Ice ice baby
As it heats up outside, few things sound more refreshing than a fresh iced coffee. Chilled, caffeinated perfection — but if you don’t chug it in 5 minutes, it’s more of a weak, watery disappointment. Ice cubes are always going to melt in above freezing temperature. You can’t change the laws of physics. You can, however, change how you drink iced coffee.
But how could coffee stay cold without pesky ice cubes, you ask? The answer, although easy and obvious, is apparently blowing some people’s minds: coffee ice cubes. The newest provider of this simple idea? Good ole’ Starbs.
For 80 more cents, you can cool down your coffee beverage with more coffee if you live in Baltimore or St. Louis, where Starbucks is soon going to offer coffee ice cubes as an add-on at 100 total locations.
The chilled chunks of caffeine are currently just a test, and no one knows how long they’ll be available or at which exact stores.
Is it really so experimental?
While new to Starbucks, coffee ice cubes really aren’t a foreign concept. Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme both launched “Cube Beverages” last year, letting customers keep their drinks cold not only with coffee, but with chocolate and fruit flavors too. Starbucks was aware that this new trend was brewing, and they were only late to the game because they were prepping for launch.
The company recently beefed up several stores with freezing units to accommodate their cubes.
Even though they’re not the first ones to do it, Starbucks definitely has enough industry influence to potentially become king of the coffee cube.
News flash: you just need a freezer
Flavored ice cubes might sound crazy, but they really aren’t that cutting edge if you think about it. You just take some coffee and pour it in an ice tray like you would with water, stick it in the freezer, and bam! Innovation. Starbucks isn’t trying to pretend they have a secret formula.
The company shared DIY instructions last year, in case anyone needed help understanding that you can freeze water even if it’s brown.
Starbucks is a genius in making simple ideas sound new and creative; they proved that pretty pictures and trendy fonts can make milkshakes, cold brew coffee, and iced tea with juice sound like their own innovations. It’s relatively safe to say they have a game plan to do the same with coffee ice cubes.
Sure, you can make them at home, but Starbucks makes them look so cool you’ll be willing to wait in line.
However, unless you live near one of the locations participating in the pilot, you’ll have to settle for filling up your own ice trays for now.
Peloton is back-pedaling: Reports of price increases, layoffs, and cost cuts
(BUSINESS) After a recording of layoffs leaks, ‘supply chain’ issues cause shipping increases, and they consult for cost-cutting, Peloton is doomed.
Is Peloton in Trouble?
According to many reports, Peloton had success early in the pandemic when gyms shut down. Offering consumers a way to connect with a community for fitness along with varying financing options allowed the company to see growth when many other industries were being shuttered.
After two years, CNBC reports that the company is “being impacted by …supply chain challenges” and rising inflation costs. According to the report, customers will be paying an additional $250 for its bike and $350 for its tread for delivery and setup.
As demand has decreased, Peloton is also considering layoffs in their sales and marketing departments, overheard in a leaked audio call. The recording details executives discussing “Project Fuel” where they plan to cut 41% of the sales and marketing teams, as well as letting go of eCommerce employees and frontline workers at 15 retail stores.
Nasdaq reported that the stock fell 75% last year, after a year where it soared over 400%.
Peloton reviewing its overall structure
According to another report from CNBC, Peloton is working with McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm, to lower costs as revenue has dropped and the growth of new subscriptions has slowed since the pandemic. Last November, according to NPR, Peloton had “its worst day as a publicly-traded company.” It also anticipates greater losses in 2022 than originally predicted. It makes sense that the company would reexamine their strategy as the economy changes. They aren’t the only one that is raising prices amid supply chain issues.
It will be interesting to watch how Peloton fares
Peloton has a large community that pays a monthly fee for connected fitness. While growth has slowed, the company still has a strong share of consumers. Although it is facing more competition in the home fitness market and more gyms are reopening, as Peloton adjusts to the new normal, it should remain a viable company.
CEO is offering folks thousands to *quit* their jobs, with one catch
(BUSINESS) A CEO out of Arizona is challenging employment norms by offering a sort of “sign-off” bonus upfront, but this method has one fatal flaw.
Chris Ronzio, the CEO of Trainual, a software company in Arizona that aims to systemize and scale your small business, is offering cold hard cash to quit your job in an unconventional ploy to bypass the effects of the Great Resignation.
Before you rush to turn in your notice and make some extra cash, you should know that this offer is dependent on being selected as a hirable candidate and making it through the hiring process for Trainual. This option is also offered to new hires after 2 weeks of employment.
This model of employment gives the employee the ability to fire the company and walk away with a little sum of money. The thought process of the CEO was outlined in an article by the Insider, saying it is a strategic move to retain top talent and maintain a strong company culture. While this is a unique approach…it has a glaring flaw. The offer is only good for the initial two-week period. However, it can take some time to recognize the shortcomings of any company when you begin employment. We can all recognize the long-term financial potential of reoccurring income and while $5,000 is not anything to shake your finger at, it will eventually be gone. I think we can all agree that constructive criticism can be difficult to swallow at times, however, if Trainual was truly invested in this model they would extend the offer at other key times during employment. What if this offer was again available at the 1-year mark? If the offer reappeared at a one-year review, the turnover may increase.
Per the Insider article, Ronzio was quoted as saying, “With today’s market, hiring teams have to move quickly to assess candidates and get them through the process to a competitive offer, so it’s impossible to be right 100% of the time,” Ronzio said. The CEO added, “The offer to quit allows the dust to settle from a speedy process and let the new team member throw a red flag if they’re feeling anything but excited.”
These statements detail another dimension to consider which is the employment hiring process and timeline. If top candidates are in such high demand that the process has to be sped up to secure a workforce, this monetary compensation can help to ensure the hiring decision. Although, when the offer was implemented in May of 2020, the offer was $2500, half of what it is now. Ronzio reasoned that they could stay while they looked for another job so they increased the amount to compensate for those with a higher salary range.
Let me preface this by saying that yes, accountability should exist, but I would be interested to know the turnover rate for the hiring team. The cost to the company from this unique approach adds extra weight for those making the decisions on who to hire. The stress the hiring team faces has to be factored into the candidate decisions. How many times can the hiring team get it wrong before they’re let go? While the pressure to hire the right candidate should always factor in, one has to wonder about the effects of this model.
Zoom fatigue? This new messaging tool is here to replace live meetings
(BUSINESS) Live meetings & emails can feel monotonous & unproductive. This new messaging tool offers everything we’re wanting in remote communications.
Even before the pandemic, meetings where everyone was corporally present were becoming less frequent. With technologies allowing for Jim to “conference in” from the east coast and Judy to “video in” from the west, computer-mediated meetings have been becoming the norm for quite some time. This has become even more true over the last few years, both due to the pandemic and due to new technologies such as ZipMessage. What’s that, you ask? Let’s ask the expert. “It’s a video messaging tool made for replacing live meetings with asynchronous conversations,” explained founder Brian Casel in his tutorial video of ZipMessage.
The tool is designed to create video, voice, and screen conversations without live meetings. It’s described as async video messaging software, made for remote work.
As the website explains, people everywhere are experiencing meeting overload. Remote teams everywhere are embracing asynchronous (“async”) communication to overcome three big problems with live meetings.
First, Zoom fatigue is a real thing. ZipMessage states that “your team craves the space for the high-value deep work.”
Second, great ideas are bound to get lost in these spaces. It’s impossible to retain each item being shared, even if taking notes.
Third, email doesn’t fully cut it. Typed messages don’t always convey the full message. With ZipMessage, you can still type your thoughts, but you also have the option of recording a video and sharing attachments.
The conversation about that meeting topic is kept to one page in a back-and-forth, threaded format. Anyone with a link can join in on the conversation without anything to download, install, or sign up for.
This allows you to talk in real-time while giving the opportunity to go back and recap what may have been missed the first time around. In addition to conversation pages and the face/voice/screen/text options, ZipMessage offers intake forms and the ability to go public or private.
It also includes integration with Zapier and Slack. There are embed options, automatic transcriptions, pre-recorded message templates, text and attachments, branded link URLs, multi-speed playback, and more.
This isn’t only useful for communicating with your team, but it can be used to share information with customers, as well.
Will you be ZipMessage-ing?
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