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The Best Newsletter Yet

Vol. 11

Happy Saturday Besties,

Big week for games. And if your March Madness pool was a bust, we have your comeback lined up: Scrabble. It just got its first update in 75 years. So here are some tips for your bracket redemption:

  • Memorize the 2-letter words (there are 101 of them).

  • Know your X words: Jukebox is the highest-scoring one (24 pt.)

  • Know common prefixes: non-, ex-, tri-, pre-, and mis-

  • And common suffixes for when you’re stuck: -ed, -er, -ing, -ly, -ent, -iest -ful, -ity, -ness, -tion, -ite

  • Use your Q ASAP…or you’ll regret it.

  • Learn U-less Q-words like qi, qat, qin, qis, qoph. 

Now you’re ready. But if you’re hardcore, here’s more.

Also,  Vote for TBOY to win the “Best Business Podcast” Webby Award 🏆

This week’s newsletter is 20% of the best of the pod and 80% things we had to share off the record. 

Was this newsletter forwarded to you? Subscribe here to get our weekly edition.

Stocks making market moves

An Allbirds Model

🔻 Allbirds just got a 6-month warning. If the stock doesn’t rise to $1.00/share for 10 straight days, it’ll get de-listed from the Nasdaq.

  • Barack Obama has been known to rock the eco-friendly wool sneakers (we rock the loungers). But 7 years after NYT called Allbirds the uniform of Silicon Valley, the SF’s tech brahs have moved on…

  • By the Numbers: Sales have fallen by 10% or more for 5 straight quarters. The market cap ($97M) is half as big as its cash on hand. And 2.5 years ago, Allbirds was worth $4B… but today, it’s worth 98% less. 😓 

  • Death By Direct-to-Consumer: 

    • Warby Parker, Glossier, and Away Luggage are still kicking it in the DTC space, but…

    • Casper, Allbirds, and Rent-the-Runway all lost their unicorn status — each, ironically, had to re-inserted the middleman as finding new customers on instagram got too expensive.

The best visual from the week

Women's college basketball vs. other "must-see" TV

Caitlin Clark’s star power helped make this week’s championship the most-watched basketball game (at any level) measured by Nielsen since 2019.

  • What’s next: Clark is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA draft. The Indiana Fever has the first pick, so you do the math.

Margot Robbie’s production company, LuckyChap, is making… The Monopoly Movie. Hasbro (owner of the high-stakes board game) will also play a role in the film, like Mattel did with Margot’s Barbie.

  • Spin-offs are supreme in Hollywood right now. This year we’ll have a Wicked reboot with Ariana Grande (coming November) too. And in March we sand-danced for Dune Part 2. For the Monopoly Movie, the existing brand recognition (99% of the world recognizes the game), plus the production power of Margot will make this one of the most-anticipated movies of the year. We said this was a big week for games.

In-N-Out’s President just said the burger chain will “probably never” expand to the East Coast. Even though, last year (we covered on the podcast) In-N-Out planned their first expansion East of the Mississippi. Her grandparents founded it, so her rules.

Last week we asked: What is your least productive day? And you said…

So Fridays are canceled.

🇺🇸 Monday is Tax Day

Get this: About two-thirds of taxpayers had filed their returns going into last week, and the average refund (so far) this year is $3,050 (4.8% up from 2023).

  • The procrastination rate 🙋🏽‍♀️ remains about the same as last year (according to IRS data through March). But if you live in Massachusetts or Maine have until April 17th to file this year due to state holidays. Must be nice…

Poll Question: Have you filed your taxes yet?

Have you filed your taxes yet?

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1 thing we read (and think you should too)

Yelp data just revealed the Fastest-Growing Retailers in America. By tracking the new locations added to the platform, your searches, and reviews, Yelp has the holy grail of consumer data.

  • “Challenger“ brands led with major growth in consumer interest for the following brands (below). BTW - “challenger brands” are the “up-and-comers.”

Our key highlights from the report…

The brands to watch:

  • CAVA was #1 in the nation for growth. It’s the fastest-growing food chain in California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Alabama.

  • Jersey Mike’s made #10 on the list. They tapped Danny DeVito for commercials and are (allegedly) trying to sell themselves for $8B (hopefully to Danny). It’s the #2 sub chain in the US after Subway.

  • Other growth-y brands we want to give a shoutout…

    👖 Levi buttoned #15,

    ⛽️ Wawa gassed up #5,

    🥖 Olive Garden #9, (obligatory S/O), 

    😉 And Jack’s #34 (‘nuff said).

The yummiest trend: Gen Z loves a “little treat.” It’s the pick-me-up that spikes the serotonin at 3 pm when things are grim. It’s the reason brands like Insomnia Cookies (#49) and Dutch Bros (#36) are sprinkled all over the list…we highly reco the Creamy Vanilla Protein Coffee #IYKYK).

The standout category: Retail. Ace Hardware got a top 5 spot in 27 states. Costco (#43) was within the top 5 for 7 states and was #1 in Delaware in North Dakota.

1 fact ya gotta know

Picture credit: Today's Golfer & Golf Week

The Masters… of Merch: The Masters golf tournament wraps up this Sunday at Augusta National. But the winner is the gear: The merch tent sells $10 million per day worth of merch. The word on the green, is that this tent is mania. Why are sales so hot? You cannot purchase this classic green gear online.

But what about the players: 89 players teed off to play for a piece of the “purse” — which is $18M…and a lifetime of wearing the most iconic green jacket to the supermarket. Last year, the winner took home $3.24M of that. But everyone “wins” in a way, because last year, the last-place player got $45K of the pot, presumably via a huge Happy Gilmore-style golf check.

1 insight to share with your Bestie

Decaf coffee is the fastest-growing type of coffee because…

Consumers want drugs without the drugsPeople enjoy certain rituals but don’t want the repercussions that come with them.

  • People want weed w/o the weed high…CBD

  • People want alcohol but without the alcohol drunkenness…N/A spirits

  • Even plant-based meat is meat… without the meat indulgence

And you want your coffee ritual, but not the effects of caffeine. Friday’s episode on the Decaf’s growing demand has the full story.

  • Events: Watch the 128th Boston Marathon (Monday). Happy Patriots Day to those who Dunkin.

  • Sports: Watch Rounds 3 & 4 of the Masters (Sat./Sun.)

  • Holiday: Tax Day (pay ‘em on Monday), WNBA Draft (Monday)

Jump in TBOY-style to our daily podcast (we’ve got video)

👂 Monday: The best content on TV… is for kids

👂 Tuesday: The best thing to happen to food delivery… is robotic

👂 Wednesday: Bain’s best-kept secrets… to successful acquisitions

👂 Thursday: The best new thing coming to Japan…is a 300mph train that magnetically levitates

👂 Friday: The US Brewer’s Cup Championships’ best coffee …was uncaffeinated

 👀 Next Monday’s pod: The best kids Lunch(ables)…is facing a crisis. We’ll tell you how to handle it better.

And one more thing. Reply TAXES to see Nick’s borderline nerdy tax-form filing system, so that you’re geared up and less stressed for next year.

Now really, this is the last week to  vote for TBOY to win the “Best Business Podcast” Webby Award 🏆 It’s us vs the Pivot Podcast, and we’d really love your vote.

Jack will shave something if we win…unless someone has a better idea?

🫢🫢

—Nick & Jack

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