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Issue #20

UK founders lack killer instinct, Trump wants bitcoin made in USA, Apple opens doors to Affirm, and more.

News from June 6 - June 13, 2024

UK Founders Lack Killer Instinct

Steve Blank, a pioneer in modern entrepreneurship, says UK founders lack a killer instinct, attributing his own success to thriving in chaos and recognizing patterns from a tumultuous upbringing. He emphasizes the importance of risk-taking and urges aspiring entrepreneurs to fully commit to their vision with passion and drive. Blank: “Could you imagine yourself doing anything other than working on your vision?”

Speaking at the Oxford Seed Fund’s 10th anniversary, Blank also highlighted the necessity of embracing uncertainty. Blank: “Are you comfortable in chaos and uncertainty? Entrepreneurship demands risk.”

He believes UK founders need more support and must learn to embrace chaos to succeed. 


Jamie Dimon: AI as Big as Printing Press 

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon views artificial intelligence as potentially transformative as the printing press and steam engine. In his annual letter to shareholders, he highlighted AI's "extraordinary and possibly transformational" impact, despite uncertainties about its pace and scale.

At the same time, JPMorgan has established itself as an AI leader, topping the Evident AI Index for two consecutive years. The bank employs over 2,000 AI and machine learning experts and has more than 400 use cases in production, spanning marketing, fraud, and risk.

Dimon noted AI's potential to change job roles, emphasizing JPMorgan's commitment to retraining employees. He also stressed the importance of managing AI-related risks and working with regulators.


Coffee, Cocoa, and Wine at Risk

Extreme weather from climate change is impacting global supplies of coffee, chocolate, olive oil, and wine. Cocoa prices have hit record highs due to heat waves, intense rain, and severe drought. Global wine yields are the lowest since 1961.

Olive oil prices have more than doubled and nearly tripled in Spain over the past four years. In some parts of Spain, olive oil has become the most shoplifted product. 

Wine production is moving north to countries like Sweden, while Austrian farmers are now planting olive trees.


Bulletin Board

  • Trump Wants Bitcoin Made in USA. Donald Trump reiterated his support for the Bitcoin mining industry after meeting executives from leading U.S. crypto mining firms like CleanSpark, Riot Platforms, and Marathon Digital. Trump emphasized Bitcoin's importance, claiming it is the “last line of defense” against central bank digital currency and promoting the idea of “Bitcoin MADE IN THE USA.” In contrast, President Joe Biden has proposed a 30% electricity tax on Bitcoin miners, highlighting a clear political divide on the issue. Source 
  • Oil Becomes More Expensive. Crude oil prices rose as traders anticipate tighter supplies this year. The Department of Energy predicts higher global demand, implying a supply shortage. Despite an unexpected rise in U.S. oil inventories, prices still increased. The Federal Reserve's plan for only one interest rate cut this year also impacted the market. Experts foresee a tighter oil market soon, potentially pushing prices higher. Higher oil prices can lead to increased gasoline, heating, and transportation costs, affecting the average consumer's expenses globally. Source 
  • Bankers Say AI Is A Big Deal. Major banks are increasingly focusing on AI to boost productivity and better serve customers. Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon noted the significant client demand for AI strategies and its potential to reshape banking. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink emphasized AI's role in increasing productivity and addressing inflation. Bank of New York Mellon CEO Robin Vince expects AI benefits to emerge from 2026 onward. These advancements highlight AI's growing role in the banking industry, with leaders betting on its transformative potential despite current challenges and uncertainties. Source 
  • Apple Opens Doors to Affirm. Apple is opening its ecosystem to include Affirm's Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) loans on iPhones and iPads. This integration allows Apple Pay users to access flexible payment options, signaling Apple's aggressive expansion in the digital payments market. Following Apple's lead, traditional credit card issuers like Citigroup and Synchrony are also adopting BNPL-style loans. This move underscores Apple's strategy to dominate the fintech landscape by incorporating diverse financial services, potentially transforming the competitive dynamics of the payment industry. Source
  • London and Paris Fight For Tech. The UK's tech scene, valued at over $1tn, is the third-largest globally but risks losing its lead to Europe. Tech investor Brent Hoberman warns that France is catching up, with Paris-based Mistral AI, founded by DeepMind and Meta alumni, raising €600m. This growth is further evidenced by the VivaTech event in France, which attracted 165,000 visitors, significantly more than London Tech Week. Hoberman notes that France's tech scene is on the rise, with numerous startups and international founders flocking to Paris, potentially overshadowing the UK's dominance in the tech industry. Source

Disclaimer: This blog offers insights into international business and global events for informational purposes only. It is not intended as investment or business advice. WeavePay is not liable for any decisions made based on the content provided.

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