This edition of The Hustle was brought to you by Goldman Sachs… Tackling the gender investing gap.
2019 was one for the books, folks. From CBD dog treats to Amazon drone fleets, a lot has changed in not a lot of time.
Today, we’re looking back at:
The average Joes who became scooters’ worst nightmare
The renegade restaurateur who gave Yelp a scare
How investment-grade sneakers ended up everywhere
And looking forward to:
The continued rise of gender neutral athleisure-wear
Enough dad jokes to make you pull out your hair
So stay curious, because things are only gonna get weirder in 2020 — and we’ll see you right back here next year.
A look back at the biggest news of 2019
In 2019, the world obsessed over which Fyre Festival documentary was better, how that coffee cup ended up on the set of “Game of Thrones,” and whether it matters that Baby Yoda isn’t the real Yoda.
But on top of all the fun and games, there was a lot of big news.
Here are some of the biggest business and tech stories that defined this past year — and will shape the next one:
Facebook’s co-founder (and others) called for its breakup. The company’s co-founder (and Zuckerberg’s college buddy) Chris Hughes called for stricter regulation of Facebook — which he sees as anti-competitive — in an alarming opinion piece.
The IPO boom was… anticlimactic. Despite huge expectations, many companies that hit the public markets in 2019 — Slack, Uber, Lyft, and Pinterest — declined sharply after their debuts.
The streaming wars got serious. After months of hype, Disney+ finally launched in November — and signed up more than 10m subscribers. Now, Netflix, Amazon, NBC, HBO, and Apple are all promoting their streaming offerings going in to the coming year.
WeWork didn’t really “work.” After filing for an IPO with an expected valuation of about $47B, WeWork’s value plummeted to less than $5B, which prompted the cancellation of its IPO and a takeover by its main investor, SoftBank.
People drooled over food delivery. With 50%+ of restaurant spending expected to be “off premise” in 2020, the growth of food delivery giants exploded in 2019. DoorDash led the way with 33.8% market share and 113% year-over-year growth.
Boeing had a bad year. After the crashes of 2 of its jets resulted in 346 deaths, Boeing spent most of 2019 doing damage control. With less than 2 weeks left in the year, the company fired its CEO.
People started paying more attention to privacy problems. After VICE and the NYT revealed cell phones allow both bounty hunters and Amazon to monitor consumers, most Americans (62%) now believe it’s impossible to get through the day without being digitally tracked.
Tech employees (and others) got a little ornery. Contract workers at Google, warehouse workers at Amazon, and others protested unfair working conditions in 2019. Meanwhile, employees at Google, Microsoft, and Palantir demanded that their employers terminate contracts with ICE and Customs and Border Control.
The world got its first $2T company. After Apple did the unimaginable and became the 1st trillion dollar company in 2018, several others (Amazon, Microsoft) hit the mark — and at the end of 2019 oil giant Saudi Aramco hit the $2T mark on its 2nd day of trading.
After trade war tumult, the economy… did really well. Despite a roller coaster of trade turbulence related to an ongoing tariff tiff between the US and China, America’s economy reached its longest expansion in history in the 3rd quarter of the year — and seems poised to continue climbing.
Goldman Sachs is investing $500 million in women-led businesses
Investing in women is smart business, which is why Goldman Sachs is narrowing the gender investing gap through Launch With GS — their commitment to invest $500 million in women-led companies and investment managers.
There’s power in numbers
To help facilitate connections, share ideas, and uncover opportunities, Goldman Sachs is also working to build a global network of entrepreneurs, investors, and other business leaders.
Tackling the gender investing gap is a challenge too large to take on alone, but Launch With GS feels like a giant step in the right direction.
Alabaster is updating the centuries-old religious text for the Instagram age, selling out 10k copies. Hundreds of other books are ready for their own hip makeovers, including works by Mark Twain, H.G. Wells, Edith Wharton going public in 2020.
Gender neutral clothing and related products: According to Pinterest, in 2019 searches for gender neutral haircuts were up 625% and searches for gender neutral kids’ clothes were up 119%.
American bath culture: Who knew the rubber duckie would make a comeback? But in our divisive times Americans are trying to get submerged in bath water. On Facebook, conversations about bath-adjacent ingredients, like sea salt and chill-out music, were on the rise.
Acne solutions: Skin care addiction was the most popular beauty-related community on Reddit last year. Within skin care topics, cystic acne and acne ranked in the top 5.