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G100 Network Notebook | March 2019

Facebook’s Next Big Bet

When G100 hosted members at Facebook headquarters earlier this year, David Marcus, who leads Facebook’s unspecified blockchain business, offered the clearest explanation to date on what the technology means for business. His new division, tucked away in a restricted office at Facebook, is expected to launch a digital currency this year to facilitate cross-border payments, says a new report from The New York Times. An excerpt:

The company is overhauling its messaging infrastructure, which would connect three of its properties – Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. That integration, which could take more than a year, would extend the reach of Facebook’s digital currency across the 2.7 billion people who use one of the 3 apps each month.

Millennials are Risk Averse

Turnover among millennials is 20% higher than other generations in the workforce. Are faulty assumptions about their motivations a factor? Workforce scientist Haig Nalbantian thinks so. His new research questions the common wisdom that millennials prize career growth and flexibility over higher pay. Instead, he argues, they fear risk. An excerpt:

The higher the base pay is as a percentage of total compensation, the stronger the retention effect on millennials. This is an outcome not consistently found with other employees. It suggests an aversion to having more pay at risk, a finding at odds with the idea that millennials are intrinsically more entrepreneurial or mission-driven.

Turning Seasonal Workers into Full-Timers

On May 30th, G100 will host UPS CEO David Abney and his CHRO Terri McClure to talk about managing a large, widely dispersed workforce. UPS is known to have far less turnover in its workforce than most large companies, and UPS credits some of that success to its investment in seasonal workers. Here is an excerpt from a flattering profile in Business Insider:

In 2017 and 2016, 95,000 seasonal employees were hired each year. A third of them stayed on permanently… That’s more than other major seasonal employers; Amazon keeps about 15% of its seasonal workforce and Kohl’s around 20%. Target, like UPS, hires a third of its seasonal staff for permanent roles.

What Apple and Automakers Have in Common

Future growth will increasingly come from digital services, rather than unit sales, argues Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo, a speaker at our G100 Meeting in Silicon Valley last month. With driverless cars on the distant horizon, Tzuo urges automakers to learn from Apple, citing their recent decline in iPhone sales and growth in service revenue last year ($40 billion). Compelling numbers to support Tzuo’s prediction that data and services associated with cars will become more valuable than the vehicle itself:

McKinsey estimates that automotive data could be worth $450 – $750 billion worldwide by 2030. UBS estimates that revenue from self-driving technology by 2030 will be up to $2.8 trillion, with $472 billion of that coming solely from in-car monetization – in other words – selling services and experiences to passengers who used to spend all their time driving.

Are Index Funds All Talk at ESG?

That is the growing sentiment among investors, analysts, and advocates who see a disconnect between the long-term expectations of index funds and their proxy voting patterns. For example:

An analysis based on the Morningstar database of proxy voting showed that last year, Black Rock supported only 8% of 40 resolutions on climate change, 22% of resolutions dealing with public health and public safety, and 8% of 24 resolutions promoting workers’ rights and welfare. State Street and Vanguard’s voting records were similar.