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Amazon Australia 

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/amazon-australia-still-losing-money-despite-hitting-1bn-sales-in-2020/news-story/212a95c7354bc9962e842ff5519118be?utm_source=TheAustralian&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Editorial&utm_content=AM_BIZREV_Newsletter
Amazon breaks through $1 billion revenue mark in Australia 

  • Amazon Commercial Services, reported $1.12 billion in net sales for the 2020 calendar year, a 99.4 per cent jump from the year prior.
  • This shows the online retailer has also seen a similar boost in customer numbers as other major Australian e-commerce sellers such as Catch and Kogan as locked-down shoppers took their spending online.
  • Despite the huge growth, Amazon Australia’s results revealed the company still closed the year with a $3.8m loss, according to its accounts lodge with the corporate regulator.

Woolies promises to protect jobs from automation 

The robots are coming for our jobs. 

But the economists forecast that while automation will destroy old jobs, new ones will be created. The problem is training people to move from stacking shelves to programming those shelf-stacking robots

Australia’s biggest employer Woolworths will spend $50 million over the next three years on training and education to “upskill, reskill and redeploy” 60,000 of its 200,000 staff. 

The key training areas will be in: digital, data analytics, machine learning and robotics plus “advanced customer service skills, team leadership and agile ways of working.” 

In an opinion piece published in Nine newspapers this week, Woolies CEO Brad Banducci says people shouldn’t be scared of technological change. Pointing to self serve checkouts: 

“In 2009 – when we completed the self-service rollout – we employed 113,000 people in our Australian supermarkets. Today, we employ around 140,000, and the number continues to grow.”

“the fastest-growing role in our business is one that didn’t exist in 2009. It’s that of the online personal shopper and at Christmas we had around 25,000 of them hand picking orders for our customers.” 

iOS 14.5 lets you set Spotify and others as Siri’s default music service

  • Apple’s latest beta will allow users to set default music service
  • iOS 14 already allowed users to set default mail and browser clients, but more apps would be welcomed 
  • Hopefully maps becomes the next default 
  • Casey Newton tweets https://twitter.com/CaseyNewton/status/1358838280746225665
  • The threat of an antitrust lawsuit is truly the most powerful and benevolent product manager in all of tech 

Bitcoin 

  • Tesla now owns $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin. 
  • The carmaker also said it would start accepting bitcoin as a payment method for its products. 
  • In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said it bought the bitcoin for “more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns on our cash.” 
  • Crypto is common theme of Elon Muk’s Tweets 
  • Tesla’s announcement pushed the price of Bitcoin to $44,200. 

Tesla buys $1.5 billion in bitcoin, plans to accept it as payment 

Westpac’s Reinventure set for $300m bitcoin payday 

  • Crypto looks set to deposit some cold hard cash in Westpac’s coffers 
  • Westpac’s VC arm Reinventure invested in crypto exchange Coinbase in early 2015. Six years later and Coinbase is expected to go public at a value of $50 billion in a few weeks. The AFR reports that those figures could mean Reinventure will have a $300 million payday.  
  • As they say, in a gold rush invest in shovels and picks. 

Apple’s Dan Riccio Shifts From Hardware Chief to AR, VR Headsets

  • Last week we speculated that Apple executive Dan Riccio’s secret new promotion could be running the much rumoured Apple car division
  • At the time i thought he could also be running the AR glasses product, also rumoured 
  • Mark Gurman of Bloomberg says it is the latter. He offers no new details, other thaan this is the secret project Riccio is apparently running

Twitter Mulls Subscription Product, Tipping For Generating Revenue

  • And sticking with Bloomberg, Gurman’s colleague Kurt Wagner has a story that Twitter is pondering subscription services
  • At least one idea being considered is related to “tipping,” or the ability for users to pay the people they follow for exclusive content, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are internal. – Hang on, is Twitter making an Only fans? 
  • Other possible ways to generate recurring revenue include charging for the use of services like Tweetdeck or advanced user features like “undo send” or profile-customization options.