🚀 Shopify RSVPs "No" to meetings
Plus, Supreme makes a big move!
⚖️ SBF pleads not guilty. After being extradited from the Bahamas to New York, former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried pled not guilty to eight counts of fraud. He was released on a $250M bail package until his trial in October. In other FTX news, co-founder Gary Wang and Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison pled guilty and are cooperating with prosecutors. Wang faces up to 50 years in jail, and Ellison up to 110.
🛑 Shopify cancels meetings. Shopify’s New Year’s Resolution? No more meetings. CEO Tobi Lutke announced that all recurring meetings with 3+ attendees will be removed “in perpetuity” (they can be reconvened, if necessary, in a few weeks). Employees were also encouraged to leave large group chats. These moves are an effort to give Shopify’s 9,000+ employees more uninterrupted “maker time.”
👋 Katrina Lake returns to StitchFix. 17 months after stepping down as CEO, StitchFix founder Katrina Lake is returning to the company. StitchFix is in a tough spot, as revenue and subscriber count both fell in 2022 and the stock ended the year down 84%. Along with her return, Lake announced a 20% layoff and the closure of the company’s Salt Lake City distribution center in an effort to cut costs. Lake will remain CEO for six months or until her successor is appointed.
✍️ Bing rebrands with AI. Could Microsoft’s search engine make a comeback? Bing is launching with OpenAI’s ChatGPT this March, which could result in better quality search results and pose a challenge to Google. Google execs reportedly declared ChatGPT a “code red” threat to their search business late last year. If you’ve tried it, you understand why! The platform produces contextual, human-like answers to prompts, from solving math problems to writing full essays.
what we’re following 👀
How to plan for your company getting acquired, from a16z’s Alex Rampell.
Pinterest’s predictions for 2023, based on data of what 445M MAUs are saving.
Why are face filters suddenly blowing up on IG Reels?
This week in AI news - a recap of five stories you should be following.
You might be thinking - Shopify is already a huge player (with a $46B market cap!). The platform has 2M+ merchants and processed $175B in GMV in 2021. Why is it such a big deal that one new brand joined?
Supreme’s shift is illustrative of a broader and important trend - Shopify doubling down on enterprise. One of the long-standing questions about Shopify has been whether brands will “grow out” of the platform as they scale. If you’re a new brand, Shopify is a great way to get started. It’s intuitive to use, the templates make it easy to build a professional-looking store, and the App Store provides thousands of pre-built integrations for any service you might need, from reviews to discounting.
However, platforms like Shopify haven’t always been the best option for brands that want more customization, or have a complex shopping experience (e.g. Supreme’s drops model) that’s not supported by more rigid infrastructure. These are often, but not always, larger brands. To use a driving metaphor - guardrails are helpful when you’re learning how to drive, but might feel limiting when you’re a professional racer.
This need for customization has fueled the rise of headless commerce storefronts, which are more adaptable + promise faster load times by decoupling the front and backend of your site (more on headless vs. traditional commerce here). Shopify is pushing back, launching a modular stack that allows enterprises to pick and choose the components they’d like to use. As President Harvey Finkelstein tweeted: “It's like we're giving large retailers an F1 engine and letting them customize the exterior.”
Toy brand Mattel was one of the first to launch with the new stack. Other customers include Spanx, Steve Madden, and Glossier (which switched to Shopify in October). And the “cool” factor of Supreme takes this to the next level!
Having big brands on Shopify may also play into the company’s ambitions to evolve into a consumer-facing shopping destination. As Shopify starts to “carry” more of the brands that users care about, the Shop app becomes more compelling as a place to originate product searches - more on that here.
Costanoa Ventures is recruiting for its annual Access Fellowship, a summer program to learn the ropes of VC. Open to fellows in SF or remote. More info + application here.
Summit Partners - Growth Equity / VC Associate (Menlo Park, Boston)
Portex - Chief of Staff* (SF)
Quizlet - Strategic Finance Analyst (SF)
Vial - Product Manager (SF)
Curated - Business Analyst (SF)
Intuit Ventures - Senior Associate* (Mountain View)
Weee! - Associate Product Manager (Fremont)
Swimply - Biz Ops Associate (LA, Remote)
FJ Labs - Analyst (NYC)
Accrue Savings - Biz Ops Lead (NYC)
Primary Venture Partners - Operator in Residence, Fintech* (NYC)
*Expects 3+ years of experience.
HubSpot - Associate Product Manager Co-op Intern (Remote)
Hustle Fund - Growth Marketing Intern (Remote)
Dandelion Energy - Renewable Energy Intern (Remote)
ClassPass - Content Creation Intern (Remote)
Airbnb - MBA Strategic Finance & Analytics Intern (Remote)
Adams Street Partners - MBA Growth Equity Intern (Menlo Park)
M13 - MBA Investment Associate Intern (LA)
Peloton - Sustainability Intern (NYC)
Justworks - Business Analysis Intern (NYC)
puppy of the week 🐶
This weekend, we attended a dog show (!) for the first time - and wanted to spotlight one of the winners! Orso, a one-year-old Lagotto Romagnolo, won 11 different medals this weekend.
If you're not familiar with the breed, Lagottos are Italian truffle-hunting dogs that have made their way to the U.S.. Orso lives in Palm Springs, and is a true champion - his fancy show name is "Tenajeff's Dance With Me, The Tango."
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