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What We're Reading This Week

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June 01, 2018

What We're Reading This Week

Author: Thad Schlaud

Topics: The Market, Industry Ideas

Cybercrime!

It is truly a brave new world when we have special words for special crimes. When I was a kid, crime was crime. Now, when you commit crime on the internet, it’s cybercrime. This article caught my eye because it focuses on banks fighting cybercrime.

And why not? Last year $445 billion was lost to cybercrime, probably from banks. Financial institutions are taking an increasingly militarized approach:

“’This is not that different from terrorists and drug cartels,’ Matt Nyman, the command center’s creator, said as he surveyed his squadron of Mastercard employees. ‘Fundamentally, threat networks operate in similar ways.’”

That’s a really great cluster of words in a sentence about Mastercard employees. Plus, they get to call their department a “fusion center.” So, maybe working at a bank will be sexy again. But, probably not. I was most drawn to the article’s discussion of the fusion center eye candy:

“’You can’t have a fusion center unless you have really cool TVs,’ quipped Lawrence Zelvin, a former Homeland Security official who is now Citigroup’s global cybersecurity head, at a recent cybercrime conference.’”

Well, yeah, that makes sense. And this:

“Two popular ‘pew pew’ maps are from FireEye and the defunct security vendor Norse, whose video game-like maps show laser beams zapping across the globe. Norse went out of business two years ago, and no one is sure what data the map is based on, but everyone agrees that it looks cool.”

Fantastic.

MoviePass

If you love movies, run, don’t walk to moviepass.com! For the uninitiated, MoviePass is a subscription-based theater ticket business that charges $9.95 a month. For said $9.95, subscribers can attend as many movies as they want. As ticket prices have skyrocketed over the last decade, it’s easy to believe that MoviePass will go out of business soon.

To wit, the company is hemorrhaging $21.7 million per month. They aren’t the first company to try to “disrupt” an industry with a subscription-based model. Netflix and Spotify come to mind. They also aren’t the first to build market share by intentionally losing money. Amazon, and well, Netflix and Spotify come to mind again. However, they seem to be a little late to the party.

Ultimately, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe wants to leverage a wide user base to sell data to marketing companies and advertisers in order to turn a profit. Remember when a company used to make something and sell it? Then they either sold enough of it to turn a profit or they didn’t. Those were simpler times…

 

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