The CEO of a $60 million furniture startup explains why it suddenly shut down

Dot & Bo CEO Anthony Soohoo

Online furniture store Dot & Bo abruptly shut down on Friday, joining a long list of failed e-commerce startups we've seen in recent years.

The company announced the closure on its website late Friday, saying it simply failed to find new investors to support its business. Apparently it looked into getting acquired by a big public company, but those talks seem to have fizzled out as well. 

It said:

"We were in deep discussions to be acquired by a prominent public company, but ultimately the partnership did not come to fruition. We are humbled to have had such loyal customers and are extremely proud of the impact we made on the home furnishings market, but ultimately we were unable to find backers with the necessary vision to help us achieve our mission."

Dot & Bo, founded by former CBS Interactive exec Anthony Soohoo, was an online furniture retailer targeting millennial customers. It had a storytelling aspect too, offering news articles and stories around products, and recently expanded its focus to furniture consulting for business customers as well. The company raised $20 million in total and was last valued at roughly $60 million, according to Recode.

Dot & Bo's failure underscores the challenges e-commerce startups face as they go up against traditional big box retailers and larger competitors like Amazon. Although there have been huge successes like Jet.com and Dollar Shave Club recently, once richly valued companies like One Kings Lane and Gilt have sold themselves at a fraction of their previous valuations.

In an interview with Recode's Kara Swisher, Soohoo said Dot & Bo failed because "the market was frozen over and the sector was out of favor." 

“Sometimes ignorance is bliss, but as you get into a business more, you realize that maybe some of the challenges get pretty impossible...And then you feel like shit," he told Swisher.

You can read the full interview here>>

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The new ‘Magnificent Seven’ just had one of the biggest box office openings of any Western

the magnificent seven pratt washington sony

Who says the Western is dead?

Sony's "The Magnificent Seven" has proven that a movie without any superheros and catered more for adults can make some coin as it took in an estimated $35 million at the box office, according to Exhibitor Relations.

The shoot-'em-up starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, and breakthrough star Haley Bennett (who is also in the anticipated "The Girl on the Train") had a strong Friday with with $12.6 million on the day (including $1.7 million from Thursday previews) and finishing the weekend with $35 million that puts it second all-time for biggest opening weekend for a live-action Western (2011's "Cowboys & Aliens" $36.4 million, all-time is 2011 animated Western "Rango" with $38 million).

The movie is the biggest box office opening for director Antoine Fuqua and star Washington, as this marks their third time working together. Their past biggest success was 2014's "The Equalizer" ($34.1 million).   

We'll see what kind of staying power "Seven" has with stiff competition coming: "Deepwater Horizon" and Tim Burton's "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" opening next week and "The Girl on the Train" the following week.

The weekend's other big release came in second place as Warner Bros. animated movie "Storks" took in $21.8 million. Though that's a little lower than industry expectations, it could find continued business in the weeks to come as more mature titles open in coming weeks, leaving "Storks" the only kid's movie at the multiplex.

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I take back everything bad I ever said about the Jaguar F-Type

Jaguar F Type 30

I have not been a fan of the Jaguar F-Type.

When I drove an F-Type R in 2015, I came away from the experience grateful but annoyed. The allegedly glorious and gorgeous machine pestered my nerves for days.

I concluded the car is pretentious. "The car the F-Type is supposed to evoke is the legendary Jaguar E-Type, regarded by many as the most beautiful car of all time," I wrote then. "F comes after E, so the F-Type was conceived to be a modern-day version of the E-Type. It certainly has presence. But that presence is loud. The E-Type whispered. The F-Type roars." 

The F-Type, I concluded, has a personality problem, "full of sound and fury." I thought it "bellowed like a beautifully dressed, overmuscled Englishman who just took a few grand off the house at a craps table in Vegas."

Jaguar F-Type R

My colleague Ben Zhang disagreed. He thought the F-Type was the most beautiful car he'd ever seen. And he did say that he thought the F-Type with a supercharged six-cylinder engine and manual transmission would change my tune (the F-Type R had a big supercharged V8 and no stick).

And so, about a year after my last F-Type drive, I got to spend a few days with V6. (The F-Type S test car tipped the cost scales at about $85,000, and it was very well optioned.)

Oh my sweet lord, was I ever wrong about the F-Type!

Okay, I wasn't wrong about the F-Type R, which is spiritually just too much of a departure from what a Jag sports car is supposed to be: suave yet slightly irreverent, a gentleman with a sense of humor and an appetite for stylish fun.

But not every F-Type deserves that scorn. Take away two cylinders and it becomes a magnificent thing.

The engine note put me in the mind of Eric Clapton's opening riff from "Layla": aggressive, kinda loud, but mature,  and ultimately the lead-in to a love song. This is not the wild wail of the turbocharged V8 in the Ferrari California T, not the stonking stomp of the V8 in the Corvette Stingray or Z06, and not the dignified growl of the V12 in the stupendous Aston Martin DB9. It is also not the aforementioned bellow of the V8 F-Type.

Jaguar F Type 29

There's a bit of pleasing drone to the F-Type's six-banger, making it sound light on its feet until it punches above its weight. It's easily among the best sounding V6s I've ever heard. Syrup, smoke, and sparkle. What a range of lovely sounds, and all of them thick and creamy, yet episodically piquant, strong flavor for the sonic palate.

The car also looks sportier and, to be honest, smaller minus the F-Type R's all-wheel-drive system and bigger motor. This is entirely subjective, but the F-Type with the V6 presents the appearance of being light on its radials.

And it does more than just present: slip into the elegant interior, all stitched leather and mellow aromas, grasp the leather-wrapped steering wheel, then allow your hand to fall naturally on the smooth-shifting 6-speed manual — a bit of gas and off you go. A bit more gas and you're going good.

Jaguar F Type 6

And then the fun really starts, as the engine note and the exceptionally planted driving dynamics, coupled with the fact that you're directly controlling the transmission, merge into an exceptionally taut — but not too taut — motoring experience.

On the freeway, you just want to keep going. In the curves, you want to press the machine every so slightly until it asks for more. And then happily gives it. A V8 under the hood would be pointless. Sure, there would be more power, but as I noted when I drove the F-Type R, it's unnecessary. Overdone. The engine of a braggart rather than a driver. The 380 horses of the V6 are just fine, because they are 380 horses that are damn satisfying to ride (and if even that's too much, you can get a 340-horsepower version).

This isn't exactly a bonkers high-performance car. It's been reviewed a lot, and there have been complaints about the manual transmission — that it isn't sharp enough, that it feels less-than-serious. Which is probably true — but it didn't bother me at all. It felt buttery enough, and it was no trouble when we used it to make a video about how to drive an old-school manual

So I'm now a raving fanboy for the Jag F-Type. Okay, I'm still not down with the V8 version. But grabbing gears and putting the hammer down in the V6 is a sexy little slice of motoring heaven. I admit it, Jaguar: I was — mostly — wrong.

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An airline pilot reveals why the Boeing 757 is truly unique (BA)

Boeing 757 American Airlines

Twelve years after Boeing discontinued the 757, the long-time 'tweener in the company's lineup is still popular among U.S. airlines.

American, Delta, and United all operate large fleets of the airplane.

Even though the Renton, Washington-based plane maker booked more than 1,000 orders for the jets over its two decades in production, it was never a hot seller.

By the early 2000's, sales of the 757 had all but dried up, and Boeing put the plane out to pasture in 2004.

Although many of the planes are pushing 25 years of service, airlines are hanging onto their 757s. For instance, Delta, who has spent big bucks on a fleet of new jets, recently refurbished the cabins of its aging 757s instead of replacing them with newer planes. 

So why are its customer's so loyal? Is the 757 such as good? To get some answers, Business Insider recently spoke with author and Boeing 757 pilot Patrick Smith about the plane.

"There's no denying the 757 is an old plane that was designed in the late 1970s, but the versatility of the plane is remarkable and unmatched," Smith, the author of the book Cockpit Confidential, told Business Insider in an interview. "It's profitable on both short-haul domestic as well as trans-Atlantic routes."

Boeing 757 Delta AirlinesDuring it's production life, the 757 was always a bit of an oddity — a 'tweener of sorts. It's larger and offers greater range than the average narrow body jet, but smaller and cheaper to operate than a wide-body. Boeing and its customers, for many years, didn't quite know how to take full advantage of the plane's capabilities. However, when they did figure it out, it became an integral part of the operators' fleets. 

Boeing is currently marketing a new stretched variant of its long-serving 737 — called the MAX 9 —  as a potential replacement for the 757. Now, there's talk that Boeing may make the 737 even larger to match get closer to the 757's capacity. 

"Boeing is trying to push the 737 as a viable 757 replacement," Smith said, "In some respects it can and in some respects it can't."

For instance, the 737 simply isn't capable of the same kind of engine performance as the 757.

According to Smith, the 737 falls way short of the 757 in terms of runway performance. The 737 requires a much higher takeoff speed and much more runway to get off the ground. 

"The 757 can be off the ground in 4,000 ft. and under 140 knots," he told us. However, Smith recounts being in the cockpit jump seat of a 737 as two other pilots were flying. During takeoff, the author noticed that the plane didn't lift off until 160 knots and used up much more runway.

Furthermore, the 757 can comfortably climb straight to its cruising altitude. On the other hand, the 737 requires a step climb procedure that calls for the plane to climb to a certain altitude and burn off some fuel to lighten the load before climbing to higher altitude. 

Runway performance matters. Especially when it comes to the type of flying the 757 and the 737 are asked to perform — trans-continental or oceanic flights with a full payload.

Boeing 737 MAX 9"The 737 falls short when you're trying fly it longer haul, coast to coast. It can do it, but not by much," Smith said. In addition, when it comes to flying across the Atlantic, "there's is concern in the winter, when there is ferocious head winds, the 737 may need to stop for fuel."

The reality is that Smith believes the Boeing 737 is a good plane, but is being asked to take on a mission the design wasn't meant to perform.

"The Boeing 737 was essentially conceived as a small regional jet nearly decades ago," Smith told us. "It's an extremely popular plane, but it's being asked to perform missions it wasn't designed for."

As a result, Boeing is simply not in a position to bolt bigger engines onto the 737. Since its introduction in the 1960s, Boeing has been installing larger and larger engines on the 737 as the size of the plane grew. Unfortunately, the amount of room underneath the wing hasn't changed. Thus, Boeing has all but maxed out on the size of the engines it can mount on the 737 without completely redesigning the plane's under carriage. 

Instead of a stretched 737, Smith believes Boeing should have gone for an updated version of the 757 at sometime during its production run.

"Somewhere along the way, had Being just re-engined the 757 with a new cockpit and new internal system, it could have been a big hit," Smith told us.

Representatives from Boeing were not immediately available for comment.

Icelandair Boeing 757-200 With that said, the 757 isn't a perfect plane.

"It's a 6-across narrow body that's long and thin," Smith said. "And for passengers, it can take a long time to board and disembark." 

In addition, the 757's cockpit is pretty old-fashioned with compared to modern airliners such as the 737 MAX. The controls of the 757 are also much heavier for pilots than its sibling — the Boeing 767. The 757 and 767 were developed at the same time and features virtually identical cockpits. 

Finally, the Boeing 757 leaves a massive amount of wake turbulence as it flies — forcing air traffic controllers to keep other planes far away from passing 757s. 

"No one know really why, but the 757 has really strong wake turbulence," Smith told us. "The early 757s had worse wake turbulence than the 747."
Although Smith added that the addition of winglets on later 757s have greatly decreased the wake turbulence.
The Boeing 757 is aircraft that's come and gone. It's served it tour of duty with honor and distinction. Now, it's time for Boeing to find a replacement worthy of stepping into its shoes. 

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The only trend guys need to pay attention to this fall is incredibly easy to pull off

plaid

There's a lot of noise out there for what men should wear this fall. But if you ignore all the other trends, at least remember this one: plaid.

Yes, that's right. Plaid. Humble plaid. You may already own something in plaid, as the pattern is already quite common in men's clothing.

But this time, plaid is taking over. It's not just button-up flannel anymore, but blazers, suits, outerwear, and even pants emblazoned with the checked pattern.

It was everywhere on the runway earlier this year, and now that we're finally seeing some of those collections in stores, we're seeing them on the streets, too.

But don't just take our word for it — Bloomberg and GQ have noticed the same trend.

So how do you wear plaid? That's the easy part! You probably already are wearing it. But if you're looking for more tips on how to get in on this trend that's about to explode, look for blazers or even suits with the pattern. A plaid jacket over a solid shirt is a great accent to complete a look.

Get as crazy a pattern as your conscience will allow you, but don't get too crazy – or who knows when you'll actually be able to wear it.

A word of caution: keep in mind that patterned items are inherently a little less formal than plain ones, so don't show up to a black-tie event dressed in a plaid tuxedo. Also, this look can be very easily overdone, so try to stick to only one item or set in plaid.

Mr. Porter

From left to right: A.P.C. Plaid Wool Cardigan ($575), ETRO Velvet And Calf Hair-Trimmed Plaid Wool-Blend Coat ($2,330)Gant Rugger Brooklyn Checked Cotton-Twill Shirt ($145)

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