Saturday, February 2, 2019
It’s a crazy time for me right now, so this week I just offer five feature articles that I read last year, each of which did a business-related deep dive that, for one reason or another, had my jaw-dropping (and in more than one case, had me laughing out loud).
Josh Dzieza, Prime and Punishment: Dirty Dealing in the $175 Billion Amazon Marketplace. On the dirty tricks sellers use to sabotage their rivals and the quasi-court system Amazon has created to handle complaints. Compare, by the way, to Molly Roberts on Facebook’s proposal for its own Facebook court.
Taffy Brodesser-Akner, How Goop’s Haters Made Gwyneth Paltrow’s Company Worth $250 Million. One of the things that struck me here was where the author points out that women’s health concerns are often dismissed by doctors, which might drive them to seek help from nontraditional sources. I’ve heard a similar explanation for the anti-vaxx movement – pregnant women are objectified and ignored by the medical establishment, which drives them to reclaim some kind of agency by rejecting that establishment entirely.
Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson, A Dress for Everyone: Claire McCardell took on the fashion industry — and revolutionized what women wear. I know nothing about fashion but I still came away from this piece amazed that I’d never heard of Claire McCardell. It’s a wonderful deconstruction of the political dimensions to clothing. (For more on that, try The Politics of Pockets)
Zachary Mider, Zeke Faux, David Ingold & Dimitrios Pogkas, Sign Here to Lose Everything. This is actually a series of articles about abuse of New York’s “confessions of judgment,” and it’s prompted various political responses.