Dell’s Reverse Merger; Dr. Pepper Purchased; Boring Company Flamethrowers; The End Of Standing Meetings

The Water Coolest

The Water Coolest is a free daily business news and professional advice email newsletter created for weekday warriors that is delivered fresh daily at 7 AM EST. You can subscribe at



Estimated Read Time: 3 minutes and 44 seconds



In a move that’s only whispered about in the back alleyways of corporate counsel offices, Dell might be looking to allow VMware, whom it owns, to buy it out in what’s known as a reverse merger. This move would allow Dell to go public without needing to submit a formal listing like it would for a traditional IPO.

Dell currently owns 80% of VMware, which it received as part of its $67B acquisition of EMC back in 2015. VMware is a software company specializing in virtualization, which allows multiple virtual computers to exist on one single piece of hardware.

If Dell takes the plunge, the move would allow investors to profit off of Dell’s previous retreat into the private world that occurred in 2013. A reverse merger would also help Dell pay off some of the $50B it currently holds on its balance sheets.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Props to Dell for exploring the ‘work smart, not hard’ approach to going public. An IPO seems like it comes with a lot of paperwork, so whatever you can do to get there without the red tape is a positive in my book.”



Single cup coffee maker Keurig Green Mountain is dabbling in the soft drink market as it announces the purchase of Dr. Pepper Snapple Group for $18.7B. It goes without saying but the corporate vending machine is about to get a major makeover.

It seems that spending money on a soft-drink manufacturer is a risky move as people start to turn towards non-carbonated beverages, but Dr. Pepper scooped up Bai Brands in 2016 and there are rumored to be some new products in the works.

The investment firm JAB Holdings Inc. actually owns Keurig, along with Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Caribou Coffee. The company’s goal is to become a serious player in the beverage industry. You could say they’re thirsty AF.

Shots fired!

Somebody decided to put on their big boy pants and send a message to Coca-cola and PepsiCo that they are coming for the crown. Coca-cola actually owned a stake in Keurig just a few years ago but it didn’t end well.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Fun fact: Dr. Pepper shots do not contain Dr. Pepper. That’s got to be bad for business.”



For the completely justifiable price of $500 you can be a real life Fire Mario by purchasing a Boring Company flamethrower. Elon Musk’s Boring Company is delivering on its promise to sell flamethrowers if it sold 50k Boring Company hats.

Musk has already sold 10k of the preferred weapon of zombie movie protagonists. The knockoff crowd-funding schtick aims to raise $10M and put 20k flamethrowers into the hands of reckless kids named Chad and crazy Vietnam vets.

Although irresponsible, Musk’s fire flames fundraiser isn’t illegal. Flamethrowers are regulated by states. California, for example, only requires a permit if flames shoot more than 10 feet.

So what is the Boring Company actually planning to do? Bore holes in the ground, of course. The company plans to use its proprietary tunnel technology to disrupt traffic as we know it.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Don’t for a second think I didn’t look up my state’s laws on flamethrower ownership. And it got me thinking, why is Elon Musk trying to do all this really difficult stuff when he could just go on the Home Shopping Network and sell ridiculous things everybody wants but nobody needs (think: slap bracelets)?”




  • The Trump administration is considering building a national 5G network to keep up with the Jonses (read: the Chinese). Private telecoms aren’t too happy to hear that the government might be stepping on their toes. What’s the worst that can happen if the government controls our cell networks?
  • Microsoft acquires cloud-gaming startup PlayFab … two years after Amazon released similar tools for its Web Services’ users. Better late than never I suppose.
  • Zelle, Venmo’s less cool money transferring cousin created by a consortium of banks claims it moved $75B last year and is adding 100k user per day. Yeah but does it support emoji payment descriptions? Hint: it does.
  • Gordon Smith and Daniel Pinto became made men today. Both JPMorgan executives were promoted to co-president of the bank, relinquishing CEO Jamie Dimon of that role and are presumably next in line for his job. Dimon announced he will stay on for another 5 years.
  • The Cleveland Indians plan to retire their racist logo and mascot “Chief Wahoo” … after the 2018 season. This is the kind of stuff Ethics 101 case studies are made of.
  • US indices were down yesterday:
    • DOW: -0.67%
    • S&P 500: -0.67%
    • NASDAQ: -0.52%



Professional motivation, tips, tricks, hacks & resources carefully-curated by yours truly. Something you’d like to see featured? Shoot me an email at



I’ve got some bad news: you can have too much of a good thing. Take for example all of those standing check-in meetings. You might think these are helping you keep tabs on that lazy new associate who is related to the CEO but Dom Price, head of R&D at the software development firm Atlassian thinks “people believe their own bullshit.”

That’s why he deletes every standing meetings once per quarter. He doesn’t review each of them or scan his Outlook calendar while contemplating whether he wants steak or barbacoa from Chipotle … he deletes them. For just a second think of how much time you’d free up on your calendar if you delete every single recurring meeting. So much time for activities.