Join us for VISIONS Summit NYC  - June 11

[Weekend Edition] We’re so back.

PLUS: The Multiplayer Brand
June 16, 2023

We’re on the emotional come-down from the VISIONS Summit in Chicago, futurists. On Thursday, hundreds of leaders from the world’s most influential brands gathered to have a new conversation about the future of commerce.

But more on that in the coming weeks. Soon, our VISIONS: Volume IV report will be available to the world in a game-changing innovative format — putting multiplayer community engagement in the middle of our annual trends report.

Along with the groundbreaking format for the report, we’re releasing a new book.

Our new 100-page zine, The Multiplayer Brand: the future of commerce, participatory economies, and the age of critique, will be available for pre-order in just two weeks’ time.

The countdown begins next Tuesday.

— Phillip

P.S. Have you ever seen an influencer trying to be relatable with their 20 step morning routine and just…immediately unfollowed? Welcome to the club! Join Ingrid and Orchid on Episode 4 of Infinite Shelf Season 3, as they talk fake relatability, aspirations, and understanding what your brand is all about.

Welcome to your new favorite podcast. Infinite Shelf is available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, or right over here

Image Source: Forerunner Ventures

Franchise to the Future  Forerunner Ventures published a treatise on why they believe “Digital Native Franchises” (DNF? Yikes) are the answer to the fraught gig and solopreneur models. Their proposal: a future digitally-native model of a franchise for the larger-than-gig-worker category of SaaS provider. The article names Alma, a telehealth service that provides mental health services to patients, as an example of a digitally native franchise. 

The critique of the traditional franchise model may still apply to the “Digitally Native Franchise” —  higher failure rates, have poor terms for franchisees. "Digital" will bring advantages, but the "Franchise" terms need to be favorable for those engaged, and so just like with the traditional model, aspiring business owners will need to read the T’s&C’s of their agreements.

Budget Reallocation Much? Accenture has pledged $3 billion toward making itself a leader in generative and predictive AI. This comes just 2 months after the company announced layoffs of 19,000 members of its staff to reduce costs.

Our Take: We’re so back.

More Sights & Sounds. Andy Dunn, co-founder of Bonobos, is returning to the company in an advisory role after the company’s acquisition from Walmart by Express, Inc. Five Below has named Kristy Chipman as its new chief financial officer, beginning in July.

Photo by Benj Edwards

This is Not a Hallucination. The trend for physical permanence in an ephemeral world continues. The 2023 edition of the last printed encyclopedia was just released — the World Book Encyclopedia — and was reviewed by an AI writer from Ars Technica. The author is quoted as saying they “feel good [about[ the stability and reliability of the information within.”

Beating the Bagel Tax. The “bagel tax” can be beaten. The “prepared sandwich tax” in New York State is 8.875%; and applies to sliced and toasted bagels, pitas, wraps, and rolls. Some bodegasin New York City have a creative workaround — serve bagels and schmear without the slicing (and thus without the taxing) such as filling bagels with cream cheese.

“Our Children are Becoming Robots.” Harvard professor and psychologies, Rebecca Rolland thinks today’s children are being taught to act robotically because we are not having conversations with them that promote creativity. Instead, she proposes, most conversations with children are superficial and logistical based on a myriad of factors.

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