Jeff Bezos buys The Post, Human Fitness app, Microsoft buys Nokia, Fenway Festivals

Top Story: Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos Buys The Washington Post


Last month billionaire Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos purchased The Washington Post, one of America’s most venerable publications, for a cool $250 million in cash.


Why would a tech entrepreneur invest in an increasingly bygone media outlet in a declining industry? Boredom perhaps, but also the thrill of uncertainty. News will always be salient and being the figurehead behind revolutionizing the business of newspaper journalism is apparently money well spent.


In his first interview since the announcement of the purchase, Bezos admits he doesn’t have a concrete plan in mind but he credits the “ingenuity and inventiveness and experimentation of the team at The Post” for any success it has in generating “a new golden era”.


Reflecting on the business model of The Post, Bezos ponders:

The Post is famous for its investigative journalism. It pours energy and investment and sweat and dollars into uncovering important stories. And then a bunch of Web sites summarize that [work] in about four minutes and readers can access that news for free. One question is, how do you make a living in that kind of environment? If you can’t, it’s difficult to put the right resources behind it. . . . Even behind a paywall [digital subscription], Web sites can summarize your work and make it available for free. From a reader point of view, the reader has to ask, ‘Why should I pay you for all that journalistic effort when I can get it for free’ from another site?


While he may not have all the specifics figured out, he does seem to be asking the right questions. After all he is planning to follow the same business philosophy that guided him in building from a start-up to an e-commerce giant with $61 billion sales in just under two decades.


“We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient,” he said. “If you replace ‘customer’ with ‘reader,’ that approach, that point of view, can be successful at The Post, too.”


Do you think The Post is in good hands? Is the “new golden era” of journalism upon us?


Take a look at these social media responses from The Post staffers on Jeff Bezos’s visit to the office:


Tool of the Week: Human


There is more than a fair share of fitness apps out there. From stat-heavy RunKeeper to lifestyle tracker MyFitnessPal to social motivator Fitocracy, it’s beginning to seem like there can’t possibly be any original concepts to help people get healthy. Enter newcomer Human, a mobile app that just wants you to move at least 30 minutes a day.


The “Daily 30” is a simple habit Human hopes every user will be able to form through the app.


“The basic premise of the app is very simple. Human tracks all of your activity and we put the focus on how many minutes you moved today and how many minutes you need to move,” co-founder and CEO Renato Valdés Olmos explained in an interview. “Each day of the week that you reach your Daily 30, we send out a push notifications.”


Unlike most other fitness apps, Human is one of the first to use passive location tracking. All you have to do is set it up once and it’ll do the rest – calculate your speed, location and activity. Similarly to RunKeeper, Human automatically tracks your activity without you having to remember to launch the app.


Looking forward, the startup intends to use all the personal tracking data collected from your daily activities to improve your habits. By setting the location for your home, office and/or gym, the app can begin to build a pattern of each user’s behavior.


“The goal is to send a notification that says ‘get off the subway two stops early and you’ll be on time to work,’” Valdés Olmos said. But the startup also recognizes the importance of privacy, giving users the option to export and delete all information on the app with a single tap.


Currently, the app is only available to iOS, but an Android version is in the works. Would you use Human?


Under the Radar: Microsoft buys Nokia


In a $7.2 billion move, Microsoft has made its mobile ambitions crystal clear.


Microsoft and Nokia have been partners since 2011, when Nokia committed to Windows Phone as its primary smartphone operating system. Despite the strategic partnership between the two industry heavy-hitters, iOS and Android have been dominating the market.


With the current Nokia Windows Phones holding more than 10% share in 9 markets with 78% year on year growth, Microsoft saw the chance to ride on that momentum by fusing the two companies under one. Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s Devices & Services division allows for one united, clarified brand through which the Windows Phone can hope to compete with mobile’s reining giants Apple and Samsung.


In a press release, Microsoft explains:

We will continue to support iPhone and Android/Galaxy phones with our services, but we cannot risk having Google or Apple foreclose app innovation, integration, distribution or economics.


The acquisition also buys Microsoft 8,500 design patents, ownership of the Lumia and Asha brands, and a ten-year license to use the Nokia brand on feature phones. Among the design patents live the possibility for elastically stretchable tech, self-charging devices, gesture-based controls and haptic or tactile feedback tech.


Do you foresee Microsoft’s success as a genuine competitor to Apple and Samsung or do you see the acquisition as just a massive waste of money?


Around the Hub: Fenway Hosts Two Weekend Festivals


Fenway park is hosting two major events this weekend – one for college students, the other for brides-to-be.


College Day


Saturday, September 7th

11a.m. – 5p.m.

Free with a college I.D., this annual event grants hundreds of local college students access into the park as well as to over 70 brands ready with all kinds of giveaways, games, contests, and special offers.  This year the event is sponsored by youth marketing agency Campus and Army ROTC.


Discount student travel site StudentUniverse is offering early registration to the event, promising VIP status complete with a separate entry gate and special prizes. Car-for-hire mobile app Uber is offering new users a free ride to or from the event (up to $20) with the promo code “boscollegeday.”


Other brands in attendance with notable freebies include:

–          KIND Healthy Snacks with samples of their nut and fruit granola bars

–          The PGA Tour and College Golf Pass with free golfing lessons

–          Rider Sandals with a foosball tournament for cash prizes

–          L.L. Bean  with the chance to win a $500 prize back


Bridal Festivalscoreboard_600x450Sunday, September 8th

10a.m. – 2p.m.

Celebrating its 5th year at Fenway, this annual bridal showcase is giving five lucky couples a wedding of a lifetime – a ceremony at Fenway Park. Beyond the Fenway wedding raffle, this year’s festival features special guest Randy Fenoli, wedding dress expert and star of TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress. Price of admission is $15.


Will you attend either?

451 Labs

451 Labs conducts experiments in creative design, advertising, public relations, digital marketing, media buying, experiential events, and content marketing to give you the inside scoop on the latest in digital marketing.

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