|The big idea
Could talking smack about your ex-job cost you millions?
Could a bad Glassdoor review cost you $1m+? We’re about to find out.
Software engineer Wyatt Troia wrote negative reviews about working at LoanStreet, a New York-based fintech startup, on Glassdoor, Reddit, and Blind.
LoanStreet’s lawsuit alleges:
How important are employee reviews?
Negative reviews or press can affect a company’s image (e.g., the Blizzard Entertainment boycott). But they can also impact a company’s ability to attract talent.
A survey from marketing agency Fractl found:
Courts have favored Glassdoor and reviewers in the past
Troia’s case is a bit different, but the result could impact how safe ex-employees feel about naming and shaming.
Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works are officially broken up and trading separately on the stock market. #ecommerce-retail
Tube trouble: Many hospitals still use pneumatic tubes to move medicine and other goods around. The problem? They can be hacked. #privacy
The Guardian took a deep dive into the history of electric cars — including 1897’s most popular US car — and what that tells us about their future. #clean-energy
Hey, remember Bing? Microsoft dropped details on a new AI model it says will improve the search engine. #big-tech
Going twice: What happens to the $1.2B in crypto the IRS seized this fiscal year? Some of it goes up for auction. #fintech-cryptocurrency
Tesla is inviting people to its “AI Day” event, teasing test rides, demos, and “what’s next for AI at Tesla” beyond its cars. #emerging-tech
|Struggling to take off
Amazon’s drone project is experiencing turbulence
Ah, delivery drones — simultaneously terrifying and potentially quite helpful.
Amazon, long a promoter of its own efforts in the space, now appears to have committed a cardinal sin of business: overpromise and under-deliver.
After years talking up drones, Amazon’s are nowhere to be found
In 2015, Amazon launched a PR campaign with this cool video.
But a new report from Wired found that 100+ Amazonians in the company’s UK-based drone unit have lost their jobs, and the project is broadly struggling to take off.
Anonymous Amazonians described the program as “collapsing inwards,” “dysfunctional,” “organised chaos,” and “detached from reality.” (Ouch.)
The root of the problem: Management
Leaders appointed to the project were reportedly logistics and warehouse ops folks, and not experts in scalable machine-learning drone delivery networks.
That whole situation sounds rough. But hey, at least there was pizza.
The new pod on business trailblazers and change-makers
Want to learn about the leaders who are flipping tables in their industries?
Alexis Gay (comedian, ex-Patreon biz op) and Brianne Kimmel (founder of Worklife VC) sit down with today’s disruptive decision-makers to break the seal on insider stories you haven’t heard yet.
First up: Square co-founder Jim McKelvey
The Shake Up Episode No. 1 is live on all streaming platforms. The debut doesn’t disappoint.
Subscribe to the pod so you don’t miss new episodes every Tuesday. This production is powered by the HubSpot Podcast Network.
Sounds like Sam and Shaan have got some competition.
|The Shake Up: Pilot →
Travis Scott continues his hot streak of brand partnerships
Travis Scott’s partnership game has officially reached “Sicko Mode.”
The latest is a collab with A24, the production company behind films like “Moonlight,” “Uncut Gems,” and “Lady Bird.”
The announcement included a sneak peek at the 1st joint project — a screenplay titled “Utopia” that will align with his next album release.
Where does A24 rank in the list of Travis Scott partnerships?
Time will tell, but here are 3 of our faves:
The partnership helps A24 diversify its portfolio
The studio explored a $3B sale to Apple last month, and according to Dan Runcie of Trapital, the partnership could help boost A24’s valuation.
While “Utopia” is in the works, we’re hoping the next project is a big-screen adaptation of RL Stine’s “Goosebumps” since Scott already has the theme song ready to go.
|AROUND THE WEB
🛰️ That’s cool: Sound doesn’t travel in space. But if it did, this is what space would sound like.
⏳Chill out: Sand Tagious is a YouTube channel that posts videos of people cutting and playing with colorful kinetic sand. Zone out with its 4.4m subscribers.
🏃🏿♂️On this day: In 1936, Jesse Owens won the 200-meter race in just 20.7 seconds, scoring both a world record and his 3rd gold medal at the Berlin Olympics.
🐦Wild story: Experts say a goose spotted flying upside down was just showing off. Well, color us impressed.
🍋How to: Lifehacker explains how to grow a lemon tree in your house, even if you live in the wrong climate for citrus.
📱Wow: This animated pie chart illustrates how the market share for mobile operating systems has changed from the now-defunct Symbian to a world dominated by Apple and Android.
|Chart of the day
American travelers are flying again.
One thing they probably didn’t miss during the 2020 lockdowns? Exorbitantly priced airport food.
Food, beverage, and retail sales make up as much as 60% of an airport’s total revenue — and items are often marked up 100%+ over street price.
If you’ve ever wondered why, check out our deep dive on the economics of airport food from 2019.
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