Each week we feature our “Friday Top Five” stories, which highlight five things we thought were interesting, notable, or culturally significant. This week we are showcasing stories on platforms that empower users, workforce enablement with WordPress and Microsoft, and how we could be seeing a change in ownership with MyFitnessPal.
You can get this episode and all previous episodes on such great platforms as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher Radio, and Overcast. Don’t forget to hit that subscribe button and have all the episodes downloaded automatically to your device.
Stream and Download the Episode Below
Story-1:: Special a streaming platform
Overview: Helping independent creators and production companies earn subscription revenue and reach audiences worldwide. Independently turn your content into profit while keeping full ownership and control of your brand, catalog, and data. Monetize your content directly through monthly recurring revenue from your most loyal audience.
Why It Matters: For me this is really the tale of two cities. The first is Youtube.com, the second is Twitch.com. Some context, Youtube has long been the king of the castle when it comes to pre-recorded video streaming on the internet. Then came Twitch which is arguable the Top-Dawg when it comes to live video streaming. So where does Mixer.com come into all of this and why does it even matter to a platform like Special. Well, hold tight and I will try to tell you. Mixer, owned by Microsoft tried to buy its way into relevance by signing a big name in Ninja (yup that is the guys screen name/brand name, don’t ask). Microsoft paid him ~$30M to come onto their platform in hopes he would bring his audience with him. The experiment failed and Microsoft is throwing in the towel with Mixer and Ninja gets that money for nothing…. But this story isn’t about him and the bag of money he gets to take home to the bank. This is the story is explaining that if you don’t have a platform that people know about and come to, no amount of monetization matters. So that is why when I see platforms like Special and get hopefully optimistic but know that if you don’t get the eyeballs on your platform, the creators will stay put and not move from old faithfuls like Youtube.com and Twitch.com.
Story-2:: WordPress Enters Collaboration
Automattic is an office-less, globally distributed company, and P2 is our lifeblood. We built it to give everyone a place to see all of their projects and files, collaborate transparently, and to do it all without constant distractions. P2 organizes all your files, projects, and conversations on one screen, so your team can collaborate from anywhere. It’s perfect for remote teams, digital nomads, extended families — anyone who doesn’t like email or meetings (i.e., everyone).
Why It Matters: I spend so much of my day-2-day talking to individuals, owners, and operators about elastic workplaces solutions (#WorkForceEnablement) that I like to keep my eye on who is coming up with something new, fresh, and different. As a 15+ year user of WordPress to power my personal site (ReedDailey.com) and this site (DaileyBlend.com) I must admit I am curious, like really curious. Where MS/Slack/Meets want to play on their eco-system. WordPress has long be open source advocates and that think different mentality might just be what is needed to crack the nut that the water-cooler chat that can’t seem to be replicated in the digital world.
Story-3:: Playbook, a creator platform focused on fitness, raises $3 million in seed
Overview: The startup, co-founded by Jeff Krahel, Michael Wojcieszek and Kasper Odegaard, takes a 20% cut of customer fees, with the rest going to creators in two different forms. The first is based on the creator’s own community that they bring to the platform via a custom link, in which case the creator owns the economics there. This means that, even if a user wanders from their original creator on the platform to another, the original creator still gets an 80% cut from that user. For users that are brought on to the platform by Playbook, and then select a creator’s content, Playbook pays out the creator based on seconds watched.
Why It Matters: Similar story to story-1, this platform is about providing a platform for individuals to build brands and monetize their efforts. Right now, the only way for individuals to really do this is to build/white-label a mobile app and or upload it to youtube. What will be interesting to see if platforms like this can create stars or attract stars from other platforms like Peloton, Nike, and SoulCycle to create content on this platform in a D2C go-to-market approach?
Link: Article Linked Here
Story-4:: Under Armour wants to sell MyFitnessPal app: Report
Overview: Under Armour has had some missteps in terms of where they have deployed resources and some off the field activities. They have been attempting to break up with some of their larger sports sponsorship contracts and have been rumored to be looking to sell MyFitnessPal.
Why It Matters: In terms of potential buyers, I could see a LuLu Lemon be interested in buying this solution, both due to the fact that they have the capital needed, and it is a natural brand extension. I also could see a company like Peloton who is a tech company at its core, say, MyFitnessPal is not the shinning asset it once was, let’s go ahead and create our own version of the solution and leverage our existing user base to spread the good word and try to capture market share away from MyFitnessPal/UA who are currently viewed as no longer the “cool kid” if you will.
Link: Article Linked Here
Story-5:: Microsoft to Launch Lists
Overview: Lists is Microsofts answer to Monday.com, SmartSheets, and for smaller projects MS-Project.
Why it Matters: For projects SmartSheets and Monday.com have a compelling offering that knocks the socks out of MS-Project. Then solutions like Jira and Trello have better task management solutions that MS-Planner. So when I saw that MS was releasing a competitor to Monday.com and SmartSheets I rejoiced. While I haven’t yet been able to use Lists, based on the videos from MS, I think this could be a slam dunk of a tool, the added fact that it works inside a MS-Teams environment only further demonstrates it likely power.
Link: Article Linked Here
Story-5+1:: SID & Matt
Overview: Sid Mashburn is, in my opinion, one hell of a cool guy with one cool a$$ store and brand to boot. Matt Hranek has a pretty incredible brand/story / and magazine and if you like Negronis, well you might as well call him King. While I don’t technically know either of them, thanks to Instagram, I feel like they are both my big brothers. With Matt providing some damn good food and adult beverage recipes recommendations since the start of COVID direct to my DM and Sid provide the tunes.
Why It Matters: In COVID times, everyone needs a pick-me-up and these two are some of the finest at doing just that. To boot both have fantastic and exceptional styles so if you are like me, you pick up a few dressing and entertaining tips.