Streaming platforms growth, Endowed progress effect, UX heuristics, The Product/Feature line, Amazon buys Wondery, 2021 tech predictions & more

Welcome to a new edition of el producto

$14.4B: Experience management company Qualtrics files for IPO, seeks valuation of $12B-14.4B; SAP acquired the company for $8B in 2018, as Qualtrics prepared to go public; SAP announced last July it would spin out Qualtrics with plans for a listing; SAP will own ~80 % of outstanding shares following the debut, which is expected early next year

$9.3B: Indian startups have collectively raised $9.3B in 2020; represents the first time since 2016 that India-based firms have secured less than $10B in funding; last year Indian companies raised $14.5B; there were ~1k deals in 2020, which compares with almost 1.2k in 2019

$1.6B: Chinese edtech Zuoyebang raised 1.6B Series E. Beijing-based Zuoyebang focuses on online courses and homework help for kindergarten through 12th grade students and claims around 170M MAU. Also this week 2 more Chinese edtech raised founds: Yuanfudao raised $300M from Jack Ma’s Yunfeng Capital, and Meishubao, raised $210M Series D

$500M: China-based healthtech firm DXY raises $500M with participation from Tencent; DXY operates an online platform connecting patients, healthcare facilities, physicians, pharmacies, and more; has raised more than $780M to date

83M: 23andMe raises ~$83M Series F; the consumer genetics testing company has sold ~12M home sampling kits and accompanying services; 23andMe has used consumer data to identify genetic traits linked to COVID-19 susceptibility; raised ~$867M to date

50%: The largest streaming services will close 2020, collectively, with US subscribership up +50% YoY; newer services, such as Disney+ did not damage incumbents’ growth, but coexisted and grew in parallel. Netflix, Amazon, and Disney have collectively reached 32.4M subscribers in the UK by year’s end; 2020 saw more people in the UK sign up for streaming services than any prior year; streaming services now claim double the subscribers of traditional pay-TV providers in the UK

23%: Christmas Day smartphone activations were down 23% YoY; Dec 25 is the busiest day of the year for activations; iPhone 11 represented the most activations, followed by the iPhone XR, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and iPhone 12

S&P 500: +16%
Nasdaq +44%

Big gainers:

  • Tesla +743%
  • Peloton +434%
  • Zoom +396%
  • Pinterest +254%
  • Snap +207%

Big losers:

  • Intel -17%
  • Cornerstone OnDemand -24%
  • Trip Advisor -5%

How the big stocks fared:

  • Apple +81%
  • Amazon +76%
  • Microsoft +41%
  • Facebook +33%
  • Google +31%

Source: The Information

Google is testing a carousel of short-form videos for search results in the Google mobile app; Google previously tested a Short Videos section on the app’s Discover page; the search carousel pulls content from Instagram and TikTok

Amazon acquires podcast network Wondery; terms undisclosed, but sources indicated a $300M-plus valuation; Wondery joins Amazon Music, which launched a podcast feature in September; Amazon said the deal would not impact existing Wondery shows; Wondery previously raised $15M

Apple to launch a mentorship program for first-generation college students; Launch@Apple targets freshmen and sophomores majoring in economics, finance, data analytics, and other fields; will provide 1–1 mentorship, internships, externships, and potentially, job shadowing; the company is accepting applications and plans to launch early next year

Apple has filed a patent for a reconfigurable keyboard; paperwork describes keys featuring individual OLED panels, allowing them to be remapped

Samsung has filed a patent for a smartphone display with a moving OLED “sub-display” that covers an embedded selfie camera when it’s not in use; the system creates the illusion of a complete and seamless screen; the filing notes such a display would also work with an S Pen

[Video] Tech predictions 2021 with Scott Galloway

Endowed progress effect: give your users a head start. There’s a reason why coffee shops and car washes hand out punch cards. When we feel we’re progressing toward a goal (even if it’s artificial progress, like two free stamps with your first purchase), we’re more likely to complete the goal. Lots of great insights here for understanding motivation and how those who design products can take this into account

The Product / Feature Line. “Sherlocking” is a term that refers to the situation when a well-established company (like Apple) turns an existing product (like Dropbox) into one of their features (like iCloud). This is a great read on how some products manage to differentiate themselves and others get turned into features

Nielsen’s 10 usability heuristics illustrated by Revolut’s solutions. A nice external UX review of Revolut app, with focus on 10 relevant heuristics that could apply to pretty much any product

Bitcoin standard. The Wall Street Journal explores measures by various companies to normalize bitcoin as a payment method; the report highlights the current lack of acceptance by a majority of vendors; notes early supporters such as Expedia and Dell eventually dropped it; the article suggests recent support by PayPal could allow bitcoin to become more mainstream, but cites price volatility as an impediment to adoption

el producto is a curated selection of Tech&Product happenings within the last few days from a curious and frequently skeptical Product leader perspective. Free forever. Sign-up here

Full-time learner, product stuff, “triathlete” & global traveller. Creating cool products @ Revolut, formerly @ Booking.com and @ Just Eat.