Apple is rumored to be courting “The Fancy” CEO Joseph Einhorn, an acquisition that would give Apple major e-commerce leverage. The Fancy is a social bookmarking site, where users can bookmark picture links of things they “fancy”, want to buy, or want to sell. Sounds familiar right? Isn’t that a Pinterest “pin” you say? Not exactly.
The two sites, while very similar from a user’s perspective, launched beta invitation-only versions at almost exactly the same time. Furthermore, The Fancy has far more e-commerce capabilities using its parent company Thing Daemon (ThingD) to organize billions of images in its database. In a tumultuous world of social media and Internet marketing, Apple’s acquisition of the fancy could spell trouble for Pinterest.
Fancier than Pinterest
PInterest is in serious trouble here because they are not even generating any revenue right now. Here is a direct excerpt from The Fancy’s help page:
“Right now, we are focused on growing Pinterest and making it more valuable. To fund these efforts, we have taken outside investment from entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. In the past, we’ve tested a few different approaches to making money such as affiliate links. We might also try adding advertisements, but we haven’t done this yet.
Even though making money isn’t our top priority right now, it is a long term goal. After all, we want Pinterest to be here to stay!”
Hmmm, I don’t consider myself a business genius by any means. But, shouldn’t you have at least one business plan in place no matter how general, if you expect to gain value? I’m not knocking Pinterest, the site is cool and their vision is benign yet optimistic, if maybe a little naïve. The reason The Fancy has the upper hand should Apple buy it is because they had the foresight to form and integrate a plan to make money and stay profitable.
Fancy the New Amazon?
In a Hypebeast Interview , Joseph Einhorn (The Fancy CEO) stated that they want to be the new Amazon. Their e-commerce platform enables users to not only follow products, styles, and trends that they like, but to buy products directly related to the things they are interested without leaving the site.
Entrepreneurial users can click on an icon that says “I want to sell this”, receiving a 2% affiliate commission on their sale. Fancy takes 10% every transaction that occurs on the site as well. With or without Apple, The Fancy is poised to revolutionize the online shopping world through its seamless integration of social bookmarking and e-commerce.
Apple Tickled with Fancy
Apple is no stranger to the e-commerce world. Their first big leap into it came in the early 1990’s with the launch of the Apple ITunes store. From there their e-commerce presence went viral. Apple’s interest in Fancy is easy to understand. The ease with which users can buy and sell products without ever leaving the website is brilliant, and certain to take off. Also, there may be a huge opportunity for Apple to start selling music on this platform, which would be much easier for users than the current iTunes setup. The possibilities are endless for Apple if it acquires The Fancy.
Will The Fancy Sell?
Anything’s for sale if the price is right. That’s the question of the hour: will they sell to Apple? Will The Fancy even remain privately held for long? It all depends on the offer that Apple allegedly made, and whether Joseph Einhorn and his partners are willing to let go of their r beloved fancy.
Joseph Einhorn is not a green businessman. The Fancy is his third company, and at the age of 30 he has managed to gain business acumen and wisdom that even seasoned investors and inventors could only dream of. Regardless of whether Apple acquires The Fancy or not, we haven’t seen the last of either of them.
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