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Software specialists vs cloud giants

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Good morning! Industry-specific SaaS companies achieve unicorn status by building software for underserved markets. And cloud giants are taking notice.

Flipping the SaaS narrative

There’s an age-old idea in the software industry that if you want to be big, you have to build a company that can meet the needs of every business. But a litany of enterprise software vendors are overturning that thesis by relentlessly focusing on niche industries — and winning, writes Protocol’s Aisha Counts.

There is a growing list of industry-specific software vendors, often referred to as vertical software companies, which have gone public with eye-popping numbers.

  • ServiceTitan, for example, has found success by creating a software platform that spans marketing, human resources, and finance for plumbers, electricians, and other business ventures. It is now worth a estimated at $8 billion.
  • But it was not always easy to convince investors that there was a market for software aimed at commercial industries, as field service companies were often overlooked by investors and an industry-specific focus was seen as limiting by growth-obsessed venture capitalists.
  • “The orthodoxy back then was that you draw a box around a software category, then you do really well in that category, and then you try to sell it to as many customers as possible,” the co-writer said. founder of ServiceTitan. Vahe Kuzoyan

The success of vertical software has pushed SaaS giants to launch industry-focused clouds in manufacturing, healthcare, financial services and more.

  • It is a recognition by these companies that to compete and win against the next generation of startups, they will need to deepen their expertise.

But vertical software vendors say they’re not worried on the Salesforces and Microsofts that settle in their space.

  • They know that the big SaaS giants lack the knowledge to compete meaningfully in their industries. And the truth is, it just doesn’t make financial sense for horizontal players to focus on one industry.

Read more: How vertical SaaS companies are taking market share from cloud giants

A boiling chip industry

Over the past year, it has become increasingly clear that the good times for the chip industry are coming to an end. The situation doesn’t look likely to improve anytime soon, writes Protocol’s Max Cherney.

The situation looks grim as we approach next year, at least as TSMC executives say. “We probably expect [in] 2023, the semiconductor industry is likely to decline,” CEO CC Wei said on the earnings call. “But TSMC isn’t immune either.”

  • For a conservative, low-key company like TSMC, this is about as strong a warning as the tech industry is likely to receive.
  • And to wrap that up, TSMC said Thursday it plans to cut spending on new factories and tools to $36 billion from $40 billion to $44 billion.
  • So far, the decline in demand and the adjustments made by TSMC are due to the rapid drying up of the consumer chip market.

There is potentially good news for chipmakers. Data center sales and automotive markets haven’t started to decline…yet.

  • TSMC gets demand forecasts from those customers, and Wei made it clear that there haven’t been enough significant changes to those plans to cause company executives to make major adjustments to their 2023 plans. .
  • But Wei said the company isn’t ruling out the possibility of a correction or lower demand next year, so taking a more conservative approach. “They might have a correction as well, but we haven’t seen that yet, to be honest with you,” he said.

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The long road to electrification

The electric vehicle transition is already underway, but it will need to accelerate to keep within reach the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. To speed things up, automakers and governments have set targets to phase out the sale of gas-powered vehicles. However, these objectives vary from country to country and from car manufacturer to car manufacturer.

Some automakers set their own targets. BMW and Ford, for example, want 50% of all sales to be electric by 2030. Mazda has pledged 25% of its vehicles to be electrified by 2030, while the rest of its offerings will be hybrids. .

  • Others have more aggressive goals: Volvo, GM and Honda want their entire lineups to be zero emissions by 2030, 2035 and 2040, respectively.

Many countries have set targets for the sale of electric and zero-emission vehicles, including some of the largest automotive markets. They have also established charging infrastructure plans with the aim of making electric vehicles more accessible to the masses.

To have maximum impact, electric vehicles need to reach the rest of the world, especially emerging economies. Two- and three-wheel options are spreading everywhere, especially in Asia, and are already making a dent in oil consumption. But the United States and other wealthy economies are exporting dirty used cars, which will make the transition more difficult.

Read more: The long road to electrification

People are talking

Mark Zuckerberg admits he missed a giant change in social networks, which helped TikTok succeed:

  • “[Meta was] kinda slow at that because it didn’t fit my model of a social thing, it felt more like a shorter version of YouTube to me.

Early-stage startups can struggle with pay transparency laws, said Matt Schulman, Founder and CEO of Pave:

  • “I bet 95% of 20-person startups don’t even have the notion of pay bands at this point.”

make moves

Cariad, Volkswagen’s software unit, spends over $2 billion on a 60% stake in Horizon Robotics, a Chinese technology company.

Nutanix is consider selling, according to the WSJ. The cloud company would target private equity or other industry players as potential buyers.

Take-Two closes its doors Reading Points, the studio behind mobile game Dots, resulting in 65 job cuts. He acquired the studio in 2020 for $192 million.

Two senior Amazon executives left the company. Tom Taylor was vice president of Amazon Alexa and Gregg Zehr was president of hardware research and development. They both spent over a decade in the business.

Fintech CEO Andrei Cherny Suctionwithdraws as the company faces delays in its SPAC merger. Olivia Albrecht, director of corporate sustainability, returns to her role.

Health technology company Noom is cut 10% of its staff, that is about 500 people. The company’s financial director Mike Nounan left the company for a role at Tripadvisor earlier this year.

NYDIG Crypto Broker fired a third of its staffor about 110 people, according to the WSJ.

In other news

Netflix launches its new ad-supported level in 12 countries next month. Pricing for the new plan will vary from country to country.

Instant employee data was exposed by a breach at Elevate, a third-party document analysis company.

Google could cope antitrust charges Next year on its digital advertising business. The company risks being sentenced a fourth time in the EU to a fine of more than one billion euros.

Meta has filed a request to dismiss an FTC complaint on his acquisition of Within, saying the agency’s anti-competitive claims are “pure speculation.”

Elon Musk is under investigation by federal authorities for his “conduct in connection” with his takeover bid on Twitter.

Alphabet, Amazon and Meta disguised their lobbying attempts as they tried to influence the outcome of the EU’s Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act, according to complaints from members of the European Parliament.

Apple launches a savings account at Goldman Sachs. Apple Card holders will be able to open a “high yield” savings account connected to their mobile wallets.

FTC officials trade stocks more heavily than those of other major US agencies, according to the WSJ. They are invested particularly strongly in technologyand stocks held often overlap with the agency’s work, the newspaper added.

Nintendo settled a job CONTESTATION with a former employee who alleged that the company terminated them for union activities. The company will pay over $25,000 in arrears.

Not your average phone booths

Google is experimenting with a prop from old sci-fi movies: holographic video chats. The Starline project, first announced last year, is a video call booth that uses specialized cameras and sensors to create a realistic experience for callers. Now it’s expanding its real-world testing with a early access program in several technical offices, including Salesforce, WeWork and T-Mobile.

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