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💸 Tips are flowing

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WordleBot, a Wordle assistant created by The New York Times, recommended a new starting word — SLATE. Happy Wordle-ing.

In today’s email:

  • Flow: Adam Neumann’s new company?
  • Tips: They’re still flowing.
  • Weekend Reads for your avocado beer.
  • Around the Web: Block party history, a hobby generator, free movies, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s podcast to hear Zack and Juliet talk about communal living, the housing crisis, NIMBYs and YIMBYs, and more.

The big idea
Adam Neumann

WTH is Adam Neumann’s startup anyhow?

Marc Andreessen gave $350m — a16z’s biggest check ever — to Adam Neumann, the ex-WeWork CEO who spectacularly bungled his last $47B startup.

VCs are bewildered, while founders are enraged that Neumann’s getting a second chance even as women and founders of color remain vastly underfunded.

But what is it?

The website doesn’t tell us jackshit, but Andreessen touts Flow as an alternative to “soulless” apartment living where you gain neither friends nor equity amid an affordable housing shortage.

Neumann — who left WeWork with $1.7B — has since acquired 3k+ apartments, and Flow sounds like a previous venture, WeLive.

  • In 2018, writer Benjy Hansen-Bundy tried WeLive, describing a small but nice unit in a community-focused complex. Amenities included a bar, arcade, and app.

What about that equity?

Unclear. Maybe you earn as you rent? A spokesperson told Forbes that Flow plans to launch a digital wallet and a tokenized rewards program.

One pessimistic analyst told Business Insider it could be a “microscopic share… that never amounts to anything,” comparing it to a company store.

What about that housing crisis?

There are certainly lonely people in isolating apartments who’d love neighbors as friends. Flow could be their dream apartment, if they can afford it.

  • A WeLive studio on Wall Street cost ~$3.5k/mo. in 2018 —  higher than the median. Flow’s prices are yet unknown.

Meanwhile, experts agree that the solution revolves around more housing. Andreessen has also championed building, but recently opposed the addition of ~130 multifamily units in his own neighborhood.

Perhaps if only they’d come with kombucha on tap and a saltwater pool.

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The Big 10 reached a $7.5B deal with Fox, CBS, and NBC to showcase its content across their platforms. The deal is a record for college sports.

Life on Venus? Space company Rocket Lab wants to send a probe to Venus to look for extraterrestrials, perhaps by May 2023.

CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart were ordered to pay $650.5m to two Ohio counties for their part in the opioid epidemic.

Kohl’s is doubling down on Sephora, adding the beauty shop to all 1.1k+ locations and hoping it’ll spur $2B annually by 2025.

Streaming win: In July, US viewers watched more streaming TV than cable for the first time, buoyed by hits like “Stranger Things.”

Snap is winding down development of its cute little $230 Pixy drone amid a resource reprioritization.

Burton, a family-run snowboard brand based out of Vermont, is exploring a sale that could value the company at $800m.

Hundreds of Google employees are petitioning management for increased abortion benefits for the company’s contractors.

Cameo launched Cameo Live, a service that lets users have 10-minute video chats with celebs on the app.

From the blog: We compiled a deck on 12 companies using Web3 to innovate their marketing, business operations, and more.

Podcast poll: We want the scoop on your podcast habits. Can’t stop listening? Can’t stand ’em? Tell us how you really feel here.

average tip by state

Despite inflation, tips are still flowing

According to data from Toast, “Hoosier hospitality” is legit.

Over the last two quarters, Indiana led the nation with the highest-average tip rate, while California had the lowest.

Toast’s Q2 data also found:

  • Full-service restaurants received an average tip of 19.6% compared to 16.9% for quick-service restaurants (AKA fast food).
  • Tips rose 10% YoY, compared to 7.6% for food costs.

In other words, tips are outpacing inflation — which means consumers are either getting very generous…

… Or there’s another explanation

Point-of-sale (POS) platforms like Toast have ushered the rise of “iPad tipping,” leading many to tip when they normally wouldn’t to avoid looking stingy in front of the cashier. Here’s one hilarious reenactment.

But do fast-food and coffee-shop workers even expect a tip?

  • One former yogurt shop worker said flipping the iPad to ask for a tip was actually embarrassing her and her colleagues.

The bottom line — just tip whatever you want to tip.

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Weekend Reads

Welcome to Weekend Reads…

… recs to pair with your Friday latte, Saturday OJ, or, for the hipsters, Sunday avocado beer.


Spot the fake:

  • A screaming toddler took over Disney’s Q2 earnings call for a hot sec.
  • A 20-year-old just made $110m trading Bed Bath & Beyond stock.
  • The internet is flabbergasted over Papa John’s new $7.99 dish — a bowl of pizza, without the dough.
  • A Saudi woman was recently sentenced to 34 years in prison for tweeting.

🏎️ On this day: In 1934, the first All American Soap Box Derby was held in Dayton, Ohio, following two smaller events in 1933. Winner Robert Turner, 11, won a four-year scholarship to the school of his choice.

🥳 That’s interesting: The history of the block party.

🎨 Cure boredom: Need a hobby? Perhaps one of these.

🎥 Useful: Cinetimes lets you watch movies online, for free. No subscription required.

🍉 Aww: And now, watermelons for everyone.

Shower Thoughts
  1. “It has to feel at least a little disappointing to be #11 on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.”  SOURCE

  2. “Many tattoos or surgeries have been ruined by earthquakes.”  SOURCE

  3. “Pancakes have absolutely no standard size.”  SOURCE

  4. “A lot of people risk their careers for a little extra sleep in the morning.”  SOURCE

  5. “To pretend like we are yelling, we make our voices quieter.”  SOURCE

via Reddit
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 “Hoosier Hospitality” Dent.

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