Spotify’s morning show, PayPal crypto, Apple Music TV, Amazon Gaming, Developing your Product career, Q3 financials, Interview questions, & more

Welcome to a new edition of el producto

🎰 The week in figures

$100.7B: Huawei reports ~$100.7B revenue for the first three quarters of 2020, up 9.9% YoY; it had a profit margin of 8%; by comparison, the company reported growth of 24.4% and an 8.7% profit margin for the same period last year; Huawei notes US sanctions have affected its business, but notes the full impact will not be realized for some time

$5B: Nextdoor — the social network for neighbors — plans to go public at a valuation of $4b-$5B

$2.4B: China-based fintech firm Lufax plans to raise as much as ~$2.4B via a US IPO; Lufax, which offers a suite of financial services including wealth management and loans, is scheduled to list on the New York Stock Exchange on Oct 29

$800M: Indonesia-based e-commerce firm Tokopedia has raised ~$800M from Temasek and Google; the investment values the company at $7.5B

$620M: McAfee will raise $620M at a $8.6B valuation during its IPO

$50M: Low-code app creation platform Retool (YC-W17) raises $50M on a $925M post-money valuation led by Sequoia Capital; the company offers drag-and-drop programming tools; has raised $76M to date

$40M: Denmark-based fintech firm Lunar raises €40M Series C from existing backers; Lunar offers a banking app to SMEs across several Nordic countries; has raised ~$123M to date

$87k: LG’s 65-inch OLED R rollable TV launches for $87k; represents the company’s first rolling TV; the tech was initially showcased at CES in 2018; OLED R is available at seven electronics stores in South Korea

📰 What’s going on

Uber to establish joint venture with South Korea’s SK Telecom; the latter will spin out its T Map Mobility maps and ride-hailing unit; Uber will invest $50M in the spinoff, a service claiming 200k drivers and 750k riders per month; Uber and SK Telecom will establish a separate ride-hailing joint venture, and Uber will invest $100M for a 51% stake; the companies expect both businesses to launch in the first half of next year

Spotify launches its first daily morning show, “The Get Up”; features news, pop culture items, personalized music, more; Spotify pre-records the content and presents it as a playlist; available every weekday after 7 am ET

Netflix reveals StreamFest promotion, which will give non-customers access to the company’s full catalog for free on Dec 4 and 5; code in the Netflix Android app indicates the promotion will include all Netflix-supported deices and users will not have to provide payment details

PayPal will begin allowing users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on its platform starting in early 2021

Apple launches Apple Music TV, a 24/7 video livestream available via Apple Music and Apple TV; features curated music videos, live shows, guests, more; the channel debuted with a countdown of Apple Music’s 100 most-streamed songs of all time; the company plans to premiere new videos every Friday; initially limited to the US

Apple deploys HomePod Software v 14.1, adding support for intercom functionality between multiple HomePods, improved Siri support, the ability to send search results to an iPhone, more; Apple also released iOS 14.1, providing bug fixes and preparing for the launch of iPhone 12

Apple to ban the Stadium app, which enables users to access Google’s Stadia game-streaming service on iOS; Google has not yet launched Stadia for iOS; Apple previously said game-streaming services violate App Store policy, as Apple could not review all available content; Apple later adjusted that policy to allow game-streaming apps, with the requirement that each title have its own App Store listing

Microsoft is partnering with SpaceX to offer cloud services via satellites and other low-orbit spacecraft; Microsoft plans to establish networks that connect ground and space operations; Microsoft also has a partnership with Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES; follows similar moves by Amazon which is working with several space companies

Microsoft researchers develop a device-agnostic gaze-tracking system that works with off-the-shelf webcams; they plan to create custom neural network architectures to improve performance; with Windows 10, Microsoft launched Eye Control, enabling users to control a cursor and on-screen keyboard with their eyes; the researchers said neural network predictions would likely enable eye-based control of virtually any computing device

Amazon announces cloud gaming service Luna and the Luna Controller; the service runs $6 per month during early access, and the controller is $50; will feature publisher channels for premium subscriptions; initially coming to PC, Mac, Fire TV, and iOS/iPadOS; Amazon plans an Android app sometime after the official launch; integrates with Twitch

Amazon launches Shopper Panel (iOS, Android), a program through which consumers sell data on their purchases outside Amazon; participants must send photos of at least ten receipts per month to Amazon and answer questions about ads, brands, and experiences; Amazon will provide cash and other rewards; currently invite-only and limited to the US

WhatsApp announces it will let businesses store, manage, and analyze their customer communications on Facebook servers; business users currently must store and manage that data on their own servers; the hosting service will also offer marketing tools; WhatsApp also plans to expand in-app shopping features; for example, a customer could initiate a chat with a business; the business could send a link from their product catalog, and the customer could purchase the item without leaving the app

Facebook updates its Messenger API to support management of Instagram communications; the company recently updated Messenger to support cross-communications with Instagram; the API supports photos, URL links, more

Facebook is working on a Nextdoor-like feature to connect users in local communities; screenshots show the feature will be known as Neighborhood and will allow users to interact with their neighbors; Facebook has confirmed its testing Neighborhood in Calgary, Canada

Facebook unveils open-source AI system for language translation, M2M-100; supports direct translation between any pair of languages out of the ~100 supported; does not use the traditional approach of translating to English as an intermediary, and therefore claims improved performance

Google Cloud launches preview for its first service dedicated to the mortgage industry: Lending Doc AI, based on Document AI; uses machine learning to automate document reviews and speed up the mortgage process

Google Assistant adds support for podcasts hosted by Spotify; lets users play podcast via Assistant-powered smart speakers; Assistant previously worked with Google Podcasts only

Google updates Assistant for displays, including third-party products, with a new home screen, an automatic dark mode, support for multiple calendars, more; Google is bringing auto-framing and other Google Meet features to more displays (previously limited to Duo on the Nest Hub Max)

Google launches v4.1 of the Android Studio IDE; features a new database inspector, improved support for TensorFlow Lite (and on-device machine learning), the ability to run the Android Emulator within the IDE, more; the update also fixes ~2.4k bugs

💵 Q3 financials

Netflix ($232B market cap) Q3 mixed: $6.44B revenue ($6.38B expected); $1.74 EPS ($2.14 expected); 2.2M net new subscribers compared to 6.8M in the year-earlier period (3.57M expected); the company expects 6M net new customers in the forth quarter

Snap ($41.8B market cap) Q3 beats: $679M revenue ($556M expected); $0.01 EPS (adjusted, -$0.05 expected); 249M DAU (244M expected); $200M net loss, down from $227M net loss for the year-earlier period; for Q4, the company expects to reach 257M DAU and 47-50% revenue growth, YoY

Tesla ($394B market cap) Q3 beats with $8.77B revenue ($8.36B expected); $0.76 EPS (adjusted — $0.57 expected); $331M net income (GAAP); $579M energy storage sales; $581M services revenue; represents Tesla’s fifth consecutive profitable quarter; the company delivered 139.3k vehicles; Tesla expects to deliver a total 500k vehicles in 2020

👩🏾‍💻 Good reads

Making product ideas happen in 3 simple steps. Henry Latham shares simple yet insightful advice on rapidly putting ideas into action

How to develop your Product career. Chris Miles proposes a useful framework to help you determining what kind of product manager you are, what kind you want to be and creating a development plan based on it

The 40 best questions to ask in an interview. Last year First Round Review shared a great article (that I’ve read and applied multiple times) called 40 Favorite Interview Questions from Some of the Sharpest Folks We Know. Now they sit at the other side of the table, and propose the best question to ask while being interviewed

Embracing discomfort (and psychological safety) by Jens-Fabian Goetzmann. If all team members truly, deeply care about the product and user experience, they are likely to have strong opinions. Strong opinions will inevitably clash, leading to disagreements and discomfort. The absence of this discomfort often means that most team members don’t care and have resigned to just doing what they’re told

Learning by experimenting. Negar Mokhtarnia on why experiments don’t fail, instead hypotheses are proven wrong, which is hugely valuable

Life as a Product Manager: Amazon vs. Google. Simon Li, a Product Manager at Google, shares his experience working at Google and Amazon

[Podcast] User research interviews, by Robert Chokr, Lead Product Manager at Careem. Talking to users is easy. Talking to them in a way that gets you useful information is hard. Using that information in a way that helps align stakeholders and teams on the path to building great products? That’s the hardest of all

🙂 #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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