Top of Mind. Happy Sunday! It’s great to be back in your inbox.
Some of you emailed me last Sunday about not receiving the newsletter. I was ill. I am much better this week and eager to dig into all the best news.
Let’s get to it.
3 big things:
- Jack Dorsey resigns from Twitter
- Nigerian tech companies and pop culture
- Spotify Wrapped is back
Why Jack Dorsey left Twitter
The short: Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey stepped down from his role as CEO after 16 years at the company. The company’s board unanimously appointed CTO Parag Agrawal as his successor.
Behind the scenes: Industry insiders claim Jack was asked to resign by activist investment firm Elliot Management Corp. The firm acquired 4% of Twitter last year.
The firm laid out ambitious growth targets for Jack Dorsey, which included gaining significant advertising market share, increasing revenue from single-digit billion-dollar figures, and increasing Twitter’s user base by 20%.
Welp… Twitter met some of the growth targets, but not all. The story from the grapevine is Jack didn’t want to trade in his zen to fight for his position and resigned before he was asked.
Jack says: “it’s finally time for me to leave”. He shared that it’s time for Twitter to be independent of its founders and for the company to be steered in a new direction by Parag. Jack won’t retain a board seat after May 2022 – to give “Parag the space he needs to lead.”
Methinks Jack is tired of the regulatory bs. There’s a time in a tech CEO’s life, especially one with an engineering background – where they get less interested in skimming through policy binders for Capitol hill hearings and more interested in product development.
Being Twitter’s CEO might not have been fun anymore. I reckon Jack is having a better time playing in the less regulated waters of bitcoin and DeFi.
Who’s leaving? Dantley Davis and Michael Montano, Twitter’s Chief Design Officer and Head of Engineering stepped down from their roles due to Pawal’s leadership shakeup.
New Policy: Twitter announced a new policy banning nonconsensual sharing of media of private citizens. People who post photos and videos of strangers for laughs on the internet would have those kinds of content taken down.
By the numbers: Following Jack’s announcement on Monday, Twitter’s stock experienced an 11% leap. However, it bottomed out at nearly 3% as the market got a better sense of Twitter’s succession plan.Final thoughts: I like Jack. I think his latest Web 3 explorations are a better use of his skills than remaining Twitter’s CEO. I’m rooting for Twitter. I love the product, and I need them to unleash their true potential. Stat!
African fintech startups bet big on Nigerian pop stars
The Short: Nigerian fintech startups are snapping up the continent’s biggest music stars as brand ambassadors.
Why it matters: With the lineup of collaborations, Nigeria’s fintech startups are betting on Nigeria’s entertainment stars and hoping to leverage their appeal to convert their fanbase into consumers or adopters of their products.
Here’s what’s happening: Africa’s Fintech scramble for dominance has shifted to pop culture with recent collaborations involving payment startups and Nigerian pop stars. The alignment seems natural – the scale and traction of the music industry is the aspiration for several startups.
- Davido recently announced a partnership with Bitsika to create social crypto token $ECHOKE. Bitsika’s CEO Atsu Davoh is no stranger to Davido’s powers – he recently tweeted that Davido triggered an activity surge that crashed the servers of the Bitsika app. Twice.
- Don Jazzy’s generosity fits right into Abeg’s playbook. Abeg is Nigeria’s CashApp styled social payments platform. Abeg’s market entry attracted millions of users, mainly on its sponsorship of the reality TV show, Big Brother Nigeria. The N1,000,000 ($2,400+) giveaway by Don Jazzy strengthens Abeg’s place in culture.
- Grammy-award winner Burna Boy is a brand ambassador to money transfer startup Chipper Cash, which launched its services in the US. Burna Boy’s international appeal aligns with Chipper Cash’s ambitions.
- Teni Makanaki is an ambassador to digital wealth management startup Rise. Teni’s music centres around wealth-building aspirations – listen to her song: Billionaire.
Disclosure: I am an Investor in Rise 🙂
Between the lines: Beyond the marquee collaborations, FinTech startups are investing in Nigeria’s broader pop scene. Bamboo and Flutterwave were headline sponsors of live events of the millennial favourite podcast ISaidWhatISaid. In addition, Abeg is sponsoring several concerts this December with exclusive ticket partnerships. Final thoughts: Africa’s tech startups are making safe bets by partnering with Nigerian entertainment celebrities. Nigerian pop culture has scaled effectively worldwide, and who else is in a better place to evangelise the product than the entertainers.
Spotify takes the crown again with this year’s ‘Wrapped’
The Short: Spotify launched Wrapped, its annual end-of-year personalised music review, while Apple Music barely participated.
What it means: Every December, Spotify shows out and reminds us how much of a marketing genius it is. Spotify Wrapped shares a recap of a user’s most-streamed top artists, songs and podcasts.
Apple Music, its biggest competitor, seems to care less about this level of effort, and its users are livid.
Why it matters: Not only are users and music enthusiasts interested in year-end reviews of their music and podcast indulgences, artists and creators share data on streaming figures, number of listeners and countries.
Final thoughts: Spotify Wrapped instantly translates to effortless marketing. The visibility Spotify gets through Wrapped is unmatched.Apple users are in a constant state of FOMO this time of year because the most Apple will do for music lovers is send a random playlist about the music you might have listened to that year.
Hack of the week!
I switched out Feature Spotlight this week to share something I think you need 🙂
How to get rid of app review requests!
Are you an iPhone user? Are you tired of the random prompts to rate an app? You can get rid of those if you dislike them as much as I do.
How it works:
- Go to Settings
- Click on App Store
- Scroll down to In-App Ratings & Reviews
- Toggle the option off
Try it out, thank me later.
That’s it for the week. See you next Sunday!
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