This is issue no. 108 of 180. The last issue saw a 39.60% open rate with 7.26% going to this article by Product Hunt's Ryan Hoover. His burgeoning startup announced a brilliant partnership with Amazon. Today's issue is heavy on Innovation and Data. Important anecdotes and news on how our infrastructure will shift towards the commercial use of AR / VR / and autonomous travel.
INNOVATION: In the year 1820, a person could expect to live less than 35 years, 94% of the global population lived in extreme poverty, and less that 20% of the population was literate. Today, human life expectancy is over 70 years, less that 10% of the global population lives in extreme poverty, and over 80% of people are literate. These improvements are due mainly to advances in technology, beginning in the industrial age and continuing today in the information age.
BRAND: Under Armour is upping its style game.The athletic brand has unveiled its Modern Sport capsule collection of sneakers for women, featuring three styles done in luxe materials for an elevated look. The Charged All Around brings together lightweight performance features with a sleek profile. The Precision silhouette is done in laser-cut leather, offered in both black and rose. Customers can choose the low or mid version, which is a sneaker-chukka hybrid.
ECOMMERCE: Walmart reported better-than-expected second quarter results Thursday morning and raised its full-year earnings outlook. The world's largest retailer, fresh off of its $3 billion purchase of Jet.com, cites strong ecommerce sales and improvements to its omnichannel strategy for the earnings beat. Walmart said its ecommerce sales increased 11.8 percent primarily due to the continued rollout of its online grocery option and growth of pick-up in stores and clubs. This is the first time in nine quarters that the retailer's online sales growth has increased quarter-over-quarter.
BRAND: When it comes to social media engagements with countries participating in this year’s Games, the United States and Great Britain have received the bulk of the volume. When engagements are normalized to population size, Jamaica is the standout for social media engagements per million people, due to excitement surrounding the nation’s star-studded Track & Field team. Slovenia’s strength in Judo, Puerto Rico’s potential first gold, New Zealand’s surprise outcome in Rugby Sevens, and Qatar’s team recruitment strategy are also creating more than the fair share of buzz.
DATA: Mergers, acquisitions and initial public offerings are the primary ways that venture capitalists and angel investors realize returns on their investments. So it’s no wonder startup investors tend to get excited when talking about their exited companies. It’s a signal to entrepreneurs that they have a great track record of helping early shareholders cash out. But which investors have the most exits? To answer this question, we analyzed a list of 5,098 institutional and individual investors in 4,818 companies that have raised money, are based in the United States, and have either been acquired or gone public.
INNOVATION: Our self-driving trucks will allow drivers to rest while their truck is moving, and our platform will ensure drivers can easily find loads and are paid fairly. By combining these two technologies, we can create a freight network that is constantly learning and improving. Each truck that joins the network can provide valuable information that makes all other trucks safer and more efficient. In turn, drivers get paid more and shippers get a more reliable service. Self-driving trucks together with a marketplace create a virtuous cycle where everyone benefits.
INNOVATION: People in the virtual reality industry say the first eye trackers on virtual reality devices likely will serve basic functions, like foveated rendering, but they open up new possibilities for the way people use computers. Researchers have shown that the eye trackers can reveal a lot about a people, from how hard they’re concentrating on something to how old they are. Companies like Eyefluence and Pupil Labs believe the data gathered by the devices could become a valuable commodity.
DATA: Starting later this month, Uber will allow customers in downtown Pittsburgh to summon self-driving cars from their phones, crossing an important milestone that no automotive or technology company has yet achieved. Google, widely regarded as the leader in the field, has been testing its fleet for several years, and Tesla Motors offers Autopilot, essentially a souped-up cruise control that drives the car on the highway. Earlier this week, Ford announced plans for an autonomous ride-sharing service. But none of these companies has yet brought a self-driving car-sharing service to market.
Last word: 2PML's Halo 10
I've included a link to a working sheet, measuring ten startups that are riding high. Each has what's known to CMO's and brand managers as a "halo effect." As a product manufacturer, you want to be able to release new product verticals to an audience prepared to trust your brand and its vision.
When Apple launched the iPhone, their management made a then-risky bet that the Cupertino company's halo effect was enough to influence enthusiasts of great computers to become enthusiasts of great phones without buttons. Jobs' bet was correct. Most recently, Tristan Walker's Bevel introduced a product that was only slightly tangential to what the brand had done before. The product is currently on back order after one of the brand's strategic investors name dropped the product, in a very visible way.
Here is my top 10 list of brands who can launch products that fall outside of their original product road map. The list is in the order of 2015's rate of growth. Information sources: Internet Retailer, SimilarWeb, Private Databases.