Zuckerberg Speaks; Youtube Joins Gun Debate; Pandora Buys Adtech Firm

The Water Coolest

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THE HEADLINES

Estimated Read Time: 3 minutes and 22 seconds

 

IN ZUCK WE TRUST

Mark Zuckerberg finally broke his silence on Facebook’s involvement in a data breach affecting 50M user’s information. The world’s fifth richest man (but who’s counting?) posted on his own Facebook page and followed up with a CNN interview where he made it clear that the 3rd party used illegal data mining practices outside of Facebook’s policy.

The Jesse Eisenberg lookalike also admitted that Facebook knew about the compromised data in December 2015, but did nothing. They were even aware that Cambridge Analytica had created psychological voter profiles using the data.

Zuck did fess up in the interview and announced The ‘Book will be performing forensic audits on thousands of apps, as well as taking proactive steps to ensure third parties are not mishandling data going forward. The father of two even went as far as to say that he would be happy to testify in Washington D.C. This will surely be the first time anyone has worn a GAP hoodie on Capitol Hill.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Seeing Zuck almost shed a tear made me realize that even billionaires have feelings. There’s nothing like getting caught 2 years after you thought things were smoothed out. Always come clean, unless you can REALLY pin it on someone else.”

 

NO GUN FOR YOU(TUBE)

YouTube has thrown its viral video hat into the gun control debate announcing that it will no longer allow videos that link to or promote the sale of firearms or firearm accessories. The medium will also be removing videos that explain how to assemble a gun, so that people like you or I will never, ever know how to do it.

The Alphabet-owned video platform’s new policies will go into effect in April, although some users are complaining that they’ve already had videos flagged. Spike’s Tactical and InRange are two channels that claim they’ve had videos removed. The latter of those two vows to take their videos to PornHub, where videos for adults still reign free. They’re certainly not wrong.

YouTube joins the likes of Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart, Kroger, and L.L. Bean in a crackdown on gun sales/promotion. On the other side of the coin (probably a Texas state quarter) the NRA, who has a presence on Apple, Amazon, and YouTube’s networks, will have their content left untouched, for now.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “This is a smart move by YouTube if they want to cut down on people’s knowledge on the use of firearms. I can’t even tie my shoes without a YouTube video explaining how, so I guess assembling weapons is now off the table for me.”

 

NOBODY BEATS THE WIZZ

Not to be outdone by Spotify doing the most startup thing ever (read: a direct IPO listing), Pandora announces the purchase AdsWizz for $145M.

The ad tech firm focuses on self-serve digital audio advertising. It’s more or less an all you can eat buffet of Blue Apron and Casper mattress ads for podcasters … which is a welcome addition to a company whose business is giving away free music.

Pandora has erred on the side of caution when it comes up to takeover targets. But maybe Pandora is just being self-aware? Their past forays into M&A have gone about as well as that time HP bought Palm Pilot. Case and point: Ticketfly, which was sold at a loss last year.

In the near-term, Pandora plans to maintain AdsWizz as a separate platform. This means that the self-proclaimed “Google of audio advertising” will continue to service many of Pandora’s competitors. Because why wouldn’t you trust a company that calls themselves “the Google of …”

Water Cooler Talking Point: “If this means better ads on free-mium music offerings, count me in. Advertisers are developing Emmy-worthy pitches and Pandora is over here serving up text-based ads, localized to a city that I haven’t lived in for three years.”

 


IN OTHER NEWS

 

  • As part of an initiative to improve workplace parity, Starbucks promises to eliminate gender and minority wage inequality. The goal, which does not have a timeline, has already been achieved in the States and is being expanded to locations abroad. Hopefully, this finally makes up for those damn red cups from Christmas past.
  • General Mills, the maker of Cheerios, will cut its full-year outlook for EPS from 3% to roughly 1%, citing an increase in shipping prices driven by a shortage of truckers in the US. To entice more drivers Cheerios will nix the baby act and film a commercial celebrating truckers for 2018.
  • Google is reportedly developing a block-chain related technology to be used for their cloud platform. This is a bold move considering most people are confused by the cloud and blockchain separately, so combining them should make for one hell of a press conference. 
  • The Federal Reserve will hike interest rates for the first time under new chairman Jerome Powell. He was seen later texting Janet Yellen the link to the ‘anything you can do I can do better’ Michael v Mia commercial from 2007. 
  • US indices were up yesterday:
    • DOW: -0.18%
    • S&P 500: -0.18%
    • NASDAQ: -0.26%

 


TALKING SHOP

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

 

RE: TOP COMPANIES OF 2018

It’s that time again: your annual reminder that your company probably is and will always unequivocally suck. LinkedIn released it Top Companies of 2018 (aka where people want to work).

This list probably won’t stir up as much controversy or garner as much backlash as ESPN’s “Most Dominant Athlete’s” list … but I can try:

  • PwC, Deloitte & EY: Have you ever met an auditor during busy season? Their only reason for living is happy hour at Chili’s and free dinner charged to the client.
  • Verizon (#23): Seems a bit inflated for a company whose retail employees mostly play the role of IT for your grandparents who can’t unlock their shared iPhone.
  • LiveNation (#27): How can one live with themselves knowing their company charges a first born child to see Bruce Springsteen?
  • Amazon (#1): *Eyeroll*

But some companies do have enviable perks including Dell (work where and when you want – sooo, from my bed and never), Spotify (six months of paid parental leave) and Disney (being a Star Wars content strategist).

 

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