🐓 Why chickens are shrinking

The Hustle

Yesterday, Arby’s announced it will soon release a crinkle fry-flavored vodka. That’s right up there on the wacky scale with wines like Kraft Heinz’s mustard seed-infused “La Moutarde Vin” and Taco Bell’s “Jalepeño Noir.”

Today’s rundown:

  • Chicken little: The case for smaller chickens.
  • Harder, better, faster, longer? America’s addiction to the clock.
  • Metaverse madness: Everyone wants in.
  • Around the web: The stopped clock illusion, erasing yourself from the internet, and more internet things.

Let’s do it.

The Big Idea
chicken gif

Is the key to better chicken a smaller chicken?

Industrial farming has created some big chickens. A century ago, a broiler chicken (i.e., a chicken raised for meat) was ~2.5 pounds, per Bloomberg.


  • Broilers grow to ~6.5+ pounds in just 7 weeks
  • Their breasts are so large they have difficulty standing

This isn’t good for the chicken, obviously, but it’s not great for those who eat them either. The meat can contain white strips of fat and take on a hard, unappealing texture.

The solution could be a smaller, slower-growing bird

Most of these issues are derived from selectively breeding chickens with heavier body weights, according to the animal welfare nonprofit Global Animal Partnership (GAP).

GAP studied 7.5k+ broiler chickens from 16 genetic strains over 2 years and found that the strains that grew the fastest were, overall, the least healthy.

To get a happier, better-tasting bird, some farmers say it’d be better to breed birds based not on their size, but their:

  • Health
  • Immune systems
  • Strong legs

Right now, 2 companies — Aviagen Group and Tyson Foods subsidiary Cobb-Vantress — control 90%+ of the market’s chicken genetics.

But demand for animal welfare and better-tasting chicken is up, despite costing as much as ~$6.50/pound more.

New Jersey-based D’Artagnan Inc. told Bloomberg demand for its Brune Landaise chickens has jumped 28% since last year.

BTW: No-chicken chicken is hot right now, too. While conventional meat sales are still far greater than alternatives, plant-based tenders and nuggets sales climbed 29% from August 2020 to August 2021.

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Grocery games: Kroger announced a new ad platform that lets merchants target relevant shoppers among its 60m loyalty card members. #ecommerce-retail

Autopilot upgrade: Tesla started a program of retrofitting old cars with new cameras to support full self-driving. #clean-energy

Kidflix: Netflix announced plans to launch Kid’s Clips, which is available for iOS and will show short clips from its current children’s library. #emerging-tech

Identity unicorn: Socure, an identity verification startup, raised $450m at a $4.5B valuation. #privacy

WOO Network, a crypto exchange that aims to provide better liquidity than other exchanges, raised $30m in Series A funding. #fintech-crypto

Old school: Uber lobbied to bring yellow taxis back to the app in NYC to resolve driver shortages. #big-tech

MFM: BitClout founder Nader Al-Naji explains how decentralized social networks work. #mfm

Clock In
manufacturing vs white-collar jobs chart

America’s addiction to the clock

Elon Musk has bragged about 120-hour work weeks, while Iceland’s workforce was found to be just as productive working 36-hour weeks as they are working 40.

What if both are getting it wrong?

For many of the assembly-line jobs in the 1st half of the 20th century, time was the best option for measuring work. But does it still make sense for today’s jobs?

We spoke to economists, task-based evangelists, and HR leaders to understand how removing time from the picture can increase productivity, reduce turnover, and improve employee health.

Read the full story →
Metaverse Madness
metaverse graphic

Everyone is doing the metaverse

Ok, this is getting a bit ridiculous.

Less than 2 weeks ago, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook was changing its name to “Meta.” The rebrand reflects the social network’s pivot into the metaverse, a shared internet space mediated by AR and VR tech.

Now, everyone is getting in on the act.

Here are metaverse efforts announcements…

… since Facebook went Meta:

  • Microsoft has an enterprise metaverse (yay! Microsoft Excel with avatars)
  • Nike is launching virtual footwear and apparel so people can look good in the metaverse
  • Dropbox is positioning itself as content storage for the metaverse
  • Autodesk has software used by engineers and architects to design buildings (and, now, maybe virtual worlds)
  • Unity and Epic Games are both positioning themselves as metaverse world builders

The metaverse hype is reaching similar levels as mobile in the early 2010s or social media in the mid-2000s

Not everyone is a fan

One company with actual metaverse bonafides hates the hype: Niantic, which created a massively popular augmented reality game called… “Pokemon Go.”

Tech writer Casey Newton writes that Niantic is the “dark horse in the metaverse wars” but notes that its CEO John Hanke thinks the virtual-first metaverse vision is “dystopian.”

“[Niantic wants people] to stand up, walk outside, and connect with people and the world around us,” says Hanke. To help build out this real-world version of the metaverse, Niantic just released developer tools.

Here’s hoping no one builds AR spreadsheet tools for nature walks.

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Rob Dyrdek’s painstaking path to real wealth

Just 5 years ago, the former pro skateboarder’s businesses were considered uninvestable…

Today, Rob’s net worth is over $400m. He said, “I am human optimization.” And it checks out.

Rob rebranded from actor-athlete to serial entrepreneur by refocusing (his life and) the lofty ventures of Dyrdek Machine LLC. Sam and Shaan dig into his deeply automated day-to-day living.

Tweeters have dubbed this MFM’s best podcast yet:

Bobby D wisdom →

📺 On this day: In 1969, “Sesame Street” premiered. Producer Joan Ganz Cooney created the show to help underprivileged children get ready for preschool.

🕰 That’s interesting: You know that thing where you look at a clock and it seems as though the second hand has stopped? That’s called the stopped clock illusion, and here’s how it works.

🤐 ​​How to: At this point, erasing yourself from the internet may seem impossible. But if you’re keen on it, CNET has the 1st 6 things you need to do.

🥛 Huh: Hyperburgers is a store concept in which customers supply all the items, volunteer their time, and pay each other directly. It’s an “inconvenience store” by design, but nets some interesting wares.

🧑‍💻 Useful: This one’s useful and fun. Practice your typing skills by racing against others. Snippets come from movies, books, and other media.

🪁 Haha: How many drones would you have to strap to your body to take flight? This many.

How-to of the day
chicken meme

Source: GeeksonCoffee.com

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ask the hustle

🧑‍💻I’m currently marinating in the thought of becoming an entrepreneur. What are 3 things I should consider to help me decide if the jump is right for me? — Ben from Chicago

🧙Howdy, Ben. Consider this: Do you find hoodies comfortable? Are you willing to tweet 70x a day? Can you start every conversation by alerting the person you’re speaking with that you are, in fact, an entrepreneur?

(Need some advice? Ask The Hustle here)

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