Big Changes for 2020 + News Cart for Jan 3rd

Happy New Year!

Well, it’s 2020 and we still don’t have flying cars.  That’s a letdown.

But on the bright side I do have a solid round-up for you in this week’s News Cart to kick-off the year.

A few highlights:  surprising news from TOMS Shoes, hiring contractors is getting more complicated in California, shipping your bowling ball collection is now going to be waaay more expensive and can you build a billion-dollar eCommerce darling while still getting home for dinner with the kids?  Why yes, yes you can.

Check out the podcast version for an extended discussion on how I’m rolling out and structuring profit sharing in my business + some new changes to the ECF podcast this year.

Enjoy!

– Andrew

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In the News

TOMS Shoes Creditors to Take Over the Company (hat tip to ECF member Philip Pages)

  • Group of creditors will take over from founder Blake Mycoskie and Bain Capital in exchange for restructuring the company’s debt
  • TOMS struggled to compete with lowering prices as novelty of its charitable model wore off
  • Company would not have been able to repay a $300 million loan due next year without negotiating with creditors

  • Law makes it harder for companies to categorize workers as independent contractors vs. more expensive employees
  • AB 5 took effect Jan. 1, despite lawsuits from gig companies, freelance journalists and truck drivers, who won a temporary exemption
  • Re-classification of contractors to employees can cost companies 30% or more in additional benefits and pay
  • CCPA requires businesses to be transparent about what personal data they’re collecting and why
  • Consumers must be able to easily opt out of their data being sold without retaliation
  • Enforcement to begin after a six-month grace period

Fedex and UPS Raise Fees on Oversized Packages

  • Both carriers are tacking on $24 fee for packages over 50lbs
  • The previous threshold for oversized package weight was 70lbs
  • Get up to 1 month of Volusion store sales
  • Interest is charged weekly at a rate between 0.35% and 1%
  • Planned trade-deal to be signed on January 15th
  • Called a “Phase One” deal with potential a second phase/agreement to follow
  • Full text has not been shared but likely a roll back of tariffs and China agreeing to purchase certain U.S. goods
  • Billionaire Mukesh Ambani seeks to take on Amazon in India
  • Reliance Industries begins testing online shopping platform JioMart in Mumbai neighborhoods
  • Attempting to leverage thousands of existing neighborhood stores and shops for fulfillment

Interesting Reads

Sales-Tax Ruling Strains Small Online Sellers – The WSJ features the increased strain sales tax laws are putting on small sellers in the U.S. (pay wall; features ECF member Nicole Snow of Darn Good Yarn)

Building a Car-Free Neighborhood from Scratch – A company in Arizona is building a 1,000 person Community around the concept of no cars.

The Man Who Built Shopify Gets Home at 5:30pm – Shocking, but apparently true:  Tobi Lutke – the founder and CEO of Shopify – on how he was able to build Shopify into the beast it’s become and still get home in time for dinner each night.

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