I Loveth Thy Large Hindquarters (and I Doth Not Tell Falsehoods)
We got the exclusive from Industry West’s CMO, Ian Leslie, on his return to the brand after 18 months. “I call it a sabbatical,” says Leslie in our most recent podcast.
Part of that sabbatical may have been enjoying the four-day workweek at Bolt, the one-click payments startup that was embroiled in controversy due to former CEO Ryan Brewslow’s tweetstorms. During Leslie’s tenure, he found that the four-day workweek was a little overhyped: “I think you should always leave people to keep their own schedule, whatever that may be, and trust them to get their work done,” says Leslie. “Four-day workweek notwithstanding.”
Ian has hot takes on Industry West’s move to Shopify, too; a move that happened during Leslie’s departure from the brand. “Shopify out of the box search, not amazing. Shopify out of the box you know merchandising, not amazing.”
In his former role as CMO, Ian Leslie piloted Industry West to win awards for its headless commerce build on Adobe Commerce in 2019. “You still need your partners and a lot of them may be the same partners that you use on [Adobe],” he says of the switch.
We go into great detail about his experiences at Bolt and #paid, as well as rethinking the playbook of the modern CMO in our most recent podcast.
Listen now, wherever podcasts are found, or by clicking on this link.
Corporations as Feudal Systems. According to recent reports, Google is struggling. Meanwhile, this brilliant theory has emerged on Microsoft’s opportunity, if not explicit strategy, to destroy Google.
Our Take: Google has employed AI liberally since its acquisition of Deepmind in 2014. From Maps to Gmail to Search itself, Google hires the best AI talent in the world because they have money that is tied back to its legacy products. Now the best AI talent is focused on building Maps and Gmail.
As Coinbase’s former CTO, Balaji Srinivasan put it, this is the “Network State” in effect: the idea that we are creating new societal hierarchies (not just communities) that are more finely divided by ideologies than by land, nationality, or patriotic pride.
The opportunity cost of what Google’s talent could have produced if they weren’t working on Maps has not been considered. Maps has the budget; Maps is the fiefdom. The budget owner is the lord of the land.
Toccata and Barbie in F Minor. Glass Onion reminded us what a fugue was, with a superb explanation by Yo Yo Ma. Now, YouTube creators are remaking arrangements of pop songs as fugues. Introducing: I’m a Barbie Girl in a fugue arrangement. Fuguecore. It’s a thing.
More Sights & Sounds. Someone coerced ChatGPT into role playing as God, and then got it to write a rap about loving big butts in biblical prose. Nissan has launched a 4 hour lofi stream. Retail sales in the U.S. showed a 3% jump from December to January. Scientists believe that the earth’s core may have paused its rotation in preparation to begin spinning in reverse. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy wants to augment the company’s focus on grocery physical stores. The Mayor of Orlando announced the opening of 2,500 jobs to help build the metaverse, solidifying the Florida city as the MetaCenter. And while we’re talking metaverse…If you’ve ever visited a Meow Wolf location, you know that it transports you to another world — one that the metaverse has yet to build. K-pop and web3’s relationship is… complicated. The Big Red Boot made its debut in the WWE superstar ring, helping Seth Rollings deliver a major stomp to the face. Anyone else notice the Fenty cameo in the Super Bowl Halftime show? Also, screen time usage is through the roof for ages 4-18, including TikTok absolutely dominating over Youtube. More in this ungated report.
Phashion Phorward. Louis Vuitton has named Pharrell Williams as its menswear Creative Director, filling the role left by Virgil Abloh. We can’t think of a better icon.
Plumage Plundering. Armed robbers are targeting people wearing Canda Goose coats in the D.C. area, taking the expensive pieces right off of people’s backs. Police are urging the parka wearers to stay vigilant as a string of robberies have been reported, noting “Property is not worth your life.”
Big Love, Little Candies. You ever notice that your big heart-shaped candy boxes seem a little lightweight? When you open you open your valentine and see there much fewer candies than you expected from the looks of the shelf space it took up, it’s not shrinkflation, it’s “slack-fill” — or deliberate over-packaging.
Super Sus. A couple in Tulsa, Oklahoma has been battling with Starbucks on an over $4,000 charge for two coffee drinks. The company is said to have sent checks to the couple to cover the charges, but the couple said the checks bounced. A representative at Starbucks has stated that new checks are in the mail. And while we’re talking Starbs, here is a look into all the updates to the company’s new rewards program.
Life-Changing Goals. Forerunner, the premier venture capital firm-cum-media brand, citing the fragility of our current societal systems combined with the human condition, plans to dedicate $250M to help solve the traditional core needs of humans in a complex and dynamic society.
This shift in thesis was forecast by Forerunner’s founder, Kirsten Green, in our most recent interview with her.