“Do mental illness and retail entrepreneurship go hand-in-hand?” by Tom Ryan via Retail Wire

“Do mental illness and retail entrepreneurship go hand-in-hand?” by Tom Ryan via Retail Wire

Andy Dunn selfie from June, 2018 – Source: Twitter/@dunn In his book, “Burn Rate: Launching a Startup and Losing My Mind,” Bonobos co-founder and former CEO Andy Dunn opens up about his bipolar disorder diagnosis, exploring the inherent challenges as well as how it fueled his entrepreneurial spirit. On the positive side, Mr. Dunn writes in the book that his “controlled hypomania” helped him work long days and generate “kinetic positive energy” to inspire his staff, recruits and innovation. He writes, “Everything is clicking, everything is making sense, life has purpose. Colors seem brighter; gratitude flows. This is the zone where creativity and productivity flourish.” Mr. Dunn hit a low point about a year before Bonobos’ 2017 sale to Walmart when he spent a week in a psychiatric ward and faced assault charges for hitting his future wife and kicking her mother. The book brings up the fate of Tony Hsieh, who died a few months after stepping down as Zappos’ CEO from injuries in a house fire following a drug spiral. Mr. Dunn told CNBC, “He was a hero to me. And then, obviously, he had been privately suffering. I think that’s a part of the typical entrepreneur archetype, someone who’s got that — a brilliant, charismatic spirit. And it’s expected, right? You got to show up with that every day, and that’s inhuman to expect out of anyone.” A UC Berkeley study found that 72 percent of entrepreneurs are directly or indirectly affected by mental health issues compared to 48 percent of non-entrepreneurs. Of the entrepreneurs they studied, 30 percent had a history of depression, 29 percent had ADHD, 12 percent had...
“Surf Cams Might Be Secretly Ruining Your Session” by Ella Boyd via The Inertia

“Surf Cams Might Be Secretly Ruining Your Session” by Ella Boyd via The Inertia

Yes, you can see yourself surf. But do you want to see yourself surf? Photo: Screenshot//Surf Cam Rewind Why do we surf? Is it to escape reality and enjoy a connection with nature? Is it to challenge your personal limits, try new tricks, and progress as a surfer? Is it to “get away from it all?” With surf cams, and especially with the rewind function, all but one of those options are ruled out, leaving room for only hyper fixation on performance and an unnecessary obsession with personal appearance. In California, at least, surfing and filming are so heavily intertwined (Bruce Brown recorded The Endless Summer over three decades ago!) that one almost expects to spot at least one or two people pointing handycams in their general direction from the water. And this is fun, most of the time.  Walking down to the water through little groups of people basking in the sun, holding up vintage camcorders and squinting to find their surfer in the lineup is not only endearing, but nostalgic for a time where the only way to capture a moment was to grab your friend and give them a camera. Or, if you’re good enough, to be recorded for a surf film.  Being from Maine, I’ve not only accepted but even come to appreciate filming as another part of California surf culture. What I have not accepted, however, is the obsession with cam rewinds. In my experience, cams drain surfing from everything that makes it enjoyable. Back home, surfing was truly an escape. There was a cam for the local spot, run by some real estate guy, and sometimes...
“Buy now, pay later players’ losses grow as costs soar” by Jonathon Berr via Retail Dive

“Buy now, pay later players’ losses grow as costs soar” by Jonathon Berr via Retail Dive

Don Arnold via Getty Images BNPL providers are paying a hefty price to keep up with surging consumer demand for their financing services, spending large sums to add new tech and more employees. The buy now, pay later boom had an inauspicious debut more than a decade ago. In 2005, three Swedish entrepreneurs, Sebastian Siemiatkowski, Niklas Adalberth and Victor Jacobsson, decided to see if their installment payment loan service, then called Kreditor Europe and now called Klarna, would attract the attention of investors attending a Shark Tank-like contest in Stockholm.   As Klarna’s website points out, Klarna came in last place. A person in the audience, which included Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf, came up to Siemiatkowski and told him he should pursue the idea because the banks would never do it. Klarna’s website asks for the man to come forward and identify himself because the founders have no idea who he is and presumably want to thank him.  BNPL has morphed from a shopping novelty to a multibillion industry on three continents in less than 20 years. Its explosive growth hasn’t been cheap. None of the major pure-play BNPL competitors, including Klarna, Affirm, Afterpay and Zip, currently is profitable. And some of their merchant clients are starting to wonder if they are paying hefty fees to the BNPL fintech companies for sales they would have gotten anyway. At the same time, regulators such as Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra have raised concerns about whether consumers are becoming too indebted from using the installment payment services. Plus, industry competition and consolidation are mounting, as new entrants flock to the U.S., where penetration rates for the installment financing service are lower...
“We Spoke With Joel Tudor and a WSL Insider About Tudor’s Suspension; Here’s What They Had to Say” by Alexander Haro via The Inertia

“We Spoke With Joel Tudor and a WSL Insider About Tudor’s Suspension; Here’s What They Had to Say” by Alexander Haro via The Inertia

After Joel Tudor was suspended indefinitely by the World Surf League, we caught up with him to hear his thoughts. Photo: Thomas Bennett//WSL Joel Tudor, three-time and reigning world longboard champion, was suspended from competition this week by the World Surf League. The suspension could be seen as a drastic measure, considering that a world champion hasn’t ever been suspended from competition before. In short, Tudor called the World Surf League out for a variety of reasons that centered around equality and the number of longboarding events on tour. A WSL insider, however, told us his suspension stemmed from the fact that he called the League out. “The suspension is the result of a now-deleted post,” the source said, “that included baseless accusations of corruption and personally attacked the head of tours.” Tudor’s conduct apparently prompted the ruling, with the WSL citing a violation of its rule book: “Sportsmanlike conduct (14.02), damage to surfing’s image (14.04), and verbal assault (14.08).” With that as a backdrop, I spoke with Joel on the phone to get his thoughts on the whole debacle. When we talked, it was early morning in Hawaii, where he’s vacationing with family. After a bit of banter about trivialities, Joel and I bit into the meat of the call. Shortly after, I spoke with a WSL insider to get both sides of the story. As is the case with most things, the truth probably hangs somewhere in the balance. What are your thoughts on the suspension? Joel Tudor: That was kind of funny, wasn’t it? I just think there’s a mix up in priorities. You can shoot your board and try and stab someone...
“What Happened to Authentic Streetwear?” by Mikelya Fournier via The Robin Report

“What Happened to Authentic Streetwear?” by Mikelya Fournier via The Robin Report

Everywhere you look, you see the same jogger outfits with predictable brand logos on display for the world to see. If you stop and ask the wearer about it, they’ll harp on the fact that they waited for hours in a digital waiting room just to have their chance to purchase it for the insane price of $250. What makes this even more bizarre is that the same jogger set will be available in a few more weeks in a different color. Streetwear Loses Its Luster Consumers are being snowed into believing streetwear is only about exclusivity. They’ve become accustomed to buying into variety rather than voice and vision. I never thought I’d see the day where streetwear was no longer for the streets. The market is now flooded with overpriced branded “merch” disguised behind streetwear’s business model. Or we see luxury collabs that exclude the communities whose DNAs were embedded into the original soul of streetwear. The creative expression that drove society-altering messages within streetwear is slowly dying out. Does Fashion Even Understand Streetwear? Streetwear began as a safe haven for underrepresented communities who didn’t have access to mainstream fashion. Although we give much due credit to trailblazers such as James Jebbie of Supreme and Shawn Stussey of Stüssy for giving streetwear the steam it needed to evolve, we have to remember that streetwear culture reaches back beyond the early 90s. During the birth of hip hop in the late 70s and early 80s, rappers were gaining traction and their lifestyles became the focal point of their fans. Despite having a rapidly growing community, mainstream brands were apprehensive to work with rappers because...
“Should retailers add RFID to their marketing toolbox?” by Tom Ryan via Retail Wire

“Should retailers add RFID to their marketing toolbox?” by Tom Ryan via Retail Wire

Radio frequency  identification (RFID) technology is once again being viewed as a solution for item-level inventory tracking, but its side benefits in marketing, analytics and research are also gaining attention. Potential applications in the past included automatic reordering of basics such as orange juice or razor blades as RFID chips inside products indicate when quantities are running low. Brendan Witcher, vice president, principal analyst at Forrester Research, however, recently told Advertising Age that RFID would more likely be used for marketing in stores since they’re already outfitted with readers. Stores could use RFID to see what items are being loaded in shopping carts together and send promotional offers for related items. Retailers could track a shopper’s path and gain insights on how picking up one item or being exposed to an offer influences the rest of their shopping journey. The tech could also help accelerate the implementation of automated, touchless checkout. A McKinsey study last year likewise noted several “last mile” advances involving RFID that “can attract customers looking for dynamic new experiences, drive revenue and yield valuable behavioral insights.” RFID, for example, could support “smart” fitting rooms, where shoppers get customized information about other sizes and colors in stock, learn how to style a garment and receive personalized recommendations to complete their look, according to McKinsey. Reports arrived last year revealing that RFID use in North American retail had significantly gained adoption as stores implemented their use to improve in-store inventory accuracy when fulfilling online orders for pickup or delivery. Retailers employing RFID tend to have in-store inventory accuracy of approximately 95 percent or higher compared to about 65 percent for those without,...