• A disruption in the force of healthcare…

  • Tesla’s newest tech is getting a price bump, time is short…

  • Stunning new photos of Jupiter…

Dear Reader,

The gauntlet has been thrown down…

But the battlefield isn’t Eastern Europe, or Taiwan (at least not yet). It’s the workplace.

Earlier this week, none other than the “great vampire squid” – Goldman Sachs – notified its employees that it is lifting all COVID protocols in the workplace:

  • It will no longer require COVID “vaccines”

  • It will no longer require COVID testing

  • It will no longer require masking

  • And it won’t even require employees to quarantine if they come into contact with someone who has COVID

But the above was just the precursor to the real declaration of war: after the Labor Day weekend, all employees are required to return to the office five days a week. Said another way, Goldman Sachs will not accept COVID as an excuse for working from home.

It was inevitable. For any kind of work that involves teamwork, the productivity declines are material. The quality of communication declines, things get dropped, and for some individuals, things fester. And over time, individuals become more and more uncomfortable addressing critical issues, as problem-solving and resolution skills deteriorate.

And Goldman Sachs, which has about $2.5 trillion of assets under management, simply can’t afford for those things to happen. Those who entrust Goldman with their immense amounts of capital won’t permit it. If they have given their capital to Goldman, they expect the team to work together and be on top of things, 365 days a year. No exceptions… No excuses.

Otherwise, they’ll take their money elsewhere… Hence the gauntlet.

For any businesses that are customer-facing, there’s about to be an employment recalibration. Either you’re in, or you’re out… Committed, or not. 

Those who insist on remote or hybrid roles will either be shown the door or have very limited opportunities to advance. The financial services industry will shift quickly now… and others will follow.

Yes, there will always be certain positions that are fine remote. Those existed before the pandemic. And there will always be lifestyle companies that will use hybrid models as a selling point. It will come at a price, for both the employer and the employee, but some companies will figure out how to make it work.

High-functioning, in-person teams are a competitive advantage in most industries. That’s the tradeoff for those companies that try to persist in a remote environment.

This movement is happening even in high tech…

Apple will require three days in the office every week after Labor Day as well. CEO Tim Cook’s demands, however, were not well received by Apple employees – who signed a petition insisting that a return to the office would damage their well-being. I suspect that’s going to be a hard argument to win.

So the workplace battle has begun. It’s a modern-day joust between employer and employee. And with kids back in school and the pandemic behind us… let the games begin.

Amazon’s grand health care strategy is coming into view…

Two weeks ago, Amazon made a power move into the health care industry by acquiring One Medical. At $3.9 billion, this was one of Amazon’s biggest acquisitions to date.

As a reminder, One Medical brings the subscription business model to health care. The company runs sleek, modern, and convenient health clinics around the U.S., each staffed by a handful of physicians.

And One Medical empowers patients to set appointments and access their health records from an easy-to-use smartphone app. It’s a fantastic service that I’ve used personally.

Yet, a few days later, Amazon announced that it is shutting down its telehealth service, Amazon Care. This came as a surprise. Many thought that the two services were part of the same strategy.

While One Medical does offer telehealth services, it focuses on individual patients. Amazon Care, meanwhile, focuses on enterprise customers. It’s geared toward corporations, which then make the services available to their employees.

In other words, there isn’t really an overlap between One Medical and Amazon Care when it comes to telehealth. So why is Amazon shutting it down?

Well, the big picture is clear now.

A few days ago, rumors emerged that Amazon is in the bidding for an even larger acquisition in the health care space. This one targets Signify Health, a publicly traded company.

Signify Health’s specialty is in-home care. It offers a wide spectrum of in-home medical services to patients. These include everything from simple evaluations and diagnostics to extended physician/nurse care in the home. This is a great alternative to assisted living facilities.

This deal is live, and Amazon does have some competition here. CVS is in the running to acquire Signify Health as well (CVS had also been interested in acquiring One Medical).

That said, Amazon is sitting on over $60 billion in cash right now. Meanwhile, CVS has just over $9 billion on the books.

So Amazon could easily outbid CVS on this one… And I suspect it will. It’s a clear signal that Amazon wants to be a premier player when it comes to direct-to-patient and in-home health care. And this makes perfect sense.

Amazon already has a wealth of data and information on consumers through its e-commerce platform. If Amazon can get to know patients on a personal level as well, it can generate an even more comprehensive profile – especially if this includes data coming from within the home.

This could allow Amazon to make even more personalized offers to its customers – on both the e-commerce side and the health care side.

And think about this…

Suppose a physician under Amazon’s umbrella determines that a particular diagnostic test is needed to evaluate a patient’s condition.

That doctor could simply punch in an order for the test, and then Amazon would deliver it right to the patient’s house the very next day, using its world-class logistics network. It might be a test, or a diagnostic tool like a thermometer or pulse oximeter.

That’s Amazon’s grand vision coming into focus with these moves. And given how convenient it will be for patients, it’s easy to envision rapid adoption.

Amazon is encroaching on one of the largest industries and putting all of its pieces into place. The healthcare industry has long been in need of disruption, and what Amazon is doing will be painful for incumbents. 

And while it may feel like Amazon is becoming too strong – and it is – it will likely get away with this without regulatory issues. After all, Walmart has been providing some level of healthcare services to its customers for decades now.

The time to buy a Tesla is now…

Tesla is about to hit another major milestone.

On September 5, Tesla will release its Full Self-Driving (FSD) Update 10.69.2. Alongside this, Tesla is raising the price of its FSD software from $12,000 to $15,000.

Tesla is unique in the automotive industry in that it is the only company that has employed a software sales model similar to the information technology industry. It’s a standard model. Tesla either sells a one-time perpetual license for its software, or an ongoing monthly recurring revenue software as a service (SaaS) model.

Just like the software industry, as features and functionality improve, the price goes up. And just like the IT industry, large price increases are always correlated with major product improvements.

Tesla rolled out early access to FSD 10.69.2 to about 1,000 beta testers. Their feedback suggests that the software has improved significantly and is far more capable of dealing with more nuanced driving situations. It’s now able to successfully deal with smaller issues that beta testers have experienced over the years.

So all signs point to the new update being quite impressive. And this is a signal that Tesla is getting very close to rolling out FSD capabilities across its entire fleet.

The actionable takeaway here is that if anybody has been on the fence about buying a Tesla with hopes of taking advantage of self-driving technology – or if anyone owns a Tesla and has been considering an upgrade to FSD – now’s the time. FSD pricing is only going to increase from here.

The James Webb Telescope continues to deliver…

Every week seems to bring unbelievably stunning images from space, courtesy of NASA and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). It has been breathtaking to see, like a new world has been opened up to us all.

As a reminder, the JWST is the most complex telescope ever constructed. NASA launched it to a destination about one million miles from Earth back in February.

We call its destination the LaGrange Point 2 (L2). It’s on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun. That makes it incredibly cold, and somewhat protected from the sun, which is great for the telescope’s performance.

So far most of its targets have been out in deep space. But the JWST just sent back some pictures of Jupiter. And they are some of the most stunning pictures I’ve ever seen.

Here’s a great one:

JWST’s View of Jupiter

Source: NASA

Here we can see a greenish aurora encompassing both of the planet’s poles. We can see Jupiter’s big red spot on the bottom right side of the image (it’s reflecting a lot of sunlight in the image, which is why it doesn’t look red). And many of the bright, fluorescent marks that we see are high-altitude clouds around the planet that are also reflecting the sun.

JWST is an infrared telescope capable of remarkable resolution. It sees things not visible to the human eye. Then NASA uses filters to convert the data into imagery that is within the visible spectrum.

Here’s another great image:

Annotated View of Jupiter

Source: NASA

This is stunning. We can see the faint image of Jupiter’s rings circling the planet. We can also see the smaller moons of Amalthea and Adrastea orbiting Jupiter.

To put the quality of JWST’s images into perspective, we should keep in mind that Jupiter is anywhere between 365 million and 600 million miles away from Earth, depending on where each planet is in its orbit, at any given time of the year.

It’s hard to fathom just how far away that is. It’s a distance that’s – at a minimum – 121,666 times farther than a trip from the West Coast to the East Coast of the U.S.

The bottom line is that the science and discoveries already coming back from the James Webb Telescope are mind-boggling. In time, we are going to gain some incredible insights into our solar system, our galaxy, and ultimately our universe. And who knows, we may even be able to discover signs of another civilization… After all, we’re not alone.


Jeff Brown
Editor, The Bleeding Edge

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