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Out of Scope Issue 82: The Patagonia Effect
Plus: Millennials want their version of Gen-Z’s quiet quitting
This week, a billionaire actually did something good, everyone’s talking about crypto’s environmental impact, and TikTok remains the top king (sorry, King Charles III).
💡ON OUR MINDS
Patagonia Puts Planet Earth First
Yvon Chouinard – the founder of outdoor gear retailer Patagonia – and his family, are no longer billionaires after transferring “ownership” of the company on Wednesday. “Earth is now our only shareholder,” shares Chouinard in his announcement via a letter posted to the Patagonia site.
Unprecedented in several ways, the company is neither being sold nor going public; instead, “we’re going purpose,” writes Chouinard. All profits will go towards the Patagonia Purpose Trust and a non-profit, the Holdfast Collective. The idea is to uphold Patagonia’s strong values and commit to saving our planet.
Patagonia is routinely referenced as the gold standard for workplace culture, quality products, and consistent branding. The company’s announcement comes when other corporations and billionaires are under increased scrutiny for hypocritical actions towards corporate social responsibility.
Chouinard’s 2005 autobiography Let My People Go Surfing (an HL favorite) tells the story of a rock climber and craftsman passionate about the environment. At 83, he can rest assured knowing his company will always “use the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source of all wealth.”
📡 ON OUR RADAR
Instagram, and its parent company Meta, are no strangers to leaked documents. This time, the documents in question reveal just how hard they’ve tried to keep up with TikTok. Apparently, it’s not going so well. Reels have less than 1/10 the viewership of TikTok, and the leaked report posits that this may be because creators prefer TikTok.
The Ethereum merge finally took place on Thursday. This upgrade has been in the works for a few years and will shift the prominent blockchain from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. This key switch will reduce Ethereum's ecological footprint – which has long been one of the critics’ main gripes with the platform – by over 99%.
However, on Thursday, the White House announced that U.S. crypto mining operations are on track to consume as much energy as all of our nation’s home computers. As a result, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) recommends that all crypto mining operations should be regularly addressed to comply with federal energy standards. While miners are unlikely to embrace this change, this huge energy use surge could seriously impact energy grids and climate change efforts.
Chick-fil-A received criticism for a tweet that some perceived had a racist subtext. The tweet in question was a response to a Black customer asking when spicy nuggets would return, to which the brand replied: “Your community will be the first to know if spicy items are added to the permanent menu.” This had people questioning what exactly was meant by ‘your community,’ though notably, the brand had recently used the phrase in other social posts regarding a geographic location for new menu items.
Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom “has begun an imperial-sized rebrand” to reflect King Charles III’s ascension to the throne. While The Firm (and King Charles III) has its own reputation to manage amid calls to modernize the institution, anti-monarchists are posed with the challenge of continuing to push their agenda without alienating or agitating those in mourning.
Earlier this week, Vox published an expose on Launch House, an incubator/club for current and aspiring business leaders to build community through in-person and digital events. The story details accusations of sexual assault, harassment, and unruly parties. CEO & Co-Founder Brett Goldstein issued a statement the next day taking responsibility while calling out “mischaracterizations and allegations in the story that are untrue.” Launch House investors are speaking out, and the startup's future is up in the air.
Buzzy new phrases like “quiet quitting” and now “soft life” are taking LinkedIn by storm. But is it just semantics? At the core, these are all effective ways to reframe the conversation around the concept of “work-life balance,” which has long been criticized for not accurately defining a healthy relationship with work. This new movement is led by Gen Z, who are taking to Corporate TikTok to share how they feel candidly - and spoiler alert, it’s not favorable.
How did Katie Nickels become one of cybersecurity’s most respected thought leaders? Nickels, Director of Intelligence at Red Canary, is highly praised for her ability to quickly make complex cyber threat topics easy to understand— perhaps unsurprisingly, a rarity in the cyber industry. We love to see it.
Ahead of the midterm elections, many states and local governments are finding creative ways to combat the online spread of misinformation – ranging from "Mythbuster Monday” Town Halls and animated videos distributed on social media to hiring a dedicated election misinformation analyst.
Some bits last a beat too long; just ask the internet. After Quinta Brunson’s acceptance speech at the Emmys was somewhat overshadowed by Jimmy Kimmel dragging out a bit – in which he had drunkenly passed out on stage – the internet was all too displeased with the comedian. While Kimmel apologized and gave her a second chance at accepting the award when she appeared on his show days later, the debacle nonetheless dampened the loveable, family man persona he’s cultivated over the years.
Jack Corbett of NPR’s Planet Money on TikTok is using his platform to educate viewers on navigating the world of economics. Corbett’s TikTok has over half a million followers, consisting of fun, unpolished videos that have been a core driver of his success. Although his videos revolve around dense economic concepts, Corbett explains that he tries everyday analogies to break them down into easily digestible content.
What does the communications rollout look like when one tech company buys its biggest competitor? This week Adobe purchased Figma, its largest rival in digital design. The announcement was timed with Adobe’s Q3 earnings, smartly paired strong results with “lukewarm projects” for Q4 and the fact it may need to finance the deal with a loan.
Made famous by the renowned podcast “Serial,” Adnan Syed of Baltimore could be granted a new trial after city prosecutors determined the information was withheld in the previous trial. On Wednesday, Baltimore’s State’s Attorney's Office moved to vacate Syed’s conviction due to new evidence of possible “alternative suspects” being found. Although Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby does not concede Syed is innocent, the prosecutors’ motion states that they no longer have faith in his conviction.
In case you missed these stories this week.
Axios shares some relevant insights on how communications play a key role in the war for talent.
The Verge has a rebrand that marries the best of old-school blogging with a modern newsfeed experience.
Yet another brand dips its toes in the NFT pool – Starbucks Odyssey will unlock access to exclusive new coffee experiences.
In the latest celeb brand launch this week, Kourtney Kardashian Barker rolled out a cheekily titled new line of all-natural gummy supplements called Lemme – as in, “lemme focus on this.”
We’ll see you here next week! 👋
The fine print: today’s issue is brought to you by Sheryl Lee Ralph’s acceptance speech at the Emmy Awards that will inspire us all for years to come.