Sept. 26, 2019

059: Money Talks #1: Libra vs. Sovereigns, WeWork vs. the World, Uber vs. London

059: Money Talks #1: Libra vs. Sovereigns, WeWork vs. the World, Uber vs. London

In a new format we're trying with MoneyNeverSleeps, we try to get inside the minds of three entrepreneurs by riffing on recent tech news and venture stories. This episode includes a look at central bank ambitions of the sovereigns pushing back on Mark Zuckerberg's crypto project, Adam Neumann's WeWork legacy, and Uber's London problem.

Kindly sponsored by Ireland’s fintech and financial services recruitment specialists: Top Tier Recruitment

In this episode, Pete Townsend and Paul Smyth (artfully filling in for Eoin Fitzgerald) riff on three developments this week in the world of tech and venture capital to try to get inside of the minds of the entrepreneurs behind the stories.  Here they are:

How Facebook’s Libra fueled push for central bank-run digital currencies - Financial Times - Monday, 23rd September, 2019 (paywall):

  • France, UK, Sweden, Japan, China all weigh in with their views
  • KEY POINT:  “To consumers it would feel very much like the electronic payment and transfer solutions that are already available today through their banking apps or a service such as PayPal.”
  • Why is this important, where could it all go and what's going through Mark Zuckerberg's mind?
  • Pete Townsend's recent blog post, "My Thoughts on Libra"

WeWork’s Adam Neumann to step down as chief executive - Financial Times - Wednesday, 25th September, 2019 (paywall):

  • Neumann will mo longer hold majority voting rights and becomes non-executive chairman
  • Finance chief Artie Minson and WeWork vice-chair Sebastian Gunningham will take over as co-chief executives
  • Comparison to Travis Kalanick, whose former advisor Bradley Tusk was on episode 27 of Money Never Sleeps.
  • Threat of lob losses (up to 6K of 15K workforce) reported.
  • What’s still good about WeWork though amidst all of the negativity?  Where could this go? What’s next for Adam Neumann?

Uber gains London licence for just 2 months - BBC News - Tuesday, 24th September, 2019:  

  • Reported:  Concerns over safety, identification and insurance.
  • From the FT - spokesperson for the Mayor’s office:  “[London Mayor] Sadiq [Khan] has been crystal clear that in London it doesn’t matter how powerful and how big you are, you must play by the rules.”
  • What's one market where Uber just didn't work at all (Ireland)? Why is this important? What’s going through Dara Khosrowshahi's mind?