Energy in the 21st century
A recent Economist issue analyzes the future of energy. How will a transition to green energy impact countries and companies? A summary of the leader:
Covid-19 has given the world a glimpse of the transition away from oil.
ExxonMobil has been ejected from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, having been a member since 1928. Petrostates such as Saudi Arabia need an oil price of $70-80 a barrel to balance their budgets. Today it is scraping along at just $40.
The leader claims that, once mature the new energy system should be more economically and politically stable. However, even as a better energy system emerges, the threat of a poorly managed transition looms. Two risks stand out. Autocratic China could temporarily gain clout over the global power system because of its dominance in making key components and developing new technologies.
The other big risk is petrostates fighting over market share or worse trying to slow down the transition.
This year Saudi Arabia’s government revenue fell by 49% in the second quarter. A perilous few decades lie ahead.
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Rebuilding from scratch
When CEO Ian Small joined Evernote in 2018 he stated that they had five different apps run by five different teams for five different platforms.
We could see competitors releasing and developing faster and decided that the needed to stop building new features and new products for as long as it took to fix the core of Evernote from the ground up in a way that would work better going forward.
It took them 18 months. That’s a bold move but might have been exactly what they need to do to stay alive. Now consider Evernote are roughly 300 employees and many of the apps and features are not much more than 10 years old, how does this transformation translate to a large multinational?
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Aircraft engine as a service, a brilliant idea but not right now
The business model of Rolls Royce that charge the customer for the number of flight hours instead of selling aircraft engines, has been hailed and copied countless times since its launch in the 90’s. However, it is a business model that is not as compatible during a pandemic. The company reported a 5.4-billion-pound loss during the first half of 2020 and the share price is down 74% this year. For Rolls Royce sake, the airplanes need to take air soon.
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