Everyone an Influencer, Debt & Middle Class, Dolly Partners with AMZN, Amazon in India, Facebook News Accelerator, Quibi's Streaming, DTC Plants, Art to Platform, EV Restomods, No More Cardboard, Logi

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Where Everyone’s an Influencer - The Atlantic

Inside Instagram’s annual beach party, where Hollywood and social media collide

But what started three years ago as a casual beach party for a class of people that was once maligned by the traditional entertainment industry has become a who’s who of young Hollywood, a sun-soaked declaration of just how completely enmeshed Instagram has become with the teen-entertainment world.

Traditional actors such as Will Smith and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson are working hard to expand their digital footprint and become multi-platform influencers, while younger talent, like those at Instabeach, are using social-media attention to land roles and build a dedicated fan base while they wait to get cast.

As the Classic Department Store Falters, These 4 Challengers Want to Upend the Retail Model - Ad Age

“First of all, [these new retailers] are selling the products that people want to buy—it seems obvious, but department stores are not doing [this],” said Nicole Quinn, partner at Lightspeed Venture, a VC firm that has funded Bonobos, Stitch Fix, Zola and others.

Brands like Quip, a DTC toothbrush company, and Function of Beauty shampoos, for example, pay a member fee starting at $6,000 per month to join Showfields; the price changes based on in-store location and square footage.

Families Go Deep in Debt to Stay in the Middle Class - WSJ

Wages stalled but costs haven’t, so people increasingly rent or finance what their parents might have owned outright. The unreachable goal for some: becoming a homeowner.

Cars, college, houses and medical care have become steadily more costly, but incomes have been largely stagnant for two decades, despite a recent uptick.

Filling the gap between earning and spending is an explosion of finance into nearly every corner of the consumer economy.

In Ambitious Gamble, Hedge Fund Coatue Launches $700 Million Early-Stage Venture Fund - The Information

In 1999, Philippe Laffont opened a small tech hedge fund called Coatue that withstood the dot-com bust, thanks to smart investments in companies like Tencent and Apple. Today, he is one of the industry’s hottest managers—with $17 billion under management.Now, Mr. Laffont and his brother Thomas ...

In 1999, Philippe Laffont opened a small tech hedge fund called Coatue that withstood the dot-com bust, thanks to smart investments in companies like Tencent and Apple.

Now, Mr. Laffont and his brother Thomas are making another big bet: a $700 million fund to back startups raising their earliest rounds of funding.

Logistics Recruiters Cast a Virtual Net for Workers - WSJ

Some logistics companies looking for workers in a tight U.S. job market are casting a virtual net, using a technique called geofencing to target people as they drive by sites or even park their cars in competitors’ lots.

Warehousing and storage payrolls nearly doubled in the past decade, reaching 1.19 million jobs in May 2019, according to the Labor Department, as booming e-commerce businesses have spurred the rapid expansion of sprawling fulfillment centers to handle online purchases.

E-commerce logistics company Radial Inc., which provides technology and warehousing services for customers such as Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc.

and World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.,

has tailored its recruiting efforts to target certain ZIP Codes and what it deems likely workers.

No more cardboard boxes? 3M invents an ingenious new way to ship products - FastCompany

The company is launching a new material that could reduce the time, materials, and space required to ship products by 50%.

When 3M started doing ethnographic research to understand the problems these merchants had, the team found that people were so accustomed to thinking shipping had to be done using boxes, filler, and tape that they didn’t even see it as a problem—just a necessary evil.

But Flex & Seal does have an environmental benefit, compared with cardboard, 3M says: Shipping companies would be able to fit more of this type of package in a single truck, making the supply chain more efficient and potentially reducing emissions (3M has not done the calculations to discern how much).

This Tesla-powered Porsche 912 is the new face of vintage restorations - The Verge

EV retrofits are the hottest new way to rescue historical cars from the brink.

A few years ago, The Verge traveled to Southern California to talk to a man named David Bernardo, whose company, Zelectric Motors, was refurbishing old Volkswagen Beetles and Microbuses and retrofitting them with electric powertrains.

But Kendall’s comments illustrate a larger point: of course some of the people who have spent decades, maybe even most of their lives, finding, restoring, collecting, tuning, and showing off vintage cars aren’t going to like what shops like Zelectric and EV West are doing.

'Almost No One Would Take Me Seriously': How Everette Taylor Turned His Art-Buying Experience Into A Platform - MTV

'For my whole life, I’ve had to kick down doors that were closed in my face. I want to kick down more doors with ArtX'

Taylor’s personal experiences visiting galleries and purchasing art allowed him to see inequities and inaccessibility within the industry that hurt artists and prevent potential customers from finding quality artwork.

Under an umbrella known as ET Enterprises, he’s launched PopSocial , a social media automation tool called that grossed more than $2 million in revenue in its first year; Millisense , a marketing firm with clients such as NASA, Microsoft, and Miller Lite; the Southside Fund , a charitable foundation dedicated to providing opportunity to youth in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia; as well as the companies Hayver and GrowthHackers .

Online Plant Shop Bloomscape Sees Green with Revolution-Led $7.5M Series A - Crunchbase

While he wouldn’t disclose specifics, he did say Bloomscape has – in its short 16-month history – generated millions in sales and sold over 100,000 plants to 25,000 unique customers in 48 states (orders have come from as far as Russia).

“Consumer shopping preferences and growing millennial interest in house plants have created significant pent up demand for a reliable online retailer,” she wrote via email.


Quibi is a built-for-millennials streaming service. But will they pay $5 a month? - LA Times

Quibi, a Hollywood-based streaming company that stands for “quick bites” of video, plans to take new, premium films shot by award-winning directors like Steven Spielberg and Catherine Hardwicke and present them in short episodic chapters about 10 minutes long.

In the last year, Quibi has made waves after raising $1 billion in financing from Disney, WarnerMedia, and other major studios and investors, gone on a hiring spree and released a flurry of announcements for upcoming projects with prominent filmmakers.

Facebook reveals early results from its subscription-focused local news accelerator – TechCrunch

It’s been more than a year since Facebook announced that it would be funding a Local News Subscriptions Accelerator. Now the company is sharing some of the ways in which the program has led to new initiatives at different publishers. The accelerator’s executive director is Tim Griggs (a…

For example, the San Francisco Chronicle held an “ultra sale” in the winter of 2018, signing up more than 5,000 new subscribers, making it its best digital subscription initiative so far.

Facebook also pointed at the Philadelphia Inquirer’s creation of “a cross-functional agile team from marketing, circulation and data/analytics,” and at The Seattle Times’ efforts to personalize the messages asking readers to subscribe, and to study pricing elasticity.

Amazon in early talks to buy stake in India's Reliance Retail: ET

Amazon.com Inc is in exploratory talks with Reliance Industries Ltd's

The conglomerate, controlled by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, was previously in talks with China’s Alibaba ( BABA.N ) to sell a stake in Reliance Retail, but a deal could not be sealed due to differences in valuation, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Reliance could potentially leverage Amazon’s global experience in technology, supply chain and logistics as it aims to connect grocery stores across the country digitally through its Jio telecoms network - the biggest in India by subscribers.

Dolly Parton launches new Amazon store - Fox

If you love shopping on Amazon and love Country Music star Dolly Parton, then today's announcement is just for you. The icon launched her new Amazon store on Wednesday, offering clothing and even pop sockets for your electronics.

The announcement is just the latest venture for what has been a busy year for Parton. She made her debut as a NASCAR sponsor in April and will star in a Hallmark movie titled "Christmas at Dollywood. "