A bad sign for a better browser war


August 13, 2020

Plus: The Alamo Drafthouse is reopening theaters… for private viewings.
August 13, 2020
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The Hustle is officially switching to a 4-day work week. Granted, we haven’t asked permission, but the concept is taking off. Read on for more.

The Big Idea

I scream, you scream, we all scream for a 4-day workweek?

In the early 1930s, the US considered adopting a universal 30-hour work week. Congress killed the bill — and with it, your dreams of downing margaritas every Friday at noon.

Now everyone’s buzzing about a 4-day work week — Andrew Yang, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, a Washington State senator

With workers burnt out from… *gestures at everything*… companies like Buffer are trying it out.

Here’s what a 4-day week looks like

Some definitions say a 4-day week = 10-hour days. But there’s another version — 32 hours over 4 days, with full-time benefits. 

The logic of 32? Better-rested and happier employees are so much more productive that they don’t need a 5th day.

But does the 4-day week work? The data is mixed: 

Here’s one thing to remember

Workers aren’t seeing rewards for getting more done.

You might assume that more productivity translates to more time off or better pay. We’ve done the first part: Worker productivity went up 5% between 1987 and 2015. 

But the pro-4-day crowd points out that the second step never happened — workers’ pay went up only 2%, and their hours never went down.

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Snippets

5 stories to catch you up quick

1️⃣  It ain’t just TikTok getting the attention: Facebook and Snap talked about buying Dubsmash, one of TikTok’s rising rivals.

2️⃣  Uber is threatening to end its ride-hailing business in California in protest of a ruling that requires it to classify drivers as employees.

3️⃣  Cash App is looking a bit more like a bank. Its parent, Square, is testing a feature that gives out loans up to $200.  

4️⃣  A new business model for the movies: Instead of welcoming back everyone, Alamo Drafthouse is reopening theaters for private viewings.

5️⃣  The Yankees would really like some teen fans: The team just signed a deal with TikTok to reach a younger audience

And 5 more to delight you 

1️⃣  Candy corn lovers, beware: Brach’s just introduced some scary new flavors.

2️⃣  Think of Hamilton, but in reverse: A stalled Broadway play is hitting streaming services before it actually hits, y’know, Broadway.

3️⃣  Google is adding an earthquake detection system to Android phones. Basically, it lets you know when a bunch of people’s phones start shaking at the same time.

4️⃣  Mr. Peanut, who was reborn as Baby Nut during a Super Bowl commercial this year, has apparently turned 21. And, according to Planters, he’s ready to drink beers now.

5️⃣  Forget political campaigns: The burger chain Whataburger is sending its food truck on a cross-country tour next year. 

Winner, winner

3 highlights from a showcase of the fastest-growing companies

It’s like yearbook day but better. The Inc. 5000 just landed, spotlighting the fastest-growing private businesses in the US. 

This year’s party is all about the new kids on the block. Here are a few standouts making their debut on the list.

OneTrust is in the right place at the right time. You know those pop-up banners that tell you a site is collecting your data? They might seem annoying, but they actually do a lot to protect your privacy. You can thank OneTrust for that. 

With an eye-popping 3-year growth rate of 48,337%, the software company is No. 1 on this year’s list

OneTrust launched in 2016, the same year the EU announced its General Data Protection Regulation. It became the go-to for about half of Fortune 500 companies.

A legacy of excellence. TKT and Associates, a consultancy and staffing firm specializing in diversity, pulled in $135m between 2016 and 2019 while working with big-name clients like Toyota and Deloitte. 

With an 11,106% growth rate, TKT landed at No. 20 in the rankings — a record for a company led by a Black woman. 

Founder Tierra Kavanaugh died unexpectedly 4 weeks before Inc. finalized its rankings. Her mother Sheila Kavanaugh, a seasoned HR pro herself, helms the firm in Tierra’s honor.

We all know Clue is for kids. That’s what makes Hunt A Killer (No. 6) so appealing. Players become gumshoes in a subscription-based murder mystery game that doles out clues one month at a time. 

The founders started working out of a basement, but quickly reached a 3-year growth rate of 20,484%. 

Can Professor Plum do that?

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This rare, “all-in” buy alert has only been issued 26 times. 

Legendary investors David and Tom Gardner don’t always agree on what stock to buy. But when they do, you sure as heck better listen.

It happened with Netflix in 2007 (up 18,000% since).
Then again with Tesla in 2012 (up 4,570% since). 

And now, the masterminds behind Stock Advisor are giving this teeny, tiny internet company the “all-in” stock buy signal

And that may be a huuuge deal.

Here’s what you need to know: 

  • The company is 1/100th the size of Google. 
  • It’s CEO has banked over $916 million on its stock since its IPO.
  • It’s still flying under the radar, making it the perfect opportunity to get in early.

And when we say this is potentially a huge opportunity, we mean it. Across the 26 stocks that have ever gotten the “all in” buy signal, the average ROI has been a whopping 931%.*

Want to find out what the stock is? Now’s your chance — David and Tom are pulling back the curtain over at Stock Advisor right now.

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FINE-ISH PRINT: *Returns as of 8/6/2020

175

Days
THE BIG NUMBER

That’s how long it took the S&P 500 to roller coaster from an all-time high (on February 19th) to its pandemic low (on March 23rd) and back again.

At one point yesterday, the index hit 3,387.89 — briefly topping the February high — before dipping just under the closing-bell record.

(Source: Bloomberg)

Life in the Fast Lane

Can talking roads end car accidents?

I still think about a moment from childhood when my dad’s car skidded across a patch of black ice. For a few seconds, we felt weightless. 

Everyone knows that panic — a sharp bend in the road, a car ahead suddenly braking. Accidents waiting to happen.

A new technology called vehicle-to-everything, or V2X, could seriously curb them. The feds say it may be able to stop (or soften) 80% of wrecks where the driver isn’t impaired.

The road, it’s aliiiiiive 

V2X is like a DM between your car and the road, using fancy radios. Ten times per second, your car relays data about your speed or tire traction.

If something weird happens, the road will know. And it can warn other drivers: Ice ahead, fools.

We’re still years out from a full-scale version — but Utah, Georgia, and Michigan are already paving some roads with V2X sensors. And Volkswagen and General Motors are wiring their new rides with V2X.  

Some other sweet things V2X can do

A ranking, from socially useful to “I can’t wait for the YouTube videos of this”: 

  • Send warnings when cars ahead slow down. 
  • Collect tolls, to open up traffic-choked roads.
  • Guide hired rides to the exact alley corner where you’re standing.
  • Flip traffic lights from yellow/red to green (for emergency vehicles, not your joyride).
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Tabbed Out

Mozilla’s layoffs are bad news for a more competitive browser war

The browser race is a 2-horse sprint, with Google Chrome and Apple Safari controlling more than 80% of the market.

For many, Mozilla’s Firefox — with its heavy emphasis on data privacy — is a middle finger to Big Tech’s dominance. But with ~4% share of the market, the idea of a real competition is only a facade.

And the facade might be cracking. Mozilla announced this week that it was laying off 250 employees, or about a quarter of its staff. 

Your model needs work 

Tech writer Byrne Hobart points out: “The most valuable browsers in the world are free products owned by companies that monetize something else.”

That’s not how Mozilla works. According to the Mozilla Foundation’s 2018 annual report, Mozilla made 91% of its revenue ($451m) from directly monetizing its browser. 

Mozilla is paid by companies such as Google (in the US) and Baidu (in China) to be the default search engine for the browser. 

In a world where Chrome’s market share is growing, Mozilla’s business looks shaky. 

And it might not have great options

Mozilla laid off 70 employees at the start of the year due to the “slow rollout of… new revenue-generating products.” 

Its other offerings include the web reader Pocket, a VPN, and a password manager.

The New York Times’ Robin Berjon says the writing is on the wall

At this rate, the likelihood of a 3rd horse entering this race is miniscule.

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This Day In Business History

On August 13, 1923, U.S. Steel switched from 12-hour to 8-hour workdays — becoming one of the first major companies after Ford to do so. 

It took almost 2 decades — until 1940 — for Congress to cap the work week at 40 hours.

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2 Truths and a Lie

One of these storylines isn’t real. Can you spot the fake? Click to find out.

  1. A Chicago vending startup introduces streetside hot dog ATMs
  2. The nation is suffering from a Great Dr. Pepper Shortage.
  3. And you thought your photo was bad: One woman’s driver’s license came back with a pic of an empty chair.
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Today’s email was brought to you by Michael Waters, Caroline Dohack, Trung Phan, and Bobby Durben.
Editing by: Nick “Friday Feeling” DeSantis, Bermuda Schwartz (Summer Wardrobe Coordinator).

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

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