welcome to The long view– where we go through the week’s news and cut it down to the essentials. let’s work what really matters.
This week: CSS-Tricks is acquired by DigitalOcean, Peloton pedals while its business burns and Arm lays off up to 15% of its staff.
1. CSS-Tricks is no longer Indy
Premiering this week: Chris Coyier’s website and newsletter CSS tips is acquired by DigitalOcean. Both parties promise to maintain the widely referenced front-end development database.
Analysis: business synergy, leveraging learnings
Stupid MBA jargon aside, this should fit in well with DigitalOcean’s own collection back end tips, tricks and practical advice. But, as always, the jury is out on whether CSS-Tricks will ever hold such high regard in a year or three.
Chris Coyer: CSS-Tricks joins DigitalOcean
I have a big announcement to make here. (Where’s my gong?)
You can build anything on the DigitalOcean infrastructure. …One thing I find particularly cool is their new app platform which, to me, seems more aligned with front-end developers like me. …Plus, their whole concept of Droplets (super simple servers that start up fast) has transformed the industry.
When I started CSS-Tricks in 2007, I couldn’t have imagined how big it would grow. …Now that’s a much bigger job than anyone can do. … This is where DigitalOcean comes in: … They have the resources to put behind CSS-Tricks, and the motivation to do so.
In case you haven’t heard of the site, let’s see why tannhaeuser is a fan:
css-tricks.com has always been one of the best… CSS sites around, so much so that I search there for a particular topic before going to general purpose search engines. …I think people underestimate how much of what we take for granted on the web today was started by these people.
But why DigitalOcean? Here is Klaxton:
A good game. Digital Ocean regularly publishes great how-to articles on how to do all sorts of super useful things in the background. It’s great to see that they will also support more front-ends.
2. Peloton plays weird games
New CEO Barry McCarthy is shaking things up at Peloton Interactive. He needs a bailout after his main reason for existence disappeared, after confinement.
Analysis: PTON FAILURE?
People don’t want to exercise at home so much. The former CFO of Spotify is therefore experimenting with a new business model: selling subscriptions, not hardware. You could think of it as ‘razor and blades’, or ‘inkjets’, or even ‘value stream management’. But he feels despair.
Drake Bennett, Mark Gurman and Kristen V. Brown: Peloton got trapped in his trillion dollar fantasy
It’s a familiar tale: the startup founder gives way to bean counters and market researchers. …Even cults need accountants.
Barry McCarthy, the new CEO, [has a] plan. McCarthy talks about making lots of small bets and failing fast, A/B testing to see what consumers actually want.
[It] follows a well-worn Silicon Valley playbook. … McCarthy [is] less interested in physical machines than in the content of his business. “The magic happens in the tablet,” he says. He thinks maybe the Peloton screen should be an open platform where third-party programmers can place apps. Or perhaps the company could try the inkjet printer business model, offering machines at low prices and making money from higher monthly subscription fees.
But one worship? “Being part of a cult is better,” says Somervillain:
My friends kept losing weight and I noticed how excited they were doing workouts here and there. I noticed their cult enthusiasm. I even laughed at it at first. Then I realized that was what I wanted.
I want to be part of a cult and have an irrational motivation to make better decisions and do better. … It easily made me train 20% harder on good nights and 5% on bad ones. … Yeah, it pisses me off, like any cult member, but about 80% of people I know own one are as enthusiastic as I am. It’s a great application of technology, gamification, psychology, app power, and more.
However, this new inkjet business model is “an impending disaster”, believes Rich Duprey:
Peloton Interactive wants to disrupt its entire business in a bid to reverse slumping sales. …McCarthy hopes that by offering a bike and subscription for a monthly fee, it will be a more affordable option for consumers.
Peloton Interactive hopes that users will see an incentive to maintain their subscription and training schedule, but the risk seems higher of the opposite happening. … This opens the possibility of having a lot of used inventory, which would probably have to be sold at a discount.
3. Arm will lose 12%-15% labor
Now that we know Nvidia’s Arm offering has no legs, the soon-to-be-IPO company is laying off a significant portion of its staff. As I said before, ARM chips are increasingly used in data centers, especially those that value “performance per watt.”
Analysis: there may be problems ahead
Is this just a standard “beautification” of finances? Maybe not: there may be more structural problems in the company what we thought.
Simon Sharwood: Arm to cut up to 15% of staff – around 1,000 people
An email sent to staff by Arm CEO Rene Haas… states: “To stay competitive, we need to remove duplication of work; …stopping work that is no longer essential to our future success; and think about how we do the job. … “I write this knowing that while this is the right thing to do for Arm’s future, it’s not going to be easy,” he added.
Much of Arm’s appeal to investors is its deep technical expertise. It is therefore likely that most layoffs will involve personnel not directly involved in Arm’s core business.
Investors in new floats generally admire balance sheets that point to strong future earnings. Reducing costs before an IPO is therefore a tactic often deployed. [But] Arm’s spokespersons have none of that, preferring a message that layoffs are a regular trim of the kind a prudent company conducts from time to time and in no way a sign of unease or change of direction. strategy.
Is this “tactic” really a thing? No, says DamnOregonian:
What we have here is a ridiculously specious claim that it is common to attempt to fraudulently misrepresent your financial statements. … A bank doesn’t buy $2 billion worth of securities … until it knows everything there is to know. … You really think the banks financing the IPO are going to “herp a derp!” watch! their payroll costs fell by 30% last year! This company is in great shape!
Go fucking. … Arm’s revenue has been flat since 2016. That’s why [SoftBank] were trying to sell. They couldn’t do that, so now they’re selling to the public and cutting back on spending to achieve their goals.
So why the flatline? Here’s how Gregg84 puts it:
What went wrong was that people learned how much Nvidia pays and realized they were grossly underpaid. … Just when it started to look like the Nvidia deal wasn’t going to fly, top talent started jumping ship.
The moral of the story: Every meeting must involve separation.
Have you read The long view by Richi Jennings. You can contact him at @RiCHi or [email protected].
Image: Greg Rosenke (via Unsplash; leveled and cropped)