Amazon Narrows Down HQ2 List; Ledger Closes Series B; ADT Has Disappointing IPO

The Water Coolest

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*Cue Kenny Loggin’s music*

Amazon has narrowed its search for a second headquarters to 20 cities. This is down from the initial 230+ applicants that were on their knees (praying) to convince the tech company to set up shop in their hometown. Half of these applicants had a snowball’s chance in hell to land HQ2, but you can’t knock Detroit for trying. Here is a short list of cities that tried their best but fell … well, short:

  • Maumee, Ohio (bold strategy Cotton, since they’re a suburb of Toledo, who also filled out a separate application)
  • Brunswick, Maine (population 20k)
  • A “city” in Mississippi (LOL)
  • Pawtucket, Rhode Island (Do you really want Pawtucket Pat and Peter Griffin working at HQ?)

The cities that did make the final cut included obvious choices such as Washington DC, NYC, Denver and Chicago … as well as some dark horses like Columbus, Ohio and Montgomery County, Maryland. Regardless of which city wins, let’s just hope they didn’t sell their soul to Jeff Bezos for increased cost of living, traffic jams … and $5 billion in investment plus 50k new jobs.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Regardless of which city wins the lottery, Jeff can be sure that he’ll have my resume on his desk first thing after the announcement.”



Home security powerhouse, ADT, went public this week, just not at the price they would have liked to. The IPO was priced at $14 per share, much lower than the $17 to $19 per share they had hoped to open with.

ADT, owned by Apollo Global Management, managed to raise $1.47B and plans to use those funds to pay down debt and redeem a few securities that are held by Koch Industries. Apollo bought ADT back in 2016 for around $12.3B, including debt, and will continue to own 85% of the company.

Revenue for ADT, from January to October of 2017, clocked in at $3.21B. That’s a 69% (nice) increase over the same period the previous year. And 90% of ADT’s revenue comes from monthly home security subscriptions, which is expected to continue as long as there are bad eggs in this world.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “The best security is financial security, followed closely by home, depending on how much you love your family. That being said, ADT backers must be torn seeing a company that protects their homes coming in so far below the expected IPO price.”



So you’re a bitcoin thousaind-aire. You’ve updated your IG profile to boast about your gains to the peasants, but how do you keep your future children’s trust fund safe? Meet: Ledger Wallet.

The most trusted name in the bitcoin wallet game just landed $75M in Series B funding. Ledger’s Series A was $7M early last year. The company claims that they were fending off suitors with suitcases of cash. Can you say “buying the bubble?”

Business is booming for Ledger. The bitcoin bonanza led to sales of 1M devices in 2017, compared to just 30k in the previous year.

Reminder me what this is again …

Simply put, this is a really, really secure flash drive. Bitcoin owners have to store unique addresses that allow them access to their crypto-riches. Lose the addresses and their e-fortune is as good as gone. Ledger’s technology has proven much more effective than the Post-it-taped-to-your-monitor technique.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “How can this brilliant technological advancement rely on … remembering an alphanumeric code? Something isn’t adding up.”






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Like Harry’s trip to Ollivanders, picking the right mouse can be the difference between making magic in the workplace and becoming part of the unemployment report. We all have our weapon of choice, but none was more loved than Microsoft’s Intellimouse Optical … as proven by it’s upcoming second re-release.

Aesthetically, the hardware is so 90’s it hurts. It’s basically an LA Gear light-up sneaker with Microsoft Office Integration. With the first mainstream scroll wheel and no more rolling ball, the device’s specs were unparalleled. But what value do modern day techies see in this corded behemoth?

It’s a workhorse, the John Deere of the space. Nothing runs quite like it. And for an entire generation it was the mouse used to build Sim Cities. It’d be silly to think that a generation obsessed with nostalgia didn’t want another shot at first love (sorry, Gateway).



In case you missed it in your E! morning briefing, Ellen Pompeo negotiated a $20M per year contract for her role in Grey’s Anatomy, making her the highest paid female on TV. And Meredith Grey put on an absolute clinic in salary negotiation.

Sure, you might not be worth $20M, but the lessons outlined are equally as important to members of the one-comma club (… for the most part). And once you sift through the inspirational-LinkedIn-haiku-bullsh*t like “knowing your worth,” there are some nuggets worth burrowing in that empty space between your ears.

Like: own your career. Admittedly, you probably can’t demand a producer role on one of the most successful medical dramas since George Clooney donned scrubs, but you can own just about every aspect of your career and day-to-day: projects, leadership roles, relationships etc. Ownership equals job security and job security equals bargaining power. Own it, young pro.


The Water Coolest is a daily business newsletter consisting of business news, financial advice, and unfiltered commentary. Delivered fresh in your inbox every morning so you're ready to snap necks and cash checks. Written by Tyler Morrin, AJ Glagolev, Nick Ellis, and Ian Barto.