funds.

Reddit disables its Start Chatting feature a day after launch because of bugs; the chatroom tool is designed for individual subreddits and supports groups of up to seven. It’s unknown when it will relaunch.

Amazon says staff who can work from home are free to do so until Oct 2; the company notes it’s investing in safety measures for those that want to return to offices; Amazon says it will institute physical distancing, temperature checks, and more when locations reopen.

Airbnb introduces a new cleaning policy for short-term stays; recommends a 24-hour empty period between guests and a list of approved cleaning products; the guidelines are not mandatory, but guests will be able to see which hosts have taken up the initiative.

Britain’s NHS plans to launch its coronavirus contact tracing app in 2–3 weeks; Matthew Gould, head of the NHS’s digital department, says the app will also log users’ location if +2 people are in close proximity for more than a few minutes.

The German government says it will develop a contact-tracing app based on Apple and Google’s Bluetooth tech.

Fintech hiring and fundraising stays strong. The financial services industry is one of the bright spots in an otherwise gloomy environment of record unemployment and layoffs. Companies in the financial services space are not only continuing to hire, but many are fundraising and being acquired.

👩🏾‍💻 Good reads

UX Research & Design Meta Repo (aka the repository of UX repositories), the ultimate UX and Design toolkit by Matěj Káninský.

What is Product Management at Spotify like? By former Spotify VP of Product Shiva Rajaraman.

Luxury to necessity — the future of Product Management. Adrienne Tan reflects on the practice of Product Management and how it may change when we emerge out of this unprecedented global turmoil, keeping in mind that “the best product companies are borne out of recessions; think of Uber, Slack and Stripe.” — Marty Cagan.

The new rules of Growth vs. Profitability, by NfX. In a downturn, the name of the game is to not run out of cash and give yourself the runway to figure things out until the market recovers. Rule number 1 is to survive. Rule number 2 is to win and build a category-defining business. During a downturn, Founders should focus on taking the opportunity to improve your position and capture market share while maintaining a strong cash position and efficiency.

Executing product strategy using OKRs, Comms, and Pivots to succeed. Nacho Bassino shares some seemingly obvious, often forgotten, and always effective practices to keep strategy on track.

Coaching your team through uncertain times, by behavioral scientist Francesca Gino and professor Dan Cable for HBR.

How prepared are countries for remote working? HBR looks at multiple indicators (digital payments, platforms and infrastructure) to visualize the state of the world for remote work.

Podcasts on remote working: As always ahead, a16z Podcast offers two episodes where the massive shift to global remote work is redefining work once again. The first, features Jason Warner, the CTO of GitHub and the second Patreon cofounder and CTO Sam Yam and a16z consumer tech partner Li Jin in conversation with Lauren Murrow.

💻 Upcoming online events

Webinar: Prioritize, Plan, Check, Act, Repeat with Amazon Sr PM, by Product School, Saturday, May 2, 6.30 PM GMT, Free

Product Management Live Chat with former Netflix Senior Product Manager, by Product School, Thursday, May 7, 5:30 PM GMT, Free

Webinar: Quantum Computing for PMs with Sutton Capital Managing Dir, by Product School, Sunday, May 10, 6:30 PM GMT, Free

Webinar: Lessons of Product Localization from Airbnb with Airbnb former PM by Product School, Friday, May 15, 10:30 PM GMT, Free

Virtual Product Summit, May 21 (day-long event), Free

ProductCon, May 27 (day-long event), Free

🙂 #alwaysbekind

During the upcoming weeks (for as long as the Covid-19 crisis goes on) I will keep dedicating my evenings to offer free consultation / advice / coaching / casual chats to any impacted professionals that would like to reach out. Don’t be a stranger, reach out by DM if you are interested, and let’s help each other. We are all humans after all, and we are all on the same boat.

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Angel Jaime

Full-time learner, product stuff, “triathlete” & global traveller. CPO @ Yayzy, frmr Product Leader @ Revolut, @ Booking.com and @ Just Eat.