alright, ticklers

take my money!

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

Buddies.

Things are not great right now in the tech industry. Disinfo. Misinfo. Harassment. Tech addiction. Congressional hearings. Big fat fines. Antitrust investigations. That whole genocide thing. Pick your poison. WOOF, amirite!?

But what if I told you that there is a land, fellow Business Heroes™️, where things are not so bad.

Where the beer flows like wine. Where the charge card limits are so high they melt your hand. Where people follow you down the street screaming, “Take my money!” Where you respond, “Okay, okay! Fine! Jeez!” and promptly spend that money buying up all the available billboards, busstops and airport ads in the tri-state area. Where the unicorns gallop freely and majestically, selling things to other unicorns. Where those unicorns have pet dogs named after coding languages, and those pet dogs subscribe to homecooked meal services.

That land, of course, is startup-land. It is from there that I filed this dispatch: a profile of Brex, a startup that provides charge cards to other startups. I had fun writing it. Not everything in tech is a total drag. (Just most of it!)

🦄Bad Times in Tech? Not if You’re a Start-Up Serving Other Start-Ups 🦄

Important Business Matters

Startup everyone’s into: MINDTICKLE.

Startup everyone’s over: Disgraced VC and Business Hero™️ Mike Rothenberg, shown below in a now-iconic-for-the-wrong-reasons picture, owes the SEC $30 million.

Reason to go on living: Ruth. Bader. Ginsburg: “That senator, whose name I have forgotten, is now himself dead, and I am very much alive." Also: Internetty writing is helping us express ourselves better.

Reason to take up residence under your weighted blanket: Do I even need to say it here? What a difficult weekend. I hope this newsletter provides a tiny bit of counter-programming.

Latest crush: I want to be Jia Tolentino’s Grub Street Diet when I grow up.

Latest heartbreak: The Business Heroes™️ at Netflix cancelled Tuca & Bertie. :(

Latest thing the kids are into: Saving Playboy, for some reason. Weed etiquette. Instagram bibles. Freemasonry.

Latest thing the olds are into: Adult bedtime stories. Ceaselessly looking back. BINGE DRINKING! Also: Holding out hope that we, too, can someday offer something of value to society, thanks to this not at all patronizing list of “35 over 35” from American Scholar.

Latest thing the bone-saw-ordering crown princes are into: Glow-in-the-dark sand, flying cars, robot dinosaurs, fake moons, artificial rain, and 24/7 surveillance. (really!)

Latest thing the VCs are into: Toy Story cosplay as a recruiting strategy.

Latest thing the day traders are into: Fang dip.

Latest thing the startups are into: Tips. 🙄

lol nothing matters

It is time, fellow Business Heroes™️, to ask ourselves. How are the unicorns handling their enormous piles of cash?

current status expressed by stock photography:

"take my money"

*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•🦄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 on the web version

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

10x Heroes

this newsletter runs on rattlesnakes, radioactive uranium, and whiskey

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

Hey buddies, would anyone object if I changed the name of this newsletter to Erin Griffith’s Tribute to the 10x Engineers and 10x Venture Capitalists™? Those toxic sociopaths are the true Heroes of Business✨.

(If you have no idea what I’m talking about, congrats, you live in the real world and have not, like me, had your brain irreversibly warped by VC twitter hell site poisoning. Just for you, I will not embed a bunch of 10x joke tweets. (But Cassidy Williams’ 10x tweet’ is the best.))

Instead, enjoy this unicorn slime surprise ‘will she spit or poop’ horror toy!

Important Business Matters

Startup everyone’s into: Ones named Bolt, two of which announced the same amount of funding on the same day. Awk-warrrrrd…

Startup everyone’s over: I have no idea why you would need your hair straightener to be “smart” but surprise! the Glamoriser can easily be hacked.

Reason to go on living: Turns out this exotic-looking bird found in the UK was just a seagull covered in curry.

Reason to take up residence under your weighted blanket: The Mississippi gubernatorial candidate’s absurd justification for discriminating against a female reporter.

Latest crush: Julie K. Brown, the investigative reporter who exposed Jeffrey Epstein. And Snoop Dogg, of “we don’t love them hoes” notoriety, is now an equal pay warrior for the USWNT.

Latest heartbreak: Some Business Hero™ bought a physical bitcoin for $100,000.

Latest thing the kids are into: Tiktok stars are the new YouTubers.

Latest thing the millennials are into: Living in “the horrible place between the apps.”

Latest thing the olds are into: Ticker tape purists. Trying to make golf cool (lol).

Latest thing the Hollywood elite are into: Hanging around Netflix’s wild lobby.

Latest thing the criminal masterminds are into: Stealing a car and riding off with a rattlesnake, radioactive uranium, and a bottle of whiskey.

lol nothing matters

Buddies: Fellow Business Heroes™, how do you spot 10x engineers?

Juuuust kidding there’s only one right answer and it is:

current status expressed by stock photography:

"will she spit or poop!?!"

*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•🦄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 on the web version

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

lol all of this matters

yes even you, thicc starfish

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

Buddies! I didn’t commit any acts of journalism last week. Here’s a taste of my brain on vacation:

🙅 It should be illegal for bars—especially ones that still inexplicably allow smoking—to have carpet.

🥶 I stand with the anti-air-conners.

🔥 And why haven’t the Business Heroes™ at Frito Lay started selling Flamin’ Hot Cheeto dust in Pixie Stick form!!?!? I would 100% sprinkle it on everything.

Important Business Matters

Startup everyone’s into: Ancestry.com for dogs. (Really!)

Startup everyone’s over: Ahead of its IPO, WeWork will “shore up confidence” in its business model by raising a gargantuan pile of debt. I started to do the math on that one and my calculator started melting when I tried to carry the one… but ayyy, when did untested techy business models or risky real estate investments ever backfire and tank the entire economy!? As your financial advisor, I say the logic checks out. (Important notice from EGTttHoB™ Corporate: I am not your financial advisor.)

Startup everyone’s quietly copying: CVS copied the Bodega startup and somehow the Internet isn’t melting down.

Reason to go on living: They’re finding fewer needles in BART stations…

Reason to take up residence under your weighted blanket: …because of the rise in fentanyl.

Latest crush: 🏆THE SOCCER STARS OF COURSE.🏆 (Ahem, please pay them.)

(Bonus soccer content: This was possible because of Title IX. Also, more on Megan Rapinoe’s complicated relationship with her brother.)

Latest heartbreak: Youngstown loses its only newspaper.

Latest thing the kids are into: Thicc starfish.

Latest thing the olds are into: Losing their sh*t screaming GEN Z IS COMING!! like they’re paul freaking revere.

lol nothing matters

Friends, it is time to consider an important counterpoint to my favorite internet philosophy/the title of this section of my newsletter. As Zeynep Tufekci writes in a recent Wired column: Everyone knows so much of the internet is fake, but when we all become cynics—lol nothing matters-style—we descend into a low-trust society, which has profound implications. In other words, lol all of this matters. Ughhhh fellow Business Heroes™ does this mean we have to, like, fight and try to fix all the broken stuff and… care?

current status expressed by stock photography:

“just shoring up confidence in my business!!!!”

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

Please share EGTttHoB™ with your BFFs! They can sign up here.

yeezii, yeezum, yeezy

this newsletter is not for resale

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

Friends:

Last week, for a story, I had to look up the plural of the word “Yeezy;” it is “Yeezys.” The story is about the business of sneaker reselling, which is much larger than you probably think. StockX, one such site, is now worth $1 billion! Nike has mostly ignored this weird, fast-growing business, except for the time they trolled sneakerheads by writing “NOT FOR RESALE” on a pair of Jordan 1s. (Naturally, those sneakers were immediately selling for thousands of dollars on StockX.)

I covered all that here:

👟📉 👟 Buy Low-Tops, Sell High-Tops 👟📈👟

I also wrote about some 🦄BIG IDEAS🦄 I’ve been thinking about in startup land. Like, what happens when startups that rode the hype train to unicorn-land run out of rocket fuel? Or some other mashup of bad startup metaphors???

The hallmark of the unicorn startups is that they raised so much money they’re basically fail-proof. But amid IPO-mania, it’s worth asking what happened to the ones that are nowhere close to going public—where momentum slowed, malaise set in, and they got stuck just… muddling along.

Lots of companies are in this position. But few were as beloved, like truly WHITE HOT, as Evernote once was. It’s hard to even remember that now! Evernote had a gift shop in the lobby for superfans! They sold more millions of dollars worth of Japanese socks! Here’s what happened to Evernote:

🐘🦄 A Unicorn Lost in the Valley, Evernote Blows Up the ‘Fail Fast’ Gospel 🐘🦄

Fittingly, this story earned me yet another unicorn portmanteau milestone for the New York Times:

Now back to my vacation. I’m spending it in my tiny Ohio hometown, where wheat fields are visible from Main Street. It’s quiet.

Important Business Matters

Startup everyone’s into: The Business Heroes™ at TaTaTu, a crypto Netflix, raised $575 million in an ICO then pivoted away from blockchain. (deep inhale, bahahaha)

Startup everyone’s over: Detention center suppliers.

Reason to go on living: #UnwantedIvanka.

Reason to take up residence under your weighted blanket: Business Hero™ Elizabeth Holmes has revealed her defense strategy: Shoot the messenger.

Latest crush: The crypto bros have an Old Town Road remix and of course it’s called “All-Time Lows.”

Latest heartbreak: The Taco Bell Hotel is very popular. So is Flat Earth FC.

Latest thing the kids are into: The Charmin Forever Roll, a roll of toilet paper that is … UNIMAGINABLY HUGE.

Latest thing the olds are into: Recoiling in horror at the headline that (GASP) less than a third of millennials (GASP) own a hammer (FAINT).  

Latest thing the capitalists are into: Sometimes they lose their ass…

…but its all good if there’s no impact on output.

lol nothing matters

How did we celebrate Cephalopod Week?

IRL club

Thanks to all the BFFs and BEFs (best enemies forever) who showed up at NYT’s panel about what the the tech I.P.O.s are doing to San Francisco. It was at a library (the best) and the audience was full of smart, opinionated Times readers (the BEST). 💗 

current status, expressed by stock photography:

“NOT FOR RESALE”

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

Please share EGTttHoB™ with your BFFs! They can sign up here.

ceo tweets

"certain information set forth in this presentation contains pppffffftttttt"

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

Buddies!

One of the stranger realities of the S.E.C.’s many, many rules about what public company CEOs can and can’t say is that there aren’t really any consequences for breaking them. Just ask Business Hero™ Elon Musk! He tweeted the biggest, most stock-movingest kind of rumor one can spread about his company— a rumor that turned out to not even be true—and got away with it. He even openly mocked the SEC!! He’s still CEO of TWO different large companies! Rich & famous people can do whatever they want.

This is why, as a reporter covering IPOs, I’m always confused by the obsessive adherence to this thing called a “quiet period.” It states that the CEO of a company that’s about to go public is forbidden from talking in public about their company (aka making “forward-looking statements”).

Some CEOs treat it like they’ll be sent to the guillotine if they even sneeze in the general direction of the media. Their PR department’s outgoing voicemail message is set to a giant fart sound.

Others, like the Business Hero™ leading WeWork, for example, take an extremely generous interpretation of “quiet” with several… very cool magazine cover stories. (For the software IPO historians among you: Business Hero™ Marc Benioff also successfully deployed this strategy!)

Anyway, here’s my profile of the Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield. It’s about how he buttoned up his mouthiness in preparation for becoming a public company CEO. Since he would not talk to me, I had to look at a bunch of his old tweets. This one did not make it into the story but I appreciate its earnestness:

Slack’s IPO happened last week and it was a big success. And with that, IPO season is goes on summer break.

Important Business Matters

Startup everyone’s into: VC as subprime mortgage lender.

Startup everyone’s over: RIP veggie burgers.

Reason to go on living: Gender reveal parties — which are getting out of hand (skydiving?!)—may finally be going away.

Reason to take up residence under your weighted blanket: “Woke-washing.”

Important clarification: Sir this attack squirrel is NOT on meth.

Latest crush: Sobriety influencers.

Latest heartbreak: Racism in America. Horror at the border. New rape allegations against our President. Shrugging off Khashoggi. Our police state.

Latest thing the kids are into: Hating to see it.

Latest thing the olds are into: Mourning the death of Jibo. And Coca-Cola salad!

Latest thing the CEOs are into: Eating expired food for a whole year to prove a point?

lol nothing matters

When should Business Heroes™ tweet?

current status, expressed by stock photography:

“put your shoes on, we are going out[1]”

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

Please share EGTttHoB™ with your BFFs! They can sign up here.

[1] Certain information set forth in this presentation contains “forward-looking information”, including “future oriented financial information” and “financial outlook”, under applicable securities laws (collectively referred to herein as forward-looking statements). Except for statements of historical fact, information contained herein constitutes forward-looking statements and includes, but is not limited to, the (i) projected financial performance of the Company; (ii) completion of, and the use of proceeds from, the sale of the shares being offered hereunder; (iii) the expected development of the Company’s business, projects and joint ventures; (iv) execution of the Company’s vision and growth strategy, including with respect to future M&A activity and global growth; (v) sources and availability of third-party financing for the Company’s projects; (vi) completion of the Company’s projects that are currently underway, in development or otherwise under consideration; (vi) renewal of the Company’s current customer, supplier and other material agreements; and (vii) future liquidity, working capital, and capital requirements. Forward-looking statements are provided to allow potential investors the opportunity to understand management’s beliefs and opinions in respect of the future so that they may use such beliefs and opinions as one factor in evaluating an investment.

These statements are not guarantees of future performance and undue reliance should not be placed on them. Such forward-looking statements necessarily involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause actual performance and financial results in future periods to differ materially from any projections of future performance or result expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

Although forward-looking statements contained in this presentation are based upon what management of the Company believes are reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management’s estimates or opinions should change except as required by applicable securities laws. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

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