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New Podcast: “Around the Horn with Charlie, Mike and Neal”

The LSA’s Above the Cloud podcast returned after a summer break this week with a brisk roundtable featuring my colleagues from the LSA analyst team, Neal Polachek and Mike Boland.

Mike recently joined LSA to help us expand our coverage of the local and SMB market. Mike’s a very busy guy. On top of his work for LSA, he also runs his own business information startup focused on spatial computing, ARtillery Intelligence, and is a contributor to Street Fight.

In this episode, we riff on topics that earned coverage on the LSA Insider blog over the preceding week or so.

(Starting at 2:15) WeWork’s eye-popping S-1 and whether investors will balk at its massive losses, quirky founder, and, in the view of many, bananas $47 billion valuation.

Mike: “WeWork has been the darling of the startup space…Now that we’ve seen the numbers, in a lot of ways the picture isn’t pretty.”

(Starting at 9:01) The emerging “cloud kitchen” phenomenon of kitchens built strictly for use by delivery apps and what it means to the local dining space — and what Amazon’s interest in the space signals.

Mike: “The cloud kitchen is a kitchen purpose-built for delivery. No wait staff. No fancy dining room. So one big advantage is cost. There is more margin to push around.”

(Starting at 17:53) The surpassing arrogance of DoorDash‘s too-clever-by-half policy on driver tips, in which in app tips were used in essence to subsidize DoorDash’s revenue, at the drivers’ expense.

Neal: “It’s amazing to me that a company in 2019, with as pervasive a social media world as we have, would still try to do BS like that.”

Charles:  “I don’t think this received the scorn that it deserved.”

(Starting at 21:30) The growing trend to build lower bandwidth “lite apps” for data-constrained emerging markets and what it could mean for building better SMB software at home.

Neal: “Light apps reportedly are 25X lighter [than the primary app] with the same functionality. So I am thinking, why do I need an app with 25X more crap in it?”

(Starting at 22:38) Why SMBs underuse SaaS products and what developers can do about it.

Charles: “Are we falling in love with the technology we are creating, rather than focusing on building what SMBs need and will actually use?”

(Starting at 27:51) Consolidation in the site builder space. The back-to-back acquisitions of Mono Solutions and Camilyo by Bauer Media Group led us to ask, are other sectors ready for a rollup?

Neal: “I’d be surprised if the review space didn’t go through some consolidation.”

Charles: “Camilyo and Mono have complementary strengths. Mono has a pretty strong site builder and a pretty thin CRM, and for Camilyo roughly the opposite is the case. So there is some logic to that pairing.”

You can listen to the full podcast here:

Stay tuned for interviews with local and SMB newsmakers and thought leaders in upcoming episodes of Above the Cloud. Interested in learning about opportunities to sponsor or be a guest on the podcast? Contact Jeff Congo at Jeff@TheLSA.org for details.

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