Bad News Feed

The fight for control of CBS is about to get a lot more messy, as the company launches an investigation into misconduct by Les Moonves. Buckle up.


Investors hammered Facebook after their Q2 earnings report, shaving 20% off the stock price. Of particular note was the platform's user growth: 22 million new active users, its lowest since 2011, and flat growth in North America. Still, it's surprising that this news came as such a surprise. Facebook has signaled for months a shift from "move fast and break things" to fixing everything that they broke. Also, user growth is ultimately capped at the total human population, which Facebook appears to be butting up against. Facebook should be commended for devoting resources to solutions that may hurt growth - it's imperative for the long-term health and viability of the platform. Of course, that's easy to say when you haven't just lost $120B of value in a day.


For brands, music is like a high-voltage electrical wire that, when properly tapped into, can power all sorts of things. It can also deliver a swift, sharp shock if handled without care. Target opened a store last weekend in Manhattan's East Village and, to pay homage to the neighborhood, styled the storefront as TGRT, drawing inspiration from CBGB who was a mainstay of the East Village for decades. Backlash was swift. When CBGB closed in 2006, it did so because its rent was $19k/month and was about to double. Nevermind that it was long since past its prime by then, and nevermind that Target opened that store - paying what must be astronomical rent - in response to demand (yes, neighborhood demand). There's a contingent with strong resentment in New York against gentrification, and this particular activation seemed specifically tailored to exasperate that resentment. Target has since apologized. The store, regardless, will likely be a huge success.


If you've purchased anything from a retailer at any point over the past five years (yes, we're talking to you, every person on earth), you have no doubt noticed a flourishing of POS possibilities. Chip, no chip, customer card reader, touchscreen dialogue, etc. There's more behind this than just a few new POS service providers. 90% of all purchases are still made in person, meaning entire tech empires are built on 10% of the pie (Amazon, PayPal, and even Facebook). Imagine what an independent retailer or restaurant could do when previously anonymous transactions come with a suite of data and resources tech companies can access. To understand the future of money, "you need to look at the cash register as well as the blockchain."



Run The Road
WTF w/ Marc Maron
David Sedaris / Bo Burnham


Shakira x Maluma
REVOK x Roger Gastman Zine



A view from the road. 2018 Honda Civic Tour presents Charlie Puth Voicenotes.


See ya next week...