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💪 The small biz boom is going strong

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Imagine if John Wick and Santa Claus had a baby. Wait a minute… They did have a baby and it’s called Violent Night, in theaters Dec. 2.

In today’s email:

  • Course sharing: The future of college.
  • Chart: The small biz boom is still going.
  • Weekend Reads to pair with some black whiskey.
  • Around the Web: A doodled mansion, a Wikipedia game, a museum dedicated to hammers, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s 10-minute podcast to hear Juliet and Zack break down why colleges are teaming up, the latest on Elon Musk’s Twitter saga, Peloton’s latest roadblock, and more.

The big idea
college student

Zachary Crockett

Course sharing, explained

Small colleges and big universities — including the likes of Harvard, Duke, and Yale — are “course sharing,” or teaming up to offer students a wider array of classes.

It’s already common among smaller liberal arts schools, and increasing among community colleges and HBCUs, per The New York Times.

Why it matters

Demand for colleges has already been falling due to student loan worries and alternative education paths, like much-cheaper courses offered by tech firms.

Liberal arts colleges face another challenge as students shift away from humanities degrees, like English or philosophy, in favor of those that offer a clear career path, like coding or cybersecurity.

Schools that don’t offer those programs risk losing students, but often lack the up to $2.2m it can cost to develop a new program.

Through course sharing, the larger school streams its already-developed classes online to students from both schools. It’s a win-win scenario:

  • Smaller colleges remain competitive and maintain enrollment levels
  • Larger schools fill open spaces
  • Students can attend their school of choice and still take the classes they want

Tech startups support the trend

Course-sharing platforms like Acadeum, which has a network of 440+ schools, handle infrastructure and moving pieces — tracking grades, payments, etc.

All three get a cut of tuition, but the smaller schools ultimately benefit from overall enrollment.

For example, Adrian College, a liberal arts school in Michigan, has added programs in 17 fields over the last two years, attracting 100 students, per NYT.

Their combined four-year educations are expected to bring in $8m+ in tuition and other fees.

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TRENDING
eyeball wearing a hat

Wow: True to his name, British artist Mr Doodle doodled all over his $1.5m, 12-room mansion, making this wild video in the process.

SNIPPETS

President Biden pardoned all prior federal cases of marijuana possession, and ordered a federal review of marijuana laws.

Peloton CEO Barry McCarthy is cutting 500 more jobs and giving it six months to see if Peloton is viable as a standalone company.

Mama Mia! The first trailer dropped for the Super Mario Bros. movie.

Several robotics companies pledged never to weaponize their products — so no need to worry about parkour bots with grenade launchers just yet.

Missoula-based onX, which builds outdoor adventure apps, raised $87.4m in what’s reportedly the biggest VC investment in Montana history.

Speaking of, VC funding in Q3 totaled $81B. That’s down 52% YoY and 33% quarter-over-quarter.

Amid ongoing Musk drama, Twitter released a new fact-checking program, multimedia tweets, and — for a fee — an edit button.

Imagen Video is Google’s cool AI system that turns text prompts into videos, like one of “a teddy bear washing dishes.”

Wowza: TikTok parent ByteDance saw 2021 revenue jump ~80% to $61.7B, though the company is bleeding money to fund growth.

Before buying an agency, learn from a Trendster who owns six. Link Moser talks microdeals, client turnover, and an old-school outreach approach that hits. Read the full story on Trends.

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chart
small biz applications over time

Singdhi Sokpo

The small business boom ain’t over yet

During the pandemic, a combination of stimulus checks and free time led many to tap into their inner entrepreneur. Case in point:

  • Google searches for “how to start a small business” were up 124% in the first six months of the pandemic, per Axios.
  • There were 5.4m new business applications in 2021, up 53% from 2019.

While application volume has tapered off from the pandemic peak, data from FRED reveals we’re still in the midst of a boom.

But it’s not exactly easy out there

A survey from Kabbage found 75% of small business owners said inflation had cut into profits.

  • Further, rising rates are causing smaller firms to get squeezed out of storage space.

On the bright side, Bank of America found 77% of entrepreneurs believe their business is equipped to survive a recession, meaning many likely expect to keep their startup dreams alive for the long haul.

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Free Resource

Eight elevator pitch ideas that crush

Be honest… Is your elevator pitch corny?

Do you have an elevator pitch? Oh, Lord.

You never think you’ll need a tight script detailing your business and value props until it’s too late and the big fish is shining in front of you.

You’ve gotta be ready. Here are eight quick-hitting templates to help you pitch like you’ve been there.

There are prompts for fundraising, networking, and more. Treat them as fill-in-the-blank or inspiration.

Elevator pitch templates →
Recs
Weekend Reads

Welcome to Weekend Reads…

… Recs to pair with your Friday cafe au lait, Saturday maté, or Sunday black whiskey.

ICYMI:

  • Mark wrote about the banker who caused the 1929 stock crash.
  • Juliet explored new laws regarding the so-called “pink tax.”
  • The Hustle blog spoke to a founder who created a real-time transcription app for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Spot the fake:

  • A tourist broke into a vault at the Coca-Cola headquarters trying to steal the Coke secret formula.
  • An artist built a robotic machete-wielding houseplant that’s mind controlled… by the plant.
  • Someone spent $192k on an asbestos-filled lighthouse with no water or electricity.
AROUND THE WEB

🏀 On this day: In 1985, Lynette Woodard became the first female Harlem Globetrotter.

🔨 That’s interesting: Dave Pahl’s Hammer Museum in Alaska has 2.5k different hammers on display, plus a 19-foot-tall hammer on the lawn.

🏃‍♀️ Cure boredom: Race to find the shortest path between two Wikipedia pages.

📗 Art: Argentinian visual artist KidMograph makes mind-bending art, like this GIF book.

🦔 Aww: And now, a hedgehog train.

Shower Thoughts
  1. “Life was decently more inconvenient prior to the invention of phone flashlights.”  SOURCE

  2. “October, November, December feels like Friday, Saturday, Sunday of the year.”  SOURCE

  3. “Storage units are more of a monument to consumerism than shopping malls.”  SOURCE

  4. “It’s not til you work a retail job that you realize 85% of people are dumb as rocks.”  SOURCE

  5. “Trees actually live underground, they just use the upper portion as a snorkel.”  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 “Mr. Doodle” Dent.

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