Image Credit: Miramax Films

On Monday, with a slight HBO hangover, I wrote glowingly about Disney’s ($DIS) future, but did not expect the company to so abruptly announce a full ownership takeover of Hulu:

The Comcast/Disney divorce also has upside for Disney: It allows the company to do whatever it wants, more or less, with Hulu, which it has said it intends to keep separate from its family-focused Disney+ service and its ESPN+ service. But it will also be offering those services in some sort of bundle, as Hulu CEO Randy Freer told me recently; Freer also said the service will eventually be offered outside the US.

It’s hard to see how any of this is good for consumers, as they’ll be asked to either pay for more services than they are paying for now or, at a minimum, to pay attention to multiple services and watch those services’ ads.

But just because the big media players think this is the way to go doesn’t mean that consumers have to play along: You might be someone who thinks it makes sense to subscribe to Netflix and Hulu and WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal and Amazon Prime and whatever Apple eventually launches — along with other services from CBS, HBO, Showtime, etc.

But it’s also quite likely that you will pay for a few services you really care about and ignore the rest (or substitute it with free stuff from YouTube, Facebook, and the rest of the internet). That is: As the big players try to get bigger, they’re giving you more incentive to break the TV bundle.

Yesterday, as I saw my new shares in The Trade Desk ($TTD) slowly begin to rise as the overall stock market recovered from the U.S.-China trade discussions, I laughed at @StockCats’ ridicule of financial news shows:

Today, one of my favorite tech trend companies, CB Insights, had a perfect newsletter intro talking about Uber ($UBER):

Uber’s stock has been down 2 of the 3 days it has been public.

So, what does this mean?

  1. It’s the end of Silicon Valley
  2. The tech funding landscape is forever changed
  3. This is the popping of the tech bubble

Run! Run! Run!

Let’s take a minute to reflect on this.

  • Uber was founded in 2009
  • In ~10 years, it has become a company that is worth $65B+

What does Uber’s performance really mean?

This means there are lots of buffoons out there who will say dumb shit to get quoted by the media.

The team at CB Insights, before Uber’s IPO, wrote up a 57-page report on Uber, which is free and available to read and to download (you won’t):

I don’t think Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is perfect.

Better put, I don’t think he’s a visionary, but Dara knows how to crack a whip and that’s what Uber needed in a leader as it became a public company.

Beyond ride-hailing and food delivery, the data that Uber collects, whether you like it or not, could lead it to become a massive advertiser in the next decade.

Already, Uber Movement shares anonymized data with nonprofits, academic institutions, governments, and city planners:

As physics Professor Al Bartlett once said, “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.”

There’s a good chance that within the next 9 months, I will become a (small) Uber shareholder.

And even though I love visiting WeWork locations in different cities around the country, I will likely never, ever buy into The We Company, née WeWork:

If WeWork’s basic business model — leasing space, sprucing it up, subleasing it and throwing parties — is good, but real estate values collapse, ARK will be a bust but won’t drag WeWork down with it. If WeWork’s basic business model is stupid, but it really does find great buildings, then WeWork will be a bust but ARK’s investors will do well. Two independent, or independent-ish, or independent-enough payoffs should be worth more than one joint payoff so you can sell them separately for more than you could sell them for together.

There is some debate about whether WeWork is ‘really’ a tech company, or whether it is ‘really’ a real estate company. This strategy lets it be both. It also lets it be, really, a financial-engineering company, one whose model is as much about corporate structure and investor segmentation as it is about technology and buildings.

Anyway, that’s the finance part; separately, I should tell you that every paragraph of Huet’s story is insane and you should read it. The part that made me dizziest is probably the description of WeWork Chief Executive Officer Adam Neumann’s morning-meal nomenclature:

It’s just past 11:30 a.m. when a male assistant in a black baseball cap delivers a shallow gray ceramic bowl with brown grains and a spoon. ‘I haven’t broken my fast yet,’ the 40-year-old CEO says apologetically, instead of using the word ‘breakfast.’

In my opinion, Adam Neumann is a caricature of a tech CEO.

I look forward to seeing the public markets one day reveal it.

A youthful disposition and long hair can only carry one so far.