I was worried for nothing.

Dropping my first-ever uncensored f-bomb, some crass double entendre, and a provocative socio-political-cultural statement all in one email had me nervous last week. But the feedback was awesome and only a couple people unsubscribed. I’m chalking that up as a big win.

The folks at Forbes published a nice profile on us last week too, but I didn’t mention it because we had more important things to say. One thing’s for sure, I definitely don’t talk in run-on sentences like that article seems to indicate but I guess I should pay more attention to that and the picture also makes my head look enormous, which it probably is, literally and figuratively, and, otherwise, it was a flattering bit of good exposure for our business, so I’ll chalk that up as a win as well and you should read the article when you have a minute and did you see what I just did there?

Next week, I’m off to Scottsdale for the annual TMRE conference to unveil our research on tech adoption that I’ve been telling you about. If you or anyone from your team will be there, join us. I have a patented move at conferences where I pay the hotel to wheel an open bar into the room for my session. Very popular with the standing-room-only-crowd. Very unpopular with the concurrent speakers. We also do a private after-hours cocktail party the last night of the conference, and you’re all invited to that. And this entire paragraph makes me sound like a lush.

Here’s what we’re seeing this week:

Even as consumer confidence remained steady for the past several weeks, investor sentiment kept rising.Our partners at PNC are attributing it to a combination of trade progress, strong company earnings estimates, S&P returns, and other stuff that’s way over my head. All I know is that investor optimism is the highest we’ve seen it since January.

Young people don’t go to the doctor, because of course they don’t, and it has nothing to do with them being “Millennials.”WaPo article this week was picked up by a bunch of other outlets, highlighting data from the Kaiser Foundation about primary care physicians (PCPs) and how Millennials use them less than other generations. But the idea that these young people used to see PCPs and no longer do – which is a hot take that Axios and others leapt to – is simply untrue. According to our data, rates of using PCPs among 18-34-year-olds have actually risen since 2013, owed mostly to the ACA. Do Millennials go to the doctor less than old people? Surely. But it’s not because they’re Millennials; it’s because they’re young. If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a million times – do not confuse a life stage phenomenon for a generational one.

Rideshare apps just keep growing and growing. Over 35% of U.S. adults now use rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, up 10 percentage points since early 2017. Yes, they’re more popular with younger people but 17% of ride-sharers are now over 55. The services are particularly popular with Blacks and Hispanics and, naturally, people in urban areas. There’s still a bit of a gender disparity, however, as women are much less likely than men to use them. But the biggest correlation was tied to business travel. 58% of people who travel out of town for business on a monthly basis or more use rideshares. Frankly, I couldn’t live without it.

It’s a rough stretch for new TV sitcoms. We are doing some cool analysis on the new broadcast TV shows this fall, looking at the psychographic profiles of a show’s current audience compared to people who said they intended to watch it after the Upfronts in May. The goal is to find patterns in the audience profiles that could predict a show’s future success. Some shows did really well at building and maintaining those audiences of intenders – “Last Man Standing”, “Manifest”, and “F.B.I.”, for example. But new sitcoms struggled mightily, as you can see in this brief report we wrote up. It seems people would rather get lost in dramas right now.

Americans are increasingly less likely to identify as heterosexual. Imagine the lovely comments you would get if you posted that little nugget on Facebook. But it’s true. The percentage of people who responded to our sexual preference question with “heterosexual/straight” decreased from 79% last summer to 73% this quarter. People who said “lesbian/gay” increased by 2 points to 5% and “queer” increased from 1% to 3%. 6% identify as bisexual, 2% non-binary, and 1% transgender. 2% of people say they’re “not sure” and 12% “prefer not to say” – a number that has been unchanged since we started tracking it. Maybe, just maybe, people are feeling more comfortable flying whatever flag they choose.

Some Random (Cheesy) Stats of the Week

  • 51% of people prefer hard cheese, 39% soft cheese and 10% no cheese;
  • 13% of people prefer their burgers without cheese;
  • 55% of people like cottage cheese, 45% don’t;
  • 63% of people like their grilled cheese sandwiches plain, 29% like additional toppings;
  • 27% of people prefer plain cheese pizza with no toppings;
  • Favorite Cheese: Cheddar (24%), Swiss (14%) Pepper Jack, Provolone, and Mozzarella (tied at 13%), American (9%), Other (12%)

There you have it.

Hoping you’re well.


In case you’re wondering, this is an informal email I write to CivicScience clients, friends, and other VIPs every Saturday morning. If you’re getting this, you’re either one of those people or were referred to me by one of them. I always love your comments and feedback.

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