It's like DIY Christmas
Job posting for the extreme introvert (in case regular social distancing isn't enough): NASA is seeking "social isolation experts" to spend 8 months alone in a Russian lab. Since Russian labs are ideal getaway destinations, the applications are probably flooding in quick. Nyet.
Markets ticked up Wednesday — the S&P 500 snagged its highest close in over two months as all 50 states have now eased stay-at-home orders.
Hold the (i)Phone... This could be "Bezos is worried"-worthy. Facebook unveiled a new product letting businesses set up full-on digital storefronts across FB/Instagram. It's called Facebook "Shops" — unexciting name, but spicier than Shopify's newly launched "Shop" app (the "s" is key). Shopify isn't (openly) mad though — it's actually partnering with FB, providing its ecommerce tech/platform to help get Shops up and running:
Let's see the receipts... Facebook couldn't have launched this at a better time. With businesses suffering from shutdowns (especially small ones), many who shrugged off the ecommerce life are now moving online out of necessity.
Social media + ecommerce is a powerful duo... And Facebook is already a Master of One. Many of our purchasing decisions are influenced by the things we see on social, partly because it's where we spend so much of our time. And while Amazon is the master of ecommerce, it doesn't have 3B users scrolling through its feeds for #inspo.
The "House Hype" is real... Not to be confused with Tik Tok-famous Hype House, where teens with millions of followers dance in bathrooms. The "House Hype" refers to the period of time during which we realized we'd be spending all our waking and non-waking hours in one place: the house. One beneficiary of that period was Lowe's — the big home improvement retailer is doing the Renegade dance to some hype-y numbers:
But... Lowe's earnings probably would have looked very different (read: bad) if it wasn't blessed with an "Essentials Club" membership. Some retailers got it (cough, Walmart), some didn't (cough, Kohl's).
The House Hype might be over... Lowe's CEO warned that such high sales growth likely isn't sustainable, and that sales could be moderate going forward (Lowe's stock dropped 4% — there's only so many times you can repaint a kitchen). That's the challenging part of success: it makes it harder to impress investors in the next quarter. Plus, if the housing market suffers on the currently staggering unemployment rate, Lowe's may too.
Ain't no crying in the club(house)... There's definitely no crying over at Clubhouse app, the buzzy new social media company that just hit a $100M valuation after raising $12M in funding. The audio app — which is still in beta — is currently only available to a select group of just 1.5K users (#exclusive). It's so stealthy that it doesn't even have a website yet.
The first rule of Clubhouse... Tell every reporter and celebrity about Clubhouse. The exclusivity, "novelty," and celebrity buzz behind Clubhouse likely helped it snag its latest funding round. TBD whether the app will survive past the hype.
Exclusivity as a product... If Clubhouse isn't able to scale beyond its "exclusive" user base, maybe it can charge member fees. This membership-based model that leverages exclusivity worked on some "selective" social/dating apps (like Raya). It's the opposite of the free, "as many users as possible" ad-reliant strategy of social giants like Facebook and Twitter. But if there's no demand for the product, neither strategy will work.
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