Chip Wilson with several look-alikes at his book release pop-up in SoHo. Photo: Mark Abramson Chip Wilson is the founder of Lululemon Athletica, but you probably remember him as the guy who resigned as the chairman of Lululemon’s board after suggesting, more or less, that problems with some of the company’s pants were due to women’s being too fat for them, and not to inferior materials. “There has always been pilling,” he told then-Bloomberg Television anchor Trish Regan in 2013. “The thing is that women will wear seat belts that don’t work or they’ll wear a purse that doesn’t work or, quite frankly, some women’s bodies just don’t work for it.” Part of his argument was that some women’s thighs were rubbing together, causing the pants to pill. This diagnosis of user-error-through-thiccness was received poorly by the company’s customer base. Lululemon had already faced turmoil in the lead-up to … [Read more...] about Lululemon’s Chip Wilson Is an Unlikely Empowerment Guru. That Could Be Why He’s a Billionaire.
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Elizabeth “Beezer” Clarkson Contributor Elizabeth “Beezer” Clarkson is managing director of Sapphire Ventures. More posts by this contributor Why founders should care where their VCs get their money Dear VCs, there’s something you need to know about raising funds this year In the United States, VC funds raised a whopping $40.6 billion in 2016. It was the largest year for VC fundraising since 2000 when the venture industry raked in a jaw dropping $101.4 billion. Yet the 2016 exit market was a mixed bag. Despite many forecasting (hoping?) that herds of unicorns would enter the public market in 2016, the IPO market was lackluster at best. There were only 31 U.S. VC-backed IPOs, down from 76 in 2015 and 121 in 2014 (by far the highest number of offerings in recent history). For first time since 2008, not a single IPO in 2016 saw more than $250 million raised, and only four offerings raised more than $100 million. For the IT sector … [Read more...] about Venture capital in 2017 is when the rubber hits the road for returns
Nothing to see here. Photo: ChinaFotoPress/VCG via Getty Images Elon Musk is full of surprises. The surprise this time is he’s provided Tesla investors with a very positive surprise. When Tesla announced late Monday it would announce third-quarter financial results earlier than expected, the company’s stock jumped with investors’ anticipation that might mean better-than-expected results. And then when the company announced it’s finally profitable, the stock rose again. All told, the stock price is up 17 percent since Monday’s close, as the good news gradually unfolded. What strikes me about Tesla’s earnings announcement is how normal the story of how the company became profitable is. Tesla was losing money when it was spending heavily on research and development and incurring a lot of up-front costs to build out the capacity to sell a mass-market car, but was not yet actually selling the car en masse. In the third quarter, Tesla achieved critical … [Read more...] about Elon Musk and Tesla Want You to Know They Are Normal Now
Eat less meat and fish, drink less milk. No request could be simpler, or more consequential. Nothing we do has greater potential for reducing our impacts on the living planet. Yet no request is more likely to elicit a baffled, hurt or furious response. This point comes across with astonishing force in the film Cowspiracy. I would question some of the figures it uses, but its thesis – we just don’t want to talk about it – is undeniable. Leaders of the big US green groups either avoided the film makers like the plague or smiled and shook their heads when asked about livestock. State officials were struck dumb by the question. Climate change, water use, forest destruction, river pollution, floods, dead zones in the sea: the impacts of animal farming are massive and global; in many cases greater than those of anything else we do. But we don’t want to know. Livestock keeping is so embedded in our cultural and religious identity that to challenge it is, it seems, to … [Read more...] about Think dairy farming is benign? Our rivers tell a different story