Weekend Briefing No. 428
Weekend Briefing - A Saturday morning briefing on innovation and society.
Welcome to the weekend. Hello from the beaches of Hilton Head, SC.
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$50,130—The film Everything Everywhere All At Once starring Michelle Yeoh has been building a ton of momentum in its gradually widening release. Three weeks ago, it opened in 10 locations and had a per-screen average haul of $50,130, which is the best this year.
$61.83—The average price of an Easter basket is $61.83, up more than 22% from 2019 due to inflation.
30.8%—In 2021, compensation of top 100 CEOs is up 30.8% over 2020 to median of $20 million.
Climate Tech Investment
There is more money than ever flowing into the climate tech sector, but it’s not necessarily flowing into the areas that will have the biggest impact. Here are five core challenges that must be prioritized: (1) Low-cost, zero carbon electricity: So far, wind, solar and lithium batteries have moved the needle forward, but we haven’t solved electricity. Development of nuclear will be a key factor in creating resilience to the inevitable rising demand for clean electricity. (2) Confront industrial emitters: Steel, cement, chemicals and aluminum. Thirty percent of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from manufacturing alone. (3) Solve transportation: We’re already seeing momentum building for electric vehicles and micro mobility, but there is also room for transition to biofuels. Big change must happen for industrial shipping. (4) Build the carbon management industry: It’s time to create a massive market for the capture and removal, storage, transportation, and finance of the net zero transition. (5) Decarbonize Maslow’s basic needs: Everybody on the planet requires food and shelter. This means agriculture and construction—with steel, cement, aluminum and lumber. These big industries must shift to net zero as well. Check out this podcast for more. Exponential View (47 minutes)
Elon Musk on Optimism
In this hour-long interview, Elon Musk touches on multiple topics like: (1) Humanity will solve sustainable energy with sustainable energy generation—primarily solar and wind, battery innovation, and electric transportation. However, the limiting factor is battery cell production. (2) Artificial intelligence (AI) + Robots will usher in an age of abundance. We’ll likely still have a shortage of labor, and the robots will just take the dangerous, dirty, repetitive work. When robots strip most of the labor costs out of a product, then the price of goods and services drop, creating a world of abundantly low-cost goods and services. (3) Multi-planetary species. He plans on launching a thousand starships every two years to Mars in the 2030s, eventually sending 1 million people to populate the planet. TED (66 minutes)
Why Invest Via Equity Crowdfunding
Anyone—no matter their income level—can purchase ownership in privately held companies, thanks to the rise of equity crowdfunding. This groundbreaking strategy democratizes access to capital for people from all income levels and backgrounds, not just the wealthy. The door is open for a new generation of impact investors to align their investments with their values. CoPeace, a Public Benefit Corporation and Certified B Corp, is an impact-holding company providing the opportunity for anyone to invest with an extremely low minimum investment threshold to get started. CoPeace hand selects companies to help them grow—for the betterment of shareholders, stakeholders and the world. CoPeace celebrates diversity, and welcomes investors from all backgrounds, races, genders and income levels. Visit the WeFunder equity crowdfunding campaign before the current campaign closes. WeFunder (Sponsored)
Welcome to the $648 billion care economy—the money we spend to care for our loved ones, from their first breath to their last. There are four dynamic areas of growth in the sector: (1) Child care. It’s a $136 billion market that’s desperate for supply and ripe for disruption and innovation. (2) Workplace. Forty-two percent of employers plan to add or expand care as a part of their benefits package. (3) Household management. Families want to buy back time. There’s a $217 billion opportunity to be unlocked. (4) Aging-in-place. Insurers and startups are innovating quickly to meet the demand for older adults to age at home. Investor’s Guide to the Care Economy (10 minutes)
How Do You Do, Fellow Kids?
Piper Sandler just released its annual survey of teens. Here are some highlights: (1) While 26% of teens own a virtual reality (VR) device, just 5% use it daily. Forty-eight percent of teens are either unsure or not interested in the Metaverse. (2) Crocs increased from the No. 8 preferred footwear brand to No. 6. (3) Chick-Fil-A is the No. 1 restaurant; Starbucks is No. 2; and Chipotle No. 3. (4) TikTok is the favorite social media platform (33% share), surpassing Snapchat for the first time (31%); Instagram was again third (22%). Piper Sandler (5 minutes)
Science v. God
Many people perceive the struggle to understand our universe as a battle between science and God. But this is a false dichotomy. Science does not want to take God away from people. Science explains how the world works, revealing the wonders of the universe big and small, for all to share and appreciate. Scientific research is a passionate enterprise, one that brings us closer to nature, to the mysteries we still face as we try to understand more of the universe and our place in it. The scientific drive for understanding is the same passion that we use toward faith. There is room in our lives for both science and faith, if that is the choice we make. There are many ways of knowing, and they all have a place in our lives. Big Think (8 minutes)
This drone fly-through of Tesla’s new factory in Berlin is amazing. I’ve never seen anything quite like this—the drone flies through the robotic machinery in between cycles of stamping out parts and also through the cars as they are being assembled. This is a uniquely effective how-things-are-made video. Kottke (3 minutes)
The Cold Start Problem by Andrew Chen. A startup executive and investor draws on expertise developed at the premier venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and as an executive at Uber to address how tech’s most successful products have solved the dreaded "cold start problem”—by leveraging network effects to launch and scale toward billions of users. Although software has become easier to build, launching and scaling new products and services remains difficult. Startups face daunting challenges entering the technology ecosystem, including stiff competition, copycats and ineffective marketing channels. Teams launching new products must consider the advantages of “the network effect,” where a product or service’s value increases as more users engage with it. Apple, Google, Microsoft and other tech giants utilize network effects, and most tech products incorporate them, whether they’re messaging apps, workplace collaboration tools or marketplaces. Network effects provide a path for fledgling products to break through, attracting new users through viral growth and word of mouth. Buy Now
Most Read Last Week
Web3 Impact—Subscribe to our upcoming newsletter about how Web3 Technology can create a positive social/environmental impact.
15-Minute City—Politicians and urban planners are betting on hyper-local living—a future ideal that borrows much from the past. But is it a path to urban utopia or just a fad?
How To Criticize Coworkers—Feedback is high leverage because it’s cheap for you to give and provides high value to the recipient by giving them information early.
In addition to the Weekend Briefing, I write a monthly briefing on startup funding called Funding Fridays. I review the startup funding deals from the past month and deliver a concise summary to you on the first Friday of every month. If you’re interested, click here to subscribe to Funding Fridays.
Should We Work Together?
This newsletter is my passion project. When I’m not writing, I run a law firm for startups. Most entrepreneurs want a trusted legal partner, but they hate surprise legal bills. At Westaway, we take care of your startup’s legal needs for a fixed-monthly fee so you can control your costs and focus on scaling your business. If you’re interested, let’s jump on a call to see if you’re a good fit for the firm. Click here to schedule a call.
Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power. –William James
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