Must Reads 263

>> Communication In Years To Come

Good Morning Must Readers, this week’s newsletter includes the following important themes:

  • Ai Doctors - Will we all move towards Ai doctors or will we rely on face-to-face appointments, hint its a blend

  • Virtual Partner - Why millions have moved towards virtual partners

  • Hybrid Work - How to make hybird work, work - it’s not easy but its definitely not hard

  • Creators Reliance - How to scale new media…by leveraging creators again (this internet economy is too circular)

  • Healthy Soda - Health and gut health is having a moment and it will continue with better-for-you soda

>> Ai Doctors 🥼- Important podcast on the importance of using Ai to speed up and improve the process of essential treatments (there are important examples of cancer diagnosis and potential treatments) and the opportunity to re-think healthcare. For those who are concerned the UK and US authorities are looking into what implications all of these big companies rushing into Ai and LLMs (large language models - think of putting all of your data into a series of machines that make it simpler to query the data)

» FWIW I am aware of how much Ai is mentioned and highlighted and I will do my best to only share the important theme(s) of updates around Ai as this is not why you signed up.

>> Virtual Boyfriends 🙋‍♂️- Many people in China are now leaning into virtual boyfriends. It is well-documented that humans are at their loneliest and will look for support online or virtually. Rightly or wrongly humans are becoming more dependent on tech - my long-term fear is people will actively choose the more straightforward subscription model (whether through apps) with Ai and virtual partners than even attempt to connect with another

>> The 6️⃣ Improvements To Make Hybrid Work, Work - The essential lessons learnt and how to address making hybrid work actually work rather than force-fitting numerous bad variations of in-office + x (1-2 day OOO) system

++ Trivia Time ++ What % of transactions are now completed at self-checkouts in stores? (A) 20% (B) 35% (C) 50% or (D) 55%? (2022 🇺🇸 study data)

>> The Importance Of Communication 🗣️ - We have entered the world of overcommunication, in most cases you cannot understand what is important and why, when we have audio, written, video and picture-based communication it is becoming harder and harder to gain cut through and enable those around you to understand your ask or your update. This article really frames the importance to communicating to take action or have an action that just to sound smart.

>> Buzzfeed & Creators 🤔- Buzzfeed shut down their news site, it was award-winning but quality and scaled news is hard and expensive. What Buzzfeed has decided is to embrace the latest wave of news, using Ai and creators. FWIW using creators isn’t new and has been happening for a few years but a company to pin hopes on creators (being paid) and Ai to create and curate news is going to be tricky to edit and control at scale to make internet publishing work. Buzzfeed was once seen as the future of news is just another example of how expensive media is and how news is hard to monetise effectively (and without political motivations).

Here’s a great pod to listen to - hear what went wrong with leaders from Buzzfeed, Semafor and Gawker

>> Is Your TV About To Get Hyper Personalised Ads? 😮- The TV is a device we still arrange a whole room around and is most likely the only screen hasn’t been hit with hyper-personalised ads, well that might be coming to an end with set-top boxes looking to add personalised ads to “improve the experience”. For a shared device it is super risky to show ads and potentially serve ads that shouldn’t be shown. It’s likely to happen but will it improve our subscription service costs or actually make us turn to other personal devices? Likely.

>> How Industries Are Being Optimised By Large Funds ☘️- How VCs are going into risky areas with new payment providers as others won’t fund or enable/allow transactions in this space. Expect this to continue as an opportunity to always someone’s margins or where others just won’t go for fear of upsetting shareholders

>> Healthy Soda Grow🥤 - In the 🇺🇸 “healthier soda” is having its break-out moment with Olipop and other brands, this is where they add apple cider vinegar and other prebiotics to compete against Pepsi & Coca-Cola. With the healthier food and drink space hotting up will we see this continue or will the big soda brands fight back or acquire these brands? Acquisition most likely…We are however going to continue to see more soda brands add “better” different ingredients and reduce sugar and sweeteners. I hope this improves our health awareness and helps with gut health as a Pepsi Max (Pepsi Zero) addict it’s likely what I need most.

++ Answer Time ++ It is (D) 55%, many dislike it but the smart companies are going to offer the two-lane system and many actively choose to see a person

>> The Highest Paid Athletes 💰 - The top 10 doesn’t hold many surprises apart from the new theme, the biggest athletes with the most followers are now demanding more and more money and raking in more endorsements than before, even with Ronaldo playing in the Saudi league he earns the most. It will be interesting when players like Steph Curry & Kevin Durrant both with lifetime deals might appear in new lists, the highest paid ex-athletes…  

Thanks and have a great week,

Danny Denhard - if you find must reads valuable consider buying me a coffee