Issue #188

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This is issue no. 188. The last issue had a 46.54% open rate with an additional 6.26% of you going back to this article on Kith's eCommerce rise. That's a first.

Brief: Snapchat: Goodbye, next Facebook. Hello, new Twitter. And more Skepticism:

Snap’s approach is different to other companies. When Facebook went public, for example, some employees were allowed to sell before many other shareholders. Square went public with a 180-day lockup covering pre-IPO shareholders and employees. Twitter, meanwhile, allowed some employees to sell their shares before everyone else, in order to pay off taxes on their stock awards. There had been some speculation that Snap could lift its lockup for employees so they could sell shares to cover the tax bills on their stock awards. Instead the company will pay a tax bill of around $187 million on behalf of employees and withhold the equivalent number of shares, the IPO filing disclosed.  - The Information

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Today's Top Intelligence (12 Reads)

Last Word: Will Snap Succeed? Ben Thompson addresses:

Snap’s bet is that Facebook, with all of the baggage of putting your best self forward, will never be truly able to step into this brave new future. No, capturing that future won’t be as simple as re-making the connections you already have — new users will need to be won, feature by feature and innovation by innovation — but that is exactly what Snap insists it does better than anyone else.

So will Snap succeed?

The trouble for the company is that some of the conditions necessary for its success are out of its hands: on a macro level, the timing of The Great Unbundling, an important aspect of advertising moving away from TV, is as uncertain as ever. On a competitive level I suspect Snap is more surprised than anyone at how effectively Facebook has leveraged Instagram to foreclose Snapchat’s growth.

I do, though, have faith in Snap itself: Spiegel and team are the most innovative in tech, brilliantly laddering up to new opportunities, and creating new markets. The products will be great; we’ve known for 30 years, though, that that is not always enough.