Just a random link dump...

...because writer's block is no excuse for not sending a newsletter

✍️ The big story

Today’s big story is that I have a serious case of writer’s block. So instead of continuing to avoid all my adoring fans, I’m just going to share some things that have brought me joy over the last week.

But if you want to read what I would have written if I were writing, check out Alex Wilhelm’s take on the news that BDG—the media company formerly known as Bustle—is planning to go public this year.

📖 What I’m reading

The Secret Origins of Amazon's Alexa
The history behind Amazon’s creation of its ubiquitous voice-driven AI machine.

The woman who will decide what emoji we get to use
An interview with Jennifer Daniel, the new head of the Emoji Subcommittee for the Unicode Consortium, about why emojis are now everywhere and what’s coming next.

Buy now, pay later changed retail. Health care and rent are next
How installment payments took over online retail and why they’re coming for what we used to think of as necessities.

The Pandemic Gave Retail Employees a Break
A good analysis of why workers employed in low-paying jobs in the service industry are holding out for better pay and working conditions post-pandemic.

Which Tech Companies Are Remote Friendly?
If you were curious about which tech companies are hiring for in-office employment and which are hiring remote workers, this post is for you.

🧘‍♂️Your moment of zen