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Influencers-Tired-Break-Creating-Content-thefutureparty

Influencers are exhausted

Influencers-Tired-Break-Creating-Content-thefutureparty

Influencers are exhausted

 

The Future. While the creator economy has opened up incredible opportunities for people from all walks of life, it has also grown into a never-ending merry-go-round of content creation that punishes them for not maximizing every opportunity. With the industry expected to double to $18 billion in the near future, this demand on creators will only get tougher… which means that building in ways to give talent a break without jeopardizing their careers may be crucial to their longevity (and sanity).

Like, share, subscribe, sleep
According to THR, not even very-online creators can keep up with the Internet… and the dozens of offshoot ventures that are now required to stay relevant.

  • Longtime YouTuber Ingrid Nilsen signed off at the end of 2020, citing that she was ready to hang it up and try something new. She now runs a candle company called The New Savant.
  • YouTuber Marques Brownlee likened a creator’s career to that of a pro athlete, saying that the cycle is maybe 5 to 10 years.
  • Emma Chamberlain has also significantly slowed down her posting (after a six-month hiatus) because of the insane pace. She’s now focusing more on red-carpet interviews, her coffee company, and a podcast.

And highlighting the need for creators to be everywhere all the time, Katie Feeney and Alyssa McKay post on nearly every platform — YouTube, Instagram, TikTok,  and Snapchat — and have to “just constantly be ready to evolve as a creator.”

McKay put the exhaustion of it all front and center when she told THR, “now it’s all about lifestyle, but I’m sure within six months I’m probably going to be on to something else. That’s hard because that could lead to burnout, trying to constantly think of the next thing, but that’s one of the biggest parts of the job.” I’m exhausted just thinking about that.

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Employee-Health-Benefits-Roe-v-Wade-thefutureparty

Corporate America rethinks healthcare in wake of Roe v. Wade overrule

Employee-Health-Benefits-Roe-v-Wade-thefutureparty

Corporate America rethinks healthcare in wake of Roe v. Wade overrule

 

The Future. American businesses are wrestling with how to handle the sudden overturning of abortion protections in several states across the country. Many are meeting the moment by covering travel expenses for procedures, shoring up privacy protections, and using C-suite communications to speak out. In the long term, these expansions of employee benefits may be key to retaining talent… especially in states where abortion is illegal.

State to state
According to CNBC, the sudden overturning of federally-protected abortion rights has companies scrambling on how to address employee concerns.

  • Apple, Disney, and CVS reminded their employees that it covers travel expenses to states that allow abortions if they live in a state where it is restricted.
  • JPMorgan Chase, Under Armour, and Dick’s Sporting Goods updated their policies to cover those travel costs as well.

Corporate America will also have to contend with a number of other issues, such as how it will cover abortion medication by mail and issues of employee privacy, and whether they will offer the travel perks on a long-term basis — a move that would most likely cause employee uproar if reversed.

Talk tax

The mobilization over the Supreme Court ruling is another example of how companies might be expected to address hot-button political issues. While employees appreciate the activism — a driving factor in company loyalty, especially among Gen Z and Millennials — it sometimes comes with blowback. Disney CEO Bob Chapek faced backlash (first from employees, then from Florida’s governor) over its handling of the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. It was a move that cost the Mouse House its special district status.

In our current cultural atmosphere, there are increasingly more business decisions that are also seen as political ones.

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Lawmakers-FTC-Investigate-Apple-Google-Privacy-thefutureparty

Lawmakers want Apple and Google to take their eyes off you

Lawmakers-FTC-Investigate-Apple-Google-Privacy-thefutureparty

Lawmakers want Apple and Google to take their eyes off you

 

The Future. Four Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to the FTC asking for it to investigate the tech giants for “enabling the collection and sale of mobile-phone users’ personal information.” While Apple and Google are changing their ways by putting privacy protections back in the hands of users, the letter may be an effort to review how Americans lost their digital privacy in the first place… and create institutional safeguards to get it back.

EyeOS
Senators Ron Wyden (Ore.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Cory Booker (N.J.), and Representative Sara Jacobs (Calif.) are taking Apple and Google to task over alleged mobile-tracking practices.

  • The lawmakers point to ad-specific tracking IDs created for everyone using iOS or Android devices.
  • Those IDs have “fueled” an “unregulated data-broker market” that can easily bypass the code that makes the IDs anonymous.
  • The result: anyone can easily access specific user data tied to the devices.

The tech giants knew this day was coming, having recently rolled out (Apple) or are about to roll out (Google) features that make it easy for users to opt-out of tracking… which makes the letter seem “too little, too late.”

The lawmakers recognize that the proposed investigation is less about changing their practices and more about exploring Apple’s and Google’s role in “transforming online advertising into an intense system of surveillance that incentivizes and facilitates the unrestrained collection and constant sale of Americans’ personal data.”

It seems we have a few more Congressional hearings to look forward to…

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Airbnb-OMG-Fund-Hosts-Build-Homes-thefutureparty

Airbnb opens $10 million fund to build wild rentals

Airbnb-OMG-Fund-Hosts-Build-Homes-thefutureparty
Courtesy of Airbnb

Airbnb opens $10 million fund to build wild rentals

 

The Future. Airbnb is launching a $10 million fund to give 100 hosts the resources to build crazy, eye-popping rentals that can go viral on the platform and get people booking — whether they’re in popular vacation destinations or not. If the OMG! Fund investment can multiply its return, Airbnb may make a habit of subsidizing the imaginations of hosts all over the world.

Home as destination
Fast Company reports that Airbnb wants to pay you to make a house people just have to stay at.

  • It’s launching the OMG! Fund — a grant program that will give a total of $10 million to hosts to build “100 of the craziest and most unique property ideas.”
  • Proposals will be judged by architect Koichi Takada, designer Iris Apfel, Airbnb VP of experiential creative product Bruce Vaughn, and super-host Kirstie Wolf.
  • Submissions for the $100,000 grants are open until July 22.

All of the finished homes will be available to book on the OMG! category with other crazy listings like a flying saucer in the U.K., a yellow submarine in New Zealand, and a hobbit hole in Tennessee. The one limitation is that winners won’t be able to list their homes on any other rental platforms for a year.

Staycation
Airbnb’s OMG! Fund is a perfect marketing ploy for the company’s shift from being focused on providing rentals to desired destinations to making rentals the desired destination. As major cities like New York, Rome, and Paris become impacted by tourism (and rife with stricter regulations on short-term rentals), CEO Brian Chesky is navigating the company toward a future where people focus on renting cool places… no matter where in the world they are.

This shift was accompanied earlier this year by a big redesign to Airbnb’s website, where OMG! listings get prime real estate. As Fast Company’s Mark Wilson notes, with “a mere $10 million investment — the price of a single big ad campaign — Airbnb’s hosts will produce 100 more of these properties worldwide.” Nice.

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Innovative-Genomics-Institute-CRISPR-Rice-thefutureparty

Gene-edited rice could be a delicious way to capture carbon emissions

Innovative-Genomics-Institute-CRISPR-Rice-thefutureparty

Gene-edited rice could be a delicious way to capture carbon emissions

 

The Future. The Innovative Genomics Institute (IG) has received funding to use CRISPR technology to modify rice so that it can help pull and keep carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. That would make a huge impact since agriculture (along with forestry and other land uses) is responsible for 24% of global emissions. Rice is a big part of that problem because rice paddies are the perfect environment for methane-producing microbes. Fixing that would be a major flex for the researchers and may help scale the rice variety’s use.

Lab to plate
One day, eating a plate of rice could help fight climate change.

  • According to The Verge, IGI has raised $11 million from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to fund three years of research into how to use CRISPR technology to alter the genome of rice and trap carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
  • The researchers chose rice because it’s abundant all over the world, is already heavily researched, and has an easy-to-manipulate genome.
  • Showing their rice bonafides, one of the researchers on the project is Pamela Ronald, who led the team that changed the rice genome to better handle floods. That variety is now used by 6 million farmers in India and Bangladesh.

The research team hopes the modified rice will also lead to bigger harvests for farmers — a win-win for everyone.

Make it CRISPR
Plants, including rice, naturally take carbon out of the atmosphere. Still, the researchers believe they could be better at it. Using CRISPR technology, the researchers hope to make photosynthesis more efficient in the rice paddies, develop crops with longer roots that store carbon dioxide further underground, and finally help the soil retain more carbon.

It doesn’t sound easy, but it helps that IGI was founded by Jennifer Doudna — a Nobel laureate and co-inventor of CRISPR.

IGI hopes to start trials with farmers in about three years but doesn’t expect to have a “real-world impact” until seven years from now. The organization also plans to explore altering the genomes of other crops, such as sorghum, hopefully leading to a rollout of an entire farm’s worth of plant strains by that time.

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Public-Library-Coworking-Space-thefutureparty

The public library is the new WeWork

Public-Library-Coworking-Space-thefutureparty

The public library is the new WeWork

 

The Future. Sorry, WeWork. Coworking is upgrading to an old-school option, public libraries. They are quickly providing the space, amenities, and ethos to create a valuable workspace and a communal hub that keeps people socially connected in an increasingly isolated world. But without the proper support and funding, the library makeover may just be another good idea that doesn’t reach its full potential.

Quiet, upgraded
With libraries prevalent in cities, suburbs, and small towns, Insider thinks they have the opportunity to become a perfect network of coworking hubs.

  • Libraries in cities like Spokane, Akron, and Columbia are turning into bonafide community centers that can handle several aspects of remote-work life, adding business centers, recording studios, and meeting rooms.
  • During COVID shutdowns, libraries offered drive-up internet access so that people could always have a dedicated broadband connection if they didn’t have one at home.
  • Google partnered with the Library Association of America on Libraries Serving Businesses, a program that gave $2 million to 13 library networks last year to beef up amenities.

That’s not to say that libraries are totally prepared for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and remote workers everywhere to march in with their laptops. Melanie Huggins, president of the Public Library Association, notes that smaller libraries may not have the space, resources, or staff to handle such an influx.

Also, snacks. If libraries are to become the coworking spaces of the future, don’t just allow them, but reap the benefits by just opening a coffee shop inside. We all know it’s worked wonders for Barnes & Noble.

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MrBeast-Hometown-Greenville-North-Carolina-thefutureparty

MrBeast is the mayor of Greenville, North Carolina

MrBeast-Hometown-Greenville-North-Carolina-thefutureparty
MrBeast // Illustration by Kate Walker

MrBeast is the mayor of Greenville, North Carolina

 

The Future. MrBeast (real name Jimmy Donaldson) has funneled his huge YouTube success and the tons of revenue it generates back into his hometown of Greenville, which has made him a friend of residents, businesses, and the local government. While most influencers flock to more opportune pastures like L.A. or NYC, Donaldson’s choice to stay rooted could act as a blueprint for how influencer culture can be wielded for good in smaller cities all over America.

Password to the city
MrBeast’s online success (96 million subscribers, 15 billion views on just his main YouTube channel, and over $54 million in revenue last year) has made him a hometown hero, according to Insider.

Here’s some of his impact in Greenville:

  • Money in pockets. Donaldson has pulled almost all his stunts — paying $2,000 to participants in his Squid Game parody for a couple days of work, tipping a waitress $10,000, giving out a Lamborghini, etc. — in his hometown, creating the vibe that anyone can be surprised with cash or cars at a moment’s notice.
  • Boost to businesses. After appearing in several videos, hot dog joint Sup Dogs allows Donaldson to take over the restaurant whenever he pleases, even without notice — his business has seen a 25% annual increase in revenue since 2017. And when Donaldson shows up on Sunday nights to watch a football game, 200 extra people will show up.
  • Backing from the mayor. Donaldson and his team have a call with Mayor PJ Connelly once or twice a month “mostly to consult on any projects that involve city resources.” Connelly is a big fan because Donaldson employs people in Greenville, props up the businesses of Greenville, and keeps the generated revenue in Greenville.

Even more free
Additionally, Donaldson launched an actual charity organization, Beast Philanthropy, in 2020. The charity does a bi-weekly food drive and, according to executive director Darren Margolias, “has put money back  into 16 communities in and around Greenville.” Other than the food, that includes over 750 laptops and iPads for underprivileged students and $400,000 worth of winter clothing.

But the giving doesn’t stop there. All of the revenue generated from Donaldson’s Philanthropy YouTube channel goes back into the charity, to which Donaldson has poured $1.5 million of his own money. Leave it to MrBeast to make giving go viral.

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Elon-Musk-Three-Things-Twitter-thefutureparty

Elon Musk lays out three hurdles to hatching the Twitter deal

Elon-Musk-Three-Things-Twitter-thefutureparty
llustration by Kate Walker

Elon Musk lays out three hurdles to hatching the Twitter deal

 

The Future. Elon Musk is revealing where he’s at with his acquisition of Twitter. On Twitter’s end, it’s a question of bots and shareholder approval. On his, it’s that little question of how he’s paying for it. If a deal does go through, expect Musk to beta test features and outline experiments in much the same way: awaiting all of our hot takes — probably in the form of a tweet.

Hurdles to the nest
Musk’s takeover of Twitter is turning into a saga. In the latest episode, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO lists the three things he’s still waiting on to close the deal (if he wants a deal to close…).

  • He’s “still awaiting resolution” on the number of bot accounts on the platform.
  • He’s still working out the details of his debt financing.
  • He still needs to win the approval of Twitter’s shareholders.

Twitter, please
So, how is Musk faring on these goals? Twitter announced earlier this month that it would comply with Musk’s request for data on the number of bot and spam accounts. And yesterday, the company’s board asked shareholders to “vote (for) the adoption of the merger agreement.” That ticked Twitter’s stock up 2% to $38.70… still way under the $54.20 that Musk said he would buy the company at.

But then comes the issue of Musk’s financing. While he previously said that he had secured funding through both his own equity and two bank-loan commitments. But those bank loans were leveraged against his stake in Tesla, which — like every other stock — has taken a nosedive. So, it looks like Musk may rely less on those loans and put up more equity. He reportedly also asked his buddy and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey to hold onto his equity.

No one said piecing together $44 billion was going to be easy…

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bts-hiatus-south-korea-economy-thefutureparty

BTS hiatus rocks South Korean economy

bts-hiatus-south-korea-economy-thefutureparty

BTS hiatus rocks South Korean economy

 

The Future. While BTS isn’t breaking up (so, take a breath, Internet), the band’s surprise hiatus is sending ripples throughout the South Korean economy — tanking their management company’s stock price and potentially leaving hundreds of millions of dollars on the table. Considering the impact of BTS’ decision, it may be time for the global economy to give entertainment the respect it deserves as a bonafide economic driver.

Fallout
You know you’re a superstar group when a hiatus can shake the very financial foundation of the company that manages you, reports NYT.

  • The news sent the stock of HYBE, BTS’ management firm, crashing by 28% — its lowest trading price since the company went public almost two years ago.
  • That dropped HYBE’s market value by $1.7 billion.
  • BTS was responsible for 58% of HYBE’s revenue last year.

Country choreo
Even more surprising is the impact that BTS’ hiatus will have on South Korea’s entire economy. In 2020, the Hyundai Research Institute found that BTS was contributing an annual $3.5 billion to the country’s economy. With BTS’ popularity only growing since then, that number is probably much higher. And with concerts starting to come back, the live events industry will also take a hit. The Korea Culture and Tourism Institute estimates that just one BTS concert brings in over $500 million in revenue.

But hey, who can blame BTS for wanting to take a break? Despite all being under 30, they’ve been touring non-stop for the past ten years, with their last world tour becoming the highest-grossing tour by a non-English language act.

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neighborhoods-smaller-cities-remote-work-wfh-thefutureparty

New cities could pop up to accommodate a remote work boom

neighborhoods-smaller-cities-remote-work-wfh-thefutureparty

New cities could pop up to accommodate a remote work boom

 

The Future. The rise of remote work may also eventually lead to the rise of new cities, or “Remotevilles,” giving workers plenty of choices of where to live while easing the population burden on existing metros. If Remotevilles take off, America could enter an era of “urban sprawl,” making city life affordable (once again) for most of the population.

Remotevilles
Matthew E. Khan, an economics professor at USC, thinks moving to existing cities is a bad idea… because new cities are on the way.

  • Khan believes these “Remotevilles” could be created on the “fringe of major cities” — an expansion of what Stanford researchers called the “donut effect” caused by COVID.
  • Remotevilles would be connected to existing cities via rail or cheap direct flights. Khan notes how Stockton (a farm town in California) is only 80 miles from Apple’s HQ in Cupertino and could be a perfect candidate for a Remoteville.
  • Remotevilles could offer remote workers lower housing costs, curated amenities, and a chance to test out new municipal policy and innovation “experiments” (an exciting incentive for utopian tech workers).

And these cities could actually be built in record time and costs, thanks to recent developments in modular and 3D-printed housing. As the need to build homes rises, construction workers are incentivized to move to meet the demand… which brings other occupations such as doctors, dentists, and teachers — a phenomenon called the “local multiplier effect.”

Before you know it, you got a new city.

Urban refresh
With 40% of the American workforce expected to be working at least part of the time remotely, there’s a lot of opportunity to make these Remotevilles a reality. And there are historical precedents and contemporary experiments to show that the ambition is possible.

  • In the 1970s, “company towns,” like Irvine, California popped up to house workers of different corporations.
  • In South Korea, Busan is experimenting with smart city innovations with a neighborhood just outside its border called the Eco Delta Smart Village.
  • Toyota is building Woven City in Japan, Saudi Arabia is building Neom, and CityDAO is hoping to develop a blockchain-backed city in Wyoming — experiments that could act as blueprints for future metros.

And here’s an added benefit to the rise of Remotevilles: it gives existing cities a much-needed break. As workers migrate to the new towns, industry centers (LA, NYC), new hotspots (Miami, Nashville), and “Zoomtowns” (Bozeman, Ketchum) could see the costs of living even out and congestion lessen.

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