🖊️ Biden’s Big Business battle


July 12, 2021

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The big idea
President Biden

President Biden takes his shot at Big Business

It’s no secret that the US government wants to rein in Big Tech.

Turns out, err’thing will be under greater scrutiny.

On Friday, President Biden signed a wide-ranging executive order (EO) “promoting competition to lower prices” and hoping to spur wage increases across all parts of the economy, per CNN.

Taking on Big Business

According to The New York Times, the executive order encourages federal agencies — such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) — to pursue broad antitrust action.

Those agencies are actually independent from the administration but have signaled support of the EO.

The order has 72 provisions…

… including support for:

  • Agriculture: “Right to repair” laws that allow farmers to repair their own tractors (instead of paying manufacturers exorbitant sums).
  • Health care: States to import low-cost prescription drugs from Canada.
  • Telecomms: Reinstatement of net neutrality laws that promote better broadband service and price transparency.
  • Transportation: Greater scrutiny of airline fees (largely controlled by 4 major US carriers) and maritime transport prices.
  • More labor flexibility: Limiting the use of noncompete agreements (which tie employees to employers) and banning “unnecessary” occupational licenses (which are a barrier to work).
  • Greater M&A scrutiny: Antitrust regulators are asked to look more closely at anti-competitive acquisitions (e.g., tech buying up competitors or hospital networks consolidating) that reduce choice or raise prices.

Not guaranteed to work

The previous administration also issued “competition-focused” EOs, but to limited effect, per NYT (having said that, the FTC has already opened an investigation into Amazon’s purchase of MGM).

For max impact, the Biden administration will have to craft new laws in cooperation with Congress.

“The heart of American capitalism is a simple idea: open and fair competition,” Biden said at the EO’s signing. “Capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism; it’s exploitation.”

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SNIPPETS

This probably won’t end well. A new report from CNN details how communities in the American South are bearing the brunt of the environmental impact for supplying “green energy” to Europe. #clean-energy

Tesla goes full robot. The company started rolling out its highly anticipated Full Self-Driving Beta v9 software update with improvements to making lane changes off the highway, selecting forks, making turns, and navigating objects. #emerging-tech

Business media’s professor-in-chief, Scott Galloway, thinks fintech is just taking off and will leave traditional banks in the dust. One reason: innovation. “Over the past five years, PayPal has issued 26x more patents than Goldman Sachs,” Galloway says. #fintech-cryptocurrency

Insider trader gets hit. The feds charged Greek national Apostolos Trovias with fraud and money laundering after catching him selling info from earnings releases (ahead of release) on the dark web. #privacy

Absolut-ly insane. In 1981, Absolut Vodka launched the longest-running ad campaign ever, producing 2k ads over 25 years — all in the same format. Here’s the story, as told by Trung. #hustle-picks

TED goes to the club. The TED podcast network is partnering with Clubhouse to bring exclusive audio to the platform. Clubhouse says TED is free to sell ads and keep 100% of the income. #big-tech

Bloomingdale’s went for the smaller size. The company announced plans for “Bloomie’s” — a smaller, 22k-square-foot, tech-enabled store format with better curation and food options. #ecommerce-retail

Young Moguls
kids in business

Source: Mighty

Suck it, lemonade stands. Mighty is here to make kids ecommerce CEOs.

The days of kids thinking they’re Warren Buffett after netting $10 running a lemonade stand are numbered.

That’s because Mighty is here to show us what happens when you take the lemonade model and crossbreed it with an ecommerce platform like Shopify.

And it’s apparently working pretty well

Co-founder Ben Goldhirsh came up with the idea after having his kids develop business plans to sell bracelets instead of sitting through after-school tutoring, per TechCrunch.

Along with co-founder Dana Mauriello who spent 5 years at Etsy, the Mighty team raised $6.5m and now boasts 3k mini Mark Cubans and Sheryl Sandbergs.

How does Mighty work?

For now, young founders design and sell items like hats, totes, and stickers via Mighty’s partner, Printful.

Apparently, Mighty “CEOs” are begging to sell their own items. Goldhirsh tells TechCrunch they eventually will.

Mighty also launched an online community for its young CEOs to collab… which got us thinking — would a Shark Tank where both the judges and contestants are kids be any good? (Answer: it’d be great.)

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Free Resource

How to host your next hybrid event

Thanks to COVID, Zoom became a household name in 2020. A lot of us learned to lean on virtual living like never before.

As some well-vaccinated regions of the world are transitioning out of COVID protocols, events are coming back as a staple for stellar business growth…

And now, the best way to host a banger is to do it hybrid.

This is why hybrid events are the new go-to:

Many people are itching to go to events in person again, while others prefer the convenience (and, you know, safety) of the screen.

So give everyone what they want. Offer both options next time you’re hosting.

HubSpot and Hopin linked up to create this sweet hybrid event strategy guide. There are solid insights here to help you make your next event a hybrid of smash and success.

Looks like you have some planning to do.

Hybrid it is →
Tech Patents

What the latest tech patents say about the future

Trends member Neer Sharma has been rounding up the best corporate patents every week for his must-read newsletter Patent Drop.

Here are recent findings:

PayPal is souping up AR shopping

With this new patent, fintech giant PayPal wants to facilitate payments within augmented reality (AR) glasses:

“Imagine you’re wearing AR glasses as you walk down the street. A stranger passes you by in a cool, pastel-painted, vintage bicycle.

As you look at it, a message appears in your AR glasses – “this is for sale for $100!”. You think to yourself – “wow, this completes my nomad, hipster garments. I gotta buy it”. And through your AR glasses, you make an offer on the bicycle.”

Ford with a VERY forward-looking patent

In anticipation of a world where car sharing is ubiquitous, Ford has a patent for “odor mitigation”.

The automaker is offering up 2 potential solutions:

  • An e-nose (AKA electrochemical nose) uses sensors to detect certain scents. It then deals with the smell via a filtration or air freshener system.
  • Another option is using something called the human nose. Riders are asked to flag offending smells, which the odor mitigation system can deal with the next time it senses it.

The next frontier of Amazon’s convenience store

Amazon’s convenience store (Go) already lets customers enter, shop, and exit without using checkout. Off-the-shelf items are automatically tallied via computer vision and AI.

A recent patent from the company adds a new wrinkle: it wants to let customers do “no checkout” with customized orders like a made-to-order deli sandwich.

Sounds delicious (and convenient).

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Patent of the day
toilet paper patent

Well, that settles it, people… here is the original toilet paper patent from 1891 showing the proper way to load up the roll (Source: Wikipedia)

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