How may AI-ssist you?

December 15th, 2023

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Wow. Carol M. won our latest Italy Dream Train Tour giveaway. In case you were wondering, we really do give out these prizes to one lucky winner who participates. Look out for more goodies in the future, too. We don’t know about you, but we’re crossing our fingers for a free trip to somewhere like Japan.

In other news… holiday shopping goes full AI, Gen Z has more work woes, and MrBeast announces his latest business venture.

Top Trends

YouTube → Beverly Hills Cop

X → Rebel Moon

Google → The Crown


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Personal shopper // Illustration by Kait Cunniff with Midjourney

Holiday shopping gets a chatbot concierge

The Future. Over the past year, digital marketplaces, ecommerce retailers, and brands of all shapes and sizes have introduced AI-powered chatbots to make the experience on their sites easier and more interactive. As more and more people use it, holiday shopping may take as much time as a few Google searches.

“How may I AI-ssist you?”
AI is personalizing the search for the perfect holiday gift.

  • Marketplaces like Shopify, Instacart, and Mercari have all rolled out shopping assistant chatbots to help find gifts and other items across their high-volume platforms.

  • Retailers like Walmart and Carrefour have or are testing their own, as are brands like Kering, Signet Jewelers, and Mastercard.

The chatbots’ intended purposes are twofold: to help users brainstorm ideas (that’s where the conversational aspect comes in handy) and curate specific item requests (limiting search results to a specific color or under a certain budget, for example). According to Shopify VP Carl Rivera, “In a way, it’s recreating an in-store environment, but online.”

Unsurprisingly, the chatbots are far from foolproof yetNYT writer Yiwen Lu found that Shopify thought a search for items related to the anime series Violet Evergarden was a query for purple posters. The show clearly wasn’t in the training data.

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Brainstorming some new paradigms

Gen Z wants to work smarter, not harder

The Future. Gen Z believes that the current hallmarks of work life are antiquities of the mid-20th century. So, they’re pushing for more pay, more flexibility, and more purpose (but maybe less small talk) as they entered the workforce during a time where employees wielded considerable power. While that may strike some employers as asking for too much in the current economic environment, those who embrace the shifts may cultivate a more committed and productive young workforce.

The new efficiency
Gen Z is introducing a few new trends to the workplace, according to Insider.

  • More flexibility. Gen Z is pushing for more work-life balance, including the ability to shift around the 9-to-5 schedule, so that they can run errands or unwind on a Friday afternoon, picking up the workload at night or over the weekend.

  • Less loyalty. Payroll company Gusto found that workers aged 22 to 26 quit at a higher rate than any other group over the past three years, which has also translated into higher wage growth.

  • Increased purpose. Gen Z quits so much because they’re trying to find a job that gives them a deep sense of purpose — not just a livelihood. Bonus points if it’s a job that also helps people.

Additionally, the four-day workweek may become commonplace as Gen Z outnumbers boomers in the workplace next year, especially as the younger generation believes that they should be able to afford a comfortable, middle-class life while working less than 40 hours per week.

That’s not without precedent — the United Auto Workers fought for a 32-hour workweek in their latest contract with automakers, which brought a lot of attention to the idea.

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Extremely simple skincare

The world is complicated these days. And the last thing we need is to make our skincare routine way too complex on top of it.

Tiege Hanley is an easy-to-use skincare system created with men (and those who identify as men) in mind. 

Tiege Hanley’s skincare system comes with all the basics: 

  • A daily face wash

  • An exfoliating scrub

  • AM/PM moisturizers with SPF 20

What more does your skin need? 30%! You’ll get that, too (on your first box) — plus a FREE gift!


Courtesy of ViewStats

MrBeast’s ViewStats brings clarity to YouTube data

The Future. Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson and MrBeast HQ staffer Chucky Appleby’s new data analytics platform, ViewStats, hopes to give creators a one-stop-shop platform for managing their YouTube data. Widespread adoption could turn the platform into the most important tool for creators to communicate their business and attract investment.

Metric mall
MrBeast wants to help YouTube creators look at their data in the same hyper-detailed way he does.

  • ViewStats is a data platform that allows creators to analyze metrics and “channelytics,” including views, subscribers, view counts between different types of videos, estimated revenue earned, and projected growth — all presented in an easy-to-use interface.

  • It also lets creators A/B test thumbnails and titles — aspects that MrBeast has constantly credited as key to audience engagement.

  • The founders plan to roll out tools that help with content ideation and thumbnail design in the near future.

For now, ViewStats is free to use and has no ads, but the team plans to potentially add a paid-tier down the road.

The goal: create a tool that every YouTube creator uses every single day… notching yet another milestone for MrBeast.

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We ask the hard-hitting questions.

What wellness trend will you participate in next year?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

52.7% of you voted for Thriving in yesterday’s poll: What do you think about the creator economy?

“I feel like slowly the creator economy and old Hollywood will converge and create an entirely new model.”

“It’s a creator’s world, just ask AI.”

“I’m a creator and I’m out in public promoting my brand launch. I’ve never had so much interest and support.”


The best curated daily stories from around the web

Media, Music, & Entertainment

  • As Shari Redstone discusses selling off her stake in Paramount Global, Wells Fargo believes that the TV assets could fetch $13.5 billion, while the Paramount Pictures studio would be worth $19 billion alone. Read More → bloomberg

  • Fandango found that the most-anticipated movies of 2024 are all franchise releases. Read More → deadline

  • Boston Dynamics has struck a deal with Singapore’s entertainment giant Neon — the parent company behind firms responsible for many of the animatronics found at Disney and Universal theme parks. Read More → techcrunch

Fashion & E-Commerce

  • Nike has officially suspended its refurbished sneaker store, Nike Refurbished, as it looks for ways to update the program (it’ll still be available in select stores, though). Read More → complex

  • Travis Kalanicks’ CloudKitchens is “hibernating” some locations and hiring a robot workforce to deal with cooling demand. Read More → insider

  • Temu is suing rival Shein for allegedly using “Mafia-style” intimidation tactics on merchants who list products on both platforms. Read More → theverge

Tech, Web3, & AI

  • Amazon’s satellite arm, Project Kuiper — which just completed a successful test — will use a constellation of space lasers to ensure customers have coverage even in the middle of the ocean. Read More → bloomberg

  • Verve Motion has developed a backpack exoskeleton that can help warehouse workers lift heavy objects. Read More → forbes

  • Orchid Biosciences has developed a test that screens embryos during IVF for genetic predispositions for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and diabetes — bringing Gattaca closer to reality. Read More → wsj

Creator Economy

In partnership with First Class Founders

  • Threads is coming to Europe… and the fediverse. Read More → variety

  • Linktree is linking up with rival Koji. Read More → techcrunch

  • The UK government is discussing curbing social media access for users under 16 after the National Crime Agency warned parents about Meta’s new encrypted-messaging rollout. Read More → bloomberg

From our partners: Learn from the best (founders). Created by Yong-Soo Chung, Serial Entrepreneur and 3x Founder, First Class Founders is the classiest newsletter out there. It offers proven strategies to grow your mindset, audience, and business each week. And you’ll learn from today’s top entrepreneurs. Join 10,000+ founders and creators. Subscribe for free.

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Today’s email was written by David Vendrell.
Edited by Boye Akolade. Copy edited by Kait Cunniff.
Published by Darline Salazar.

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