Kylie Jenner’s how-to guide for monetizing viral videos

October 24, 2019

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Today, Google takes its computing quantum and employers are scanning job applicants’ faces even when they don’t want ’em, but first…

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Behold: The Kylie Jenner playbook for monetizing viral videos

Have you ever wondered how celebrities capitalize on their time in the spotlight? Well, look no further than Kylie Jenner’s recent capitalization on the “rise and shine” meme for a complete how-to guide.

Sure, the Kardashian-Jenners are good self-promoters. But even for Kylie, going from a casual YouTube comment to a full line of merch and a trademark application in 2 weeks is damn impressive.

So, without further ado, here’s the Kylie Jenner playbook for monetizing a social media moment: 

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Step #1: Go viral

Good, bad, nude, clothed, funny, sad — none of that matters. The important thing is that people are watching (yes, being famous helps).

In this case, Jenner noticed that a moment from a recent YouTube video when she sings the words “rise and shine” had become popular on Twitter and TikTok — so she fanned the flames.

Step #2: Control the narrative

Jenner quickly turned the mix of fanmail and mockery into more media attention to expand her brand: She posted a picture of her face in a shining sun to her 149m Instagram followers and retweeted her favorite “rise and shine” parodies to her 28.9m Twitter followers.

Other celebs like Ariana Grande and Steph Curry spoofed the song in response, spreading the meme’s reach even further. Soon, #RiseandShine became the fastest hashtag ever to reach 1B TikTok views.

Then, the masterstroke: On Twitter, Jenner posted photos of 2 “Rise and shine” hoodies with links to

Step #3: Sell merch, baybeeee

Jenner sold out of the $65 hoodies — which are available in black and white — almost immediately.

But that’s only the beginning: The Hollywood Reporter reports Jenner filed to trademark her catchphrase, with plans to apply it to “cosmetics, belts, coats, dresses, footwear, gloves, headbands, jackets, scarves, sleepwear, swimsuits and undergarments, among other items of clothing.”

The trademark may not be accepted, but in either case, it’s clear Jenner plans to roll out plenty more “rise and shine” merch.

So even if people keep laughing at her over-the-top singing, she’ll be the one laughing all the way to the bank.

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This week’s Signal Airplane Cocktail Kit graph

Airplane Cocktail Kit

Tired of spending big bucks for a watered-down vodka-cranberry in the sky? You’re not alone. Search interest for airplane cocktail kits is on the rise. The best news is that a major company in the space charges $24 for its kit. There’s room for more players to come in at lower price points and to diversify the cocktail options.

Try for a buck

Google says it’s achieved quantum supremacy. Here’s what it means.

In a paper published Wednesday, Google announced it’s building a computer that can solve a quantum math problem in about 3 minutes. For comparison, the company says it would take the world’s largest supercomputers 10k years to solve the same problem. 

The news isn’t exactly surprising — the paper leaked on NASA’s website last month. But the announcement is the official rollout, with all of that classic Silicon Valley fanfare: a paper in the science journal Nature and a philosophical blog post from CEO Sundar Pichai. 

Ahhh, ‘Quantum of Solace’ — my favorite 007 movie

Spoiler: Daniel Craig’s not in this one. 

Quick physics refresher: Everything is made up of atoms. There’s a set of rules for how atoms typically behave. That’s physics. But when those atoms are in places that are either a) super small or b) super cold, all hell breaks loose. They behave in a completely different way. That’s quantum physics.  

How that applies to computers: traditional computers, like the one in your hand right now, process “bits” of information. Every “bit” is assigned a 1 or a 0. But in a quantum computer, where the environment is cold, small, or both, “bits” can behave like both a 1 and a 0 at the same time.

A very cold war, literally

To borrow one of Pichai’s talking points, this discovery is like the Wright Brothers’ first flight. A breakthrough… but not exactly applicable to much, and pretty much confined to the research lab. For now. 

Some people — cough, IBM — don’t think Google’s actually nailed it yet. But if quantum computers can actually be built, experts say they’d work exponentially faster than today’s supercomputers, breaking unbreakable codes and solving unsolvable math problems. 

Which is why companies and countries all over the world are competing to bring them up to speed. The US and China are pouring money into quantum computing, since researchers think quantum computers could eventually do things like break codes. Easily. 

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What data on 40m rides tell us about how people tip Uber drivers

To tip, or not to tip — that is the question.

In a new NBER working paper, researchers analyzed more than 40m Uber trips during a 4-week span in 2017 and looked at how much riders tipped, and how these tips varied based on a multitude of factors.

Turns out, most of us could benefit from a bit more generosity. Among the findings:

By one estimate, the average Uber driver in the US earns around $9.21 an hour after expenses like gas, service fees, and car maintenance. Many drivers say they rely on tips — first introduced to the Uber app in 2017 — to make a sustainable living.

On, a popular forum for rideshare drivers, one of the hottest topics is how to get riders to tip more often. Some suggest simple passenger-pleasers like phone chargers and mini water bottles; others are a tad more extreme. 

“Don’t unlock your doors unless they tip,” one poster advises a young gun. “It’s called the ‘No tip, no go’ strategy.”

Applicants must now impress a digital gatekeeper to land some jobs

As if job interviews weren’t stressful enough, meet the face-scanning system that may determine your professional fate. 

Grandma always said you get one first impression

HireVue launched its AI assessment service in 2014 as an add-on to its video-interview software. Since then, more than 700 companies have used it for almost 12m interviews worldwide. The practice is especially prevalent in the finance and hospitality industries, with Hilton, Unilever, and Goldman Sachs making up some of the biggest names in HireVue’s client list.

The system analyzes a job candidate’s facial movements, eye contact, word choice, speaking voice, and perceived enthusiasm to calculate an employability score. HireVue says a 30-minute assessment can yield 500k data points… greatly streamlining early hiring processes, especially for high-volume, entry-level positions.

Natch, not everyone is thrilled

Freaked out by the prospect of talking to a computer, some job applicants try weird tactics to improve their scores… like gluing googly eyes onto their webcams to make eye contact easier. TBD on whether that works — HireVue does not release scores to applicants.

Some AI researchers have dismissed the system as “pseudoscience” and worry the program penalizes non-native English speakers or visibly nervous candidates. Meanwhile, Illinois recently passed a law that requires employers to disclose the methodologies behind their AI hiring systems. HireVue likes to keep this stuff secret, so similar legislation in the future could spell trouble for the company.

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Are they laughing with you… or at you?

You’re in the middle of a terrible-quality video conference when the room on the other end bursts out laughing.

You break into a cold sweat. Did your perfectly-timed Michael Scott reference land? Or did the audio cut out right as you unconsciously picked your nose? 

Only time will tell… 

Fortunately, the days of debating whether you made a joke or you are the joke are over, thanks to everyone’s favorite nocturnal bird: The Meeting Owl.

The first-ever 360° smart video conferencing camera from Owl Labs is revolutionizing the way companies conduct e-meetings with:

  • Crystal-clear sound and video, so you never feel like you’re taking a meeting from your dad’s old Nokia brick-phone again 
  • Visual and audio cues, plus robotic algorithms to determine where to focus the camera, so you’ll always see who’s talking
  • Plug & play simplicity and compatibility with other platforms like Zoom, Skype, Hangouts, and Bluejeans 

What’s that all mean? For remote employees, it’ll be like you’re really there… and more importantly, you’ll know every time your jokes land. 

Make meetings a hoot
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