The Water Coolest: Walmart Raises Wages, Dropbox Files IPO, Qualcomm’s Takeover

The Water Coolest

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The Wal’s are closing in

Sleight of hand isn’t just a trick used by magicians. Walmart (note the lack of “-“) announced that they are raising wages and giving bonuses to employees, but are also cutting 10% of Sam’s Club locations. There are so many people in Alabama who are on a roller coaster of emotions right now.

The problem with Sam’s Club is that it is made for people who buy all bulk everything. Buying a bakers dozen of every day food items can get pricey. In fact, CEO John Furner noted at the last investor’s meeting that Sam’s Club should be targeting households that make between $75k and $125k. He failed to mention that they would be closing numerous stores. Where the hell are you going to get 4-packs of gallon jugs of Sweet Baby Ray’s now?

Raise up!

On a positive note, Walmart announced that they would be giving employees more money as a direct result of the new tax bill. They are moving the minimum starting hourly wage from $9 to $11 … for 2.2M employees. And get a load of this bonus program: anyone who has worked at Wally World for 20 years or longer is eligible for a $1k incentive. Long tenured greeters rejoice! 

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Corporate America makes me sick and the political system is corrupt … said no one who got one of those fat bonuses this year.” 


Stop, Drop, shut ’em down, open up shop

Dropbox is filing for a confidential IPO … so obviously every tech news source is plastering their plans across the world wide web. Perhaps they’ll use the incognito browser next time they make an SEC filing?

Your go-to cloud-based storage platform for sharing illegally downloaded Pirate Bay movies most recently raised $250M at a $10B valuation in 2014. The deca-corn’s biggest competitor, Box, went public in 2015 and has seen a 50% increase in share price.

So what gives, why did Dropbox wait so long? Like a child yearning for the love of an emotionally distant parent, Dropbox feared letting down its investors if it couldn’t live up to market cap expectations. Oh, and probably because of Snap’s IPO debacle.

Despite only having 150k paid users (vs. 500M unpaid), the company has been able to do something Silicon Valley isn’t used to: actually make money.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Here’s an idea for companies looking to avoid paying for cloud storage: 1) Create multiple free email addresses 2) Make multiple Dropbox and/or Google Drive accounts 3) Store stuff for free. Not only will this boost bottom line but it will create a complicated storage network that is difficult to hack. You’re welcome.”


Chip eat chip world

Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy you $47B worth of Dutch semiconductors, with the blessing of the EU. Qualcomm, who as recently as November expected to have to wait until the end of 2018 for their acquisition of NXP Semiconductors NV to be approved by the EU. But the US-based tech firm got some good news this week.

The EU plans to green light Qualcomm’s purchase of NXP, after running the plan by antitrust regulators. The purchase of their rival chip company comes as Qualcomm fends off a potential hostile takeover by their other rival, Broadcom.

Qualcomm’s agreement to buy NXP came back in October of 2016 and has been hung up in a regulatory review ever since.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “The battle for chip supremacy is far from over … is something I never thought I’d type. Qualcomm is over here spending tens of billions of dollars on competitors, Broadcom is trying to take them over and I’m still trying to figure out if a semiconductor is what I used in 8th grade science class to make a lightbulb in a potato illuminate.”



  • Kering, the French parent-company of world-famous luxury brands, plans to distribute 70% of its ownership in Puma to its shareholders. One of these thing is not like the others: Gucci, Puma, Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta.
  • Delta posts higher sales for the final quarter of 2017, citing increased fares … and having recorded no PR catastrophes that involve dragging a customer off of a plane.
  • MoneyGram, a cash transfer company, saw a spike in its stock price on news that it would test a partnership with Ripple, using the digital currency to transfer funds. Soon rappers will have to begin referencing “crypto-money.”
  • Oil hits $70 per barrel for the first time in 3 years. “I’m so excited that the price of oil continues to rise” … said nobody who owns a vehicle with an internal combustion engine.
  • Today is the last day of CES. Some incredible technology was showcased but CES 2018 will be best remembered for its incredibly ironic, hours-long power outage.
  • US indices were up yesterday:
    • DJIA: +0.81%
    • S&P 500: +0.70%
    • NASDAQ: +0.81%



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



Listing PowerPoint on your resume as a skill at which you are “Proficient” is like telling an employer you’re “Experienced” at turning oxygen into carbon dioxide. But I digress.

Some in academia are calling for PowerPoint’s head and are looking to expel it from universities across the country. And I’m all in. In fact, let it be known that on this day in the Year of our Lord 2018, The Water Coolest kicked off the #PowerPointless movement. My gripes (to be delivered via PowerPoint, obviously) are as follows …

  • PowerPoint has a monopoly on the presentation deck game, right? (Google slides doesn’t count)
  • Mistakenly enabling “bounce-in” animation will make you look like an intern
  • Some things just aren’t meant to be bulleted
  • Have you ever tried successfully aligning headers across pages? Yours will never look as good as that TED Talk (nor will you sound as smart)
  • There’s something to be said about the vertical document …

What did I miss? Let me know on twitter (@watercoolesthq).



Here’s something they won’t tell you on LinkedIn: the C-Suite is reserved for the creme de la corporate creme. Unless you’re privy to five generations of Lodge family breeding, or have a tendency to fail upwards, there’s a good chance that you might be more well-suited for middle-management. There, I said it.

Luckily for us Al Gore invented the internet and Kai Rysdal of American Public Media’s Marketplace fame runs a podcast called Corner Office. It’s your chance to be a fly on the wall for a conversation with some of the most influential executives in Corporate America. It’s Leadership 101 at its finest … plus maybe they’ll leave the mic on, Robert Durst-style, and you’ll get some insider tips.


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