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Our Insights

Packaging

April 28, 2024
Packages at the Door

Most of my shopping is online. I can’t even say that my behavior changed after Covid – it didn’t. But one thing that has seemed to change is that items are more often shipped individually. They often aren’t bundled and shipped all together. Of course that has to do with things like warehouse inventory and distribution, spurred by the demand for ultra-fast shipping, but it amazes me just how much packaging is required for all of these small, frequent deliveries.

 Video Games

April 08, 2024
controlador de video game

After seeing how much my youngest daughter enjoyed playing Mario Kart on his Nintendo Switch, my brother-in-law gave her one for Christmas. Her new favorite movie is Super Mario Brothers. She has now progressed to more movie-esque adventure games (she and my wife just finished Luigi’s Mansion).  She’s 4.

I can’t help but compare her experience with mine. I used to love Tetris and how it was like assembling a puzzle.

Corporate Venture Capital

March 17, 2024
Gráficos Financeiros

At Somar, we make it a point to keep an eye on private markets, particularly growth companies doing interesting things. The same ones that tend to be favored by venture capitalists. Not only is there a possibility that these companies will go public and would therefore fall under Somar’s pervue, but if they are groundbreaking, they may be taking market share away from other companies we evaluate. In either case, the private venture-backed market is a critical input to our analysis. 

SleeptTech

February 25, 2024

I’m a big proponent of sleep. I encourage my family, including my stressed out teenagers, to get at least 7 hours a night. To some, it might seem silly to “waste” 1/3 of your day not doing anything, but that is the time our bodies need to recover and our minds get some rest from external stimulants. It lets us be more efficient in the waking hours, absorb and process information better, and generally puts us in a better mood.

Dormir

Spatial Computing

February 4, 2024

Apple’s VR headset, the Vision Pro, launched Friday. It is supposed to be, in the words of Tim Cook, “tomorrow’s technology today.” The launch promises to usher in a new era in spatial computing in that as with other Apple products, it will at the very least generate buzz and pique broad interest. Spatial Computing is an umbrella term for digital enhancement of the space we perceive.

VR Art Exhibition

Cybercrime

December 10, 2023
Teclado do portátil

It has been a while since we wrote about Cybersecurity, but as evidenced by the number of dubious emails I get everyday, it’s a problem that is increasingly growing. I recently even got a phishing email from myself!

In 2019, we showed this chart on the cost of cybercrime which had doubled since 2014.

The cost of cybercrime has now grown exponentially. Cybercriminals are believed to be backed by rogue governments and are getting increasingly sophisticated.

Men's Beauty

November 19, 2023

A trending and growing category in the past few years has been men’s beauty. It goes beyond the “traditional” men’s category of grooming which mostly included shaving, shampoo and soap. Admittedly, this is an area that I’m not particularly familiar with. My wife has bought me cleansers and face creams in fancy packaging that still sit in their original boxes. I didn’t grow up using these things so they haven’t become part of my routine.  

Máscara cosmética marrom

Genetic Testing

October 29, 2023
Cientista com Microscópio

A couple of years ago, my wife and I used 23andme for at-home genetic tests. We got some interesting interesting ancestory information, but what was even more compelling was the health diagnostics. Though obviously not medical advice, and only at a high level, the test alerted us of things like increased risk of diabetes on my wife’s side (not surprising due to family history), and more comical things like me having muscle composition comparable to elite athletes

Private Label II

October 08, 2023
No supermercado

Back in the spring of 2019, we wrote about private label – how retailers were investing in creating their own brands and how consumers generally rated private label brands as being of similar quality to national brands. Fast forward 4 years and fueled by inflation and price-sensitive consumers, private label sales in the US have hit a record high to $228.6bn according to the Private Label Manufacturers.

Nuclear

September 17, 2023
Peace Protest

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we seem to be hearing a lot about nuclear. In the war context, the conversation has been mostly about securing the nuclear plants of Zaporizhzhia (active) and the infamous Chernobyl (Ukraine has other active nuclear plants but they are distant from the front lines). A great deal of attention also went to Germany which was in the process of decomissionning all of its nuclear reactors following the Fukushima meltdown at the onset of the invasion...

Bioplastics

August 13, 2023
Planeta Feito de Plástico

“I just want to say one word to you…Plastics…There’s a great future in plastics.” This famous line from the 1967 movie, The Graduate, definitly rings true. Synthetic plastics largely began being used during World War II as natural resources need to be preserved.Following the war years, the plastic producing capacity spilled out to consumer markets. In 1950, annual global production of plastics is estimated to be 2 million tonnes (2 billion kg).

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