A unicorn stampede. JAB has a sandwich. Our connected future.

The bell tolls for consultants


We've written about how Expert Automation & Augmentation Software is coming for MBAs — and other white-collar professionals — in everything from trading to wealth management to journalism.

Another industry that's majorly threatened is management consulting. These firms are being displaced by data platforms, tech-enabled expertise, and AI.

So if you're feeling bad about AI applications automating jobs, hug a management consultant today. They'll soon need the TLC

Brace yourselves

Management consulting's vulnerability to disruption isn't often discussed, but it is very real. It's a primarily human-driven industry — which doesn't bode well for its ability to defend itself against technology.

We explore how consulting came to be, its 4 main functions, and the change that's coming

Getting baked

JAB Holding is expanding its sandwiches and baked goods stash, purchasing Pret A Manger from Bridgepoint Advisers for around $2B earlier this week.

We take a look at where JAB and its subsidiaries are placing their bets across the US coffee and bakery space.

A free-for-all with a purpose

One of our mottos at CB Insights is "experiment to win." So 4 times a year, our employees have the opportunity to work on whatever they want for 24 hours before presenting to the company.

This Hack Day, CBI'ers created a more helpful help center (pictured below), client news mention alerts, a Dewey Decimal System for private deals, and a coffee suggestion engine, among many other projects. Read all about them here.

And another one

Nineteen days to go, and we're still stacking up the Future of Fintech (June 19 - 21) lineup.

We're excited to announce that Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management & Budget and acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), will join us on stage June 20.

We only have 74 tickets left and prices go up tomorrow. Save $500 using code morespeakers.

Have a great rest of the week.


P.S. Start your morning with a 5 minute update on everything you need to know about the global economy. Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief here.

This week in data:

  • $1B: California-based electric scooter company Bird is reportedly raising $150M in a new financing led by Sequoia Capital, a round that will value the company at $1B (unicorn status). This would make Bird the first scooter unicorn. The company, which launched in Los Angeles, allows users to rent dockless electric scooters through an app and leave them on the street when they’re done. We’ve previously written about how dockless models like Bird are looking to solve urban commutes and transit access. Get the analysis here

  • 4: In fact, it’s rainin’ unicorns. Four new companies crossed the $1B valuation threshold this week to make it onto our unicorn tracker. The new inductees are Chinese e-commerce company Jolly Information Technology ($1B valuation), above-mentioned dockless scooter company Bird ($1B), cloud-based B2B commerce platform Tradeshift ($1.1B), and Estonian international transportation network company Taxify ($1B).
  • 177: The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect this week, tightening up regulations about how companies use the personal data of European clients. As the rule rolls out, we used our earnings transcript analytics tool to look at what companies had GDPR at the forefront of execs’ minds — and which ones were staying silent on the rule. As the deadline approached, discussions of GDPR intensified, with companies making 177 mentions of the rule in earnings calls in Q1’18 alone. Check out the full report. 

  • +4.6%: Dick’s Sporting Goods beat expectations when it reported earnings earlier this week, despite concerns that the retailer’s new restrictions on gun purchases would harm sales. In February, on the heels of the Parkland school shooting, Dick’s CEO Edward Stack announced that the company was “going to take a stand and step up” on gun control, raising the minimum age to purchase guns to 21 and suspending sales of all AR-15s and semiautomatic rifles. Despite these new restrictions, Dick’s sales rose 4.6% year-over-year in the quarter, while profit climbed 3.2% to $60M.
  • $1,290: The price of the new “T-Shirt Shirt” released by Spanish fashion house Balenciaga as part of its Fall 2018 collection. If you couldn’t tell, the shirt is a button-down shirt with a T-shirt sewn onto the back. According to Balenciaga’s online store, the shirt has “two wearing options”: fashionistas can wear the short sleeved shirt for a “front drape effect” (the button-down hanging off the front), or can wear the front shirt for a cape-like effect. For more on the innovations coming down the runway, check out our Future of Fashion report.

  • 8 days: Many travel companies offer themed trips, from food-based tours, to literary trips, to itineraries based on tv shows and movies. Now, Intrepid Travel is serving up a new kind of experience: trips for vegans. Earlier this week, the company announced that it's launching its first-ever vegan food tours, featuring meat- and dairy-free itineraries in India, Thailand, and Italy. Stops include vegan cooking classes, a street food tour, and even a stay at an all-vegan villa in the hills of Tuscany. Trips start at $1,160 for 8 days. Those inclined to go might also want to check out our report on the future of meatless technology.

One more thing...

Last week, the world’s smallest park — as recognized by Guinness World Records — got a new sign.

Mill Ends Park is located in Portland, Oregon, and is approximately 2 feet in diameter. It began as a hole dug for a light post in 1946.

Oregon Journal writer Dick Fagan took notice when the post never came and weeds started to fill the hole. He removed the weeds and planted flowers.

At the time, Fagan wrote a column called “Mill Ends” and named the park after it. He started writing about the goings-on and the supposed leprechauns who lived there. He planted and tended to a single tree in the park, and hosted snail races and other tiny events.  

Mill Ends Park was officially recognized by the Portland Parks and Recreation in 1976, 7 years after Fagan’s death.
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