Finishing all the Chardonnay before the tariff hits
Crunchy new job alert: Get paid $100K to work at a Taco Bell (just in time for today's December Jobs Report).
A chilldown in US/Iran tension popped the Dow 212 points Thursday to (another) record high.
If you can't sell it... Subscriptify-it. Verizon claims it just "disrupted the cable industry" by ending mandatory 12-month contracts for cable TV and eliminating "extra" fees (they still want normal fees). The goal is to revive its Fios business (fun fact: Fios is an abbreviation for fiber optic service), which is doing fine selling internet — not as fine selling cable TV.
"Mix & Match"... That's the name of Verizon's new Fios offer — the idea is to make your cable/internet service totally flexible from month to month, with changable channel bundles and upgrade/downgradable internet speed. You know, control of what you're buying without needing to commit for 12 months (it's 2020. Commitment is scary).
Cable is a classic "pros before cos" industry... (profits before customers). Amazon is loved by customers because one of its key values is "customer obsession." Cable is profit obsessed — using its local monopoly to squeeze out your money with brutal year-long contracts and fees ($10/month equipment charge?). Thanks to competition from streaming, Cable's pros before cos strategy is dying.
Cancel Wine & Cheese Wednesday... Your weekly merlot could get way pricier. The wine industry is freaking out over a threat by President Trump to place 100% tariffs on wine imported from Europe. American wine importers and retailers showed up at Capitol Hill this week trying to put a stopper on it. Let's rewine'd:
When Trader Joe's pinot costs $60 a bottle... Americans lose out, too. The sobering tariff could mean jacked up prices and slimmer choices for consumers. American retailers that sell European wine will be the biggest losers.
Let it breathe... These tariffs just slap Europe on the wrist. France would lose sales to Americans — you wouldn't splurge $100 for a bottle of Bordeaux that used to cost $50, while the Napa cab still costs $40. The administration hopes the threat of that French export pain will push it to repeal the tax on American tech. But French wine enjoys plenty of demand worldwide, so the tariff could actually backfire.
Feeder of the unicorns... That's Japan's Softbank, one of the largest tech-focused venture capital funds ever. Fresh after dropping another $9.5B to save WeWork from bankruptcy, it's got a new problem: 11 startups it’s invested in just had major layoffs. And we noticed a pattern to how their CEOs "announced" the firings:
We've got your case studies right here... Uber let go of 1,000s last year and WeWork fired 2,400. Here are Softbank's 2 most recent portfolio problems:
This is the end of the anti-profit startup era... 2019 was the year of tech IPO enthusiasm — but public market investors rejected stocks of loss-making companies like Uber and Slack. Softbank was the VC fueling Uber's money-losing scale-at-all-costs rise (FYI, Uber loses $543K every hour). Now the rest of Softbank's portfolio is adjusting to the new unicorn normal.
Disclosure: Authors of this Snacks own shares of Amazon