Carlos Ghosn, Chairman of Nissan, Mitsubishi, and CEO of Renault, was arrested by Japanese authorities yesterday for grossly underreporting his compensation.
Nissan’s chairman was arrested, and now his auto-cratic empire could crumble
Carlos Ghosn, Nissan chairman and emperor among plebes in the auto industry, was arrested by Japanese authorities yesterday for underreporting his compensation by $44m.
Oh, just $44m?
Now that his crimes are public, Ghosn — who was also CEO of Renault, chairman of Mitsubishi, and chairman of the largest auto alliance in the world — could see his car-making colossus collapse in a cloud of exhaust.
The car whisperer crashes at full speed
After joining a struggling Nissan in 1999, Ghosn turned the struggling car(maker) around by allying with Renault and later Mitsubishi to pool technology, components, and R&D.
Ghosn’s strategy — combined with remorseless cost-cutting — put the smaller automakers back in the fast lane.
Greedy CEOs aren’t too big too fail
Ghosn’s ruthless management style made him a cult hero in certain business circles: French entrepreneurs called him “le cost killer,” and Japanese fans fawned over a best-selling manga comic book about his life called The True Life of Carlos Ghosn.
Ghosn didn’t merely rule with an iron fist, he broke rules with an iron fist: Tokyo prosecutors say Ghosn failed to report about half of the $89m he brought home over 5 years, and Nissan revealed that Ghosn had committed “significant acts” of financial misconduct.
Nissan and Mitsubishi plan to oust Ghosn, who received $16.95m in compensation from the 3 automakers last year and has publicly fought to preserve his high compensation (Renault’s board is deliberating).
The ghost of Ghosn may destroy his own auto empire
Renault owns 43% of Nissan, Nissan owns 15% of Renault, and Nissan owns 34% of Mitsubishi.
Et tu, Mitsubishi?
Photo editing startup raises $60m to help us turn our faces into smooth, featureless eggs
Lightricks, the app developers behind photo editing apps like Enlight and Facetune, has raised a massive $60m round to help us blur acne out of existence.
In the age of the selfie, Lightricks’ apps have gotten nearly 7m downloads in the past 30 days (2m of which came from Facetune alone), and they’re on track to bring in $100m in revenue next year.
And they have a pretty lofty mission statement for an app that bills itself as a photo editor for “perfect selfies.”
Saving the world, one selfie at a time
The Israeli-based company was founded in 2013 by 5 entrepreneurs from the computer graphics, image processing, and AI fields who, according to Crunchbase, all “left promising careers in order to realize their dream.”
Apparently, the team of Ph.D. students, with their “30 years of combined experience in academics” and tech, was frustrated with “the gap between state-of-the-art algorithms developed in academia and the lack of powerful and user-friendly image editing tools.”
Translation: We left academia to make shit ton of money on an app that makes your teeth whiter than a seal pup on a snowdrift.
But, there’s no question, they’re killing it
The AI-based tech underpinning the app is valuable in itself, and Lightricks’ founder says the company is profitable with almost a million paying subscribers and 270% revenue growth year-over-year.
Lightricks will use the funding to double the size of their 300-person team, while continually updating their product — and our faces.
|»||Don’t count your faces before they hatch|
Wonolo raises $32m to help big companies find good ol’ gig workers
Wonolo, a startup that helps large companies find temporary contract workers, raised $32m to keep up with its growing business (on top of the $13m it raised just 7 months ago).
Wonolo’s app now has 300k workers on its platform, and its clients include Coca-Cola, Papa John’s, and Uniqlo, as large companies enter a new era of contract workforces.
Remember the gig old days?
Before US streets were filled with burrito-bearers, drunchie-deliverers, and ride-sharers, thousands of contractors already worked in the manufacturing, retail, and shipping industries. And, despite the continued need for these original gigsters, few apps have emerged to assist them.
Wonolo (whose name is a contraction of ‘Work-Now-Locally’) wants to change that: Its platform caters specifically to “industries left behind by Silicon Valley’s future of work technologies.”
A faster way to find workers
Wonolo screens workers via a background check and personality quiz, then lets them take jobs on the platform on a first come, first served basis (gigs average $14/hour).
Of course, Wonolo takes a cut: charging clients 45% of what it pays each employee. In the past year, Wonolo’s revenue doubled, and now Wonolo hopes to attract more Fortune 500 clients.
But startups like ShiftGig and WorkHands have launched similar platforms, and tech giants are also building contract solutions (Uber is testing “Uber Works” and both Google and Facebook are testing similar products).
|»||The gig is up|
The company Airbnb is using to help nomadic tribes host guests
Finding an Airbnb in an unfamiliar place can be challenging — especially when your rental is hosted by nomadic reindeer herders in Mongolia.
But a recent partnership with UK-based geocoding platform what3words is likely to make life easier for off-the-beaten-path trekkers and Airbnb hosts in remote areas.
What the what?
Traditionally, it’s been tough for off-the-grid, nomadic hosts to post listings on Airbnb — partly because when you’re in an area without street names, you have to rely on encoding processes that mark locations using super long, confusing strings of numbers and letters.
Instead, what3words divides the world into a grid of 57 trillion 3 meter by 3 meter squares and assigns each a unique 3-word address (the torch on the Statue of Liberty, for instance, is “toned.melt.ship”).
This simplification enables travelers to meet up with hosts at hyper-specific locations…
Like the edge of a Mongolian forest
A recent listing — dubbed “the most remote Airbnb in the world” — offers a stay with a nomadic reindeer herding family in Mongolia.
Visitors can use what3words to pinpoint a meetup location in the forest, where they are escorted, on horseback, into a teepee camp in the mountains. Once there, you can guzzle reindeer milk tea to your heart’s content.
It’s part of Airbnb’s larger effort to help rural communities — often neglected by Big Tech — use the platform as a form of “economic empowerment and community development.”
|»||Reindeer milk for days|
Why do your dress shirts suck so much?
It’s a simple question with a not-so-simple answer.
Frankly, we’re not quite sure who decided button-ups should be stiff, hot, and impossible to keep tucked in when the board meeting calls for it.
What we do know is Mizzen+Main is changing that, one great-looking, better-feeling dress shirt at a time… and boy are we happy about it.
The best damn dress shirts start with performance material
Because your gym clothes shouldn’t have all the fun.
Using their special performance fabric blend, Mizzen+Main designed a dress shirt that keeps its crazy-fresh-pressed look all day long.
That very 22nd century material is what makes these shirts wrinkle-and-crease-resistant, moisture-wicking, and four-way-stretchable (among other hyphenated adjectives we don’t have room for).
The best part? No dry cleaning. They’re machine washable and don’t require irons, so you’re just a spin cycle away from a “fresh out the dry cleaner” look.
It’s why *name drop alert* guys like J.J. Watt and Phil Mickelson opt for Mizzen+Main over countless other performance shirts.
Get your hands on a Mizzen+Main shirt today and feel the better life for yourself.
|‘Til You Can’t Get Enough, Harem. “We play sexy music and you do sexy things!” — Harem on their sonic aesthetic.|
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|Lindsey “What’s $44m amongst friends?” Quinn
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