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🐦 Jack Dorsey exits Twitter

The Hustle

NordPass recently revealed extensive research on the most commonly used passwords. The winner (or loser) — used 103,170,552 times — was “123456.” Oddly enough, “daniel” ranked 69th. Damn, Daniel.

Also: Tomorrow we’ll be announcing a rather large giveaway contest ($7k+ in prizes split among 10 readers). Be sure to tune in on Wednesday to learn more.

Today’s rundown:

  • Twitter shake-up: Jack Dorsey is stepping down as CEO
  • Packing heat: Amazon is taking aim at delivery giants
  • Spotify’s super-app: The streaming giant’s big moves in audio and beyond.
  • Around the web: Epic marble games, a cat with 4 ears, and more wild internet stuff.

Let’s do it.

The big idea
Parag Agrawal

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has resigned, will be replaced by CTO Parag Agrawal

It’s one of the longest-running questions in tech: How does Jack Dorsey have time to be CEO of 2 companies?

For years, Dorsey has been running both Twitter (the $37B social network) and Square (the $98B payments firm).

We won’t have to ask that question anymore

On Monday, Dorsey announced he’s leaving Twitter after 16 years in various roles (including as co-founder). He tweeted out his resignation email, noting 3 reasons why he is ready to move on:

  • The official new CEO is Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s CTO who started as an engineer and has, per Dorsey, “been behind every critical decision that helped turned this company around”
  • The incoming board chair is Bret Taylor, an early Facebook CTO and soon-to-be Salesforce CEO who Dorsey says “understands entrepreneurship, taking risks, [and] companies at massive scale”
  • Twitter employees, who have a lot of “ambition and potential,” according to Dorsey

What’s next for Twitter?

Twitter’s stock price is hovering at the same level it was in the summer of 2018. Meanwhile, its competitors (Facebook, Snap) have zoomed ahead.

Agrawal takes over as Twitter tries to unlock new monetization opportunities including tipping, newsletters, a social audio tool (Twitter Spaces), and its first subscription product ever (Twitter Blue).

Per CNBC, Twitter’s goals by end-2023 are aggressive:

  • Monetizable daily active users (mDAUs): 315m (vs. ~200m in 2020)
  • Revenue: $7.5B (vs. $3.7B in 2020)

Dorsey has more time for Square

The payments platform he founded in 2009 has been very busy this year:

  • May: It acquired the Jay-Z owned streaming platform Tidal for $297m
  • August: It announced a $29B deal for “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) company Afterpay
  • October: It floated plans to create Bitcoin mining hardware

Cryptocurrency may be Dorsey’s long-term ambition. His Twitter bio only says one thing (#Bitcoin), and in June he made this comment regarding Bitcoin: “I don’t think there is anything more important in my lifetime to work on.”

Whatever Dorsey does next, he will always remain on our “Mount Rushmore of Beards”:

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SNIPPETS

Multichannel dip: Black Friday sales fell online and in stores; online sales reached $8.9B, down from ~$9B in 2020, and foot traffic fell 28% from 2019. #ecommerce-retail

Bargain Benz: Mercedes launched its EQB electric SUV, starting at $50k. #clean-energy

Glasses drop: Nreal’s Light mixed reality glasses will be available today for $599 in 20 Verizon stores. #emerging-tech

Marvel x NFTs: AMC announced it would give away free Spider-Man NFTs to the 1st 86k people who purchase tickets online for Spider-Man: No Way Home. #fintech-crypto

Bad bundle: ~30 EU companies filed complaints against Microsoft for bundling OneDrive and Teams into the broader Office offering. #big-tech

MFM: Shaan and Sam explain why your Twitter bio should focus on your future, not your past. #mfm

Apple’s pricey cloth: Trung Phan explains the rationale behind Apple’s $19 polishing cloth. #hustle-picks

Product Push
Spotify logo

Spotify’s recent product moves hint at a budding super-app

Last week, Spotify made headlines when it removed the shuffle button from albums — a request from celebrity product manager Adele.

Though it may be the most high-profile move, that’s just one of many product updates for the company in the last month.

Including big additions to its audio product mix

Earlier this month, Spotify announced plans to acquire Findaway, an audiobook distribution company, a move that will pit the company against Amazon’s Audible, and offer users a single destination for everything audio.

The firm also launched Netflix Hub, a dedicated place for soundtracks, playlists, and podcasts related to Netflix shows and movies, including “Stranger Things” and “Squid Game.”

Spotify launched a flurry of video features as well

Added features include:

  • Lyrics: Real-time, in-app lyrics are now available to all users
  • Music videos: A vertical TikTok-style feed for music videos hosted under a new Discover tab (only available to beta users)
  • Video podcasts: Tools for podcasters to upload videos of their episodes

Spotify has tried videos before with little success, but this time it has data behind the moves:

  • The firm reported that users are more likely to stream, share, and save tracks with an interactive video background rather than static album art, which bodes well for Discover
  • Podcasters requested video podcast tools after Spotify reported high engagement with Joe Rogan’s videos

If its new product updates pan out, Spotify could have a super-app on its hands. If not, at least they did right by Adele.

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Damn-azon
Amazon truck

Source: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Amazon’s about to beat the delivery giants at their own game

Back in the olden days, believe it or not, Amazon used outside carriers to deliver its packages.

But after a holiday mishap in 2013, which resulted in outside carriers failing to deliver Amazon packages in time for Christmas, Amazon basically said “screw this.”

Fast forward to 2021 — yesterday, Amazon’s CEO of worldwide consumer business said the company could be the largest US package delivery company by year end.

What’s happened since 2013?

In short, Amazon did what Amazon does best: It built its own solution to its own problem, rapidly assembling one of America’s largest transportation networks. In less than a decade, the company put together:

  • An army of 400k delivery drivers
  • An arsenal of 40k semis and 30k vans
  • A fleet of 70+ planes

So if you feel like you’re seeing more Amazon logos around your neighborhood, it’s because you are.

And the prime move by Amazon…

… is that it utilizes all this physical real estate as a giant billboard.

When Amazon has a new show on Prime Video, it can advertise it on the packing tape on cardboard boxes. Or if it’s trying to drive up Prime subscriptions, it can slap a funny slogan on the back of 40k semis.

Amazon’s investment in delivery could prove to be a highly successful vertically-integrated move. Much more so than the time it unknowingly updated its app icon to look like Hitler’s mustache.

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AROUND THE WEB

🤓 On this day: In 2004, “Jeopardy!” contestant Ken Jennings finally lost the trivia game after 74 consecutive wins. By that time, he had won $2.5m+.

🐿 Wow: Photographer Carla Rhodes documented the birds and other creatures that visited a feeder outside her home in Catskills, New York. See them in crisp detail in “Beneath the Bird Feeder.”

✈️ Useful: This website shows you live air traffic reports, which can be fun to look at or handy when you want to know what kind of helicopter is flying overhead.

😲 That’s interesting: The National Rolley Hole Championship is a long-running, very intense game of marbles that takes place in Tennessee.

☕️ How to: Matthew Roberts, co-founder of coffee brand Cometeer, explains how his company picked the right investors, ultimately raising $100m.

🐱 Aww: And now, a rescue cat who was born with 4 ears!

Tweet of the day
Dorsey tweet

Jack Dorsey’s first tweet (Source: Know Your Memes / Twitter)

The Hustle Recommends

Read: “Michelin restaurants and fabulous wines: Inside the secret team dinners that have built the Spurs’ dynasty”

As head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, Greg Popovich won 5 championships in the span of 15 years. His dinners were famous for forging the friendships that fostered a championship culture.

– Rob

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