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👓 Will Apple own the metaverse?

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This Saturday is the 13th annual Dirty Dancing Festival in Lake Lure, North Carolina. Festival goers can enter a “lake lift competition” where they attempt the signature scene from the movie.

In today’s email:

  • CVS is moving beyond its stores.
  • Chart: Apple vs. Meta.
  • Labor hoarding: What is it?
  • Around the Web: A famous farmer, artwork trivia, a horse on a seesaw, and more cool internet finds.
The Hustle Daily Show

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s 10-minute podcast to hear Zack, Jacob, and Juliet — live from INBOUND 2022 — discuss Apple’s ad push, a cursed mall, and the afterlife of hotel soap.

The big idea
emergency kit

The next era of CVS is all about services

With locations seemingly on every corner, CVS is often the most convenient stop for toilet paper, cough drops, or late night Sour Patch Kids.

But as the company evolves, its focus is shifting beyond the storefront, per The New York Times.

Earlier this week…

… CVS announced plans to acquire Signify Health for ~$8B.

Signify runs a network of 10k doctors offering in-home care to 2.5m patients. It’s the latest in a series of moves by CVS to expand its health care service offerings, including:

  • Acquiring Caremark Rx, a pharmacy benefits manager, for $21B, in 2007
  • Buying 1.6k+ pharmacies from Target for ~$2B in 2015
  • Merging with Aetna, the health insurance company, in a $69B deal in 2018

The moves helped CVS reach massive scale, staffing ~40k physicians, pharmacists, and nurses across its pharmacies and MinuteClinic locations.

Health care services…

… are becoming a popular space, luring some of the biggest players in tech:

  • Amazon acquired prescription delivery service PillPack in 2018, launched its own telehealth arm in 2019, and agreed to acquire One Medical for $4B in July.
  • Apple has pushed further into health care with the Apple Watch, the Health app, and its HealthKit API, and has hinted it wants to hire doctors to offer primary care.

But CVS has a head start. Across its ~10k locations, CVS already serves 4.5m patients per day. With Signify Health, CVS will be able to serve patients at home as well.

It’s not too far off to think that in the future, a visit to the doctor’s office could mean a visit to the nearest CVS.

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SNIPPETS

Apple announced several product upgrades, including the iPhone 14, the Apple Watch Series 8, and a new Apple Watch Ultra model designed for outdoor athletes.

Elon Musk’s attempt to delay his Twitter trial was denied by a judge, who also said Musk can include claims from Twitter whistleblower Peiter Zatko during the case.

Stock futures saw a slight decline following reports that the Fed will likely approve another three-quarter point hike this month.

Netflix is imposing more financial discipline amid slowing growth, including cutting costs in cloud computing and corporate swag, and closing its Salt Lake City office.

Instagram is reportedly scaling back its commerce features to focus only on those that directly drive advertising.

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes requested a new trial after a witness visited her to express regret over his testimony.

Twitter announced its “edit” button will allow users to edit tweets up to five times in 30 minutes, and will pilot in New Zealand.

Valuation experts: Whether your company is going public, looking for a buyer, or raising investment, getting a handle on how valuations are done will enable you to get the best deal.

Chart
AR/VR and ads open jobs at Apple and Meta

Singdhi Sokpo

Are Apple and Meta rivals now?

A decade ago, it would have been hard to envision a world where Apple and Facebook were direct competitors.

But a combination of moves by both firms have pinned them against each other in two business units: ads and AR/VR headsets.

A brief timeline:

  • In 2014, Facebook bought Oculus for $2B — its first foray into hardware.
  • In 2021, Apple released App Tracking Transparency (ATT), a feature that let users choose which apps track them, spelling bad news for Facebook.
  • Later in 2021, Facebook changed its name to Meta to establish itself as a leader in the metaverse, something its Oculus headsets would facilitate.
  • In 2022, Apple CEO Tim Cook teased an AR/VR headset, and the company announced plans to ramp up its advertising ambitions.

Recent job listings suggest Apple could pose a serious threat to Meta on both fronts. And after recently surpassing Android for US smartphone market share, Apple is likely the last company Meta wants to compete against.

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Hoarding for Good
workers

Layoffs are out. Labor hoarding is in

When the economy gets shaky, corporations usually take the shortsighted way out, cutting employees to save money.

Except, not right now. Despite recession warnings, economists say many businesses are focused on the opposite of layoffs: labor hoarding.

Labor hoarding…

… is when companies hang on to employees during a tough economic period because they believe they’ll save money in the long run, according to Inc.

  • To corporations, layoffs provide a quick high, inflating quarterly profits. But the hangover can be worse. When the economy recovers, companies must spend hefty amounts on recruitment, rehiring, and training.

Labor hoarding helps them avoid those costs. After a quick rebound from the March 2020 recession left companies shorthanded, many are likely reluctant to risk a repeat.

But is this just a long tail effect of the ongoing labor shortage?

Maybe. That’s the case against labor hoarding.

Some economists believe companies still don’t have enough employees, which is why they’re not cutting many jobs.

Either way, there’s good news we can all celebrate: Layoffs have been minimal this summer, hovering at a rate of 0.9% of total employment.

That’s roughly the same rate as this time last year and lower than every month of 2019.

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AROUND THE WEB

🎤 On this day: In 1986, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” had its national debut, ultimately becoming history’s highest-rated talk show.

🎼 Haha: Human Record Player lets you listen to a Weezer song on your phone, but only if you spin it yourself.

👨‍🌾 That’s interesting: The 75-year-old Ohio farmer behind a famous meme.

📷 Cure boredom: Visit Dear Photograph, where readers submit photos from the past juxtaposed against the present.

🐴 Aww: And now, the boundless joys of the seesaw.

Meme
CVS receipts meme

Some damn long receipts. (Source: imgflip.com)

How did you like today’s email?
Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen, Juliet Bennett Rylah, and Rob Litterst.
Editing by: Mark “Sour Patch Kids Hoarder” Dent.

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