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The Hustle

Do you join the boys as they shotgun a beer in every bar on the Honky Tonk Highway one last time before Brian marries Ashley… or save a whole $1.33k? That’s now the average per-person cost of attending a US bachelor party, per Trustpilot. Oof. Love you, Bri, but we’ve gotta pass. Have fun in Nashville, man.

In today’s email:

  • Buddy system: It’s friendship apps’ moment to shine (we hope).
  • Food processors: Grocery stores up their tech investments.
  • Pet project: You’ve got all the gadgets you ever needed. Now it’s your fluffball’s turn.
  • Around the Web: A live beluga cam, how McDonald’s makes its international menu, and more.

👇 Listen: Is it inevitable that most new friendships start with a swipe in an app? Probably, yeah.

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The big idea
Bumble mobile app

Need a friend? There’s an app for that

Hey, wanna be pals? That’s the premise of Bumble for Friends, a new app now available for iOS and Android in select countries and rolling out to others soon.

“Wait,” you’re saying. Didn’t Bumble already have a friend thing? Yes.

Bumble’s app has modes for dating, friendship, and networking, but users had to toggle between them. Bumble for Friends is a stand-alone platform where users can swipe on potential platonic friends.

And unlike BFF, it also allows users to start group chats to plan activities for multiple matches — escape room followed by brunch, anyone?

People are lonely

Per a Harvard University study on loneliness, 36% of Americans feel “serious loneliness,” a number that increases among young adults ages 18-25 (61%) and mothers with young children (51%). Why?

  • Gen Z missed out on a lot of in-person socialization thanks to the pandemic, attending high school, college, and more over Zoom.
  • They also work more and make less, making it harder to socialize.
  • Remote work has led to a dip in work friendships.
  • People are also moving away from meeting spaces like organized religion and recreational sports, per The Washington Post.

This is all on top of pre-pandemic friendship hurdles, including big life changes like moving to a new city or becoming a parent.

But stigmas are changing

If it feels weird to find friends online, remember that it used to feel weird to find dates online.

As the wariness around meeting people virtually first diminishes, more people are forming communities with Discord, Reddit, Meetup, and more.

  • Per a Bumble for Friends survey, 67% of Gen Z respondents shared that making new friends online lessens loneliness.
  • 57% of teens say they’ve met a friend online, typically via social media or gaming.

Now to the real hard part: Getting people you met online to show up IRL.

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eyeball wearing a hat

Not to rain on your 3% annual raise, but Saudi soccer club Al Hilal is preparing an offer to French star Kylian Mbappe that’d pay him — prepare to gasp — $776m for just one season. The biggest complication? Mbappe has, to date, signaled he isn’t interested.


TodAI in AI: Netflix posted an AI position — a machine learning platform product manager — with a salary range up to $900k. That’s great for whoever takes the role, but not the best look for Netflix as writers and actors strike over low pay and AI concerns.

Oh, Snap: The social media company saw its shares drop nearly 20% yesterday after a 4% annual decline in sales and a forecast that could make good use of a beauty filter.

Seeing dollar signs: AR, VR, and XR startups in the US raised $208m in June, about as much as the previous three months combined. The catalyst? That would be Apple’s Vision Pro, announced June 5.

Uh, thanks? Coca-Cola says it’s done with price hikes for the rest of the year in the US and Europe. Prices were up 10% YoY in Q2. Archrival Pepsi said the same thing in February, but that’s probably just a coincidence.

Alternate routes: Looks like Meta, Microsoft, and Amazon are tired of being lost in Google and Apple’s map duopoly, so they’ve come together to release data on 59m “points of interest” to help other companies build their own map products.

Speaking of… Google said 2B+ monthly users are now watching YouTube Shorts, up from 1.5B last year, and that YouTube is reaching 150m Americans on their TVs.

Know when to fold ’em: Have you heard foldable smartphones are the future? So have we, but it seems they’ll initially just be the future of credit card debt — Samsung’s Z Fold5 starting price point is a lofty $1.8k.

Last-minute shopping help for National Mustard Day: Wow, it’s almost Aug. 5 already? French’s and Skittles have you covered with the perfect gift to go under your family’s mustard plant: their horrific mustard-flavored Skittles mashup.


There’s a lot of talk lately about how unhappy employees are at work, but what can actually be done to fix it? One effective option to consider: Investing in employee empowerment.

grocery cart and bag

Grocers are spending more on bits and bites

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. More tech at the grocery store is fine, but let’s make sure it actually solves the industry’s most urgent problem: the smell at the seafood counter.

Unfortunately for us, it appears America’s food retailers have other (much better) ideas.

AI-ron chefs

The industry spent 1.3% of its total sales, or $13B+, on technology investments in 2022, per Grocery Dive.

The numbers come from The Food Industry Association’s 74th annual report, which we’re gonna guess looks quite a lot different than its 4th — and probably even its 64th:

  • A quarter of food retailers and over one-third of suppliers are now using AI to track and predict consumer interests and spending.
  • Last year, 85% of retailers were trying new tech to improve customer experiences, up from 2021’s 73%, and 83% say they’ll increase their tech spending this year.

Where’s that money going?

Innovation in brick-and-mortar food retail has generally been hot — outside of grocery shopping with VR goggles, which thankfully has not.

  • We’ve previously written about Instacart’s smart Caper Carts and e-ink price tags.
  • Last fall, startup Swiftly raised $100m to grow its app-building service for groceries.
  • Just last week, Amazon said it plans to bring palm scanning to all Whole Foods stores, which we will: a) definitely try out, and b) nervously laugh every time we do.
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Free Resource

How to be more productive

You can mull, moan, mourn… but there are 24 hours in a day.

If you find yourself wishing for more, consider us facilitators.

Operate at work like a bona-fide titan of industry with this free productivity kit by ClickUp and HubSpot. It has tips and templates to help you purge procrastination and punch the metaphorical workplace clock with pride.

Amplify your output:

  • Respectably work from home
  • Maintain flow-state efficiency
  • Visualize goals and progress (two templates)
  • Calculate labor hours for long projects
  • Prioritize with a PIE scoring chart

Stop slackin’. Get crackin’.

Up your productivity →
Cir-cat City
pet tech

Pet tech is the cat’s meow

Are you even a remote worker if there’s not at least one pet making itself known in every Zoom meeting?

But what if all that barking, pawing, and tail wagging isn’t just for attention? Our four-legged friends might be asking to borrow our tech.

Per The Wall Street Journal, pets want in on the newest tech trends, and their owners are ready to spend some serious cash to make their furry dreams come true:

  • Automatic litter boxes appeal to owners and cats who want to stay clean (and who have an extra $500-$700 lying around).
  • Robots can help pet parents keep a watchful eye, sling treats, and play fetch.
  • Smart collars use GPS to track pets and can monitor their health and habits.
  • DNA tests made specifically for cats or dogs provide info on ancestry and disease risk.

There are even doggy treadmills to help your pup with his summer body and fur vacuums for home grooming.

Not so far-fetched

Like our own tech bells and whistles, these ones also don’t come cheap — the smart canine treadmill, for example, starts at ~$800 — but that hasn’t stopped these products from entering the mainstream.

A 2022 study shows that 83% of North American and European pet owners own at least one pet tech device.

Plus, a handful of external factors are fueling demand:

  • The pandemic led to a steep increase in pet ownership.
  • More people think of their pets as family than ever before.
  • AI advancements are driving innovation in the pet tech industry.

Just don’t go too crazy with the tech, or your poodle will be leading that touch-base with your boss before you know it.

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✈️ On this day: In 1949, the British De Havilland Comet, the first jet airliner, took its first test flight in England. It was designed by motorcycle and bus engineer Geoffrey de Havilland, who was inspired by the Wright brothers.

🐋 That’s cool: You can watch beluga whales migrate via livestream.

🎧 Useful: turns the articles, stories, and essays of your choice into a podcast you can listen to whenever you have time.

🍔 That’s interesting: How McDonald’s comes up with its international menu items, like Mexico’s McMolletes and India’s Maharaja Mac.

🐱 Aww: And now, dreaming of snacks.

Twitter meme

Meta, X… I can’t keep up. (Link)


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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen and Juliet Bennett RylahLestraundra AlfredSara Friedman, .
Editing by: Ben “Aisle of dogs” Berkley.

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