As we’re sure you’ve heard by now, Shopify has reduced its staff (Shopifolk in Shopify parlance) by 10% across the organization, in a move that looks more like a reorg than it does a reduction of post-pandemic hires.
Some longtime friends and former colleagues have been caught up in the headcount reduction (read: layoffs), so this hits close to home. The pain may linger on a bit longer, too, with continued economic turmoil. We’re here for you, futurists. If you need a helping hand, or if you need a qualified intro to one of our 10,000+ subscribers, reply to this email and we’ll do whatever we can to help you in your next steps. Future Commerce Careers is also here as an option, especially if you’re in channel or partnerships. We’ve placed about eight people so far this year; it’s not much, but it meant the world to eight beautiful souls.
Part of the challenge that we’re all collectively facing right now is that we’ve romanticized eCommerce. It’s become so easy, so turnkey, that anyone can do it. And that’s a problem — the explosion of brands in the past five years was based on a romantic idea that anyone can be an entrepreneur, and every founder is an artist. But it seems there just aren’t enough customers willing to spend money online with this plentitude of brands.
The real Romantics are the fans who we’ve failed to convert as customers. They admire the products from afar and are unwilling to part with hard-earned money and buy the product.
We cover Romanticism in great detail with notable guests Michael Miraflor, Grace Clarke, and Miya Knights, on this week’s episode of the Visions Podcast. It’s worth your time. Take a listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
An Exercise in Brinkmanship. You’ve gotta respect the steel pair that Zuck was blessed with. Despite a flood of criticism, including the Jenners and Kardashians, this week Meta doubled-down on its plans to transform Instagram into a Reels-first platform to compete head-to-head with TikTok.
Editor’s Note: it would seem that Brinkmanship is hard at work in the world of Commerce today. Labor is organizing across the landscape — from Kellogg’s to Starbucks — and competition is heating up for Snapchat and Meta. In both cases management are digging their heels in, ready for a long battle with their customer or user base. It’s not often that the masses win these battles, either. Any sign of weakness in leadership will no doubt be taken into account by shareholders, and exploited by the picketing public. Watch this space.
Move over, Giza. The Saudi Crown Prince asked land developers in the northwest region of the kingdom to bring him an idea as ambitious as the Pyramids in Egypt. They are now planning to build a 75-mile-long skyscraper.
Makeup Moves. In its first move from a DTC makeup company to a retail partnership, Glossier has announced that its “Boy Brow” and other popular items will now be available at Sephora.
Goodbye, Choco Taco. In the saddest summer food news of the year, Klondike has confirmed that the Choco Taco has officially been discontinued. Some are drawing critique that this smells like a marketing stunt, especially considering the pervasive coverage by Tier-1 outlets. “I’m getting IHOB vibes,” said one commentator to me privately, referencing a stunt from 2019 that temporarily rebranded the storied breakfast destination into an International House of Burgers.
Skintelligentsia. Trader Joe’s $9 sunscreen has become an instant sensation, selling out across multiple stores, and finding its way into Twitter discussion threads and TikToks. Many users are also noting the similarities between Trader Joe’s gel sunscreen and Supergoop’s Unseen.
Dirtbags Are Back. At last, the uncaring comedic archetype is back on screen, which according to The Atlantic, has returned not a moment too soon. Maybe we’ve all needed the dumbassery of “dysfunction without drama” to help us deal with the world around us, from characters like Beavis and Butt-Head. As the article states: “We may not all wish to opt-out of society and shotgun Miller Lites while blasting Megadeth. But we can still define fulfillment for ourselves. This, ultimately, is the wisdom of the dirtbag.”