so, so very sorry

floating utopias, e-boys, adorable pigs, normcore social networking and hermit crab wealth inequality

*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•by your best friend erin griffith•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•

Buddies! All year we’ve been wondering if, now, finally, in the year of our Lord 2019, the Age of Unicorns—in all its founder friendly high valuation Saudi funded cash burning Peter Panning I’ll Never Go Public glory—is over.

Uber’s IPO was disappointing. WeWork’s IPO was a joke. And startups everywhere are scrambling to hoard cash, cut costs and generally prepare for winter.

This week we got an undeniable signal that the ‘corns have reached their final days of leisurely frolicking in the enchanted forest.

You may remember that once upon a time (earlier this year), some Business Heroes™ created a startup to sell pretty, all-white personal scooters to the masses. The idea was so good that Y Combinator backed it. It was destined for success they called the company UNICORN.

To attract customers, Unicorn funneled cash into Facebook ads. It snagged 350 scooter orders that way. But I guess no one did the math on the front end, because that wasn’t enough to buy the inventory Unicorn needed to fulfill its orders. So now, having delivered no pretty, all-white personal scooters, Unicorn is shutting down with even partial refunds “looking unlikely.” What an incredible scam!

Of course, the company is “so, so very sorry.”

R.I.P. Unicorn, and R.I.P. Unicorn era.

Important Business Matters

Startup everyone’s into: Airbnb rivals. (Including some backed by Airbnb.)

Startup everyone’s over: Ring hacking is terrifying.

Reason to go on living: Streaming music is pretty cheap when you think about it.

Reason to take up residence under your weighted blanket: This upsetting story of slut-shaming on the Chinese internet. Also, even hermit crabs have wealth inequality.

Latest (always) crush: Dolly.

Latest heartbreak: SoftBank promised jobs but it may actually be a job destroyer.

Latest thing the kids are into: E-boys and e-girls are the new VSCO girls.

Latest thing the olds are into: Normcore social networking.

Latest thing sparking a culture war on Twitter: The Away CEO controversy. Lots of strong opinions out there on this one! I went on WNYC alongside the author of it to discuss some of the issues it raised - you can listen here.

Latest thing the women are: “Horny.”

Latest tech-enabled nightmare: When a coat you bought on Poshmark arrives covered in semen.

Latest thing the 1% is into: Scrubbing its image online with actual fake news and Wikipedia astroturfing.

Latest thing the .0001% is into: Preaching.

Latest thing the San Franciscans are into: Floating utopias that are vertical, expansive, ecologically minded, expensive, sponsored, and surveilled.

Latest thing the adorable pigs are into:

lol nothing matters

Fellow Business Heroes™, it is time to reflect: Have the Unicorns learned any valuable lessons this year?

current status, expressed by stock photography:

“it is i, an e-girl!!!”

*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•the end•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•

Thanks for reading, buddies! If you enjoy EGTttHoB™ please forward it to all of your BFFs. They can sign up here. There's also a "like" button you can hit right here.

If you are a new reader and wondering, wtf this is, well, welcome and here is my attempt at explaining

the contrarian's contrarian

a friend of “well, actually,” and a distant cousin to the devil’s advocate

*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•by your best friend erin griffith•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•

Buddies, do you ever feel trapped in your own horrible life, so sad, terrified and broken that the only thing left to do is pedal a bike that goes nowhere forever and ever until you die?

Neither do I!

On the other hand, do you ever worry your contrarian views are becoming so popular that they are no longer contrarian? It is a real conundrum for my venture capitalist friends. So relatable. I present to you:

🤯What Makes a Narrative Violation? 🤯

Meanwhile, have you heard about Liam, the chatbot that the Business Heroes™ at Facebook created to help its employees learn to regurgitate PR talking points to their families over Thanksgiving?

🤖 Facebook Gives Workers a Chatbot to Appease that Prying Uncle 🤖

Lastly, here’s a story about why founders are jumping from consumer to enterprise. It involves a pig farm in Hawaii:

💼 With Big Tech in their Path, Start-ups Turn To Business Markets 💼

*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.••*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•

Important Business Matters

Startup everyone’s into: The “Silicon Valley punchline” that’s worth $4 billion.

Startup everyone’s over: Kitty Hawk, Business Hero™ Larry Pages’s flying car whateverthehell.

Reason to go on living: They’re making smaller loaves of bread for smaller families.

Reason to take up residence under your weighted blanket: The Class of 2000 “could have been anything.”

Latest crush: Late bloomers.

Latest heartbreak: RIP lil Bub.

Latest thing the kids are into: Butt-chugging sunlight. (I’m sorry)

Latest thing the olds are into:  Natural disaster dinner parties.

Latest thing the Instagram killed: The tabloid star

Latest thing the Internet is losing its damn mind over: That grim Peloton ad.

lol nothing matters

Fellow Business Heroes™, I asked our friendly chatbot buddy, Liam, for some advice on how we should explain our employers’ roles in the destruction of democracies around the world to our inquiring families over the holiday dinner table. Here are his suggested lawyer-vetted and PR-approved responses. Please do not stray from this delicately crafted script. Liam, how do we respond to tough questions?

current status, expressed by stock photography

“happy holidays!!!”

*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•the end•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•

Thanks for reading, buddies! If you enjoy EGTttHoB™ please forward it to all of your BFFs. They can sign up here. There's also a "like" button you can hit right here.

If you are a new reader and wondering, wtf this is, well, welcome and here is my attempt at explaining

king cash

also hunks, trash pirates, meth, twinkies, steak-umm and poo

*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•by your best friend erin griffith•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•

Oh Business Heroes™️, are you worried about your cash flow yet???? If not, get panicking! Everyone who is anyone is getting ready for the bubble to burst. In the wake of WeWork and Uber and whatever is going on with the trade war, austerity is very hot again.

Why “again,” you ask? Well, we’ve been saying this every year since Facebook bought Instagram for a scandalous $1 billion back in 2013. (You may recall the bubblicious horror at that price tag.) For that reason, as one investor told me for this story, “most people in the ecosystem aren’t as worried as they should be.” Read it here:

💰💰💰For Startups, Cash is King (Again) 💰💰💰

And as a distraction, here’s a fun work diary I did with Gina Gutierrez, the co-founder of Dipsea, a start-up that creates erotic podcasts. It includes hunks, self-love, sacred planning and semi-lucid dreams.

🍆🍑The Work Diary of an Audio Erotic C.E.O.🍆🍑

Important Business Matters

Startup everyone’s into: Poo-Pourri. (This profile of its Business Hero™️ founder is incredible.)

Startup everyone’s over: Anything backed by SoftBank, apparently.

Reason to go on living: T-Mobile CEO and Business Hero™️ John Legere’s reign of promoted tweets is coming to an end. And also, this illustrated tale of one night in a Brooklyn bodega.

Reason to take up residence under your weighted blanket: Dopamine fasting.

Latest crush: Trash pirates.

Latest heartbreak: Why does the government protect our cars and food but not our data?

Latest thing the kids are into: Steak-umm. How have I never followed this account until now?

Latest thing the olds are into: Influencer business school.

Latest thing the trash raccoons are into: Twinkies cereal.

Latest thing the South Dakotans are on: Meth. They’re on it. (Not a joke.)

lol nothing matters

Fellow Business Heroes™, it is time to ask ourselves: How worried should we be?

current status, expressed by stock photography:

“it is i, the cash king!”

PS: Enjoy #BadStockPhotosofMyJob

*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•the end•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•

Thanks for reading, buddies! If you enjoy EGTttHoB™ please forward it to all of your BFFs. They can sign up here. There's also a "like" button you can hit right here.

If you are a new reader and wondering, wtf this is, well, welcome and here is my attempt at explaining

ebitda bugaloo

2 path 2 profitability

*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•by your best friend erin griffith•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•

Buddies, DID U KNOW: It is rough out there for a billionaire.

Politicians don’t think they should exist. People are asking why don’t rich people just stop working? They’re complaining about the “glass floor” that keeps America’s richest idiots at the top. They’re annoyed that Elon Musk’s weed smoking podcast somehow cost taxpayers $5 million. Business Hero™ Mark Zuckerberg keeps getting forced to justify his obscene wealth and power. (It “may be optimal,” he says.)

This week I went to the premiere of the final season of HBO’s Silicon Valley and it was open season on billionaires.

How’s a billionaire supposed to sell any books in this hostile environment?!

Well.

Business Hero™ Marc Benioff, promoting a book that he wrote about himself called “Trailblazer,” has an idea, which he wrote about in the New York Times:

To my fellow business leaders and billionaires, I say that we can no longer wash our hands of our responsibility for what people do with our products. Yes, profits are important, but so is my reputation for not being an evil villain.* 

*I may have paraphrased that last part.

Private Equity tycoon and Hero of Business™ Stephen Schwarzman is promoting his book, “What It Takes.” (Not having read it I assume the “what” is joining a secret society at Yale followed by Harvard!!)

Heroes™, I hope you’re sitting down for this truth-bomb: Steve offers a full-throated defense of his species, saying that billionaires “didn't become prosperous sitting and just watching television.”


Important Business Matters

Startup everyone’s into: Here’s a company that raised $70 million before launching

Startup everyone’s over: Compass, the other big SoftBank-backed real estate company, wants to be very clear that it is NOT WeWork.

Reason to go on living: Vision Fund 2 is all about the profits.

Reason to take up residence under your weighted blanket: Photos you uploaded to random social media sites years ago may be used to train facial recognition algorithms.

Latest crush: The Vatican’s “click to pray” wearable device.

Latest heartbreak: You never see your friends anymore because our jobs suck. And startups really need HR help.

Latest thing the kids are into: Generational rage:

Latest thing the olds are into: An actual reality show giving millennials financial makeovers for their student debt.

Latest evidence that they think we are total f-ing idiots: Facebook could have stopped the Iraq war, among other things.

Latest thing the cryptonerds are into: Running far far away from Facebook’s crypto project.

Latest thing Americans lost: Dinner.


lol nothing matters

Fellow Business Heroes™, it is time to ask ourselves: What do you do when Giphy.com stops working in the middle of writing your newsletter?


current status, expressed by stock photography:

“may be optimal!”

*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•the end•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•

Thanks for reading, buddies! If you enjoy EGTttHoB™ please forward it to all of your BFFs. They can sign up here. There's also a "like" button you can hit right here.

If you are a new reader and wondering, wtf this is, well, welcome and here is my attempt at explaining

double chum

what are profits, and does my startup have any?

*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•by your best friend erin griffith•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•

Buddies! Last week I went to TechCrunch Disrupt, a very tech large conference that does not serve food or coffee (an intermittent fasting thing I assume).

There, I heard the beginnings of a new gospel that’s spreading, from the Land of (Startup) Promise to the Enchanted Unicorn Forest. Discipline is in. Fiscal Responsibility for all. And pray for Positive Unit Economics! In other words…

🤑 Silicon Valley Has Discovered Profits 🤑

Alternate titles: In the black is the new black. Move slower and make money. Plain old horses are sexy again.

The one problem with the age-old “pivot to profit” is that it is beginning to feel like Groundhog Day/Chicken Little/The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Last time the Business Heroes™ started to worry about unit economics, SoftBank showed up with $100 billion and an emotional robot named Pepper.

In other news I have finally fulfilled a short-lived pre-teen dream of being a fashion writer with my latest story for the Style section. New technology is often slightly awkward, questionably useful and kind of fun. So it goes with the Levi’s and Google Jaquard “smart” jacket, which I tested out for a week:

🧥 Can a Jean Jacket Revive the Wearable? 🧥

(spoiler alert, maybe?)

Important Business Matters

Startup everyone’s into: Stem cell storage for dogs. Really. And Rahlies, the overalls startup. Rahlly.

Startup everyone’s over: “Being chained to your mobile phone is a low-status behavior, similar to smoking.”

Reason to go on living: Tech evolution is not inevitable. And you can’t opt-out of tech privacy settings but you can obfuscate.

Reason to take up residence under your weighted blanket: The Chumbox start-ups have merged, leading to stronger, smarter, more powerful internet chum. Double chum.

Latest crush: Drag is expensive. Also, a Chicago restaurant is going as Olive Garden for Halloween.

Latest heartbreak: This sad story about Uncle Kwok, a homeless man who was beaten to death in NYC’s Chinatown.

Latest thing the kids are into: Hating on influencers. STDs? Selling their bathwater. Tiny keyboards.

Latest thing the olds are into: Complaining about the homeless on NextDoor. And also this.

Latest thing the scammers, namely Business Hero Elizabeth Holmes, are into: Stiffing their lawyers.

Latest thing the 1% are into: Actually really paying lower taxes than you, lol i know right??

lol nothing matters

Fellow Business Heroes™, it is time to ask ourselves: What are profits, and does my startup have any?

current status, expressed by stock photography:

“overalls for dogs. $1m at a $40m pre.”

*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•the end•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•

Thanks for reading, buddies! If you enjoy EGTttHoB™ please share it with your BFFs. They can sign up here. There's also a "like" button you can hit right here.

If you are a new reader and wondering, wtf this is, well, welcome and here is my attempt at explaining

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