Maybe he really is ‘the King’


September 6, 2019

Today, plant-based shrimp gets a big backer and the camera industry needs a financial hacker, but first…

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LeBron James wants to own ‘Taco Tuesday,’ but he’ll have to go through Taco John’s first

Disclaimer: Taco John’s kept me from feasting on wild animals as a broke college student in ice-cold Minot, North Dakota. I simply couldn’t get enough of the Mexi-Rolls. Go Beavers, I guess…

                                                        …

Many of you have heard LeBron yell out “Taco Tuesdayyyyy!” in a Speedy Gonzalez voice on Instagram. That’s because he really likes tacos — particularly on Tuesdays.

Now, as USA Today first reported, Lebron’s LBJ Trademarks LLC filed to trademark rights to the phrase “Taco Tuesday.” 

Reeeel original, LeBron

“Taco Tuesday” was first trademarked in 1989 by the Wyoming-based fast food restaurant, Taco John’s. That trademark applies across the entire US, except in NJ (a small hotel in Somers Point, NJ, snagged ownership of the trademark — in the Garden State only).

But don’t expect Taco John’s to let its guard down on LeBron. Currently, there are 25 other filings — including the request by LBJ Trademarks LLC — either pending or dead.

Don’t get your tacos in a twist…

If it does work out for LBJ (as it so often does), he’s not looking to police the term. 

“The filing was to protect the company from potential lawsuits… it has nothing to do with stopping others from using the term,” a LeBron James spokesperson said.

In other words, the company wants to protect their star for using the phrase in certain forums — i.e., Instagram and other “entertainment services.”

Many taco die-hards are rooting for the LBJ-win

Gustavo Arellano, features writer at the LA Times and author of the book “Taco USA,” told the The New York Times he’s found American businesses highlighting Mexican food on Tuesdays as far back as 1933.

But, he argues, James’ effort to claim the term could prevent Taco John’s from hoarding the famous phrase and “free” it for use by all — regardless of how little The King actually knows about tacos.

   @ Me Anything
Wes Schlagenhauf, News Writer at The Hustle
@wesschlagenhauf

“Taco Tuesday” is tired. @KingJames should go for “Taco Thursday.” Matter of fact, he should opt to legally remove the “h” from Thursday while he’s at it. It’s better alliteration.
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Tacos for Tue!
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The Light Phone is the latest minimalist phone to launch with maximalist ambitions

There’s no need to go phone-free to experience a digital detox: Dumbphones are on the rise. 

These are a big step up from your old Nokia, but are people really willing to pay for a phone with fewer features?

How low-tech can you go?

The just-launched $350 Light Phone 2 makes calls, sends texts … and that’s about it. That’s also the point.

The original Light Phone was designed to let people leave the house without the burden of always-on email and apps. But with a phonebook limited to nine numbers, it wasn’t meant to replace smartphones. It was a means to unplug without going off the grid.

Demand was huge. Launched on Kickstarter in June 2015, it raised $400k and sold 15k units before orders stopped. Then, Light Phones went for triple the original price on the secondary market.

And Light Phone doesn’t have the market cornered 

The Steph Curry-sponsored Palm — not the ’90s tech company, but a new startup using the same name — sees itself as a smartphone complement. Other minimalist-feature phones include the Internet-free Punkt and the Android-supported Blloc.

With many people worried about screen addiction — research shows the mere sight of a smartphone lying facedown makes us feel anxious — many consumers may believe a dumber phone is a smart idea. 

After all, who among us hasn’t been guilty of mindless scrolling?

Does it have Snake?
If you’re looking for TV so good you’ll postpone plans for it, look no further:
Chappelle: Sticks & Stones image

Tyson makes a jumbo investment in plant-based shrimp

The protein-processing powerhouse, better known as the 2nd-largest processor of animal-meats, invested in a plant-based shrimp startup called New Wave Foods.

Investors ate up plant-based turf, now it’s time for plant-based surf

Tyson’s already been a part of the tidal wave of plant-based investment: The company holds a 6.52% stake in plant-based powerhouse Beyond Meat.

But, despite big interest in alt-burgers, few plant-preferring investors cast their nets widely enough to fund fake fish — which is where New Wave wriggles into the picture. 

“There’s a clear advantage to coming in and being the first disruptive shrimp,” New Wave CEO Mary McGovern told The Washington Post.

There are other (plant-based) fish in the sea… 

New Wave focused first on shrimp — which are consumed 2x as much as any other seafood in the US and whose price varies seasonally between $4-$11/pound.

But, down the line, New Wave plans to add lobster and crab to its company’s cocktail of crustaceans.

And, although New Wave is one of fastest-swimming startups in the growing school, other fake-fisheries including Finless Foods, Good Catch, and Tuno are also reeling in everything from petri-dish-caught tuna to seafood-free sashimi.

Fake fish are reel

Slumping camera sales are a sad snapshot of an industry out-selfied by smartphones

New data from the camera industry shows that camera sales have fallen from 122m units in 2010 to just 20m units last year. 

And that bleak picture is on track to get even uglier this year: There were only 7m cameras sold in the first 6 months of 2019.  

So, are cameras dead?

No, they’re just not standalone cameras anymore — they’re smartphone cameras. Interestingly, people are actually taking more pictures than ever before… but they’re increasingly taking them on iPhones.

Big camera companies are no longer competing against each other for market share — they’re competing against well-funded hardware giants like Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and Google.

And it’s not looking pretty. All of the 4 largest camera companies — Sony, Nikon, Canon, and Fuji — are posting continuing declines. 

But smartphones aren’t the only reason that traditional camera sales numbers have fallen out of focus…

Camera companies zoomed in on the wrong part of the picture

Rather than focusing on adapting cameras to changing customer preferences, they doubled down on features that no one asked for — extra megapixels over easy-to-use filters, fancy lenses over share buttons. 

And, as investor Om Malik points out, focusing on the wrong features not only repelled would-be customers who wanted modern cameras, it also drove up the prices of cameras from 2011 to 2019 — alienating even die-hard camera geeks.

Now, ironically, some of the only standalone cameras that are gaining in popularity are retro, nostalgia-inducing cameras like Leicas — which have hardly any of the bells and whistles that Sony and Nikon bet so big on.

Take a selfie, it’ll last longer
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