The tech industry has these 3 chemists to thank

Thursday, October 10, 2019 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

"This Lithium-ion battery is legit"

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Hey Snackers,

The new magical rainbow dolphin-infused Lisa Frank hotel room is into warm and fuzzy vibes. The latest round of trade talks between the US and China isn't.

Stocks rose Wednesday on hopes the geopolitical negotiation was off to a friendly start — then they fell going into Thursday on word it wasn't.

1. Bed Bath & Beyond doesn't know if it has enough time

Just sign here, here, and here... and you can run Bed Bath & Beyond. Mark Tritton will become its new CEO — he tied on his apron and plans to revitalize the chain that sponsored your dorm room starting in November. He was previously Chief Merchandising Officer at Target, which is living the opposite life of Bed Bath over the last 5 years:

  • Target stock is up 80%.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond is down 84% — that's punctuated by 10 straight quarters of falling sales and new plans to close 60 stores.
  • But the stock surged 20% on word it's got a new leader.

Retail ninja-ness... While everyone is online this and ecommerce that lately, Mark boldly revolutionized Target's physical stores:

  1. Whisperer of Digitally Native Brands: Millennial-fueled Harry's razors, Casper mattresses, or Quip toothbrushes you can only get online? Mark convinced these startups to sell exclusive stuff in Target stores, which got you in Target stores.
  2. Creator of Innovative Private Labels: Inspired by all those above startups, Mark launched Goodfellow guys' apparel, Sun Squad party furniture, and Everspring sustainable home-cleaning products — all brands subtly owned by Target.

If you want to see where Bed Bath & Beyond is going... look at what Mark's been up to. Leadership changes like this aren't just about new business cards and a fancy parking spot — every new exec represents their own vision and strategy. Mark could bring the same tricks that worked at Target over to his new office (it's just got more towels).


Our hypothesis: These 3 are why you have a smartphone... The Results: Confirmed. John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino were just awarded some Swedish kroner (almost $1M worth total) and the Nobel Prize in chemistry. They invented the Lithium-ion Battery — in the 1980s — and it's still used today. We'll let The Academy explain:

“They have laid the foundation of a wireless, fossil fuel-free society, and are of the greatest benefit to humankind."

Unplug... The Li-ion battery allowed electronic things to be portable — it was way lighter, more durable, and held greater energy than earlier battery options that were the size of your foot. It was also less likely to ignite and explode, which is a major plus. This single battery powers whatever you're reading this on, along with all the following:

  • Wireless tech: iPhone, Amazon Ring cameras, laptop computers. Anything with a battery icon and a charging cord probably uses them.
  • Electric cars: Without the Lithium-ion battery relaxing in the chassis, a Tesla's range would only extend as far as your longest extension cord.
  • Renewable energy: The wind and sun generate electricity, but we need batteries to store it for when they're MIA.

Who made money?... Goodenough and his university decided not to patent Lithium-ion tech. Mr. Yoshino commercialized it at Sony in 1991, where it made Walkman and video camcorders a thing. Sony's batteries also powered the 1st gen of laptop computers. But no one company controls the tech, so the batteries are all up in our lives today, keeping us glued constantly to devices.

What else we’re Snackin’
  • Loudly: Tesla owners will be able to replace their car horns with fart and goat noises soon, because they can
  • Fetch: Uber is launching Uber Pets — an extra $3-$5 for a ride guarantees the driver will let Fido chill on the back seat
  • Multi-task: Walgreens partners up with FedEx so you can leave your returns off at the drugstore
  • Carbon: UPS is dropping $450M over the next 3 years to buy 6K natural gas-powered delivery trucks
  • Streamed: Roku jumps 9% on a prediction from an analyst that its streaming userbase would triple in size by 2022
  • Cave: Apple is removing a police-tracking app that was used by Hong Kong protestors
Snacks Daily Podcast

American Airlines' stock price has been delayed for 5 years (it's literally barely budged up just 1%) — so we're comparing it to Delta.


Disclosure: Authors of this Snacks own shares of Tesla and Amazon

IS: 977541

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