Issue No. 219: On TheSkimm

Opinion: The Skimm treats its readers like they’ve never read an article, looked at a map, or accidentally seen a CNN segment in their dentists’ waiting rooms. Its patronizing tone assumes that female news consumers tune out anything of import if it’s not processed through verbal eye-rolls. The very existence of such a service, especially one marketed specifically to women, is insulting.
As a fan of The Skimm’s business, I can understand how a lack of intellectualism can seem demeaning to an educated audience. But I also applaud the two founders for accomplishing two things with their unique style of content: a) keeping a very busy professional class semi-informed b) helping to make a general populace curious for real, intellectual depth. – Web Smith

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Issue No. 218: Back on 🎯


Graphic of the week


An interesting look into big box tech innovation thanks to data collected by CB Insights. In one of my many conversations with LeanLuxe’s do-it-all capitan M. Paul Munford, I opined that while focusing on brands is most fun – the platforms that aid their survival are equally important to cover. These sudden shifts in distribution can affect brands in more ways than one. Ask Kevin Plank how he feels about Sports Authority, these days.

Target’s recent attraction to DNVB’s like Harry’s, Bevel, and now Casper has become an industry-wide trend. These marquee, web-first brands are flocking to retailers like Target but how much longer can Tar-jay fend off up-market threats from Wal-Mart? Don’t be surprised to see these modern luxury brands veer that way in the coming quarters.

Read: Is Target back on target? 

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Issue No. 211: Now fully shoppable is now fully shopable for readers of GQ, Vogue.

With increased competition from new digital publications over the last decade, alongside an industrywide plunge in advertising spending, it is little surprise that Condé Nast is intent on cultivating new revenue streams. In recent years it has widened its focus, from magazine publishing to more varied media initiatives, with minority stakes in several fashion e-commerce start-ups, including Vestiaire Collective, Rent the Runway and Farfetch. – New York Times 

Graphic of the Week: Online Advertising


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Issue No. 208: Creative direction



Amazon’s Alexa has 10,000+ skills. If you’re in marketing or commerce, this graphic should resonate. While tech media focuses on gimmicky use cases for voice like planning a movie night or hearing a bad joke, users seem to be gravitating towards commerce. And earlier than many experts have anticipated.

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Issue No. 207: Push it.

I’ve made some careful changes so far and I believe that it’s improved how many of you interact with 2PML on a daily basis. For one, I’ve reduced the number of letters from five per week to a more sustainable (and digestible) three per week. The percentage of readers who clickthrough to external articles (my measure of success) has risen from 23.1% to 31.2% in the last 20 issues. Additionally, the overall open rate rarely falls below 50% now, a good sign.
To build on this, I am planning a few additional improvements that will go into effect no later than Issue 240. For one, the next two partnerships will be announced: an eCommerce behemoth and a $1B+ venture capital fund. I’m extremely proud to have rounded out the longterm partners for this project. However, here are few improvements that will better serve you:
Update no. 1: Once per week, there will be a subscription-based, long-form analysis of the week’s newsworthy advancements in eCommerce, brand, or digital media. Professionally written, edited, and delivered to you before Saturday brunch.
Update no. 2: For the readers who want access to that content, there will be a custom-built forum for you to communicate with one another or even contribute content of your own.
Update no. 3: As such, 2PML will be hiring an analyst for the weekly long-form product. Email me for info:
Many readers use 2PML to influence decision-making in the fields of retail, investment, and business / fashion journalism. The upcoming private community and weekly content will provide another platform for no more than 600 leaders to consume and communicate with their peer groups.
Any questions? Ask away

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Issue No. 190: Am I Typecast?

Last Word: On proprietary products and eCommerce


Issue 189’s most read article contained four indicators of eCommerce success, one of them is depicted above. Internet retailers are nearly 3x more valuable when they source and/or manufacture a product that cannot be found elsewhere.

A great example of this is the new initiative of Pittsburgh’s Cotton Bureau, who is relatively quiet startup with a thriving marketplace for well-designed tees. For example, they sold 3,100+ units of one design in January 2017. Their custom site converts exceptionally well, they’re currently sporting a 🔥7.7% conversion rate in 2017.

Led by Michelle Sharp, Cotton Bureau’s Blank will manufacture their own t-shirt blanks and will attempt to do so domestically. The timing couldn’t be better, as American Apparel will leave a void for companies desiring high quality t-shirts for their own branding or product lines.

From yesterday’s announcement:

Today, we’re lifting the lid on Blank, our project to design and produce better t-shirts from the ground up: our sizes, our fits, our fabrics, our colors. Over the last six months, we’ve been building relationships with people all over the garment industry: pattern makers, fabric suppliers, cut-and-sew operations, industry consultants, full-service apparel factories, fit models, and more. We’ve even produced a few samples. We’re going to need all the help we can get, which is why reached out to for funding last year (remember this cryptic line?) and hired a project lead to give it the attention it deserves (we’ll introduce her in a bit). Exciting, huh? It’s something we’ve been talking about forever, and the fact that it’s actually happening is a bit surreal. Let’s answer some questions.

Read more about Cotton Bureau’s “Blank” initiative here. If you’d like an introduction, email and I’d be happy to connect you to their team. Cotton Bureau is one of four partners. – @web

See more of the issue here.