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Data Sheet—Amazon's Cloud Service Goes After Oracle

Aaron Pressman
Data Sheet—Amazon's Cloud Service Goes After Oracle

A grab bag of thoughts to start your week in tech:

* I didn’t get comment last week on Jeff Bezos’s annual letter to shareholders. Here are some words no one likely ever expected to find in this letter: “databases for specialized workloads,” “key-value stores,” “in-memory databases,” “time series databases,” and “ledger solutions.” These are all enterprise software products, specifically the types Oracle dominates, that Amazon Web Services provides cheaply as part of its growing service. Bezos used to joke that ‘your margin is my opportunity.’ Oracle, a slow-growing, high-margin business, can’t be happy about these offerings. I encourage you to read the entire letter as it’s written in plain English and contains more than a few priceless business chestnuts.

* Ford shuffled its management last week, naming marketing veteran Jim Farley to run its “mobility” business. This is a matcher of sorts, seeing as General Motors assigned its president, Dan Ammann, to run Cruise, GM’s expensively-acquired self-driving-car technology business.

* Speaker of transportation, I still haven’t read Uber’s IPO prospectus. I did read a lot of the coverage, though. Uber doesn’t make money, and the growth in its core business is slowing, which is typically the reason why investors rationalize paying a high valuation for unprofitable companies. Other than wishful thinking, it’s a head scratcher why, if Uber doesn’t make money or grow impressively anymore, it is worth $100 billion. Or $90 billion. Or $80 billion. And so on.

* Another knock on Uber is its competition, including from Lyft. And speaking of Lyft, its bike-rental business has suffered a black eye. It is pulling from the market some 3,000 pedal-assist electric bikes in San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C., due to braking problems. (I am a loyal and highly satisfied user of Ford GoBike, the sponsor of Lyft’s San Francisco service. I am going to miss those bikes.) The ride-hail business was supposed to be a good one because the “platforms” don’t hold physical assets. Bikes are assets, though. And Lyft’s are broken.

* Netflix reports earnings Tuesday. Investors are sure to ask about Disney+

Adam Lashinsky @adamlashinsky adam_lashinsky@fortune.com