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The Hustle

Royal gossip isn’t our thing, but maybe it should be? King Charles didn’t know about the existence of plastic wrap until recently and allegedly “shrieked” when he first saw it covering food. Meanwhile, 9-year-old heir Prince George is apparently big into AC/DC and Led Zeppelin. Fun crew, those royals.

In today’s email:

  • Most trusted brands: For people born before 1997, anyway
  • South Korea bet $40m that the way to the world’s heart is through its stomach
  • Commuters’ rail: The worst part of office work is getting there
  • Around the Web: The history of red velvet cake, an online stamp exhibit, Gotham’s cat, and more internet finds
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The Big Idea

Who do you trust? Band-Aid, apparently

It’s time to retire that old “Rip the Band-Aid off” idiom. Seems nobody is in a huge rush to get rid of their Band-Aids.

The first-aid aider topped decision intelligence company Morning Consult’s annual Most Trusted Brands report.

The Johnson & Johnson-owned bandage brand stuck it to all other US brands for a second straight year, besting other top-five finishers UPS, Amazon, Lysol, and Kleenex.

Band-Aid wasn’t a hit with everyone…

… The exception being Gen Z; they don’t trust a damn thing.

The survey calculated net trust ratings — the share of people who say they trust brands “to do the right thing” minus the share who don’t — for 1.5k+ popular companies.

On average, Gen X and baby boomers were the most trusting (~22%), with millennials slightly less trusting (~19%). Those low numbers would’ve been wounding enough.

Then Gen Z lifted those Band-Aids right off and poured salt right on: Their net trust rating was ~11%.

Are the kids alright?

A generous view here suggests they’re new consumers who haven’t had time to build trust with companies yet.

But we’ll take a colder, more realistic track: This is a generation that distrusts, well, nearly everything — from higher education to state and local governments. They barely even trust doctors.

  • Nonprofits were the only category of brands Gen Z responded well to. This checks out; they also volunteer at the highest rates of any generation.

Translation: Institutions of all kinds, including corporate America, have a lot of trust-building work ahead if they want to unlock Gen Z’s spending power.

BTW: Who else has customers’ faith? (At least among older Americans.) Rounding out the top 10: Cheerios, Visa, Dove, The Weather Channel, and FedEx.

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eyeball wearing a hat

A TikToker went viral for rehabbing a bright blue couch she found on the curb, with some praising her thrifty ways and others worried about bedbugs. Entomologist Jim Fredericks weighed in, telling NPR they can lie dormant, sans food, for six months. Great, thanks.


TodAI in AI: Google-backed generative AI startup Anthropic raised $450m, bringing total funding to ~$1.45B. Anthropic is behind only OpenAI in the AI capital-raising race — but by a mile: OpenAI has raised $11.3B+ to date.

Buy high, sell low: Months after UK antitrust authorities ordered Meta to sell Giphy, which was acquired for ~$315m in 2020 and has 1.7B daily users, Shutterstock is buying the company for $53m.

Wait, it’s not good for us?! US Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy issued a wide-ranging advisory on the risks of social media use to youth mental health. If you’re interested in reading the dense 19-page report, here you go.

What is even real anymore? Adobe’s Generative Fill AI feature, coming to Photoshop later this year, lets you extend images and insert objects using text. Should come in handy for, well, basically anyone.

Flipboard is integrating Bluesky, allowing users to browse their feeds in the app. Flipboard has also integrated Mastodon, and is set to add decentralized Instagram alternative Pixelfed, too.

Fits the crime: Spanish YouTuber Daniel Santomé defamed his ex’s father. Now, a judge has ordered him to pay $13k in damages and read his sentence on his channel weekly for a month.

It’s on: TikTok is suing Montana over its ban on the app, saying it violates the First Amendment. Five Montana TikTok creators are also suing the state for the same reason.

Look ma, no driver: Alphabet’s Waymo and Uber have teamed up. Later this year, Uber users in Phoenix will be able to order rides and delivery via Waymo’s self-driving cars.

Dyson announced several new products including a redesigned robot vacuum with an arm that helps clean room edges. It’ll probably cost you, though — the previous model was $1k.

Stay agile: Your leadership style can have a huge impact on your team and business. Looking to be flexible and adaptable? Try agile leadership.

Seoul Food
number of Korean restaurants

Zachary Crockett

The $40m bet that made South Korea a food and cultural power

If you’ve eaten Korean food, you know it’s delicious.

Whether you’ve flipped sizzling beef over a Korean barbecue, crunched down on a tangy piece of kimchi, or basked in the warm steam wafting off a bibimbap bowl, the experience is captivating.

What you might not know, though, is that your meal likely came with a heaping side of government funds.

In 2009, the South Korean government launched the $40m Korean Cuisine to the World campaign with the goal of improving South Korea’s global reputation through its food.

In the years to come, the government would spend millions of dollars opening Korean restaurants abroad, developing and standardizing recipes, and working to make South Korea a culinary destination for international tourists.

But can food really help elevate a country’s reputation? And how much further can South Korea push its food campaigns?

Taste the full story →
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The right words are out there — you just have to find them.

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Bumper to Bummer

Office workers dread the commute, spending money

The WFH vs. return-to-office debate has been raging for months now with little give from either side. Yet it may not be the office remote workers dread, but everything else. Namely:

  • Spending money
  • Getting there

It adds up

Employees say they’re spending up to $45 more per day they go into the office, per Insider. Consider:

  • Office clothes: Refreshing a business-casual wardrobe costs more than wearing your favorite sweats all day.
  • Coffee and lunch: You can prep ahead — supposing you have time or don’t feel pressured to join co-workers for meals, coffee, or happy hours.
  • Child care, which can eat up 8%-19.3% of a family’s median income per child, per the US Department of Labor.
  • Commuting: Gas, car maintenance, public transit fare, etc.

Speaking of commuting…

… It’s a serious gripe. Most workers don’t get paid for their commute and it can be pretty stressful.

In an op-ed for The New York Times, Farhad Manjoo noted that numerous surveys have found commuting to be the biggest return-to-office pain point.

Americans yet to return to their daily commutes are saving 60m hours per day collectively, which they spend on fulfilling tasks while experiencing record-high job satisfaction.

That’s also fewer cars on the road — a positive for traffic and the environment.

Bottom line: We may need to rethink the way offices are set up if bosses want people back in them. Of course, that would take an overhaul of some pretty big systems and infrastructure — roads, public transit, child care —  so, uh… good luck, bosses.

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⚾ On this day: In 1935, MLB held its first night game, made possible by new lights installed at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field. The Cincinnati Reds saw paid attendance bump 117% that season.

💌 That’s cool: The National Postal Museum’s new online exhibit, “Stamps Across the Pacific: A Visual History of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Migrations,” includes every related USPS stamp issued to date.

🎧 Promo: On this episode of Side Hustle Pro, learn how to start inviting people to your email list and more.

🎂 That’s interesting: Red velvet cake has changed a lot over time. For one, it hasn’t always been red.

🐈‍⬛ Aww: And now, “I’m Batman.”

project meme

Right, right, the project, of course… Wait, which project? (Link)


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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen and Juliet Bennett Rylah.
Editing by: Ben “Loving this 2-foot commute” Berkley.

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