I wrote the first of these emails exactly two years ago this weekend – and I’ve only missed four Saturdays since. Which also means this is #100.
The first morning, it went to a whopping 123 people. Today it went to 9,143, not including the thousand or so we know you forward it to.
Yes, I realize 9k is laughable to you media pundits who regularly reach millions, but this is just a side gig. We do zero marketing for it. We even make it hard to find.
And, what we lack in quantity, we more than make up in quality. If I told you the names of the titans in business, media, entertainment, politics, and sports who email me on the occasional Saturday, you wouldn’t believe me. Although a few of them openly admit it, as you’ll see.
I blew some of my best material in the early days, long before 90% of you were letting me clutter your inbox. So, to mark the 2-year milestone, we put together a sort of greatest hits album – an anthology – just for your amusement.
The cool kids call it an eBook and you can get it here – no forms or sign-up or any of that.
If you read nothing else, the quotes at the beginning are absolutely required. A handful of those titans, including a bona fide rock star and the funniest CMO in America, were generous enough to share their thoughts – along with more than a few pointed jabs at me.
In any event, thank you. I know you get a million emails and have more data to digest than you’ll ever need. It means a lot that you read it and even more when you write me back.
This is always one of my favorite parts of the week. I hope you can tell.
Here’s what we’re seeing right now:
Women are warming up to weed. We did a well-attended webinar this week on the emerging marijuana industry, public opinion, and the consumer markets we believe will be most affected by this new category of discretionary spending. A lot of people showed up to the webinar late and I think a bunch more forgot. I also heard people crunching Cheetos, but I digress. The point is that we’ve seen significant gains among women who support legalized recreational marijuana. 22% of women say they’re more likely to use weed as laws become less restrictive. Why? Mostly because women are much more likely than men to believe that the societal and public health implications of marijuana are less problematic than those of alcohol. Makes sense. If you’re interested in the webinar recording, give me a shout.
Over 90% of people look at a screen before going to bed, but that’s actually an improvement. We did a fascinating study this week, comparing pre-bedtime device usage in 2015 and 2018. Some of the biggest takeaways: 37% of adults look at their phone last before bed, up from 31% in 2015. TV declined from 37% to 35% – meaning phones took the lead. And the big losers were laptops/desktop computers, which fell from 16% to 9%. Tablets, smartwatches, and eReaders stayed precisely flat. A tiny sign of good news? People who say they don’t use any devices before bed rose from 6% to 9% over the past three years.
We just bought a car from Carvana, it was awesome, and we’re not alone. I really don’t like cars. Until a couple of months ago, I was still driving a Honda Pilot with 190,000 miles on it because I was holding out for Uber to become economical for daily use. Then Tara told me she bought me a new car and that it would be in the driveway the next day. Sure enough, there it was. This kind of online car-buying is accelerating, with another 8% of U.S. consumers planning to use a service like Carvana for the first time. Perhaps more importantly, this tech-savvy shopper is a higher-end buyer, significantly over-indexing as an SUV intender, for instance. And, yes, we bought another SUV.
If you really want to scare people this Halloween, go dressed as a pink slip. In this age of apparent economic happiness, we asked people what financial situation scared them the most. Losing their job is #1 and an unexpected out-of-pocket expense is #2. Naturally, there were major differences by age group. Boomers were the most likely to be afraid of their investments losing value. Millennials were the most afraid of a drop in their credit score. We also found interesting correlations with household income, levels of debt and savings, and even gender. You can check those out yourself.
Or, if you want to scare the hell out of a dairy farmer, go dressed as a Millennial. The percentage of Americans who drink milk has declined to 69% this year, with 31% either drinking some kind of alternative milk (soy, almond, etc.) or drinking no milk at all. Yeah, 69% is still a bunch of people, but it’s a new low point. Perhaps most troubling for dairy agriculture is that the majority of alternative milk drinkers are – you guessed it – Millennials. That means a whole new generation of parents who might not be giving moo juice to their kids.
The Most Popular Questions Across Our Network This Week
With an obvious Halloween theme:
- Have you ever pretended you weren’t home when a trick-or-treater showed up?
- Do you plan to dress up for Halloween this year?
- Is there that one house in your neighborhood that goes all out for Halloween?
- Which type of horror movie plot is more terrifying to you: ghost movies or murder movies?
- Do you expect perfect grammar and spelling from public figures?
- Do you think eating healthy foods and eating junk foods costs the same?
Hoping you’re well. Go read our book