The Historically Low Birth Rate and the Return of Flip Phones
What we're reading and talking about in Slack
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Forerunner’s Must-Reads of the Week:
America is experiencing a historically low birth rate. There aren’t exactly a shortage of reasons why that could be: millennials, struggling with college debt, a tough housing market, among plenty of other barriers and competing career and personal life priorities, don’t feel ready to have kids as early as previous generations. Related: South Korea just broke the record for the world’s lowest fertility rate, leading its government to try to pay parents to encourage them to have more children (but - spoiler alert - the program hasn’t had much success.) Even China is shrinking.
More than three million family caregivers in the U.S. are members of Gen Z. On top of having to take care of sick loved ones, they are juggling the stresses of school or trying to start a career, leading some to completely put their futures on hold. Either way, they are facing major financial setbacks and emotional hardships, in addition sacrifices related to their own well-being and social life.
And for some good news: The consumer sentiment index rose to 64.6 in a January survey, up 8.2% from December’s 59.7 reading. Lower gas prices and a slowly stabilizing labor market all contribute to the boost in optimism.
At a time when marketing budgets are getting trimmed, ads on TikTok are now cheaper relative to other social media spend, as a new point of differentiation for the platform. No surprise that advertising increased significantly on TikTok in the fourth quarter of 2022.
An unedited, typo-filled mea culpa from a CEO of an emerging olive oil company to his customers is being lauded as a master class in brand apologies.
But on the other hand, Fortune suggests that the era of the outspoken CEO is over, as corporations increasingly see POVs on social and political matters as too risky amid increased polarization on issues.
Nike’s membership program is fostering loyal, engaged customers that spend more dollars, and more frequently. It’s a winning formula that has the brand seeing 34% growth in digital in the last quarter.
TikTok has been banned from a number of colleges (University of Texas at Austin, Auburn University, University of Montana, and schools in the University System of Georgia,), but the social media platform has a new plan to try to win back trust: full transparency about its plans for content recommendation.
Also interesting to note: A new study found that Gen Z consumers are starting to buy luxury goods at age 15 — that’s three to five years earlier than millennials did.
Faire launches a new app for brands to seamlessly manage their relationships with retailers.
Work at a Portfolio Company
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Data Scientist, Fraud & Payments, Catch | Catch is on a mission to unlock more rewarding relationships between merchants and their customers, starting with changing the way we pay for things online. This role will be responsible for end-to-end ownership of the data, analytics, and machine learning that powers our fraud and risk engines.
Workforce Manager, Faire | Faire is an online wholesale marketplace built on the belief that the future is local — there are over 2 million independent retailers in North America and Europe doing more than $2 trillion in revenue. This Workforce Manager role will build the function from the ground up, creating a WorkForce Management Operating System that is both repeatable and reproducible.
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