A winner: IKEA, which announced last week
it would acquire online gig marketplace, TaskRabbit. This makes a lot of sense.
IKEA charges between $89 and 779 bucks to assemble furniture and delivery of
large items starts at $99. In contrast, TaskRabbit freelancers will bring your
table to your house and assemble it for 30 bucks an hour. The retailer registered
2.1 billion site visits last year, up 9 percent year-on-year and registered
more than 40 billion in global sales. Similar to Walmart acquiring ModCloth
and Bonobos, or General Motors and Ford investing in self-driving and rideshare
startups, IKEA recognizes that smart tech acquisitions can help Stella get her
groove back. “Bastard!” A loser: Society is engaging in the gross idolatry of youth.
The average age of a Cleveland Cavalier or Chicago Cub player is 29. The average
age of a Facebook employee? 28. Kraft Heinz – the 5th largest food company in
the world – recently named a 29-year-old, David Knopf, as its chief financial
officer. When times are bad, people look to gray hair for leadership. When times
are frothy, people look for youth. What’s the greatest asset of being a young CEO?
Typically not being hampered by history and research shows younger people are
more creative. However, there’s a downside to these young CEOs. They lack historical
context. 45 percent of Americans get their news from Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg,
while embracing the gross margins and the influence of a media company, seems
to be allergic to the responsibilities of the Fourth Estate. The American public
realized what was going on in Vietnam because of the New York Times and the
Pentagon Papers, and the Washington Post coverage of Watergate was the catalyst
that forced Nixon to resign. And by the way, Russia is not the place hosting the
World Cup. Russia is our enemy. Mark Zuckerberg – you are not a citizen of
the world – you are an American citizen. Start acting like it.
Another big winner: the kid everyone’s forgotten about or specifically, the big
tech company everyone’s forgotten about. Ranked third in global brand value – ahead of Amazon – Microsoft. Possibly the most overlooked tech giant. Despite
missing some of the biggest shifts in digital – namely search, social and mobile –
the company is thriving. The stock hit an all-time high on September 19th after 31
years of trading and boasts a 581 billion dollar market capitalization.
Cloud computing – a 20 billion dollar business from Microsoft – grew 97 percent
year-on-year and its LinkedIn acquisition added 1 billion in revenues
and now has more than half a billion members. New LinkedIn features include a
newsfeed and chat suggesting that Microsoft is borrowing from Facebook the
same way Facebook has borrowed from Snap. Snap claims two thirds of awareness lift
for Snap ads happen in the first two seconds and Facebook claims video ads
seen for less than two seconds drive sales. The key is taking people to a
better place within two seconds. We here at L2 are experimenting with two second
ad formats that take you to a better place. Oral. Sex. I think we have a best-seller. We’ll see you next week.