|The big idea|
The $12B+ sleep industry, explained
Did you get less than 7 hours of sleep last night?
If so, you’re in the majority. More than ⅔ of Americans fail to hit that number for daily ZZZs, per The Economist.
This sleep deficit leads to problems — like poor health and lower productivity — estimated to “cost America’s economy as much as $400B a year.”
The culprits are many
Widespread caffeine and alcohol consumption doesn’t help. Neither does having a rectangle distraction machine in our pockets all day.
Back when there were no smartphones or laptops, the great-grandparents of today’s Americans got an average of 2 more hours of sleep a night.
Sleep tech is trying to fill the void
Per The Economist, the industry was worth $12.5B in 2020, including:
Major consumer tech players — like Huawei, Google, and Samsung — also sell sleep-tracking products. Meanwhile, a small company called Apple has activated 100m+ smartwatches with sleep (and health-tracking) features.
Does any of this work?
The Economist says that ~40% of sleep-wearable users “abandoned their device” when the effects didn’t take hold. Also, the tech lacks the “gold standard” to prove health efficacy: randomized controlled clinical studies.
But with a total addressable market of **checks notes** anyone who sleeps, the business case for sleep tech isn’t going anywhere.
Cheers: Champagne saw record sales of $5.7B in 2021, a 14% increase from pre-pandemic highs, in part because the US was importing a lot of it.
Wind woes: An NPR report explores how misinformation about solar and wind energy is causing US projects to be limited or rejected.
Spacecation: For a $150k deposit, you can now reserve a Virgin Galactic spaceflight (full price: $450k+). The company’s stock rose 20%+ on the news.
Non-white New Yorkers who live in high stop-and-frisk areas are more likely to be surveilled by facial recognition tech, per research from Amnesty International and others.
An official of India’s central bank says crypto is like a “Ponzi scheme.” The comparison comes on the heels of a proposal to tax virtual assets.
Intel will acquire Tower Semiconductor, an Israeli chipmaker for hundreds of companies, for $5.4B.
Is this the end of an Olympic monopoly?
You’ve probably never heard of the small New Jersey company, CoSport, or its parent company, Jet Set Sports.
But every American who’s purchased tickets to the Olympics over the past ~20 years has had to go through them.
When the Olympics roll around, CoSport buys up almost every ticket available to Americans — and reserves thousands of hotel rooms and restaurant tables in the host city — then sells them back to the public at inflated prices.
CoSport founder and co-CEO Sead Dizdarevic has reportedly earned upwards of $30m in profit per Games from this relationship.
But after the uproar from Tokyo and years of complaints from customers, his reign as ticket king may be coming to an end.
|Read the full story|
2X: A night of storytelling, live from LA
March 17: Save the date.
Six badass women at the forefront of business and tech have agreed to tell their stories.
So we’re making a night of it. And bringing the bottles.
Each speaker has 8 minutes to paint a pivotal shift in their lives or careers, or whatever brilliance takes over in the moment.
It’s business casual with drinks (and us 🤠).
Introducing your speakers for the evening:
Get $30 early-bird tickets. Price goes up next month.
|Save Your Seat →|
|First World Problems|
The rise and fall of #FreeRezy, a group chat that unlocked NYC’s hottest reservations
Finance bros in New York take dinner reservations seriously.
If you don’t believe me, just watch American Psycho, where a reservation at the right restaurant is the ultimate status symbol.
While not everything in that movie is realistic (thankfully), the reservation struggle is spot-on. The best restaurants in NYC often release a small batch of reservations, months in advance, and are fully booked in seconds.
So what’s a finance bro with fine dining tastes to do?
A trio of finance workers created #FreeRezy — a group chat on Telegram where aspiring diners could snag reservations at NYC’s hottest spots.
Here’s how it worked:
Per Eater, the trio booked 1k+ reservations in the last 3 months, growing the group chat from a few people to 700+ members.
Then they got caught
Resy’s terms of service state that the app is for personal use — meaning #FreeRezy was clearly in violation.
After discovering the group, Resy promptly banned all 3 members, leading to the swift demise of the group chat.
The craziest part? #FreeRezy never even made any money. The trio planned to monetize a premium tier eventually but never made it that far.
If you feel so inclined to revive #FreeRezy, there’s a petition on Change.org for that — but with 36 signatures so far, it seems unlikely we’ll be seeing a comeback any time soon.
|AROUND THE WEB|
📞 On this day: In 1968, the 1st 911 call was made in the US by Rep. Rankin Fite in Alabama. AT&T had suggested the number because it’s easy to remember and wasn’t already an area code.
🔒 How to: You’re probably not being tracked by an AirTag. But just in case, Wired has a guide for finding out.
🎧 That’s cool: Richard Feynman’s 1961-64 Caltech Introductory Physics lectures are available for online listening. No editing, no enhancements.
☔️ Useful: Will you need an umbrella today? Find out.
😂 Art: PaperPaul turns popular memes into pop-up cards.
|Meme of the day|
My favorite sleep tech. (Source: BoredPanda.com)
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