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Struggling sandwich artist: Subway has a full-blown crisis on their hands
Over the past 4 years, the beloved godfather of fast casual eats has taken a nosedive of monstrous proportions.
The company has all but turned their “Eat Fresh” modus operandi into a joke after gaining a reputation for serving flimsy produce and “mystery meat”, while their golden boy marketing boss, Karlin Linhardt, resigned in December after less than a year with the company.
And lest we forget, Jared Fogle…
That’s only the tip of the iceberg lettuce
The struggle is real over in sandwichville.
Subway’s US store count fell by more than 900 in 2017, and national sales declined for the 4th straight year. In the midst of this chaos, Subway’s great counteraction strategy was to bring back the coveted $5 footlong promotion.
Subway exec slams head into idea board, “fiiine.”
But to franchisees, it wasn’t fine. More than 400 locations signed a petition against it, claiming the $5 deal is what destroyed the business in the first place.
Let’s brace for more closures
According to Business Insider, store owners foresee 100s of additional stores closing in 2018 and are worried that up to one-third of Subway locations in the US could soon be unprofitable.
As one store owner lamented: “I have sadly watched my peers close their doors… It is inevitable that I will do the same in the near future… this was my retirement, and now, well, it’s over.”
To make matters worse, there’s a mutiny going on at corporate
Subway employees feel the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of Subway CEO Suzanne Greco and other upper-management personnel.
In fact, many speculate the real story behind Linhardt’s resignation was the backlash against the footlong promotion, while other sources close to the situation claim he was ousted by an alliance of execs with differing ideas for the future of Subway.
Leaving us all to wonder: what is Subway’s future?
’Scuse me, sir: your sandy is on fire
A new San Francisco law just forced Airbnb to remove nearly 50% of its listings in the city
The law requires that all short-term rental hosts pay a $250 fee to officially register with the city and mandates that Airbnb remove listings from anyone who failed to do so.
San Francisco and Airbnb have a long-standing beef
Airbnb has continuously sparred with SF over rental regulations since it launched nearly 10 years ago.
Back in 2014, the city made it illegal for “absent tenants” to rent their properties short-term for more than 90 days per year.
This eventually resulted in a settlement: all hosts on Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms would have to register with the city by midnight on 01/17/2018 — and companies with unregistered hosts would face fines of up to $1k per day.
Hence, the “great purge”
A little over half of SF’s Airbnb hosts registered, but the rest have slowly been removed over the course of several months, with the remaining 2k abruptly taken down on Tuesday.
San Francisco is in the throes of a housing crisis, marked by both a shortage of new units and skyrocketing rent prices (median rent for a one-bedroom apartment is now more than $3.5k per month).
With this new requirement in place, the city hopes to prevent short-term rental hosts from snapping properties off the market and Airbnb-ing them full time, further crimping the limited supply and further driving up rent.
Each light particle is polarized in a specific direction to represent a 0 or 1, creating a key that allows the sender to shoot a coded beam of light, which the recipient can then unscramble on the other end, provided they also have the key.
(Have fun whipping out that explanation at your next dinner party. Yawelcome.)
“So… why does it matter?’
Because quantum computers are coming, able to perform calculations at speeds today’s motherboards could only dream of. And when they get here, even our best encryption tech won’t stand a chance.
That’s why banks and governments in the US, China, and Switzerland are testing their own quantum encryption products, while private companies like Quantum Circuits have raised millions to develop quantum technology and compete with the likes of Google, IBM, and Intel.
Essentially, this crazy light-beam security is a line of defense against the supercomputers of the future.
Pass the popcorn: MoviePass plans to start acquiring and distributing their own movies
MoviePass, the monthly subscription service taking the theater biz by storm that allows people to see infinity movies a month for $10, has recently decided to create a new division focused on acquiring and distributing their own films.
The company reportedly announced their new subsidiary, creatively titled MoviePass Ventures, to a group of industry professionals during a panel at the Sundance Film Festival last week.
They’ve had a big year
Since drastically lowering their prices last August from a steep $50 a month to $9.95, the company has risen from obscurity to bring butts back to movie theaters across the country.
Last month, the company announced they had more than 1m subscribers, with the service currently accepted at 91% of theaters in the US.
Don’t go crying “disrupter” yet
As it stands, MoviePass buys up nearly 3% of all movie tickets in the US, which seems pretty high compared to their heroically low monthly charge for users.
With a single movie ticket nearing $18 in large cities, many speculate their stellar price point will be unsustainable — and that they’ll be forced to readjust, or “shut down completely.”
Technically they’re not making money yet, so acquiring films — and cutting out the distribution middleman — with MoviePass Ventures is likely an effort to increase revenue and use its subscription service as a mega marketing machine to their own movies in the future.
One story Sam always likes to bring up from the early days of The Hustle was the time I spent a good 2-3 hours trying to get a background gradient to work on a website footer.
It was beautiful. I felt like Patrick Batemen describing the subtleties of how the transition from dark to light blue perfectly accented the call to action.
Here’s a March 2015 capture from the Wayback Machine. Did it look nice? Sure. Was it groundbreaking? Definitely not. But I was still learning CSS, so cut me some slack.
And it changed how we thought about building the company
The biggest conflict between business-y and design-y types is when something’s “ready” to launch. Designers are artists who can spend days, weeks, or months working on something to get the details juuuust right.
Business-minded people, however, want to launch before you feel ready and start seeing results ASAP.
Like most of you, Sam and I met in the middle. At The Hustle, we invest time into planning and discussing early on, but try to produce something as quickly as possible, and adjust to feedback accordingly.
So my question is this: How do you balance the “paralysis of analysis” with pushing out a sub-par product? Is it simply a question of pride against results or is there something deeper?