Why this is insightful: Italian car-maker launches flagship store on China's Tmall with 100 Maserati SUV Levante vehicles and they sold out in 18 seconds. With payment tools like Affirm on the US's horizon, your next car purchase may arrive overnight.
Why this is insightful: Yesterday I covered DOMO, an SaaS platform that is great if you are a seasoned, cash flow positive business. For the smaller businesses, here are some tools that can get you from starting line to growth path.
Why this is insightful: Starbucks announced it's launching a new line of K-cups featuring the popular Pumpkin Spice Latte flavor. This may actually cannibalize premium, in-store sales for the coffee maker. But Starbucks is rumored to maintain a royalty agreement with Keurig for K-Cups and machines. Starbucks' most popular product may have become the Keurig 2.0's best advertising tool.
Why this is insightful: the year was 2014 and two guys were at a German Village, Columbus watering hole discussing what Abercrombie and Fitch should do to revive its image. The consultant told the Senior Executive to go back to take A&F back to the days of Roosevelt, Earhardt, and Hemingway and then he explained how to do it. That consultant should have asked for stock options.
Why this is insightful: in your CRM system is data that is, in the immortal words of Douglas Adams, “mostly harmless.” But hidden in your system are puff adders, violin spiders, and other small creatures that can be deadly.
Why this is insightful: yesterday, Microsoft unleashed Tay, the teen-talking AI chatbot built to mimic and converse with users in real time. Because the world is a terrible place full of shitty people, many of those users took advantage of Tay’s machine learning capabilities and coaxed it into say racist, sexist, and generally awful things.
Why this is insightful: be careful of PR spin. Instacart is realizing profitability in 10 of its markets or 3.17% of its operating cities. The on-demand economy is struggling and winning is becoming tougher than ever. When it comes to unit economics, it is rumored that the more conservatively-run Postmates has the upper hand.
Why this is insightful: it's been 10 years since Co-Founder, Jack Dorsey, sent the world's first tweet. A decade later, and the platform is now synonymous with the entire sports world. There is no better Twitter than sportsball Twitter.
Why this is insightful: Anil said, "We’re looking for a new home for ThinkUp where the product and its community can thrive. Usually this kind of process happens in secret, behind the scenes, without the knowledge of the users who’ll be most affected. But we want to do this right." A company like Mattermark could be a great fit.
Why This Is Insightful: after driving voracious growth at Amazon, Jess Bezos is conquering media—and possibly even space. There may be no better example of the fruits of patience and consistent reinvestment than the results of the Captain of Amazon, Washington Post, and Blue Origin.
A last word: we all want A.I. to work. Right?
Business leaders don't prefer man-hour intensive tasks that distract them from executing the overall mission. Though Microsoft's AI Twitter bot failure was very public, it seems that there will come a time when entrepreneurs can hand over the reigns to their social media accounts or reposition their lower level customer care team members (the most human capital intensive commitment) to allow machine-learning bots to perform those tasks. The notion of this is no longer decades away. But will consumers prefer doing business with machines?