🏆 How Reddit can win

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The Hustle

On Nov. 15, JPMorgan filed a $162m lawsuit against Tesla, accusing it of stiffing the bank on contractual obligations from a 2014 deal. In response to a request for comment, Musk told the Wall Street Journal, “If JPM doesn’t withdraw their lawsuit, I will give them a one-star review on Yelp.”

Today’s rundown:

  • Reddit’s hidden gem: Why the company should look beyond advertising.
  • Pumpkinomics: A deep dive into the economics of pumpkins.
  • Scooters: Why they’re a pain in the you-know-what for cities.

Let’s do it.

The Big Idea
Reddit logo gif

Reddit wants to be an advertising platform. What if it has better options?

In September, Reddit announced it was looking for advisers to help prep for a $15B IPO (and no doubt create the hottest new meme stock).

As part of its IPO preparation, Reddit has honed its advertising business, which makes up the bulk of its revenue. But unlike other social media platforms, Reddit has better options for monetization.

Reddit’s biggest asset is its ability to foster community

In a recent post from the Every newsletter bundle, Rohit Kaul broke down why advertising is a bad fit for Reddit. Here’s the rub:

  1. Advertisers look for 2 things:
    1. Awareness at the beginning of the buyer’s journey
    2. Conversion at the end of the buyer’s journey
  2. For awareness, Facebook and Twitter offer better reach than Reddit
  3. For conversion, Google and Amazon are already firmly established in the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey

Reddit’s biggest asset is its ability to foster deep engagement within its communities. Rohit has a simple suggestion to tap into this asset: Build products that enable its communities and creators.

First, communities…

… Reddit has 500+ subreddits with over 1m followers but few ways for those communities to make the experience unique.

Some products that Reddit could introduce to drive monetization within its communities are live events, in-app marketplaces, and premium content.

To enable creators…

… Reddit could do 2 things:

  • Offer customization options on profile pages so creators can showcase their best posts
  • Add a dedicated creators’ section to the homepage to help creators grow their audience

Not all is bad on the advertising front

Reddit is on track to double its advertising revenue this year to $350m. While that’s impressive growth, it still pales in comparison to other social platforms (e.g., Pinterest did $1.1B through the 1st half of 2021).

Another concern? If it becomes too saturated with ads, Reddit may ruin some of the magic of the platform.

That gives all the more reason to build a better product for its communities and users, who may reward them by pumping the stock to the moon.

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SNIPPETS

Retail therapy: A recent survey reported 86% of consumers expect to shop over Thanksgiving weekend. #ecommerce-retail

Old dog, new tricks: Ford announced plans to produce 600k electric vehicles per year by 2023. #clean-energy

Verizon’s metaverse: Nreal Light glasses, AR glasses that will retail for $599 through Verizon later this month, received a lukewarm review from The Verge for its “patchy app ecosystem” and inconsistent UX. #emerging-tech

Ransomware scare: Insurers are starting to refuse ransomware coverage or asking policyholders to pay half the ransom after experiencing heavy losses. #privacy

Bitcoin city: El Salvador announced plans to build a city using $500m of a $1B “Bitcoin Bond.” #fintech-crypto

It’s Pie Time
pumpkin patch infographic

When you’re not busy scarfing down pumpkin pie on Thursday, you’re gonna need some small-talk material to survive sitting next to Uncle Steve.

Thankfully, in time for Thanksgiving, we dove deep into the economics of pumpkins.

Here are some findings you can use for chitchat:

  • In 2020, the US produced ~1.4B pounds of pumpkins.
  • A Washington farmer recently won $19.7k for his 2,191-pound pumpkin behemoth.
  • The seeds from giant pumpkins can fetch $3-$5 each, and with 2k-5k seeds inside, giant pumpkins can yield $6k-$26k in profit.

So, what are the economics of these orange orbs? How much is a pumpkin really worth? And how do pumpkin patches — a largely seasonal enterprise — make money year-round?

To find out, we talked to pumpkin farmers, experts, and patch owners around the country.

Read the full story →
Scooter Stuff
Scooters

Cities are still struggling to manage scooters (and the people who ride them)

Last week, Miami’s city commission voted to end its pilot scooter program, which kicked off in 2018, citing safety concerns. The city told operators to pick their scooters up or it would impound them, per Mass Transit.

While the city may allow scooters to return at a later date…

Miami isn’t alone in scooter controversy

For scooter advocates, they’re an affordable, convenient last-mile solution. But cities have been reluctant to embrace them, largely because:

  • People abandon them in walkways, which blocks access.
  • People ride them on sidewalks, endangering pedestrians.
  • They can be dangerous for riders, too. In 2019, numerous cities and countries around the world banned or restricted scooters after riders were killed in collisions with vehicles.

Also, people really like to destroy scooters for some reason, which is its own problem.

So, what’s the solution?

Roger Woodman, a professor at the University of Warwick who researches shared micromobility, told Automotive World that cities need bike/scooter lanes separate from pedestrian areas.

Lime is working on a program with San Jose, California, to detect sidewalk riding and inform users to stay off them.

Some cities, including Nottingham, United Kingdom, are trying out bans and fines for people who don’t dock scooters where they belong.

Others have tried geofencing, which can enforce speed and parking restrictions or turn a scooter off if someone takes it where they’re not allowed. Bird uses geofencing to slow down its scooters in pedestrian-dense areas.

And now: Some helpful tips to avoid falling off a scooter.

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AROUND THE WEB

✏️ On this day: In 1897, John Lee Love filed a patent for a hand-cranked pencil sharpener known as the “Love Sharpener,” significantly improving and simplifying the tool’s design.

💨 Chill out: This extremely relaxing map shows you how the wind is moving all over the world.

How to: Marie Kondo helped us declutter our homes. Now, what if we did the same thing with our workflows?

👑 That’s interesting: In 1907, the safe containing Ireland’s crown jewels was revealed to be empty save a blue ribbon. This is the actually kind of funny story of the mysterious heist which, to this day, remains unsolved.

🥣 Useful: Mealime is a meal-planning app. You choose your recipes, then it makes a grocery list for you. Several recipes are free, and you can unlock more for $2.99/month.

🦘 Aww: Have you ever wondered what it’d be like to raise a baby kangaroo? Here you go!

Meme of the day
memes meme

It’s true, Reddit memes are 🔥 (Source: Reddit, duh)

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Psst

How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

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