Vibhu Norby: “DTC has failed”
Happy Wednesday, futurists.
While markets have yet to find their bottom, the DTC Twitterratti have finally capitulated. This week, b8ta founder Vibhu Norby, in a seething critique of a Twitter thread, outlined the case as to why DTC has largely failed in its promise. It’s worth a read to understand the argument as to why Allbirds is now trading below $5.
Meanwhile, we here at FC have continued to challenge the “DTC QVC” narrative, as TikTok announced their plans to halt progress on their live stream shopping service in the US and Europe. This begs the question: “are we too early? or too late?” to build the same type of consumer culture that has been cultivated in China. While many cultural elements from Asia have become The Culture (manga, K-pop, and anime), stream commerce is one non-sympathetic influence.
Amazon Analytics goes IRL. Amazon is working toward more carbon neutral deliveries, and has launched these cute cargo bikes in the UK. The company also announced the launch of their new analytics service for physical retail stores.
Spytok? TikTok is no longer planning to expand “TikTok Shop” after influencers weren’t interested and the project failed to gain traction. Michael Miraflor said its a “bad sign for live stream social shopping in western markets,” while Shane O Leary noted, “what applies in China doesn't necessarily apply in other markets.” At the same time, the heads of both the FBI and MI5 have issued a joint warning about Chinese espionage, especially as it relates to intellectual property of Western tech firms. “As long as they keep giving me cute animals and people laying bricks they can spy on me all they want” says Phillip, who is ultimately part of the problem.
Delivery Wars. Walmart is making deliveries directly to your fridge available to Walmart Plus subscribers, as an added option for $7 a month. Meanwhile, Amazon has announced that prime members will get a free year of Grubhub+ just in time for Prime Day.
The New “Third Place”. Starbucks wants to help solve the EV charging station problem before it gets out of hand. With production of electric vehicles on the rise, we’ll need more charging stations across the United States. Starbucks already has 15,000 locations nationally, and stations are already difficult to find on long road trips. Brian Lange predicts that Starbucks is officially going to become the millennial gas station coffee.
Who Locked My Cheese? As the cost of living rises, Supermarkets in the UK have been called out for adding security tags to basic things like blocks of cheddar.
Bullying is now a Cybercrime. Japan passed a new law that goes into effect this week which makes posting insults online a crime. If convicted, cyberbullies can be fined up to 300,000 yen and spend a year in prison.
Real-Life Minority Report. At the Detroit Airport, Delta has partnered with Misapplied Sciences to develop a new face tracking departure board that displays individual content for each user scanning their digital boarding pass.