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🎲 Board games are winning at Life.

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The US Patent and Trademark Office received an application to extend Tesla’s trademark to boats and planes. Cool, except Tesla had no idea, as the filer was a fan completely unaffiliated with the company.

In today’s email:

  • Noncompetes: Why the FTC is over them.
  • Chart: Board games are winning at Life.
  • Weekend reads to pair with some root beer float… punch.
  • Around the web: A playlist finder, an essay about Google reviews, solo boops, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s 10-minute podcast to hear Zack and Juliet discuss the FTC vs. noncompetes, AI bans, tech lawsuits, and more.

The big idea
noncompete agreement

The end of noncompetes?

Employees reluctant to look for new gigs due to noncompete clauses have the FTC in their corner.
On Thursday, the agency proposed banning both new and existing noncompetes nationwide. The new rules would not apply to standard NDAs, nor noncompetes between those buying and selling companies.

What’s a noncompete clause?

A contract that prevents someone from working for or starting a competing business if they leave their current job, voluntarily or not. Usually, they expire after a period of time (e.g. one year) and come with geographic boundaries.

Some states, including California and North Dakota, have already banned them. The FTC argues that they trap workers and decrease competition, resulting in lower wages marketwide and a lack of new business, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Per the FTC:

  • Noncompetes affect ~20% of US workers.
  • Banning them could increase US workers’ earnings by $250B-$296B annually.

Is anyone opposed to banning them?

The US Chamber of Commerce doubts that the FTC has the authority to enact such a broad ban and is considering a lawsuit, per The Wall Street Journal.

And proponents of noncompetes say:

  • They protect confidential company and customer info.
  • They encourage employers to invest in employees’ education.

But the FTC asserts that noncompetes have gone too far, encompassing lower-wage workers who lack access to such intel.

Earlier this week, it announced a crackdown on a few noncompetes, including one that prohibits security guards, who make near minimum wage, from working at other security firms within a 100-mile radius, else pay $100k.

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eyeball wearing a hat

If you’ve ever wanted to see Nicolas Cage play Dracula — and who among us hasn’t? — now’s your chance. Universal Pictures dropped its trailer for Renfield.


NYC banned ChatGPT on school networks, citing concerns about “negative impacts” on learning and content accuracy. Meanwhile, its creator, OpenAI, is in funding talks that would value the company at ~$29B, up from $14B in 2021.

Related: The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) also banned authors from using AI to write scientific papers.

Dell plans to have all chips in its products made outside of China by 2024. The company is the third-largest computer manufacturer by shipments.

TikTok is licensing data from IMDb that will allow users to add links to films and TV shows in their videos.

Peloton will pay a $19m fine over a Tread+ defect that can pull and trap users under the machine. Regulators say Peloton received 150+ reports before it notified them.

Class action: If you’ve had to get your Apple MacBook butterfly keyboard fixed, you have until March 6 to file a claim for up to $395. It’s part of a $50m settlement. Speaking of…

Apple launched an AI audiobook narration service. If you recall, Spotify has struggled to grow its own audiobook business because of Apple’s payment rules.

Wow: The Association of Pickleball Professionals estimated 36.5m+ Americans played pickleball between August 2021 and August 2022. Earlier estimates pegged participation at 5m in 2021.

Expert opinion: Billionaire investor Ray Dalio believes China may usurp the US as the world’s leading superpower. He tells us why in this short clip.

game sales
Olivia Heller

Board games are passing go and collecting $200, many times over

Really hoping everyone reading this understands that reference.

It’s an exciting time for board games. Over 3k new ones debut annually, per online forum BoardGameGeek, with the global market estimated between $11B and $13.4B, according to The Washington Post.

The space has seen a boom in recent years. Even before the pandemic, interest in venues like board game cafes was rising. And through it, sales jumped as people looked for ways to connect at home, per WSJ.

  • While the old classics still sell, smaller game-makers are having a moment, often leveraging TikTok to market their creations.
  • Wingspan, a gorgeous game about bird-watching, was a bestseller on Amazon in 2022.

BTW: Exploding Kittens was originally a Kickstarter project with the goal of raising $10k to make 400 copies. The team ended up crowdfunding $9m, and they’ve since sold 20m+ sets.

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Free Resource

Five mad skills development templates

We don’t know who on your team needs to advance their organizational skills (you look uncomfortable…), but these five templates can help “them” do that.

Maybe it’s time to kickstart a new habit, manage time better, or finish more books.

Once you begin, it’s like figure skating. Get started with any of these.

You get a template, and you get a template, and…

  • Five-year plan template
  • Individual skill development template
  • SMART goal setting template
  • Management-by-objective template
  • Performance improvement plan template

Use these skill templates (we call them “skillets”) to break in beautifully.

Five Free Skillets →
Weekend Reads

Welcome to Weekend Reads

Now would be a good time to whip up this root beer float party punch, which we’re not sure how we feel about. In case you missed ’em, here’s our week’s best…


💸 On this day: In 1975, “Wheel of Fortune” premiered on NBC. The price of a vowel hasn’t budged from $250 since.

🎧 Podcast: What if your greatest potential lies at the edge of your deepest fear? Gola, an exiled Iranian musician, explains on this episode of Billion Dollar Moves.

That’s interesting: An essay on what we can learn about humanity from Google reviews.

🎵 Useful: Need some new tunes? Enter the name of a song you like to find Spotify playlists that contain it.

🐶 Aww: And now, solo boops.

Shower Thoughts
  1. You don’t have to raise your hand when knocking on the door.  SOURCE

  2. We’re never really taught the law, we are either expected to already know it or just pick it up along the way.  SOURCE

  3. We just take vacations to microdose on being rich.  SOURCE

  4. Nothing is stopping any of us from going to a different restaurant every day and saying it’s our birthday for a little free cake.  SOURCE

  5. When dogs in movies are being bad dogs, they are actually being good dogs.  SOURCE

via Reddit
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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen, Juliet Bennett Rylah, and Rob Litterst.
Editing by: Mark “Clue champion” Dent.

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