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No Mercy No Malice

Helping students catch up may be the pandemic’s most enduring challenge

Miles of plexiglass, masks, and deranged parents. Back to school 2021 feels more like Stranger Things than the fall ritual we grew up with. Yet there’s an eerie sameness between this fall and the previous most-unusual-back-to-school year of our lives … last year. …

Number Crunch

Is WFH a paradigm shift, or a simple carryover from the pandemic?

700,000: That’s the number of white-collar workers who quit their job in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—the highest ever recorded in a month in the bureau’s “professional and business services” category of knowledge workers.

Americans quitting their job has been a growing trend in recent months. About…

As remote workers return to their buildings, iconic elevator maker Otis grapples with a product everyone’s suddenly terrified of

The first movie to include coronavirus was, appropriately enough, a horror film. Corona, a Canadian film, unfolds like the stuff of an oft-tweeted pandemic nightmare: Seven neighbors are trapped in an elevator — where it’s impossible to socially distance — and one of them has Covid-19.

Stephen Nichols hasn’t seen…

Number Crunch

Consumers really, really, really want a vacation

38%: That’s the share of Americans who would be willing to give up sex for a year in order to travel again immediately, according to a recent survey by online hotel search platform Trivago, as reported by CNBC.

In the same survey — which included 2,000 adults across the U.S…

For many companies, unexpected circumstances became the perfect storm for massive growth

“Coronavirus is the black swan of 2020.” So began the ominous letter that venture capital firm Sequoia Capital sent to the founders and CEOs of its portfolio companies on March 5 of last year. …

Expect cryptocurrency booms, intrusive biometric tracking, and the mainstream embrace of universal basic income

In the early months of the pandemic, I published my predictions about how the coronavirus pandemic would reshape our lives. While many of these predictions are currently bearing out, it is increasingly clear that the disruptions caused by Covid-19 are only just getting started. The magnitude of any crisis is…

It’s not just a distraction — it’s a damaging sideshow

It’s been widely — indeed, endlessly — noted that Peloton has been a rare “winner” of the pandemic. With gyms reeling, many have opted for the high-tech home bike system, which involves a $1,900 piece of hardware and a $39 monthly subscription for custom exercise classes. The latest dramatic twist…

Number Crunch

Because what’s more liberating than backyard glamping?

25%: That’s the increase in sales of camping gear in the third quarter of 2020 over the prior year, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing NPD Group data. One big reason for this apparent uptick of interest in the great outdoors is, of course, the pandemic. With many traditional…

Trend Mill

When shutdowns lift, it’ll be competing against unprecedented pent-up demand for eating outside of the home

At its peak in 2015–2016, Blue Apron was delivering over eight million meals per month and raking in over $1 billion in annual sales. Within just five years of its inception, it was employing 4,500 people and was valued at over $2 billion.

It looked set to dominate the meal…

Number of the Day

The crop size now available to meet pandemic-era demand was shaped by the late-aughts recession

$81: That’s the expected median price for a real (not plastic) Christmas tree in 2020 — up 7% over 2019 and 23% over 2018, according to Bloomberg. Last year, Americans spent an estimated $2 billion on more than 26 million trees.

Lots of Americans who celebrate Christmas seem ready to…


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

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