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💰 How Gautam Adani got rich

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Detroit Tigers legend Ty Cobb’s dentures auctioned for $18.8k last weekend. The listing noted that the faux chompers had been kept in “immaculate condition” since Cobb’s death in 1961.

In today’s email:

  • A24: And its devoted fanbase.
  • Chart: The world’s richest people.
  • Digits: Ugly food, the king, and more.
  • Around the Web: Bread history, 3D maps, public speaking tips, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s 10-minute podcast to hear about Gautam Adani, the world’s third-richest person and someone you’ve probably never heard of. Plus: A news roundup to start your week.

The big idea

Why did A24 launch a membership?

Even if you don’t know the name, you’ve likely seen an A24 film.

The box office success of films like Hereditary, Lady Bird, and Everything Everywhere All at Once has challenged the notion that indie films are dead, and the studio’s cultural cachet has cultivated a devoted fanbase.

In April, A24 launched a membership program, giving fans access to the studio’s notoriously secretive inner workings, per Fast Company’s Joe Berkowitz.

The membership…

… is called AAA24 (not to be confused with AAA, the roadside assistant). For $5/mo., members get:

  • Subscriptions to A24’s zines, made by filmmakers like Jonah Hill, Greta Gerwig, and Sean Baker.
  • Membership cards and key fobs that grant access to live events.
  • “Close Friends” status on A24’s Instagram account, where they’re given access to secret giveaways.

Berkowitz likens the membership’s combination of indie film prestige and exclusive merch to a Miramax-Supreme hybrid.

But it’s also a way to diversify

Not all of A24’s films are box office hits, and the studio is okay with that. Having a baseline of recurring revenue gives A24 an advantage over other studios that struggle to make it in a franchise-dominated world.

  • A24’s members are devoted, regularly hitting the brand’s subreddit to geek out over films and merch.

Speaking of franchises, Disney recently announced plans to launch a membership of its own.

As to how that move will play out, we say this: never underestimate the power of Disney adults.

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Visa, Mastercard, and American Express will roll out a new merchant code to track gun and ammo store sales, and potentially flag suspicious activity.

China is planning three moon missions prompted by its discovery of Changesite-(Y), a lunar mineral and potential energy source.

Netflix and Ubisoft are partnering on new “Assassin’s Creed,” “Valiant Hearts,” and “Mighty Quest” mobile games — all free for Netflix subscribers.

Verily, Alphabet’s personalized health care company, has raised $1B, some of which may be used for future acquisitions.

Good news, bad news: Inflation in some sectors, including gas, airfare, and used cars, has slowed. But food prices are still rising.

UPS announced plans to hire 100k+ workers in anticipation of the busy holiday season.

Disney dropped a ton of trailers at its D23 Expo, including for “Willow” and Secret Invasion. They also gave attendees a first look at 80-year-old Harrison Ford in a new Indiana Jones.

Lifestyle creep: Did you finally land that big raise at work only to find yourself still struggling to make ends meet? You might have fallen victim to “lifestyle creep.” Fret not — we have the antidote.

chart of richest people

Selina Lee

The billionaire closing in on Bezos

Two years ago, Gautam Adani’s net worth was $10B. Now, he’s the third-wealthiest person in the world, nearly rivaling Jeff Bezos.

How’d he get so rich?

Adani is the chairman and founder of Adani Group, an Indian multinational conglomerate with arms in gas, power, ports, and several other sectors.

  • His many businesses often align with the priorities of India’s current administration, drawing investor trust and leading to close political ties.
  • Surging prices across coal, gas, and oil have helped him rise in the rankings.

Some of his firms have extremely high price-to-earnings ratios, per Bloomberg. For example, Adani Green Energy Ltd. and Adani Total Gas Ltd. both have P/E ratios of ~750, while Tesla and Amazon’s are ~100.

  • Critics have said Adani’s expansions have come with a lot of risk and debt, but Adani Group claims it has improved its debt over the years.

And if things continue, Adani could be looking over his shoulder at Musk.

Meanwhile, Bill Gates, number five on the world’s wealthiest list, has pledged to eventually give everything to his charitable foundation, thus removing himself from the list entirely.

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Free Resource

If the first product launch fails — so what?

Doesn’t mean it can’t become bangin’. What matters is how you pivot.

When Steph Taylor’s first podcast-building product was a dud, she tweaked her branding until prospects began converting.

She ran back the revamp to a million bucks and beyond. Listen to the Socialette host’s four steps to resuscitate “failed” product launches.

Key topics from this episode:

  • Is a failed launch really a failure?
  • The roadblocks to pivoting a launch
  • Why you should build an audience early
  • Why non-buyer research really is the bomb
  • How to identify and tackle weak spots

It’s all about figuring out what’s lacking, then fine-tuning the messaging.

Launch planning pod →

Digits: Ugly food, Roblox, and more

1) “Ugly produce” grocer Misfits Market is acquiring rival Imperfect Foods, doubling the size of its business. It’s expected to hit $1B in annual revenue within the next two years.

2) Because of a rule passed in 1993 to protect the royal family’s assets in the event of multiple sudden deaths, King Charles doesn’t have to pay inheritance tax on the queen’s private estate — worth $754m.

3) In the US, beef prices are relatively low, with more cattle slaughtered in July than any month since 1986. That’s partially because, with ~60% of cattle now affected by drought, some ranchers are choosing to slaughter earlier than normal.

4) The Super Bowl isn’t for another five months, but Fox has already sold 95% of the ad inventory for the big game. The going rate is ~$7m per 30 seconds.

5) Roblox CEO Dave Baszucki said it has 2m+ daily active users playing in Russia. The US sees 11m+. The note comes as Electronic Arts, Nintendo, Epic Games, Ubisoft, Microsoft, and Sony have all reduced or stopped business in Russia.

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🏀 On this day: In 1995, the Harlem Globetrotters lost to Kareem’s All-Stars, a team of retired basketball stars, ending the Globetrotters’ 8,829-game winning streak.

🍞 That’s interesting: It may be one of humankind’s greatest inventions, but the US once banned sliced bread.

🎤 How to: Experts offer 11 public speaking tips.

🗺️ That’s cool: This 3D map visualizes the human population over time.

🦊 Aww: And now, an affectionate fox.

Roblox meme

To each their own. (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: Jennifer “Everything Everywhere” Wang.

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