Blackberry Sues Facebook; Bumble To Sponsor LA Clippers; Walmart Meal Delivery Kits
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SLIDE INTO BBM
For the better part of a decade, the only thing that BlackBerry and Facebook have had in common is that no one uses their proprietary messaging apps. But now it appears that the two companies will collide in court.
The maker of the Palm Pilots more sophisticated, flashier younger cousin is suing Facebook for patent infringement. Blackberry claims its pre-dot-com-bubble technology was used by The Social Network to allow for cross-platform notifications and to enable Instagram users to share Stories directly on Facebook. They are also considering suing MySpace Tom for infringing on “that idea they had that one time.”
Crackberry is seeking monetary damages but no details have been made public. The war of words between the companies, however, has been priceless thus far …
- Facebook wasn’t mincing words about the current state of Blackberry: “Blackberry’s suit sadly reflects the current state of its messaging business.”
- Blackberry was a bit more subtle in their jabs: “[Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp] are relative latecomers to the mobile messaging world.”
Of course, Blackberry comes across as a certain lonely nerd seeking a bid to The Phoenix Club with this statement: “BlackBerry’s view is that Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp could make great partners in our drive toward a securely connected future, and we continue to hold this door open to them.”
Water Cooler Talking Point: “I feel embarrassed for Blackberry. This is probably the most cringe-worthy move a once-great tech company has made since Yahoo re-branded as Oath. Desperation doesn’t look good on you, Blackberry.”
LA CLIPPERS SWIPE RIGHT ON BUMBLE
The ladies-first “dating” app’s logo will be prominently displayed on every Clipper’s uniform for the next 3 years starting with last night’s game versus the New Orlean Pelicans. The Clippers are basically a tequila and Viagra endorsement away from turning the Staples Center a bonafide orgy.
Bumble and the Clippers seem to be a perfect match, though. Or about as good as it gets for a female-first company buying ad space in a male-centric sports league. The Clippers boast the largest female leadership team in the NBA, led by their president of business operations Gillian Zucker. And female fans account for roughly 47% of the league’s 127M US viewers.
This deal is the 20th patch alliance to be signed this season as part of a 3-year pilot program. There are still ten squads that don’t shamelessly plug a brand so look out for Grindr or Hinge to make James Harden look a little bit more like Ricky Bobby.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “There’s been a lot of buzz around the league about this move, but if Bumble really wants to capitalize on the bee theme they should look to partner with the Hornets. With the addition of Honey Nut Cheerios concession stands and the players pulling up in their Transformers Camaros they could rebrand the entire league as the N Bee A.”
SAVE MONEY. EAT BETTER.
Walmart’s deli isn’t just for buckets of cheap, heat-lamp fried chicken anymore. The retailer announced that it will be rolling out both its pre-portioned, and single step meal kits to 2k of its 4.6k stores across the US. They are already available in 250 stores.
Walmart’s meal plans will run customers anywhere from $8 to $15 per meal and can feed 2 people. The same applies to their single step meals. The main difference between Walmart’s plans and their competitors? You can have the plans delivered, or you can order your meal at lunchtime and have it ready to pick up on your way home. That is if you happen to live in an area ritzy enough to have a Walmart.
In the increasingly re-heated battle between meal delivery services, players like Walmart and Amazon may spell trouble for some of the stalwarts. HelloFresh and Blue Apron have been dreading this day, with the latter seeing a 74% drop in stock price in the last year alone. With neither having brick and mortar locations, they’d better start coming up with some enticing recipes.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “I love this move, we’re one day closer to never having to set foot inside a Walmart again.”
IN OTHER NEWS
- Gary Cohn will resign as President Trump’s top economic advisor after a public dispute over the White House’s proposed tariffs. Ari Fleischer couldn’t be more relieved.
- Target will raise its minimum wage to $12 per hour as part of a larger initiative to get to a $15 per hour starting wage by 2020. The battle between Walmart and Target for “greeter” talent is really beginning to heat up.
- CVS sold more than $40B worth of bonds, the largest corporate bond sale in 2 years, to fund its proposed purchase of Aetna. Boy, won’t they look stupid if regulators ixnay the deal?
- McDonald’s will begin using fresh beef patties for some of their burgers in the coming months. They won’t be removing the feelings of regret or shame, however.
- The CEO of Kobe Steel will step down, taking the heat for the companies massive quality scandal and cover-up. If only there were some sort of economic repercussions that could be enacted to keep this tainted foreign steel out of the US …
- US indices were up yesterday:
- DOW: +0.04%
- S&P 500: +0.26%
- NASDAQ: +0.56%
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DRUGS ARE OKAY, MMKAY?
It’s high time to be a job applicant. It’s a buyers market and the days of passing a drug test might be behind us. The reason? We are a workforce full of pizza roll loving, couch-melting stoners … and because marijuana is now legal in 9 states.
Rather than hiring squares, employers are opting to forego drug tests altogether or overlooking positive marijuana tests.
Unsolicited Advice: “Smoking a little bit of the devil’s lettuce now and again might not be a good indication of whether you’re a good job candidate, but an HR department with strict marijuana testing guidelines might think otherwise. So don’t be an idiot … and do invest in a high-quality cleansing kit.”
ASK ‘EM ANYTHING
Being the most interesting man (or woman) in the world is good for more than just dominating savage HQ questions and winning bar bets. Having a go-to elevator anecdote might be the difference between having “Director” in your title and a career in middle-management.
And let’s be honest, you’ve always wondered if you can exchange a coupon for its cash value. Planet Money’s annual “Ask Me Anything” episode doesn’t disappoint.