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

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Is the sun going down on the ‘White Claw Summer’ for the last time?

Photo: White Claw

“There ain’t no laws when you’re drinking claws.”

The now-famous line from the viral video by comedian Trevor Wallace, titled ‘drinks White Claw once’, marked a turning point for the fate of the hard seltzer — and the White Claw brand — catapulting the drink to fame.

White Claw debuted in 2016, and by 2018, the drink was beginning to make a little headway, bringing in sales of ~$150 million over 2018. But everything changed in 2019. In what became known as the “White Claw Summer” — a nod to Megan Thee Stallion’s “Hot Girl Summer — the drink became…

Roxane Gay, Kurt Andersen, and David Dennis, Jr. are judging the category

Have you had a unique or defining career experience you’ve always wanted to tell others about? Do you have that great quitting story you can’t resist sharing, or a complicated work conundrum that needs to be navigated in writing? Do you think we’ve been doing hybrid work all wrong and have an original idea to fix it, or sage advice for a billionaire on finding work-life balance? Whatever it is, you should tell that story — or make your argument — on Medium, for a chance to win $50,000.

In case you missed the announcement last week, Medium is running…

Number Crunch

The king of streaming is struggling for growth

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400,000: That’s the number of subscribers Netflix lost in the US and Canada in Q2 of 2021, the first time it has lost subscribers in those markets since early 2019.

Netflix is a business that is driven by one thing only: subscriber growth. To maintain its position as the market leader, keep investors happy, and be afforded the luxury of spending eye-popping amounts of money (the company projects an outlay of $17 billion in 2021), that number needs to trend upwards continually — and preferably as fast as possible.

In a Q2 earnings report published July 20, the company announced…

The app sticks to its story by defying Wall Street traditions.

Image Credit: Sergei Tokmakov

Staying true to the legacy of its namesake outlaw hero, Robinhood reallocated shares, traditionally reserved for institutional stalwarts, into a halo of beaming retail investors, still bedazzled from the virtual confetti that the app sprinkled on them. In defiance of Wall Street tradition, Robinhood sold as much as 25% of its shares to retail investors who traded on its app.

As the Wall Street Journal explained, “for all the sway that amateur investors have over meme stocks like GameStop Corp. and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., they have been largely shut out of the IPO party. …

An important lesson that correlation does NOT imply causation

Picture of a Ronaldo t-shirt and two Coke bottles
T-shirt photo by Portuguese Gravity on Unsplash; Coke bottles photo by Alessandro D’Antonio on Unsplash

Here’s a headline from a Washington Post article by Paulina Villegas on June 16, 2021 (there were many similar headlines around the world as well): “Cristiano Ronaldo snubbed Coca-Cola. The company’s market value fell $4 billion.” The article referred to soccer’s (football’s) Portuguese superstar, who sat down at a press conference on June 14, 2021 during the European Championship and proceeded to remove two bottles of Coke that were prominently displayed on the table in front of him (Coca-Cola was one of the tournament’s official sponsors). He replaced them with a bottle of water, saying, “Agua. No Coca-Cola.” It was…

Staying in a role builds valuable, company-specific domain knowledge. Leaving often results in a pay day.

A graph showing that impact rises, and salaries often don’t rise to meet it

Too soon

When news broke that breakout star Regé-Jean Page was leaving Bridgerton after only one season, my initial reaction was that of shock and heartbreak. I couldn’t fathom why Netflix and The Duke of Hastings weren’t able to come to some sort of agreement. But then it hit me: my entire career, I’ve watched talented engineers leave companies for greener pastures after painfully short tenures. I’m even guilty of this myself — I left an amazing company after less than two years to join Ethena as VP of Engineering.

My example aside, I think the larger phenomena is a problem with…


The death of central business districts is here, and with it comes an opportunity to reshape our cities

Picture a typical downtown in your mind. What do you see? Historically, it may have been soaring peaks of commercial skyscrapers, the bustle of commuters running to and from the office, and perhaps a local institution like a famed restaurant, theatre, or place of cultural significance. Most, however, wouldn’t immediately think of the people and the streets that form the foundations of a community. But that’s beginning to change.

Over the last century, cities have evolved from centers of industrial production reliant on heavy manufacturing and trade, to re-orienting themselves into centralized hubs focused on attracting corporate commuters who occupy…

Number Crunch

Startups in India raised an unprecedented amount of money in first half of 2021

$20.5 billion: That’s the amount of money Indian start-ups raised this year as of 24 July, according to a report published by Inc42.

This is nearly twice the amount raised in the whole of 2020 ($11.5 billion).

Half of this amount was raised just in the month of July, led by Walmart-owned Flipkart and online food delivery platform Swiggy raising $3.6 billion and $1.25 billion respectively.

Indian startups raised $10.8 billion in the first six months of the year with 614 deals and $9.75 billion in the month of July with over 130 deals.

For the first six months, fintech…

Malls and old American neighborhoods are in the same place: dead and soon to be forgotten

Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash

After the end of World War II, popular media often portrayed American families as accomplished, happy, and most importantly, back together. In fact, they were really happy to be back together. In the post-war economic boom, couples were industriously popping out babies and moving their growing families out of the cities and into the suburbs.

With them came their spending power, of course, putting a dent on Main Street retail stores.

It didn’t take long for businesses to follow people out to the suburbs, resulting in the birth of the iconic American shopping mall, which combined retail shopping, food service…


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