S3T Sun Apr 2 - Q1, BRICS, G7, VC Spring, GPT Bans, Bard Test, Vector DBs, Snails, Olives...
Macro: Q1 Reflections
Economic factors shaping the concerns and decisions of your customers and financial stakeholders.
Stocks recovered in Q1, but the economic mood remains cautious. Laid-off tech workers are getting hired by legacy firms - will this accelerate modernization at those firms? Working class families face hard times, and Princeton sociologist Matt Desmond has issued a challenge to abolish poverty in the US.
BRICS, G7 and Petrodollars
Amid fears about banking stability, two narratives about the future of the Dollar are making the rounds:
- One about China, Saudi Arabia and others abandoning the petrodollar after this week's news of a Saudi-China refinery deal.
- The other about BRICs nations surpassing G7 nations in GDP (A China-biased view from a China-based trade co).
A more nuanced view takes into account of how actual interests of Saudis and others are tied to petrodollars, and how the BRICS nations were an invention of Goldman Sachs that lack the alignment and shared interests some try to depict (as noted in this 2015 WEF analysis, and again in this more recent piece).
To be clear, some (Russia and China) have pushed a BRICS reserve currency for several years now, and the US dollar-based system, and the G7 will have to work harder to offer relevant value to the international order. "Working harder" will have to include getting more serious about financial innovation in the US: Stop the political food fight between the SEC and CFTC and create clear regulatory guidance for crypto.
Alex Thorn notes the reduced liquidity in BTC markets, and says expect increased volatility, not just to the upside as seen in recent weeks, but also to the downside.
To understand the connection between liquidity - how much money is in a market - and volatility - how much prices move up and down, here's a simple working analogy:
Image you have a stone the size of a tennis ball: Drop that stone into a large lake, and there's very little impact to the level of the lake. BUT drop it into your coffee mug and it has a big impact...right?
Markets with lower liquidity (ie less money in play) have higher volatility (more dramatic responses to smaller buy/sell events).
Suggestion: Ask your investment advisor for their perspectives on this dated but pertinent guide to taking and reinvesting crypto profits.
🔮 Inflation Perspectives - Why 2020's inflation is different.
🌍 Global Economic Dashboard - 500+ US & Intl real-time economic indicators organized by nation and release dates. Tap or click for latest charts.
Notes on technologies that present threats and opportunities for communities and businesses, but also offer solutions that change leaders can use for good.
This week I tested Bard and ChatGPT side by side. For a prompt, I asked them to draft legislation requiring airlines to let passengers stay in their own wheelchairs when they fly (Big opportunity for airlines to demonstrate leadership - and stop pretending this is an unsolvable problem).
Here's the prompt I provided:
- The Bard response was easier to read - more simple language
- The ChatGPT response read more like your average Senate bill - little clunky in places.
- Bard took longer to start typing but provided 3 versions.
- ChatGPT usually starts typing immediately, but occasionally gets stuck before completing the answer.
You can compare the two proposed legislation texts here.
Fear and Loathing
FT believes Generative AI (like ChatGPT, Bard) could impact 300 million jobs. ChatGPT has been banned and threatened with fines in Italy and has been banned by Stackoverflow, at least temporarily. Users were posting ChatGPT-generated answers faster than anyone could keep up.
And a group put out a letter asking for a 6 month pause on AI more powerful than GPT4. Others pushed back on the idea of a pause.
Spring returns for Venture Capital?
Vector Databases like Pinecone, Chroma, Weaviate are getting top VC valuations. Here is a comparison of leading contenders.
OpenAI has rollout out ChatGPT Plugins that connect ChatGPT to up to date information, computation and other third-party services.
ChatGPT as the new Back End
ChatGPT and similar tools appear set to take on a new role as a "back end" of increasing array of front-end applications. This emerging model involves connecting ChatGPT to curated credible data sources (vs letting it devise outputs from a generic knowledge base trained on internet content.)
Evaluating and selecting emerging technologies via an inclusive timely process becoming more challenging - yet more crucial for competitive advantage. How leading practitioners are approaching the challenge:
🧭 Light Weight High Value Architecture - a Framework for accelerating business value through effective enterprise architecture leadership.
🚀 4 Phases of Risk & Reward for Emerging Tech - Informs when and how to invest in or adopt emerging tech based on the risk tolerance and goals of you or your team.
🐌 Nature Notes: Sailing Snails
Researchers in Hawaii are discovering that snails apparently have the ability to cross oceans on pieces of driftwood, endure saltwater and establish themselves in new locations. This may help explain how a set of snails came to be established in Hawaii. See this amazing guide to the 100's of endemic snails species in Hawaii (Endemic meaning snail species that live in Hawaii and occur nowhere else on earth(!).
Sensible Ideas: Get up to speed on Olives
You find them in arroz con pollo, martinis, deep dish pizzas, salads, paired with cheese, and toothpicked to sandwiches. They're green, black, smooth, wrinkled, variously shaped like ovals, apples, and sometimes tear drops. They take things to a whole new level, but we know suprisingly little about them!
History of the Olive - OliveOilSource.com
Here are a few guides that are fun to learn from, and will give you some delicious ideas for the next time you are getting your family or team together.
- A Field Guide to the different kinds of Olives and what foods to pair them with.
- A Brief History of the Cultivation of Olives - the 1,000 olive varieties that have emerged over the past 6,000 years.
- A Guide to Olive Oil Types, including those terms that appear in front of the phrase "Olive Oil".
- The business of Olives - financial and production stats, international cooperation, and sustainability.
💬 Final Note
One of the great joys in life you can experience is discovering something you'd like to change, working with others to successfully make that change happen, and celebrating how the change you led, created something good for your customers, your community, or your world. This is what we call change leadership. It's a set of skills everyone can learn. And it unlocks amazing achievement experiences, that everyone deserves.
Start your change leadership journey by joining S3T, the community dedicated to learning and sharing change leadership skills. You can sign up for the weekly newsletter if you haven't already, and to get the best value for your impact as a change leader sign up for S3T Full Access.
Have a great week!
Opinions mine. Not financial advice. I may hold assets discussed.