Here’s what I’m reading today:
It’s been a challenging year for Florida: Hurricane Irma in 2017, then red tide and green algae, and now the devastating, still unfolding story of Hurricane Michael.
The human toll and wide-spread damage from Michael are most pressing (18 confirmed dead, and thousands still not accounted for). But, Floridians are growing concerned about a longer-term test that could affect its crucial tourism industry–a $112 billion a year business, that’s responsible for about 1.4 million jobs.
It’s not just the rebuilding effort in places like the Gulf Coast, or the perception sunbirds might have the Florida isn’t ready for them. It’s also an issue of timing.
“At the right time, we can let the country and the world know they can come back to those areas,” Ken Lawson, CEO of Visit Florida, told USA Today. Translation: soon–but not so soon that visitors will flock to a Florida where they might find “dead fish all over the beach.”
Sears files for bankruptcy
Early this morning, Sears Holding Corp., the current iteration of an iconic retail brand that traces its history back at least 132 years, filed for bankruptcy. Stores will close and people will lose jobs, but it’s a brand that lost so much cachet that you’re forgiven for wondering if people will really notice. (Bill Murphy Jr., Inc.com)
The death of Bill Coors
The heir to the Coors beer company was highly controversial for his politics. But before that, he took his family’s regional beer brand and built it into a national powerhouse. (David Henry, Bloomberg)
Emergency childcare as an employee benefit
In case you missed this one, Starbucks unveiled a new benefit for its 180,000 employees: emergency discount child care that can be used up to 10 days per year. It’s a perk offered at only 4 percent of U.S. companies. (Bill Murphy Jr., Inc.com)
Here’s why you’re suddenly seeing a lot more ads for brand new brands
This year the floodgates are opening, with more small, new brands putting together big, effective ad campaigns ahead of the holidays. Facebook, Instagram, Snap, and even podcasts are making big pushes to bring in smaller brands, and the brands are reacting. (Sara Fischer and Marisa Fernandez, Axios)
Why AI won’t do your hiring for you
The recent revelation that Amazon tried to use artificial intelligence to recruit engineers, only to discover that its machine learning wound up discriminating against women has people wondering whether AI will fulfil its promise in recruiting, or if people will start saying about it what wags say about soccer: “the sport of the future, and it always will be.” (Jena McGregor, The Washington Post)