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Did you guys see the news last week that Amazon Fresh is now FREE with Amazon Prime?
The game has been completely changed.
I’m going to talk as a busy mom first, business reporter (former!) second, and a concerned citizen of the world third. (Imagine this like those old Frosted Mini-Wheat commercials.)
Mom me: Grocery delivery as it’s been done so far has been unsatisfying for a lot of reasons. Services like Postmates are expensive and annoying because people keep calling you to ask about substitutes. Services like Safeway.com are annoying because they can’t deliver the same day and the software feels like it’s from the 1970s. Instacart is annoying (or was last time I used it) because you have to go store-by-store.
I was a little taken aback to read this Washington Post piece this week called “When the Youngest Asks, the Youngest Gets.” It’s basically a treatise about having a favorite child.
Although the author defends it thus: “She was my youngest. She was my last. I’d gotten a vasectomy about a year after her birth, and while I wasn’t all that keen on getting the procedure done — most men aren’t — I did it because my wife had handled the heavy lifting of birth control for long enough, and it was time for me to step up. But I didn’t realize I would start to look at my youngest and realize that I wasn’t going to have any more children and that I needed to jump on every moment.”
“What is this? It has my name on it!” Evie said the other morning.
“Oh that’s from your grandparents. There’s one for Eli too. If you finish your breakfast and get ready for school before we have to go, you can open it.”
“I’m finished,” Eli said sauntering proudly into the room.
He opened the package while I got dressed.
“Another layer of wrapping?” I kept hearing him mutter. My parents’ gifts all come in re-used Harry & David boxes and have more layers than a French pastry.
Newsletter editor Lily here.
Like everybody else, I go through long periods of being really tunnel vision with my life: I think about work, I think about my next meeting, I think about the friends who are geographically closest to me, I think about trying to get to the gym, and that’s about it. And sometimes, in moments when the world feels like it’s blowing past me and the days start to bleed together, I randomly text or message a friend I haven’t spoken to in a while.
This week, that person happened to be my former college housemate Evan, who is (and I’m only semi-joking about this) one of the five straight male friends I have. Evan and I met on the literal second day of freshman year—both of us are very Type A, anxious, “must get everywhere 20 minutes early” people, and we both arrived 15 minutes ahead of schedule to our first twice-weekly government class. It later turned out we also shared another class on Tuesdays and Thursdays that first semester of college, a film class. And thus, a friendship was born.
Once again, California is tragically engulfed in fire, with dangerous winds, smokey air, and heartbreaking stories of loss. This year, to add to it, so much of the state is also enduring blackouts.
This is so painful and triggering for so many of us, I just wanted to highlight a thread from yesterday where plenty of folks in our community are offering up spaces and services for evacuees and other people impacted by the fires.
Go here to check it out and please feel free to share it with anyone you know who is struggling. You can always use the “invite a friend” feature to allow them to comment as a guest on the thread for free.
Most of the last week, I’ve been off the grid at the Lobby, an invitation-only, off-the-record event that I’ve gone to for the last 13 years. It’s the only event (other than the Chairman Mom Flee) that I go to every year.
Over the years, I’ve referred a ton of female founders and VCs to the Lobby’s organizers, as they’ve worked hard to get to an even gender ratio. (Year one, I think I was one of two female attendees.) I’ve long been frustrated when women do get invited and don’t go because of cost or a concern about entering a masculine space.
Newsletter editor Lily here.
I don’t know about all of you, but it only hit me last week that in just over two months’ time, it’ll be the start of a new decade. 2020 has been on my horizon for a while (especially as a politics writer covering the upcoming presidential election), but it didn’t really set in until about 10 days ago that it’s a whole new decade.
A lot happens in 10 years. At the start of this decade, Barack Obama was in the first half of his first term. I was a high school sophomore who wore too much raccoon eyeliner and ill-fitting acid wash jeans. (So edgy!) The Kardashians hadn’t quite taken over our tabloids. Instagram wasn’t a thing.
I have some news…from a post yesterday on Pando.com:
“If there is a single moment when it seemed like my journalism career suddenly caught fire, it was the 2006 Business Week cover story I wrote about the rise of Web 2.0 companies.
It was hated. It was loved. It inspired weird half-assed halloween costumes. And it won me a book deal which allowed me to buy a house in San Francisco and then led to my job at TechCrunch (v1), and eventually to founding Pando.
At the time I wrote that cover, I was the most junior, least pedigreed member of the BusinessWeek tech team, but I knew a good story when I saw it. Just as importantly I was young enough that I could see the ever-changing Silicon Valley ecosystem through fresh eyes. A lot of much more experienced journalists expressed doubt over the story and subsequent book, arguing that I was wasting my time shadowing “has beens” like Marc Andreessen or upstarts like Mark Zuckerberg who was merely playing at the next incarnation of Friendster. Was this guy really the future of Silicon Valley?
Newsletter editor Lily here.
This is a quick reminder for Chairman Mom Flee attendees to fill out the survey that was emailed to you a few weeks ago if you haven’t. As Sarah’s mentioned previously, we’re making some big changes to next year’s Flee based on feedback from our first two, and we’d love to hear from you! It only takes a few minutes.
There’s lots more to come in terms of Flee announcements for the future, so hang tight (and check out this thread where some attendees posted some highlights)! And now, onto our regularly scheduled programming…
Like all founders, all mothers, all women—I’ve got a lot going on. I don’t shower many days, because I’m not sure I can spare the ten minutes.
Every time I get on a plane to go to an intimate Chairman Mom dinner, every time I put the airport hotel and the coach ticket on the Chairman Mom credit card—which, like all unprofitable startups, has an ever yo-yo’ing balance—I wonder if it’s a good idea. Is this really the best use of these dollars and of my focus for the next 24 hours? Is this insane given all I have going on? What am I doing?