“Sometimes ignorance is bliss, but as you get into a business more, you realize that maybe some of the challenges get pretty impossible…and then you feel like s–t” — Anthony Soohoo, CEO of online furniture store Dot & Bo, which shut down for good on Friday. Dot & Bo joins the long list of failed e-commerce startups that ended in the crap pile.
- U.S. markets finished lower to end the week—and oil led the downturn, with investors losing faith that this week’s OPEC meeting will curb overproduction after reports stated Saudi Arabia didn’t expect an agreement to be reached
- On Friday, Turkey’s credit rating was downgraded to junk by Moody’s after a post-coup assessment—this could lead to $8.7 billion of forced outflows
Snapchat Launches Spectacles
…AKA sunglasses with a built-in camera. AKA…the future? Or perhaps the past…if you’re thinking Google Glass, you’re not too far off. With Snapchat pricing these trendy-looking sunglasses at “only” $130, it’s hoping to avoid some of the problems the $1,500 clunky Google Glass faced (like the crippling public embarrassment). To be fair, the Spectacles aren’t quite as ambitious as Glass—their only feature is letting you record snaps from your POV. Nonetheless, the creative product launch looks to expand the life-logging and story-telling theme Snapchat has built its brand on. In other news, Snapchat also officially changed its name—and before you ask, it’s not Metta World Peace. In a move to broaden its reputation beyond a straight-up messaging application, it’s now Snap, Inc. Oh snap.
Up, Up and Away
…And promptly down to your doorstep. Or at least, that’s UPS’s hope. The delivery company launched its testing of delivery drones last week with a simulated emergency medical delivery in rural Massachusetts. Traveling at 180 miles an hour, the speedy drones could potentially save lives. Not to mention the sheer coolness factor. But don’t impulse order a package just yet. The FAA declared last month that commercial drones, while legal, are restricted to the line of site of the operator—so delivery drones aren’t in the clear just yet. The good news? Firms can receive a compliance waiver if they can prove that their drones are safe. Which is why Amazon, Alphabet and now UPS are scrambling to collect data. If everything works out, it could soon be raining packages.
All of a Sudden, Twitter’s Looking Good
…And the stock was up 21% on Friday. Drowning tech giant with a dying user base? Nah, that’s so yesterday. Today, it’s (allegedly) acquisition time. You can blame tech rumors for that—”sources” claim that the social media company has moved closer to a sale. To whom? Well, it’s a big list, including companies like Google, Microsoft and Salesforce. Yes, Salesforce, the sales management software giant. It just goes to show that potential buyers are just as interested in Twitter’s troves of data as they are for its standing as a social media company.
Anything You Can Do
…Amazon can do better. These days, the number of markets for Amazon to conquer is dwindling. What is it this time? Photo printing. Riveting. In a move to challenge established photo companies like Shutterfly, Amazon is introducing Amazon Prints. Aside from simply printing photos (for as cheap as nine cents a pop), the service will also allow customers to create photo books and backup an unlimited number of photos. Ok, so not just photo printing. Is there a catch? Of course there’s a catch: the service will only be available to Amazon Drive and Prime users, meaning this is yet another service Amazon can use to lock you in and earn your loyalty.
- Goldman Sachs to cut 25% of Asia investment bank jobs
- McDonald’s to test breakfast happy meal
- Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner selling 49% stake to Singapore billionaire’s son
- Japan considering antitrust charges against Apple over iPhone deals
- Monday: Carnival Earnings; New Home Sales
- Tuesday: Nike Earnings; Consumer Confidence; S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index
- Wednesday: BlackBerry Earnings; Durable Goods Orders
- Thursday: PepsiCo, Costco, Accenture Earnings; U.S. Q2 GDP (3rd Estimate); Pending Home Sales; Weekly Jobless Claims
- Friday: Personal Income and Outlays; Consumer Sentiment
Savings? Never Heard of ‘Em
Think back to your intro economics class freshman year: savings are good for the longevity of an economy. Well, according to a new survey from GoBanking, Americans aren’t buying into this idea. 7,000 people from around the country were asked how much money they have in their savings accounts. Here are the results:
- 69% have less than $1,000 in savings and over one third (34%) have nothing in the bank. That’s not good.
- Only 15% have over $10,000 saved away and a measly 4% have between $5,000 and $10,000. Goodness.
- One of the main reasons for this lack of savings? The rise of cashless payments have people spending money without recognizing the cost. One study found that people will spend 32% more with a card than if they had used cash.
Interview Question of the Day
Do hedge funds invest in private companies? (Answer)
Business Term of the Day
First-Loss Policy — A type of property insurance policy that provides only partial insurance. In the event of a claim, the policyholder agrees to accept an amount less than the full value of damaged, destroyed or stolen property. In return, the insurer agrees to not penalize the policyholder for under-insuring their property.
Food for Thought
So maybe that futuristic fully autonomous car you thought you would own by 2021 won’t exist…we at the Brew can’t get enough of the self-driving frenzy, industry insiders say “these claims are largely hype.”