When all else fails, try failing

You know that low-grade amnesia that’s just been kind of laying over everyone like a blanket over the past year of mass death? Turns out it’s a great cover to repeat some history! Chicago-based Home Partners, which buys homes throughout the U.S. and offers them to tenants on a rent-to-buy scheme, is selling itself and its 17,000 houses to investment group Blackstone for $6 billion. 

Tries to remember how many zeros make a billion

So like $350,000 per house? What could go wrong?

Logistics company ShipBob raised $200 million while personal investing app M1 raised $150 million, marking two new billion-dollar valuations in the Chicago economy. Fortunately, both seem to be more solid than the house-of-cards housing market. ShipBob doubled its revenue last year, helping small and mid-sized businesses keep product moving during the pandemic. M1 doesn’t have quite the same fundamentals. Instead, its perceived value comes from a look at competitors — Robinhood is planning an IPO that may go as high as $40 billion, and Chicago-based Tastytrade just sold for $1 billion. M1 is planning to hire another 250-odd people in the next year and a half, and ShipBob is looking to hire 200 over an unspecified timeline. 

Funding announcements generally have one thing in common — Y chromosomes. Fortunately, there may be some good news for female founders trying to raise money. First Women’s Bank will look to make money by financing other women-led businesses

The team of powerful women behind the bank should be well-positioned to understand the unique challenges women face when raising capital. After all, they fell $20 million short of the $50 million it planned to open with. 

In more signs that the economy is healing, United is planning to hire 25,000 people as travel bounces back, including 3,000 in Chicago. Sounds like maybe its cries of pandemic poverty were overstated?

Amazon is also doing just great, as always. It’s buying the 70-acre Central Steel campus on the Southwest side, and planning a warehouse with hundreds of jobs in Humboldt Park. Neat. Just going to leave this article about Amazon firing drivers via email, based on an algorithm, right here

Wonder why, as this headline says verbatim, “Survey shows people no longer believe working hard will lead to a better life.”

This is how you end up in a world where Walmart is the hero — offering free job training for anyone out of its West Chatham location. 

Please don’t make us use the “hero Gotham deserves” GIF. No one deserves this. 

A little ray of light: As of July 5, fast-food workers in New York are no longer “at-will” employees. That means managers who want to fire someone need an actual reason, and proof, rather than just a general dislike. Perhaps a model for broader protections for all of us. 

Jobs, Glorious Jobs
Website Coordinator for the Obama Foundation
Help Obama keep his Livejournal running, and get a nice little prestige name on your résumé.

Audience Engagement Manager for Open Campus
The pay ($50,000) is bad and the tasks are many (basically manage everything readers interact with, from social to WordPress). Still, we appreciate that this publication covering higher education is actively seeking out people who did not graduate from a “fancy college” (though we don’t know why HBCUs are listed next to community colleges). Speaking as former audience engagement management over here, we can say it’s a great job to learn how to juggle a little bit of absolutely everything. 

Digital Marketing Manager for Vosges Chocolates
If you can make it all the way through this sentence, then you’re already more qualified for the job than us: “Our goal as alchemical, experiential chocolate makers is to balance the mind, body, and spirit, honoring them as a system, with wellness being the optimal outcome of that system being in harmony, physically, psychologically and spiritually.”

Inspiration of the week

“Everything is chaos, and being a boss can’t protect you. So you might as well give being a loser a shot.”

—Gabrielle Moss in an article on welcoming the “girlloser” that is so good we bought a Medium subscription (?!??) to read it. 

Plenty has been written about what leaning in actually gets us: Namely, nothing. But by focusing on just how rarely we get to see the “girlloser” — how the only women worth talking about are “painfully responsible” composites of spreadsheets and caffeine — this article makes us see the trap fresh. 

“Trickle-down girlbossism held that side hustles, and answering work emails at 10pm AND 6 am, and using ill-begotten Adderall prescriptions to do your pointless office work faster, were all feminist enterprises. And to not be this focused, this devoted, this jacked-up on pharmaceuticals, was an affront to feminism.”

The Girlboss lets us think that maybe a meritocracy is possible if we’re really, really good, that maybe we just need to try harder to get into the club. The title of this newsletter is all the proof you need that we were fully bought in. Even now we want to update the above quote for AP Style. Because perfect grammar is all that stands between us and respect.

Girlloserdom won’t get us where we want to go, but at least it sees the road clearly. We like to think of it curled up next to office workers “lying flat,” part of the already banned “tang ping” movement to protest the professional pressures of Chinese culture. 

Today, we’re trying to find the courage to lean out. And once we get that down, maybe we’ll do the even scarier thing and think about what’s worth getting up for.

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