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🏨 The hotel of the future
May 25, 2022
PLUS: Crazy AI art and a carpenter shortage.
Sometimes, we get a sobering reminder that there are more important things than business and tech news. Our hearts go out to the community of Uvalde, Texas, and all the students, families, and faculty members impacted by yesterday’s tragedy.
In today’s email:
Mobile hotels: Are they the future of hospitality?
Chart: Why America has so few carpenters.
Text-to-image: The AI trend that’s blowing minds.
Around the web: A graphic design game, an app for amazing video presentations, and more cool internet finds.
🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s quick podcast to hear Zack and Juliet talk about how a famous actor/producer’s stolen NFT is endangering the future of his new TV show.
The big idea
Is the future of hotels mobile?
Traditional hotels maintain the same number of rooms, whether it’s bustling at the peak or sitting empty during off-season.
New York-based startup Moliving wants to solve for seasonality with mobile hotel rooms. And, no, they’re not tents:
Each ~400-square-foot room is made from recycled steel and energy-efficient structural insulated panels (SIPs — a foam core sandwiched by wood).
They can be hauled by trucks or shipped, and use a self-leveling system that allows them to be plopped down on any terrain.
They hook up to existing grids and water systems — like a boat — or use solar power off-grid.
They’re also faster and 2x-3x cheaper to produce than traditional rooms. There are no weather delays because they’re made in a warehouse, and they produce less waste because the designs are the same between rooms, so no estimating required materials.
But how do a bunch of standalone units become a five-star hotel?
Moliving connects with people who own underused land. CEO Jordan Bem told The Hustle that ideal sites are:
Destinations where development is expensive or hotel prices are high (e.g., the Hamptons, Cape Cod, Joshua Tree)
Or “unbelievable plots of land that we believe would be attractive to people… looking to escape everyday life.”
Sites must also be able to offer amenities, such as a main house that can be repurposed into a lodge with a restaurant and spa.
After identifying a good spot, Moliving will transport and set up the units and staff the hotel, from concierge to chef. And when peak season subsides, Moliving takes the excess units and moves them elsewhere.
… rates start at ~$250/night — not Motel 6 cheap, but often more affordable than nearby luxury properties.
Moliving’s first site opens in the Hudson Valley this year, with more East Coast locations popping up in 2023, and a West Coast expansion planned for 2024.
Oh, snap: In a memo to employees, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel warned of slowing growth in the coming months due to macroeconomic factors — leading the stock to fall over 40%. Other ad players’ stocks were down as well, including Meta, Google, Pinterest, and Twitter.
New title: Beyond Meat signed Kim Kardashian as the company’s “Chief Taste Consultant.” The company’s stock rose 7% following the news.
Define ‘safe’: Weeks before TerraUSDcrashed, crypto exchange Binance promoted the stablecoin as a safe investment in its Telegram channel.
Going live: TikTok announced it’s launching LIVE subscriptions, which will allow creators to charge top fans recurring payments for perks. The move is an effort to better compete with Twitch and YouTube, which offer similar products.
How do you invest $35k if you’re feeling bold? Melanie Balke’s question garnered 150+ responses from our community. Get Trends access for insights from 17k business builders.
Special delivery: Walmart is ramping up its drone delivery service for 4m households across Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. #ecommerce-retail
Ouch: Caroline Dennett, a senior safety consultant for Shell, quit after 11 years, citing the company’s “disregard for climate change risks” and “extreme harms” to the environment. #clean-energy
Google is trying out a new Street View camera that’s just 15 pounds — about a tenth the size of its current camera — and suitable for more remote areas of the world. #emerging-tech
NFT goals: eBay’s first NFT collection is in partnership with Web3 platform OneOf, and features 13 collectibles of NHL player Wayne Gretzky. #fintech-crypto
Bye: Amazon is looking to dump 10m+ square feet of excess warehouse space. It expanded amid the pandemic, but online sales have since slowed. #big-tech
Why America has so few carpenters
Talk to a lot of carpenters and they’ll express warm feelings about their job.
It’s the rare profession that doesn’t require an expensive education, yet offers decent pay. It’s largely unaffected by automation or globalization, and aside from occasional downturns, carpenters are in steady demand.
Even among construction trades, which have long faced retention and recruitment problems and for which there were ~400k unfilled jobs in March, carpentry stands out for its shortages.
Builders have more trouble finding carpenters than roofers, electricians, or just about anything else, and by a wide margin.
As people reckon with expensive real estate amid a national housing shortage and endure long wait times for repairs and remodeling, the question is more important than ever: Why doesn’t America have enough carpenters?
… they need to ingest massive amounts of data. Researchers train the programs on data sets that include images with captions, and after enough practice, they can identify patterns and start spitting out results.
The key players are:
OpenAI’s DALL-E, which launched in 2021 and released DALL-E 2, in April
Google’s Imagen, which launched Monday
Beyond pairing images with text, both systems can render images in a wide range of visual styles (e.g., photorealism vs. pencil drawing).
The creative potential is huge…
… but so are the concerns. DALL-E and Imagen are subject to the same underlying biases of the data they’re ingesting. Critics argue that, in the wrong hands, these tools could fuel dangerous misinformation.
In other words, it might be a while before you can get your hands on either system. OpenAI recently opened DALL-E 2 to select beta testers, while Google says Imagen is not yet ready for public use.
Influencer marketing in 2022 is a mess of outreach, strategic targeting, relationship management… Use the guide, by HubSpot and Sprout Social.
AROUND THE WEB
🧑🚀 On this day: In 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced plans to put a man on the moon within the decade. Apollo 11 touched down on July 20, 1969, but Kennedy did not live to see it.
👁️ Cure boredom: Can’t Unsee is a game that tests your graphic design skills.
👨💻 Useful:Mmhmm is an app that lets you add backgrounds, graphics, screens, and other effects to your video presentations.
🍵 Art: A new Google Arts & Culture exhibition dives into two ancient tea brewing communities from Arunachal Pradesh, India — the Tangsas and the Singphos.
🐻 Aww: And now, splish splash, a bear takin’ a bath.
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