What You Need to Know Today: February 12

Good afternoon, Early Risers!

Here’s what you need to know


Facebook is re-testing SMS. Facebook wants to make Messenger your one-stop shop for all your communication needs. A few years ago SMS was part of Messenger, but because of the low user adoption, Facebook decided to drop it. Now Facebook thinks it’s time to give SMS another shot. Read more.

Pandora’s virtual firesale. “Would you like to buy a streaming music service? It has annual revenues of about $1 billion or so, and about 250 million registered users. Unfortunately, this company also happens to be losing about $10 million monthly, and there’s no sign of when the red ink is likely to stop,” says Forbes. Compelling offer, but I think I’ll pass. According to the New York Times Pandora has hired Morgan Stanley to shop the company around. Big things to consider: Apple Music has 10 million paying subscribers; Spotify has double that, plus 75 million active monthly users; Pandora has 80 million active monthly users. Buying over 200 million registered users could be profitable move for Apple, Spotify, or Amazon.


The flower delivery dilemma. “In 1910, a group of 15 American florists formed a cooperative, the Florists’ Telegraph Delivery service, to exchange orders. A customer in Denver would, for example, be able to walk into a local flower shop and arrange a delivery to a friend in Boston. The originating florist transmitted the order through the florists’ wire service and received a commission for the effort; the rest of the money was passed on to the fulfilling merchant,” says The New York Times. Florist’ wire services still exist today but take on a different, more evolved form. “If a shopper goes directly to a florist’s website, the store keeps most of the revenue from the sale. That calculation changes radically if buyers go through national merchants like 1-800-Flowers and FTD.com, or if they search for local sellers on Google and click the resulting ads, which are often placed by virtual companies with no inventory of their own. In all those cases, a big chunk of the transaction is captured by middlemen.” Full story.

+ Meet the flower delivery startup changing the game. “Would you rather be McDonalds (lots of sloppy “meh” options) or In-N-Out (limited menu with a cult following)?” says Sam Parr. “For flower delivery startup BloomThat, the choice was clear: In-N-Out.” Read more.

Kanye West is the new gold. Forget buying gold, silver, Bitcoins, classic cars, or traditional art, sneakers made by the greatest artist of the 21st century are what you should be investing in.


Why this ancient philosophy is making a comeback. “During the 1976 Olympics, Japanese gymnast Shun Fujimoto broke his right kneecap during his floor routine. Astonishingly, sickeningly, he continued to compete. During the rings, his final apparatus, he dismounted with a double twisted somersault. The landing sent forceful reverberations through the broken knee, ripping the ligaments and tearing the knee joints apart. Despite this, he ‘raised his arms in a perfect finish before collapsing in agony.’ His team won the gold medal. It is this kind of alien disregard for pain or human emotion — applicable perhaps only to a percentage of elite athletes, ‘stiff upper lip’ military and insane people — that comes to mind when I think of stoicism,” says Sarah Berry. More and more we’re seeing high-level athletes and executives adopting stoic practices to their daily routines. Here’s why.


The Kids Are Alright

If you were born between 1972 – 2000 chances are relatively high that you and your friends were up to no good in highschool. At least compared to today’s teens. See how you stack up.

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