📝 Must Reads 278

>> Messi Miami? 🦩

Happy Friday Must Readers 👋 - must reads #278 is full of brilliant articles, podcasts and videos to help you prepare for the future!

This week’s important themes covered

  • Ruthless business leadership

  • What’s “right”? 4 days a week, 9 day fortnights, flex days…

  • Driverless Cabs & San Fran

  • Impact of star players

  • AI Music, AI Ads etc etc

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Work Focus

» No Passengers Principle ⚠️ - Why the people coasting in your team are hurting your department and sending the wrong message throughout your business.

» 4 Day Work Weeks Vs 5 🤺 - 4 Day work weeks have mixed reviews, some suggesting it’s great and others struggling to cram in 5 days work in 4 days and many needing to work extra hours and unofficial hours to make it work. I for one think 4 days and 4+, Flex Fridays & 9 day fortnights (you work 9 days, not 10) are going to be a competitive edge for some challenger brands but with the hard reset back to the office and back to “normal” we will struggle to see mass adoption.


What % of drinks at Starbucks are now iced-based drinks? ☕️ 

(A) 40%

(B) 50%

(C) 65%

(D) 75%

Sports Focus

Messi => Miami Economy Is Booming

» Messi Miami ⚽️ - One of the greatest players of all time joined Inter Miami in July, his signing has already had a hugely positive impact on the Miami economy (and Adidas kit sales are booming) with more bars and restaurants recording huge spokes in footfall. US sports already saw this with major trades with the likes Of Lebron James (from Boston To LA / Cleveland etc) & Tom Brady moving between NFL teams - we are now seeing this with soccer being the 4th major sport (yes it’s more popular than hockey in viewership & participation now) we should expect this to now become a theme. Importantly Saudi football is already seeing increasing attendance and viewership, while stadiums are beginning to fill. We are going to see major signings have a huge local impact and when Messi comes to town the “Messi machine” (what I dubbed the new travelling army of club co-owner David Beckham (attending for extended PR), alongside other star teammates Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba) will have a hugely positive impact. Expect MLS to be stronger and stronger.
» Related 📝, Taylor Swift has had a hugely positive economic on her recent tour and tourism boards are particularly happy with her influence on igniting local & tourist spending. The Messi roadshow will be fascinating to watch and the impact it has.

» Women’s Sports Investment Boom 👏 - The women’s world cup has had record viewership (come on the Lionesses 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 for Sunday), US women’s soccer has seen huge celebrating investment, women’s basketball has just smashed viewership and sponsorship and women’s MMA are now regularly leading pay-per-view main cards. We are going to see this continue for years to come.

Tech Focus

» Why Open Web Archives Are Grey Hat Pirates 🏴‍☠️ - As a newsletter that relies on tips to create must reads each and every week I get the pain many companies go through when they add paywalls and stop free reads, BUT, I also see the essential roles web archives play in the flow of information specifically really key pieces of journalism. 12ft ladder and numerous archives have sprung up to allow anyone to read articles, but these sites are having to step back and stop sharing

» Media Business Problems 💸- Friend of Must Reads Brian Morrissey took a deep-dive into modern media businesses and it’s tremendous. It breaks down why media is hard, how Buzzfeed is worth less than its turnover every year, why even Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post has lost millions, and why newsletter businesses aren’t easy to create or make work long term.
My simple TLDR ad-supported business is incredibly hard to scale and bring in the right users.

» AI, Product & Tech - This podcast is an incredible example of how AI is going to be a level set for some, a breakthrough for others and a bust for many. If you are in a tech company or worried about AI this is a brilliant listen with Des Traynor & Patrick O’Shaughnessy.

» Google Chrome + AI = Summarised Web 🤨 - Google have been quieter than most rushing into AI, their business relies on everyones content to serve ads against and a small tweak = big revenue hit. Now Google is adding in AI driven webpage summaries (this isn’t new but) - Google’s strategy (IMHO) is to use AI to take away the reliance on judging other sites content and let AI do the work of good vs bad content on websites. Using the most popular browser to run this is smart but as website and business owners question will chatgpt and Google AI be adding value or taking value from our business.
Free advice: The answer isn’t add a tonne of AI generated content. It’s going to hinder you in the mid to long term.

» The Atlantic CEO on his regular LinkedIn about the good and bad use of AI and the trade-offs we aren’t talking about

Nas performing recently while celebrating 50 years of hip hop

» HipHop Vs TikTok Vs AI 🎤- One of the biggest talking points is the influence of tech in music, from Drake and The Weeknd fake AI song, TikTok’s power over the 10-30 second hit maker or remaker (sped up Miguel helped him top charts over a decade post original launch) and how HipHop royalty Nas wants hip-hop to return to an art form, not the repetitive algorithm-driven sound that has come out recently (aka mumble rap).

» San Fran Cabs 🚖 - It’s happening, self-driving cabs are about to take over San Fran. It is already a huge business in large Chinese cities, San Fran (Silicon Valley) has just approved two firms (Cruise & Waymo) to ramp up their driverless efforts. With major cities wanting to reduce car traffic it is fascinating to see how other cities are embracing tech and enabling self-driving cars to offer an alternative to public transport. Since the announcement both Waymo and Cruise have seen huge spikes in their apps being downloaded. Is this indication that we want options or robots to drive us from a to b?

» AI Ads 🤖 - Under Armour generated an ad (reimagined from many other inspiring and uplifting speeches in movies) with Asher D (So Solid Crew rapper & actor Top Boy) delivering the AI script. Not bad, we will see many more AI ads recreated classics, used in their campaigns and for the next while it will be “labelled” for 6 months or so.


» If you are a fan of creators listen to friend of Must Reads Chris's podcast including what I recommend people to do if they wanted to create newsletters like me ⬇️

++Trivia++ - A somewhat surprising 75% of all Starbucks drinks are now iced-based. Venti Peach Iced Tea anyone? We will likely see this trend at large chains as the younger customers buy colder, sweeter caffeine-based drinks.

Thanks for reading and go and have a great weekend,

Danny Denhard

Random 278 fact » The 278 bus goes from Ruislip and Heathrow Airport Central in London.