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  • Sunday Reads and Listens...Luxury, Degeneracy, Streaming and Influencer Economy, AI, Cars and Self-Driving, Obesity, Fighting Cancer and War...Catching Up On The Biggest Trends

Sunday Reads and Listens...Luxury, Degeneracy, Streaming and Influencer Economy, AI, Cars and Self-Driving, Obesity, Fighting Cancer and War...Catching Up On The Biggest Trends

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Social Leverage is an investor (Fund IV)

Good morning and an early Happy New Year to everyone.

I thought I would end the year with a quick post on the biggest trends that interest me as we head into 2024.

Because of our most recent investment in Finchat.io (see the link at the top of today’s newsletter), I will start with AI. This podcast from Lux Capital titled ‘WTF Happened in AI in 2023’ will help get you caught up.

Next up…you know how I fell about the luxury trend. In fact, as luxury becomes something for everyone, everywhere, luxury often meets degeneracy. The cigarette umbrella is just that:

When the world thinks luxury they think, Hermes, LVMH (I think Apple has proven it is for almost everyone) which means France. The french luxury creators and manufacturers dominate the market cap of the French market. Don’t look now, but the French markets are at all-time highs. I have no idea how long this trend continues, but it is carrying a nation.

Luxury is carrying the French markets and in Denmark, Novo Nordisk is carrying the markets. It is now a $350 billion company. A simple Google search will tell you everything you need to know about the company and the triumphs in battling Diabetes and now obesity, but only 7,000 people follow the stock on Stocktwits despite offering returns that beat most of the Nasdaq 100 companies since 2019. That makes me confident that this trend higher for the stock will continue…

Apple had a fantastic year but does not having a seat at the Auto and Self Driving and AI table mean it will finally start falling behind?

I thought this post from my friend Ram at Lumida was an excellent outline of what could be taking place (click inside the box below to read it all):

Speaking of cars, the ‘Reality of Self-Driving Cars’ is upon us. My friend Om discusses where we are in this great update.

In the battle against cancer, specifically skin cancer, I thought this Moderna breakthrough was an incredible one with respect to Melanoma.

I love YouTube. So does everyone else in America, especially teens of which 93 percent use YouTube. How big is Youtube? Have a read. I was early to Youtube in 2006 and my show Wallstrip was the first show on Youtube ever acquired by a major media company (CBS). Like a dummy, I never went back to it as a creator until this year - 18 years after Wallstrip was acquired. I expect to do a lot more creating as we grow ‘Trends With Friends’ in 2023.

As you can tell, I am excited about life as an investor in 2024.

Because of Trends With Friends (Youtube) and Beehiiv (which has helped me think about growing a publishing business), I am also excited about my own business ideas again, especially how to grow fast and lean and profitable.

I will wrap up 2023 with the topic that is top of my mind. You can’t think about trends, 2024 and beyond and not think about war. It is raging in Ukraine and Gaza.

The cool toys that have always been reserved for kids are now weapons of war. The first of these ‘toys’ is drones.

Have a look at this drone which is a fun backyard toy right now, but all I could think about is terrorism.

There are no rules in war and John Spencer talks about the ‘two-story’ war being fought in Gaza:

A two-story war indeed. IMO this is the first war in modern history where the underground is the primary domain & not just in support of the surface. Hamas built an underground world to achieve their strategic objectives & the surface is in support of that strategy.

With that, I put to rest my newsletter for 2023. Thanks for reading and sharing and I will be back tomorrow.

Have a great day.

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