Happy Wednesday, people. The week is half done. Or is it half not-yet-done? In either case, today:
- TikTok’s competitors are starting to attack
- Overzealous job titles have gotten pretty wack
- Craft Brew Alliance’s beer brands sold in the bargain rack
Growth Ninjas and Marketing Rock Stars and Brand Warriors, oh my!
Job titles can be… confusing.
What exactly is the difference between the Senior Experience Management Specialist and the Executive Vice President of Experience Management? Hard to say.
Often, identical job titles can mean wildly different things at different companies. As The New York Times wrote last week, the title of “Chief of Staff,” which seems to crop up everywhere, “can mean almost anything.”
But let’s be honest with ourselves: A title like “Chief of Staff” is hardly the strangest thing you’ll find in the dystopian bouillabaisse that is LinkedIn’s job section.
So today, we’re rounding up some of the strangest job titles the internet has to offer… and trying our best to make sense of them.
But first… why did businesses start looking for Wizards + Gurus?
Companies started posting jobs for Ninjas, Wizards, and Rock Stars over the past few years in order to stand out from other employers in tight labor markets –– and make it clear to applicants that they care about “culture.”
And despite indications that overly creative job titles are NOT an effective way to recruit top talent, the practice of posting bizarre job titles has continued.
According to the employment search engine Indeed.com, the number of job titles containing the word “Ninja” increased 140% between 2015 and 2018.
Last year, Ninja took the top spot as the most popular weird job title, followed by Rockstar, Genius, Guru, Hero, Wizard, and Superhero. But that’s just the beginning.
Here are some of the strangest job titles we found in the wild…
Followed by our best plain-English attempts to decipher what the jobs actually entail. Buckle up, rock stars:
- Inbound Shaman: AKA “digital marketer” (post)
- IT Prodigy: AKA “IT technician” (post)
- Brand Champion: AKA “PR strategist” (post)
- Phone Whisperer: AKA “cold caller” (post)
- Superhero: AKA “employee” (post)
- Jedi Knight: AKA “product manager” (post)
- Warehouse Warrior: AKA “physical laborer” (post)
- Sales Wizard: AKA “salesperson” (post)
- Machine Learning Evangelist: AKA “brand marketer” (post)
- FPGA Guru / HDL Gunslinger: AKA “programmer” (post) (From the post: “MS or PhD preferred… Extraneous interests in exotic plants, jet engines and curing meats would be kismet.”)
- Squire: AKA… Oh, wait a minute, this was actually posted by Medieval Times. Umm, never mind on this one (post)
My First Million
Xavier Helgensen was interested in social impact. $70M later… With Better World Books, he collected unused books from libraries, resold them and donated a portion of the profits back. Then he took on providing electricity in Africa with Zola Electric. Check out My First Million, to find out how he:
- 📚 Turned a college side hustle into a $70M business
- ✈️ Moved to Tanzania to be closer to his customers
- 💡 Sold electricity to people who never used electricity
- 🤝🧑 Learned how ‘Mutual Improvement Societies’ actually do change the world
What’s up, Doc? Google doubles down on patient data in partnership with Ascension
Since announcing their joint health care initiative in July, Google and US health care giant Ascension have been quietly ramping up their data collection project… and it’s a tad shady.
Under the deal (code-named “Project Nightingale”), Google provides Ascension with cloud-based storage and other tools to centralize their data management and streamline their patient care.
Google’s out for your blooooood (test results): Ascension’s care providers now upload patient medical information into the cloud-based Nightingale platform — which then uses machine learning to recommend personalized treatment plans, doctors, etc.
On one hand, it’s a much-needed face-lift for a fragmented industry
These infrastructure improvements have potential to improve treatment insights, diagnoses, and overall quality of care. So that’s super.
But it seems motives aren’t 100% pure: According to The Wall Street Journal, Ascension also hopes to uncover opps (e.g., expensive follow-up tests) to squeeze more revenue from patients.
Google’s power play is aimed at winning valuable market share as rival data giants, including Amazon and Apple, make similar industry forays.
Can I get a little privacy here?
No, no you really can’t. Turns out, Ascension hasn’t notified its doctors nor its tens of millions of patients that dozens of Googlers have their personal info.
Google — no stranger to security scrutiny — promises that patient info cannot be combined with Google user data or used for anything else… and we see no reason to mistrust big tech privacy assurances, so all good!
In short, these developments are stirring up a cocktail of truly exciting medical progress with a dash of impending data-driven doom.
|»||*Pops blood pressure pill*|
People everywhere are swearing by the jeans created by 3 former Under Armour execs
What if you could find the perfect pair of jeans — no need to break ‘em in, and as comfortable as your favorite athletic pants? Think they don’t exist?
Then you don’t know about Revtown.
How’d the founders pull it off? It all started at Under Armour HQ
While working for the performance athletic giant, the folks who would go on to start Revtown got accustomed to dealing with some pretty amazing materials. Materials that stretch, breathe, and move with you.
You know, materials that are not denim.
So when Henry Stafford, Steven Battista, and Matt Maasdam (who were UA’s Head of Product, Head of Brand, and Head of eCommerce Ops, respectively) left to start their own thing, they started by spending a full year inventing the perfect fabric.
One part denim, two parts athletic fibers, mix it ‘em all together…
And you get Decade Denim, their proprietary Italian-milled material that combines the classic look and durability of jeans with the comfort and performance of athletic wear.
That makes them the most versatile jeans in the world, equally comfortable hiking the Appalachian trail and blending in in the boardroom.
And the timing couldn’t be better — as more companies like Goldman Sachs loosen their belts a notch and allow denim at work, Revtown fills the niche of pants that look and feel the part.
A decisive dose of denim D2C magic
With all the quality that goes into each pair of Revtown jeans, you’d expect them to be at the higher end of the price scale…
But we’re in the days of D2C, baby — and that means no middleman mark-ups or crazy expensive prices.
The end result: The best pair of jeans you’ve ever worn for half the price of designer jeans.
|Bury me in Revtowns →|
US tech companies continue to challenge — and copy — TikTok
Which paves the way for a string of challengers
Launched in September 2018, the video-sharing startup Firework already has 3m users and adds about 500k monthly.
Even with growth as a goal, Firework has no plans to launch in China –– partly due to censorship concerns. But there’s more at play than moral scruples. TikTok already has the video-sharing market cornered in China, so focusing on markets like the US, India, and Brazil is a sound strategy.
Meanwhile, there are rumblings that Google might acquire Firework. The app currently is valued at over $100m, but a deal could drive that number way up.
Another video app that could chip away at TikTok’s dominance is Triller, which recently banked $28m in venture funding and has 13m users.
And a familiar face has joined the fray
Instagram just launched a new feature in Brazil. Reels allows users to create short videos, add music, and share them via the Stories feature.
While startups like Firework and Triller must reach more people to be competitive, Instagram has a ready-made base of 1B users… which could help it go toe-to-toe with TikTok, which boasts close to 1.5B users.
Limiting Reels’ release to Brazil might seem odd, but it gives Instagram the opportunity to work out any bugs before rolling it out to everyone. This strategy has worked well for Instagram before. It introduced Stories in markets that hadn’t yet been inundated by Snapchat.
|»||Takin’ on TikTok|
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Thirsty international booze baron buys beer brands at a big discount
Belgium-based international beer-hemoth Anheuser-Busch InBev purchased the remainder of Oregon-based Craft Brew Alliance for around $221m (the Big Bev giant already owned 31.2%).
AB InBev’s purchase price of $16.50 per share — a huge premium over the $7.33 share price at which CBA closed on Monday — sent the smaller company’s share prices up more than 120% yesterday.
It was a deal that had been brewing for a long time…
But it ended up with a very different flavor than anyone could ever have expected at the start.
Craft Brew Alliance — which consisted of Redhook Brewery, Square Mile Cider Co., Widmer Brothers Brewing, and others — partnered with AB InBev in 2016 for a 3-year distribution agreement.
That agreement gave AB InBev the option to buy Craft Brew for $22/share during year 1, $23.50/share during year 2, or $24.50/share during year 3. If AB InBev ultimately chose NOT to buy, it agreed to pay a $20m penalty.
But White Claw tore up the deal
The end of the 3-year partnership came last summer — at the height of the White Claw craze.
AB InBev, worried about declining beer sales across the board, decided to opt out and pay the $20m penalty.
Then, Craft Brew’s share prices went flat: Although stock prices had ranged between $12-$21 during the partnership, they dropped below $8 after the deal fell through.
So, after refusing so much as a sip a few months ago, AB InBev decided to swallow CBA’s marked-down beer brands in one gulp.
|»||Suds on sale|
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| Brad “Director of Smiles” Wolverton
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