As we move into August I thought it'd be fun😉 to wrap up the summer by sending emails that are built from song titles or lyrics from the music of a certain genre. To build off of last week's GnR reference, we'll start this series with late 80s/early 90s rock🎸. Most of the hyperlinks will take you to an awesome video and soundtrack of this newsletter. So pull out your best cut-off tank top and come along as we talk about 1stDibs recent IPO and who decides the future of commerce.
Last month, 1stDibs, the design and antique platform went public. Much is being written about how the industry's future is "online". To be clear, from what I can tell in interviews, David Rosenblatt, the CEO, is referring to the design industry. What's so interesting to me, are the global statements made by Rosenblatt such as "everyone ultimately will do everything online". In fact, in his interview with Dennis Scully of Business of Home, Rosenblatt says that the buyers of design are living online and Dennis Scully confirms "no question". And they both agree "the internet is the future". There's really no digging into the fact that the company has never been profitable nor does it even think it can maintain profitability if it were achieved!
There's an embrace of Rosenblatt's decision as if his going public with the company was proof of the future, and not an opportunistic, calculated move made possible by the boost the home space received from the pandemic. He's being treated no differently than most CEOs who walk this path. The illusion😏 makes us high enough to succumb to it because moneytalks and hysteria tends to follow these moves. We suddenly find ourselves blindly following those CEOs instead of reading the signs and questioning the reality of what's happening. In 2019, Ginia Bellafante wrote one of my favorite quotes that I come back to every time I see one of these examples:
"What the ordinary person might interpret as a con game or sheer lunacy, the heavily credentialed investor, with his TED Talk understanding of things, will reliably regard as brilliant eccentricity. While he may have nothing but disdain for the Fox viewer’s commitment to climate denial and birtherism, he has his own attraction to falsehood — a blind faith in “disruptive’’ innovation."