Ammirati on Innovation podcast: What will Walmart, Slack, and AWS do in 2020?
Ammirati on Innovation podcast: What will Walmart, Slack, and AWS do in 2020?

Sean’s 2020: Walmart Buys, Slack Sells, AWS Set Free | Ammirati on Innovation

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Each month, “Ammirati on Innovation” episodes will look at ways that the disruptive-startup mentality is spreading beyond young entrepreneurs to big established corporations. Serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist and Carnegie Mellon B-school professor Sean Ammirati, who sits at the intersection of these high-change dynamics, provides insight.

Episode 9

In this episode, Sean and I go through his 2020 predictions. We start by discussing Slack. Sean says Slack has basically been slashed in half, now at $42 a share vs. $22 a share. Its market cap is $12 billion, compared with a high of $23 billion. At $12 billion, that’s a price that some of the big tech companies could pay—so Sean wonders what Slack’s user and revenue statistics might be worth inside Oracle, Salesforce, Microsoft, or Google.

Speaking of acquisitions, Sean speculates Walmart will go on the offensive in 2020. The company definitely has the potential to buy one or two very large companies, including FedEx, which Sean says would be a good acquisition, and maybe Shopify too. Sean also expects that in 2020, we’ll see a further investment in Walmart Labs, including new business models.

Sean and I also discuss Amazon and AWS. Sean says he can’t wrap his head around why Amazon won’t spin out AWS this year. Because, for example, how does competitor Walmart feel about cutting checks to Amazon, via AWS? From Sean’s perspective, in addition to making sense internally, the market would love the AWS spin-off.

Finally, Sean says he’s not an economist—but his conclusion is that the market almost certainly needs to correct in 2020. But given the prevalence of digital transformation, the impact on the software industry won’t be as bad as in previous economic downturns.

You can also stream the audio-only version of this episode:

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Follow Sean on Twitter and LinkedIn for more valuable insights into innovation and entrepreneurship. He also has a podcast, called Agile Giants.

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Cloud Wars Live Digital All-Stars

Sean Ammirati is one of our regular Digital All-Stars. These experts appear in regular video podcasts. The conversations focus on the critical themes shaping (and re-shaping!) the business world in the digital age of 2019. Our intention is to provide regular chunks of timely ideas and insights about high-priority subjects from industry veterans with diverse backgrounds.