Here’s an argument you hear a lot: the gigantic cash burn rates at the likes of Tesla and Uber are nothing new, because today’s established tech greats also churned through tons of cash in their early years. In fact, we keep hearing from champions of these glamor stocks on business TV shows and pundits’ blogs that constantly raising fresh billions to fund operations is a regular right of passage for tomorrow’s superstars.
Wrong. Look closely at the early days of the giants and you’ll see that they were models of frugality compared with the new wave. I came to that surprising conclusion by comparing the cash flow trends in the first few years of operation for two contrasting groups of companies. The first we’ll call the Fab Four, tech titans that rank among America’s most valuable enterprises: Amazon.com, Apple, Facebook and Google (technically Alphabet). The second category we’ll dub the Breakneck Burners, relative newcomers that reign for devouring cash, Tesla, Uber, Lyft and Snap.
More here – Fortune