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Pop business for the intelligent reader. A publication from Medium.

Metropolis

Making sense of what’s going on in the red-hot housing market

Photo: Bob Sacha / Getty Images

Real estate. It’s on everyone’s minds. At least it certainly feels that way. Everywhere you turn, there’s an article about home prices soaring to record highs, a tweet about someone getting outbid on a home they offered 10% above ask, or a video trying to make sense of the market right now and if one should get involved. Anecdotes have prevailed in these uncertain times. It’s a bubble! Home prices have increased 25% in our market, and it’s going to pop like 2008. We’ve all heard or uttered these words in the past several months.

There’s talk of bubbles and…


Performative displays of allyship are no substitute for substantive activism

source: Wikimedia

Pride Month, at it’s core, is a commemoration of rebellion; a period to honour and remember the 1969 Stonewall riots; where predominantly POC members of the LGBT+ community rioted in response to the police raid of the Stonewall Inn. The riot was a turning point in LGBT+ activism, which beforehand had been predominantly non-confrontational and regrettably ineffectual. Stonewall ushered in an entirely new era of LGBT+ activism; one whose rewards the LGBT+ community are still reaping today — even if there’s still so much further to go.

It’s hard not to feel like, however, that Pride’s origin story has been…


No Mercy No Malice

Much like an Etch-A-Sketch, Covid has presented an opportunity to envision our lives turned upside down, powder redistributed

While the fires of Covid-19 continue to rage around the world, here in the U.S. we’ve turned a corner. The intensity of an emergency doesn’t register until after it’s over, and many of us are still trying to wrap our heads around the events of the past year. Inevitably, our pause turns to curiosity … what happens next? What will be different, what will be the same?

I took some time this week to look back at where we were a year ago: reeling from the initial shock of the pandemic; facing the long grind of a summer in isolation…


Why the latest publicity stunt by United has plenty of potential to backfire

Image credit: United Airlines

During the first dot-com boom, staid executives of traditional companies (you know: the sort that make profits) were furious about being sidelined in the mass media by much younger and brasher entrepreneurs who (on paper, at least) were suddenly worth more than the GDP of many small countries. Jack Welsch of GE famously told his minions to “get us some moolah” by acquiring a few dot-com properties that surely would boost GE into the stratosphere of inflated valuations. …


Workers don’t want to come back to low pay, no benefits, long hours, and grumpy customers. Why should they?

Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash.

As the American economy digs out from the devastating financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the result has proved a patchwork of unmet expectations, high unemployment, inflation, and plummeting consumer confidence.

To the dashed hopes of optimistic economists, the U.S. financial engine has not rebounded as fast as some predicted. Sluggish, and more than slightly unpredictable, the economy has begun to recover though.

There are still challenges for U.S. businesses, and plenty of them.

The confusing network of disparate Covid-19 restrictions — varying wildly from county to county and state to state — and the absolute nightmare of public messaging…


From meditation app Calm donating to mental health on behalf of Naomi Osaka to brands flying rainbow flags for pride month, corporations will seize any opportunity for cheap publicity

Getty Images / Staff

Last week, number one tennis player Naomi Osaka refused to attend a post-match press conference. She released a statement on Twitter explaining that she wouldn’t continue to put her mental health at risk to satisfy the press. She was fined $15,000.

In the furor surrounding both sides, she then posted another message to say she was withdrawing from the French Open altogether.

People had thoughts. There were supporters who said mental health should come above some boring post-match interview that nobody really cares about. There were those who said it was simply part of the job to be harangued by…


From startup in 1998 to today, a detailed history of the strategy, metrics, and experiments Netflix executes to develop a personalized experience focused on delivering its members movies they love

Photo: freestocks via Unsplash

Introduction

This essay details Netflix’s progress from its launch in 1998 to the recent launch of its “I feel lucky” button — a merchandising tactic where Netflix members rely totally on Netflix’s personalization algorithms. It’s a messy journey, with an evolving personalization strategy propelled by Netflix’s ability to execute high-cadence experiments using its homegrown A/B test system.

In 20 years, Netflix has gone from members choosing 2% of the movies the merchandising system suggests to 80% today. In the early days, a member would explore hundreds of titles before finding something they liked. Today most members look at forty choices before…


Your company is not apolitical, no matter what your CEO says

Here is a live shot of an office with no politics in it whatsoever. Photo: Raj Rana/Unsplash

I have several jobs, and one of them is “lowly adjunct” in the graduate school of journalism at NYU, where I teach a class about digital media innovation. As part of the course, my students have to conceptualize and prototype a new media product that could be used in a journalistic or newsroom context. Its innovation might be technical, journalistic, or a new business model. The class is very entrepreneurial and involves hard business skills, but my Twitter bio just says “NYU j-school prof,” so people on the right who don’t like my politics periodically accuse me of indoctrinating journalism…


The non-alcoholic movement reserves 37% of the days in a calendar year, nearly 3x as many as Meatless Monday

Photo by Europeana on Unsplash

The first time Americans were asked to reduce their meat consumption was during World War I. With the help of soon-to-be president Herbert Hoover, the U.S. Food Administration coined a slogan: Food will win the war. It was an effort to care for struggling Allies and nourish U.S. soldiers overseas that included asking Americans to cut back on their fat, sugar, wheat, and meat consumption through Meatless Tuesdays and Wheatless Wednesdays.

The campaign returned during World War II when Presidents Roosevelt and Truman were called upon to help feed a war-torn Europe. …


Trend Mill

From $90,000 Oreos to BTS McDonald’s meals, crossovers are more than just a hype-inducing stunt

Photo: Supreme/Stylecaster

Would you pay over $91,000 for a three-pack of Oreos?

Before you rush to answer “no!,” note that these are no ordinary Oreos. These are bright red, have the Supreme logo imprinted on them, and are very limited in quantity.

When the Supreme x Oreo crossover released on February 18, 2020, fans quickly ate up the offering, though not in the literal sense. These buyers were grabbing the limited-run three-pack for $8 and immediately turning to resell in a bid to make a quick buck. Sales were seen as high as $91,000 before seller sites like eBay pulled them.

‘X’ marks the spot

This…

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