Wondering if APRN stock is for you? Well, let's weigh the pros and cons.
5 Reasons NOT to Buy Blue Apron Stock
1) Originally, Blue Apron said it would aim to sell shares to new investors at a valuation of $3.2 billion, but revised that down on Wednesday to around $2 billion. The big reduction almost certainly reflects a lack of investor demand at the higher valuation.
2) Its marketing costs as a proportion of revenue keep climbing (the opposite of what should occur as a company’s scale increases due to, among other things, greater brand awareness). Related to that point is its difficulty in keeping customers: about two-thirds stop ordering within six months.
3) Most companies target at least a 20 percent “pop” on the first day of trading to kick off their public debut on good terms. The lowering of the offering price combined with the lackluster first day of trading is a bad indicator.
4) If Amazon “disrupts” that market like it has other markets (especially after it bought out Whole Foods), it could be a very challenging environment. Amazon already has a small meal-kit business, delivering ingredients and recipes to customers in a handful of U.S. cities.
5) With a market cap of just below $2 billion, this is a disappointment for the investors who gave the company a $2 billion valuation at the last private round.
5 Reasons to BUY Blue Apron Stock
1) The company's growth has been undeniable, with its revenue surging from just $77.8 million in 2014 to $795.4 million last year.
2) Although their CAC is about $90, each customer on average orders $57.23 worth of food each quarter.
3) Between 2017 and 2020, Blue Apron expects the segment to grow by 8.5% on a compound annual basis.
4) Moreover, the stock now is quite a bit cheaper. Originally, it was going to sell for $15 to $17 per share, now at $10, it may be a good time to grab some.
5) It's been getting its costs under control, an important indicator of future success since you can't rely on investors to fuel your growth forever. It's also got a very young customer base, which means lots of room to keep growing.
So, do you think Blue Apron will simmer?
If you come across a single founder with no in-house tech team, do not give them your money. Outsourcing tech is never a good thing. On top of that, look if the team has knowledge gaps. You want a team with good domain experience, an in-house tech expert and favorably previous startup exits. Teams that have worked together before (and didn't just meet) are also a good sign of a strong entrepreneurial bond.
Product or Service
If it is not really a huge problem (or it has already been solved), then look away from the opportunity. Maybe the problem is their, but the solution doesn't solve it directly. The actual product or service is one of the most important parts, so it better solve a major solution in a unique way. Look for the game changer.
If the startup does not have a customer segment or audience outlined, do not invest. Every company should have a plan on how to actually sell their service or product. Ask for analytics or data supporting how they came to their selected audience and why they picked the strategy or channels that they did. This section should be very detailed and should include in-industry contacts, marketing, business development channels, and proof of interest.
If it is only partially built with no ready release date, do not do it unless you think it is the next Facebook. Traction is what proves if people are actually interested in the product or service. A good way to gauge good traction is looking at usage if it is an app and revenue if it is a product. More than 11-15k per month is great and over 1000 users are great as well. Another indicator of a good investment is previous investment and investors. Usually, if it has 500k or more and is cashflow positive, the startup has something meaningful going on.
If it is a niche market with a clear leader, do not invest. However, if it is a multi-billion dollar market with little innovation or some new entrants but not many...go for it. Ensure the industry is ready for a disruption though if it is a big innovation.
By: Erica Amatori | Insta and Twitter: @ericaamatori
I'm sure you have seen the news about Snapchat. Besides filing for the biggest IPO in a long time, they're physical product is exploding. Many thought that Spectacles would be a huge flop, mostly because Google Glass was not the revolutionary product everyone thought. However, Snapchat did something that no other company has: It has let their fans market for them! Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool there is, and they have mastered it.
Can you buy them online? No. Instead they have been dropping adorable minion-looking vending machines around the country. While people await for the next one to be mapped, the ones that have been dropped sell out in minutes. Snapchat has officially turned buying a product into a bizarre and delightful game. Rather than letting anyone buy them online, they have been dropping adorable Snap Bot vending machines around the country, providing a countdown and map on its website so fans can breathlessly await the next appearance. Talking about appearance, once you reach the bot, you can see what you would like with the Spectacles on. The machine has facial recognition software just like the app! Now that's impressive. Would you look best in coral, blue or black?
Making the glasses a limited edition item, along with the weird method of placement, has successfully built up a surprising amount of interest for such a silly gadget. In fact, when people get their hands on a pair, they tweet, Facebook and Instagram pictures and thoughts to the world. With every drop, people are tweeting their excitement (and disappointment), as sometimes the bot is hundreds or thousands miles away.
It's clear Snapchat doesn't want this to be thought of as a traditional tech gadget, but a fun part in people's lives. They have officially been dubbed the kings of understanding culture. When you think about it, they're JUST a pair of sunglasses that lets you shoot short videos. However, that's a brilliant strategy: It lowers expectations as Snapchat ventures into the unknown that is face-mounted wearables. How much longer will the surprise bot strategy go on? Not sure, but are you going to nab one before they stop?
By: Erica Amatori | Snapchat & Instagram: @ericaamatori
Twitters stock has taken quite a hit over the past couple years. It had a high of $69, but now is down to just scraping on $20. Recently, Twitter announced it’s killing the mobile app Vine. And, as a result, a lot of potential video content. Now, lets take a look at some stats.
What does this tell us? It screams that Twitter may be making a huge mistake. Not to mention Rus Yusupov and Dom Hofmann, founders of Vine, wished they never sold the company.
Let me give you some hope. Video apps are still being created. Here is some info on a new video/photography startup that is bringing it back: Pie. Pie is an app that allows you to make and watch 360 videos with your phone. Their popularity is rising, as currently Pie is at the top of Product Hunts Tech list. So obviously, people still love video and want video. Did Twitter make a huge mistake?
By: Erica Amatori | Instagram & Twitter: @ericaamatori
Choose a memorable domain name and platform
A catchy name is always a good place to start. The name should be relevant to what you are writing about and what the visitor wants to read about. Design is also an important piece of the puzzle. Visually appealing colors, texts and layouts can be a huge game changer when deciding whether readers come back or not. An easy and user friendly site will decrease frustration and increase navigation and exploration. Furthermore, choosing the correct platform can help a lot with design; popular ones include wordpress, squarespace, weebly, wix, etc.
Start accumulating repeat visitors through subscriptions and social media
A very important button is the subscribe button. This will inform your loyal readers of new blogs, updates or giveaways. Overall, this creates an ultimate community. Social media buttons are also a must have. Creating multiple channels in which readers can access your content is not only valuable to you for exposure, but also valuable to them for convenience.
In-text links or “Anchor text”
Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink. SEO best practices dictate that the anchor text is relevant to the page you're linking to, rather than generic text. This helps google sort through what should be at the top of the search engine rather than the bottom.
Example of one of my articles:
Relevancy and Variety
This is fairly obvious, but sometimes missed. Being relevant to current situations and news will increase your blog views since the keywords are being searched more often. Also, having variety in a blog site is prime for expanding your audience and readers. However, do not include too much variety or your content may be spread thin and deemed “un-valuable”. I’m not saying Niche blogs are not good (actually sometimes they are the best!), but they need multiple facets within that niche to be valuable. So if you can provide a lot of different perspectives and deep knowledge within that subject, more power to you.
Are your blogs providing the reader with anything? If not, it should. Value comes in many currencies, whether this be knowledge or tangible prizes. At first, I recommend providing facts and research on the subject to gain credibility with your readers.
Adding content with original photos will separate you from a lot of bloggers out there. If you’re writing about something you experienced or are knowledgeable about, show your OWN experience with it, not someone else’s! This can also increase more trust in your brand with readers if you give them a glimpse into your life. Tip: sharing original pictures may grow your blog popularity, as other bloggers or instagramers may use that photo.
Headings and SEO
Make sure your blog headlines make sense and are something people would type into a google search engine. Sometimes I see headings that have nothing to do with the article or are very misleading. Do not do this! If you want to create value, provide a sensible title. For SEO purposes, this can increase your rankings as well.
Twitter and Insta: @ericaamatori
People from 18 to 34 years old are considered a Millennial or Gen Y. Countless criticize us for many things, such as job hopping, being tech obsessed, and of course, being spoiled. However, every generation has their flaws, but what if they are in fact not flaws but just different lifestyles? We seek peer affirmation and feedback because it allows us to improve. We are not all about money because we would rather have a mix of that plus benefits. We are extremely collaborative because the people we work with is half the reason we come.
SO, how are we REALLY different from the other generations? Well, millennials are far more likely than older generations to order food from restaurants for delivery or carry out. Cooking is decreasing since convenience is increasing. As for the basics, millennials are less likely to know how to sew, make basic home repairs, or drive manual-transmission cars (or even repair them). Did anyone think this is because if we do need to know how, the Internet is at our fingertips to learn? Internet was not nearly as fast or useful back then, so people had to already know these skills. Furthermore, with GPS on our smart phones, many don’t have to use physical landmarks or maps to guide them. So yes, we may be a little direction incapable, but that’s because we have the tools to aid us.
For me, it is truly hard to imagine how people functioned without a smart phone. That statement isn’t meant to be ignorant, but truly genuine. If I didn’t have it, my lifestyle would change drastically. On another note, our lifestyle is very balanced. Millennials still enjoy completing some tasks by hand…just don’t ask us to calculate a tip without a calculator.
Millennials get blamed for hoping from one job to another…but what if there are no jobs to hold them down? It’s a tough time to be in the workforce with (specifically) millennial unemployment at 12.5%. Millennials are the most educated generation in history with 63% having a bachelor degree. This means the talent pool is high, but why are the prospects so low? Moreover, why are they starting their own businesses more than the other generations? 54% already have started or want to start a business. Maybe it’s because the replacement cost is too high, and they just keep jumping around. The average amount to replace a millennial is $24,000.
Enough about statistics, lets get into the real barrier: the law. All states have licensing laws requiring aspiring workers and entrepreneurs to get permission from government bureaucrats before earning a living. The licensing process can cost hundreds of dollars in fees and impose other tedious requirements that can take years to complete. If they do not do this, jail could be an option.
The U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce recently approved a bill reauthorizing some of these “training” programs. This bill will probably do nothing to improve employment opportunities for young adults. Fortunately, one guy has the right idea, and that is Rep. Walberg. He expressed that, “If our goal is to create pathways to meaningful careers, we should… foster a regulatory climate that does not hinder entrepreneurship and jobs.” THANK YOU! Finally, someone who understands.
Millennials WANT to be entrepreneurs, they WANT to have jobs. The economy right now is just not the optimum or most accepting environment for that.
Erica Amatori | Insta, Twitter, Snap: @ericaamatori
Erica Amatori | Twitter & Insta: @ericaamatori
You are either a Pokemon master or a Pokemon hater. Nintendo hit popularity in the late 1990’s and has now rekindled it with this app. It’s so popular that it’s on the verge of overtaking Twitter in terms of daily active users on Android! People are raving about this new game, so much so they spend an average of 45 minutes a day on it. Here are some explanations on why it is so popular if you do not understand the craze:
However, the haters do have a reason to hate. It has caused robberies, disruptions at work and business annoyances (restaurants are putting up signs saying, “you can’t catch Pokemon here unless you buy something”). Some stores though look at it as an opportunity. They spend real money on adding “digital lures” to their stores, which increases the chance of special Pokemons to arise. Of course, the people flock to these locations.
Even if you don’t want to play the game, maybe consider investing in Nintendo stock.
📝 Erica Amatori Twitter & Insta: @ericaamatori
What do people judge you on when they first meet you? Does attractiveness play a role? Maybe. But the two real qualities people judge you on is your trustworthiness and respect.
Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy has been studying first impressions alongside with Psychologists Susan Fiske and Peter Glick for more than 15 years. Though which is more important, that the person is trustworthy or respectable, moreover, which comes first? One may think competence and highly respected (being smart) would come first, but from an evolutionary point, Cuddy says, "it is more crucial to our survival to know whether a person deserves our trust." Therefore, trusting a person that embodies warmth and trust comes first. Everyone finds it hard to trust people, some more than others due to life history. Having strength in someone or something can control you. Placing confidence in a person is only done after they know that person is reliable. Then you can decide if they are respectable. If they hold Presence, which is the name of Cuddy's new book.
Do you have a friend that gets everything, who is extremely talented? Everyone does. If this person is family or a best friend, you'll be proud of their accomplishments and not threatened. However, if this talented, smart, and successful individual is not someone you trust, you very much feel threatened. You may think they are snobby or disrespectful flashing their intelligence around. As Cuddy says, "A warm, trustworthy person who is also strong elicits admiration, but only after you've established trust does your strength become a gift rather than a threat."
Overall, to embody these two values and strengthen them, one needs confidence. Confidence helps you approach the cute guy or girl, confidence helps you get the promotion, confidence helps you find what you believe in. First impressions can be a lot of pressure. So next time you meet someone new, maybe think about how you can make them trust you before you show off.
📝 Erica Amatori Twitter & Insta: @ericaamatori
Device synchronization for all
We want everything to be connected, because lets face it, seamless connection makes life easier. So when companies announce that meshing all devices (mobile devices, wearable, consumer/home electronic devices, automotive devices and environmental devices) may be possible in 2016, we naturally freak out and want (correction: need) it to happen. This can enhance our ability to access applications and interact with people at any place on any device. I welcome 2016 with my arms open.
Transportation takes no work
If you told me at the beginning of 2015 there would be hoverboards and self-driving cars, I would have laughed. Both Apple and Google have come a long way in self-drive technology. With BMW, Tesla, Mercedes, Audi and Ford all racing to be the first to release connected-car systems, we will be seeing a lot more auto-pilot…but for cars. As for a more portable transportation device, the hoverboard is making a huge scene in the tech industry. I mean, these things are flying off the shelves (even when they catch on fire). Following this, drones are becoming increasingly more advanced and are another way to transport things fast. With Amazon hot on this technology, it’s no wonder drones are innovating at a speedy rate.
Say goodbye to college…or at least recruiting from campuses
College tuition is going up and up, and organizations are realizing this. For example, Goldman Sachs has partnered with MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) and is even recruiting their new employees through it. They’re not only able to train and customize the online experience, but also track progress and see program impact. Saving time and money is MOOC’s main selling point, and it’s growing at a fast rate each year. Why spend $80,000 on college when you can take courses online and get that dream job? My second question is, why am I in college?
Wearables, wearables and wearables
Wearables are beginning to be for everyone. The Fitbit is widely popular with people ranging from very athletic to not much at all. The Apple Watch, Pebble and Samsung Gear also made a splash. Reviews of these are so-so, but there is no doubt that 2016’s improvements will change these reviews to “can’t live without it”. Plus, wearables are being designed to get less noticeable and bulky, and therefore, more popular. We see this with Google redesigning the impressive (but not really wearable for people yet) Google Glass.
3D printing expands
The materials that 3D printers are using are increasing to not only carbon fiber, but also glass, chocolate, pharmaceuticals, biological materials and more. These materials are leading to practical applications that revolutionize many industries. With 3D printing breaking into more sectors including energy, automotive and military, its no wonder demand is soaring.
📝 Erica Amatori Twitter & Insta: @ericaamatori