Chips w/ A Side of Auto, Under Armor Embraces Hospitality, Shopify Cans Meetings

January 4, 2023
Welcome to Wednesday as we talk about some new Automotive partnerships being announced at CES. We also talk about a surprise new CEO for Under Armor and how it applies to Auto. We also talk about a bold move from Shopify to stop wasting time.
Listen On

Re-watch the Year End Extravaganza here: https://www.asotu.com/yee

Show Notes with links:

  • As day one of CES heats up in LasVegas, gaming/chip maker/AI company Nvidia announced several partnerships as it deepens its connection with the Automotive Industry
  • Mercedes-Benz is using Nvidia's Omniverse platform to create a digital twin of its assembly plant in Rastatt, Germany, allowing the company to plan production changes and test them in a virtual environment before reorganizing the physical plant.
  • Foxconn will use Nvidia's technology in developing its own advanced vehicles and to supply automakers with electronic control units based on Nvidia's chips and sensors for highly automated driving.
  • Hyundai Motor Group, Polestar and BYD are planning to offer Nvidia's GeForce NOW cloud gaming service in vehicles. No specific models have been identified yet for in-car gaming, but the idea is to help entertain not only rear-seat passengers, but drivers who park to charge an electric vehicle, said Danny Shapiro, Nvidia's vice president for automotive.


  • Surprising many in the athletic wear industry, Under Armor has named current president of Marriott International, Stephanie Linnartz, as its new CEO
  • Marriott has $20B in revenue vs the 5.9B of UA
  • Exec Chairman Mr. Plank told CNBC UA is  seeking to be a bigger player in fashion and lifestyle apparel, areas where Nike and Adidas make a significant amount of their sales.
  • They have recently dropped out of the top 10 most popular brands for teens
  • One commenter noted "If the new CEO brings hospitality’s hyperfocus on the customer, then it’s going to be a win for Under Armour."
  • Linnartz has also been on Home Depot’s board since 2018 but doesn’t have direct retail or sports industry experience


  • Ecommerce platform Shopify is kicking off the new year by kicking most meetings to the curb. the company has implemented a "calendar purge", which aims to cut down on the number of meetings held
  • All recurring meetings with more than two people will be removed "in perpetuity"
  • No meetings will be held on Wednesdays
  • Big meetings of more than 50 people will be restricted to six hours on Thursdays, with a limit of one a week
  • Employees will be encouraged to decline other meetings and leave large internal chat groups

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SPEAKERS

Kyle Mountsier, Paul Daly


Paul Daly  00:26

Yo, it is Wednesday already. 2023 is a lot easier than you thought it would be, isn't it? We're gonna talk about some chip announcements at CES, Shopify kicking meetings to the curb and a new CEO at Under Armour. That was the wrong music. That's the outro music, but no one got no less I told him


Kyle Mountsier  00:48

he's like, this would have been bad would have been stopped me like, okay,


Paul Daly  00:51

that's the end of the show. What are we gonna do? It's still true music we have to stop. Oh, ah, I love it. I love it. I felt the energy yesterday as people were getting into 2023. And it kind of settled into the groove. Like right away.


Kyle Mountsier  01:07

No, it was like, it was not just it was like from the moment the pod hit like even the couple comments. And then all of a sudden it was like, like, every meeting we had, everyone was like, Yeah, we're doing thing. Let's go, let's go, it actually


Paul Daly  01:19

felt more like a neutral drop. Like Park. It's in park revving the engine. And now it's in Drive. And the wheels are spinning, and we're flying forward. Got a lot of great stuff going on this month. Oh, hope to see you around. We're going to be traveling around us. I mean, obviously nada is going to be the thing. We're literally going to get to see 10s of 1000s of our friends in the auto industry. So if you're going to be at nada, make sure if you see us please, please, please, please, please say hi. We would love to see you meet you in person, have a conversation. And look, if you're not going to be at nada, let's just say this. We're bringing light on 20 people to nada to cover it. So you can feel like you're at nada. So make sure you're following us on LinkedIn at a so to follow us on Instagram for more of the behind the scenes at automotive State of the Union on Facebook. And now we're going to try to bring the show to you if you can't be there because somebody's got to work. Right? I can't I'll be nada pretend to work in some cars. That's right. Get me there for dinner with Oregon. Other things coming up. But we'd let's let's talk about some stuff. We have some fun stuff today. So like, you know, we'd like to talk about automotive stuff. But we also like to talk about broader retail and tech things that apply to automotive because we feel like that is how our perspective is going to be brought in the way it needs to be so that we can win, which is why you're here right? We're trying to win. But first we're gonna talk about auto kind of a little bit and tech as well. Day one of the Consumer Electronics Show aka CES in Las Vegas was yesterday and gaming chipmaker slash AI company. I don't know what they call themselves anymore. Nvidia announced several partnerships in automotive that deepen their ties in their automotive showing their serious player trying to move this kind of technological renaissance of the auto industry forward one versus with Mercedes Benz using their Omniverse platform to create a digital twin of its assembly plant. So we talked about something like this a while back but basically, video and visual, creating a duplicate of the plant so you can build efficiency make things go faster, create a virtual environment to others are Foxconn who you may recognize because they build your iPhone that you're using right now. They also are building building vehicles. Now if you didn't realize that, that using invidious technology to build better vehicles, you know, chips and sensors for automated driving. And then finally Hyundai, Hyundai pollster and BYD are planning to use Nvidia's GeForce Now cloud gaming service in the vehicle not while you're driving. But in the


Kyle Mountsier  03:51

remember that one time yesterday I was like, Yo, I think there's a good chance we're gonna see some software partnerships in automotive.


Paul Daly  04:01

This article wasn't even out yet.


Kyle Mountsier  04:03

It wasn't even out yet. Got him. Yeah, no, this I mean this this makes a ton of sense to me if you don't like Nvidia just power so much stuff that a lot of times you don't even realize video cards and and graphics cards and graphics cards and all that type of stuff. So you know, it's it's not really a surprise on the, on the hardware side of things and even on the software side of things for people that are paying attention to that side of the world. But I think that these are a few really interesting things like powering in car gaming is a really neat use for for these for this type of technology. You know, the the being and then, you know, Danny Shapiro and the Vice President of Nvidia said they really want to be an end to end partner for automakers. And that's a big deal. Because when you think about the consumer journey and how people are integrating the rest of life and the way that they they operate with all of their devices, and understanding that the automotive journey can also do the same thing. I think he's going to be important. So I would, I would actually expect that we like my next prediction. And this is probably a little bit further down the line is the automakers start to recognize how the support of all of this type of stuff can link to local retailers, right, like how they can use that data, how they can use the technology to make the shopping experience better to make the purchasing experience better, because this is enterprise technology that can be drawn into the franchise system as well.


Paul Daly  05:30

Well, speaking of linking to consumer surprising a lot of people in the athletic wear industry Under Armour has named current president of Marriott International named Stephanie Linares. Under Armour is new CEO. So this is a major prize to people in the industry because she doesn't have any retail or athletic wear, retail sports, any experience she's on the board of Home Depot, which is kind of retail, but not really so Marriott also much bigger company $20 billion Marriott, international Under Armour about 5.9 billion, and the executive chairman of Under Armour told CNBC that they are seeking to be a bigger player in fashion and lifestyle apparel. Whereas like you know, Nike and Adidas already kind of fashion lifestyle brands under are struggling now they've just actually dropped off the list of top 10 brands for teens. And so bringing this is gonna sound familiar, Kyle pelatih industry as a whole lot of similarities to retail know that it's just to see somebody getting that in the retail side. I think it's going to pay big dividends. And we constantly say to auto dealers, like think like you're in the hospitality business?


Kyle Mountsier  06:50

Absolutely. Because when people are like, this is it's the Ritz Carlton mindset, it's the idea that knowing what something what somebody wants before they want it is is more than just the Ritz it's an it's an idea of like, how do we get people enjoying the experience that they're having, and whether that's an experience shopping online, being in person, anything like that hospitality is experiential. That's why you see so many people that have like, gone through high school and college as waiters and waitresses start to enter the sales side of the of the retail business or even the service side. Because that level of hospitality is very, very, as a very clear line into a retail mindset. So I you know, like this, I think it makes a ton of sense. And from a leadership perspective, these, you know, someone like Stephanie has all the leadership capacity to run a company that's $20 billion revenue company, and and just transferring some of the mindset is going to is I think it's going to pay dividends for for us.


Paul Daly  07:52

Yeah, well, I mean, if you're an auto dealer, you're listening, you're in sales, you're in fixed ops, like welcome that hospitality mindset out into your look for it. Right? We're talking about recruiting, who can we bring in? My first job in automotive, as a service writer, I didn't know anything about cars. And the dealer owner at the time, a Chevy dealer. He said, I want people that know about people and how to make them feel comfortable and heard and understood. So bam, there you go. Living proof for that one. Oh, we need to say wait for the Shopify meeting seems because it's just so good. It was right there. Like you know, just like Tony, speaking of people getting down to business and 2023. Energy


Kyle Mountsier  08:33

earlier in the show, you know,


Paul Daly  08:34

it's about energy today. So okay, get this ecommerce platform Shopify is kicking off the new year by kicking most of their internal meetings to the curb. The company company has implemented what they're calling get this a calendar purge, which aims to cut down on the number of meetings held, we all know, beatings are mostly a waste of time if you're not incredibly intentional about it. So here are a couple bullets from their new kind of rules. All recurring meetings with more than two people will be removed in perpetuity. So if there's a meeting on the calendar, and it's got more than two people in it, Shopify is like let's start by getting rid of


Kyle Mountsier  09:12

all of your recurring recurring meetings. Yeah, recurring meetings,


Paul Daly  09:15

right. We're saying like, hey, once a week, twice weeks, they're saying Wednesday's zero meetings can happen on Wednesdays. So giving other people


Kyle Mountsier  09:23

a lot of companies that have moved to like a no meeting day. So that's a that's seen move like it. I don't


Paul Daly  09:29

know if we're there yet as a company out there. Big, big meeting. This is great, big meetings of more than 50 people will be restricted to six hours on Thursday with a limit of one a week. So what they mean is a six hour range.


Kyle Mountsier  09:43

Yeah. How many six hour meetings you guys have been over there?


Paul Daly  09:48

Factor the labor rate of 50 people in a six hour meeting? How expensive is that meeting? I can't man a meeting with six. I mean, think what can you accomplish in a meeting with 50 people that


Kyle Mountsier  09:58

you can't, I mean, that's gonna be Like a town hall, it's obviously going to be something unless there's meaningful


Paul Daly  10:03

q&a. Yeah, right. It might as well be a five minute video that you just make everybody watch. And the CEO, Toby Toby Luckey, who co founded the company said, the best thing founders can do is subtraction, it's much easier, it's much easier to add things than to remove things. If you say yes to one thing, you're saying no to something else. And as people add things, the set of things that can be done become smaller. So she's like, you end up with more and more people just maintaining the status quo, how many people in all businesses, but in the auto industry, how many of the things we do are literally just kind of a habitual, maintaining the status


Kyle Mountsier  10:40

quo status quo, man, I, this takes me back like Kevin Deutsch, Butler, Alexa, South Atlanta. He said, My job when I walk in his general manager, my job every single day is to figure out what clutter is in the way of my employees so they don't have to continue to fight to get to fight to get around it. Yeah. I think that that's like any leader I'm taking right now. I'm reminded of that. I'm thinking of it if our team like watches podcast that our team is producing it. All right, I gotta get level set on this. Like how do I remove clutter, whether it be meetings or other things, I remove clutter, so people can go and that's what kudos to Shopify, especially as they've like restructured, and they had to do a bunch of layoffs. It's like realigning everything for efficiency. This is a big way to do it. So thinking about that in your business, I think is important.


Paul Daly  11:30

Hey, it feels like a great thing to talk about at the beginning of the year. Right? We have that fresh start. And we have all types of systems in place. I mean, if this isn't a good time to start to like get some of the clutter. I love Kevin Deutsch to speak in that wisdom. Think about it today as you walk into your day. What piece of clutter can you get out of the way of your teams or get out of the way your customers to do business with you? It's their?


Kyle Mountsier  11:51

Job

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