Deciphering the zeitgeist

A blog by Scott Taylor

Insights on emerging patterns, every Friday.

Deciphering the zeitgeist

A blog by Scott Taylor

Insights on emerging patterns, every Friday.

Deciphering the zeitgeist

A blog by Scott Taylor

Insights on emerging patterns, every Friday.

I don't know about you, but I can't keep up with all of the podcasts, interviews, and articles out there.

There's so much great content being released each and every day, but it's too time consuming to keep up with it.

That's why, each week, I'm going to dedicate a portion of this post to summarising the latest, from the shows that I enjoy.

Across the spectrum from venture capitalists, startup founders, digital marketers and solopreneurs. The aim is to pull out the nuggets that you can straight away use, or take action from. And also, to see if there are any common threads between them all.


But first, this week's trends

  • Advertising costs on TikTok, X and Meta remain low

  • Brand's who pulled back over the past half year should restart now because of CPM discount

  • There are significant opportunities out there for more progressive retailers to take a community first, full funnel approach

  • Increasing number of AI wrapper projects listing on Acquire.com

  • Verticalization of AI: startups focusing on specific sectors and moving away from building top of OpenAI

  • $2.1m of domain names sold over last 7 days, reported by NameBio.


The shows

Sam Altman @ Stanford (45 mins) #macro

  1. Exploit AI opportunities: Capitalize on unique opportunities AI presents for significant growth and innovation.

  2. Dive into startups: Gain startup experience directly by starting early and learning on the job.

  3. Target AI niches: Identify and target underserved areas within AI to develop distinctive, high-impact solutions.

  4. Iterate rapidly: Use iterative development to respond to societal feedback and integrate AI responsibly.

  5. Prioritize ethical AI: Commit to deploying AI ethically, with continuous evaluation of its societal impact.


Greg Isenberg & Jonathan Courtney (63 mins) #ideas

  1. Repackage boring products for premium sales: Innovate mundane items by repackaging and selling at higher prices.

  2. Leverage personal annoyances for innovation: Turn personal frustrations into product ideas that solve common problems.

  3. Capitalize on niche markets with high-quality offerings: Enter niche markets with superior products to establish dominance.

  4. Focus on practical solutions over trends: Offer straightforward, effective solutions without relying on current trends.

  5. Use direct response marketing for precise targeting: Apply direct response marketing to track every dollar spent and directly link efforts to sales.


David Perell & Sam Corcos (99 mins) #writing

  1. Emphasize deep work: Dedicate uninterrupted time to boost productivity and innovation.

  2. Build a writing-centric culture: Foster a workplace where clear writing is essential, especially for remote alignment.

  3. Document rigorously: Keep detailed records to ensure continuity and clarity across the company.

  4. Prioritize asynchronous communication: Use async tools to reduce distractions and improve idea exchange.

  5. Schedule strategic thinking: Regularly set aside time to focus on broad strategic issues for better direction and innovation.


Products & niches

Vitamins and supplements are maintaining top earning positions across Amazon and Shopify. From basic immune boosters like vitamin C and zinc capsules to pre-workout formulas for enhancing gym performance, there’s a supplement for all that ails you.

  • Meal prep containers - top products on Amazon making around $15k p/m

  • Hyaluronic acid shampoo - top products on Amazon making around $37k p/m (link)

  • Cellular shades - top products on Amazon making around $30k p/m (link)

  • Sea moss gummies - top products on Amazon making around $35k p/m (link)


Customer acquisition

  • With Meta shifting impressions to Reels, leveraging UCG is more important than ever

  • UCG ads performing well at the bottom-of-the-funnel, and the conversion rate is 36% higher for UCG ads vs the Meta average (The Readout)

  • Cross-channel is an important trend, but it comes with the challenges of attribution, and keeping on top of the creative requirements

  • Pinterest CPA is down 60% YoY, meaning cost-effective opportunity. Audiences come to the channel when they are considering purchasing a product.


Economy

  • Fed holds interest rates at 23-year high, citing 'lack of further progress' on inflation

  • US job openings fall to 8.5 million in March, the lowest level in more than 3 years

  • Long-predicted consumer pullback finally hits restaurants like Starbucks, KFC and McDonald's

  • Low-income consumers are starting to crack

  • BNPL schemes suffer higher delinquency rates than traditional consumer credit (link)


Last words

What's the least obvious wellness advice you can give no one talks about? (r/HubermanLabs)

Reframe.

Every day has multiple opportunities to be horrible, fine, or great. A lot of happiness and health is adjusting your perspective.


Posts that got me thinking

Image of…

← Back home, to find more trends!

I don't know about you, but I can't keep up with all of the podcasts, interviews, and articles out there.

There's so much great content being released each and every day, but it's too time consuming to keep up with it.

That's why, each week, I'm going to dedicate a portion of this post to summarising the latest, from the shows that I enjoy.

Across the spectrum from venture capitalists, startup founders, digital marketers and solopreneurs. The aim is to pull out the nuggets that you can straight away use, or take action from. And also, to see if there are any common threads between them all.


But first, this week's trends

  • Advertising costs on TikTok, X and Meta remain low

  • Brand's who pulled back over the past half year should restart now because of CPM discount

  • There are significant opportunities out there for more progressive retailers to take a community first, full funnel approach

  • Increasing number of AI wrapper projects listing on Acquire.com

  • Verticalization of AI: startups focusing on specific sectors and moving away from building top of OpenAI

  • $2.1m of domain names sold over last 7 days, reported by NameBio.


The shows

Sam Altman @ Stanford (45 mins) #macro

  1. Exploit AI opportunities: Capitalize on unique opportunities AI presents for significant growth and innovation.

  2. Dive into startups: Gain startup experience directly by starting early and learning on the job.

  3. Target AI niches: Identify and target underserved areas within AI to develop distinctive, high-impact solutions.

  4. Iterate rapidly: Use iterative development to respond to societal feedback and integrate AI responsibly.

  5. Prioritize ethical AI: Commit to deploying AI ethically, with continuous evaluation of its societal impact.


Greg Isenberg & Jonathan Courtney (63 mins) #ideas

  1. Repackage boring products for premium sales: Innovate mundane items by repackaging and selling at higher prices.

  2. Leverage personal annoyances for innovation: Turn personal frustrations into product ideas that solve common problems.

  3. Capitalize on niche markets with high-quality offerings: Enter niche markets with superior products to establish dominance.

  4. Focus on practical solutions over trends: Offer straightforward, effective solutions without relying on current trends.

  5. Use direct response marketing for precise targeting: Apply direct response marketing to track every dollar spent and directly link efforts to sales.


David Perell & Sam Corcos (99 mins) #writing

  1. Emphasize deep work: Dedicate uninterrupted time to boost productivity and innovation.

  2. Build a writing-centric culture: Foster a workplace where clear writing is essential, especially for remote alignment.

  3. Document rigorously: Keep detailed records to ensure continuity and clarity across the company.

  4. Prioritize asynchronous communication: Use async tools to reduce distractions and improve idea exchange.

  5. Schedule strategic thinking: Regularly set aside time to focus on broad strategic issues for better direction and innovation.


Products & niches

Vitamins and supplements are maintaining top earning positions across Amazon and Shopify. From basic immune boosters like vitamin C and zinc capsules to pre-workout formulas for enhancing gym performance, there’s a supplement for all that ails you.

  • Meal prep containers - top products on Amazon making around $15k p/m

  • Hyaluronic acid shampoo - top products on Amazon making around $37k p/m (link)

  • Cellular shades - top products on Amazon making around $30k p/m (link)

  • Sea moss gummies - top products on Amazon making around $35k p/m (link)


Customer acquisition

  • With Meta shifting impressions to Reels, leveraging UCG is more important than ever

  • UCG ads performing well at the bottom-of-the-funnel, and the conversion rate is 36% higher for UCG ads vs the Meta average (The Readout)

  • Cross-channel is an important trend, but it comes with the challenges of attribution, and keeping on top of the creative requirements

  • Pinterest CPA is down 60% YoY, meaning cost-effective opportunity. Audiences come to the channel when they are considering purchasing a product.


Economy

  • Fed holds interest rates at 23-year high, citing 'lack of further progress' on inflation

  • US job openings fall to 8.5 million in March, the lowest level in more than 3 years

  • Long-predicted consumer pullback finally hits restaurants like Starbucks, KFC and McDonald's

  • Low-income consumers are starting to crack

  • BNPL schemes suffer higher delinquency rates than traditional consumer credit (link)


Last words

What's the least obvious wellness advice you can give no one talks about? (r/HubermanLabs)

Reframe.

Every day has multiple opportunities to be horrible, fine, or great. A lot of happiness and health is adjusting your perspective.


Posts that got me thinking

Image of…

← Back home, to find more trends!

I don't know about you, but I can't keep up with all of the podcasts, interviews, and articles out there.

There's so much great content being released each and every day, but it's too time consuming to keep up with it.

That's why, each week, I'm going to dedicate a portion of this post to summarising the latest, from the shows that I enjoy.

Across the spectrum from venture capitalists, startup founders, digital marketers and solopreneurs. The aim is to pull out the nuggets that you can straight away use, or take action from. And also, to see if there are any common threads between them all.


But first, this week's trends

  • Advertising costs on TikTok, X and Meta remain low

  • Brand's who pulled back over the past half year should restart now because of CPM discount

  • There are significant opportunities out there for more progressive retailers to take a community first, full funnel approach

  • Increasing number of AI wrapper projects listing on Acquire.com

  • Verticalization of AI: startups focusing on specific sectors and moving away from building top of OpenAI

  • $2.1m of domain names sold over last 7 days, reported by NameBio.


The shows

Sam Altman @ Stanford (45 mins) #macro

  1. Exploit AI opportunities: Capitalize on unique opportunities AI presents for significant growth and innovation.

  2. Dive into startups: Gain startup experience directly by starting early and learning on the job.

  3. Target AI niches: Identify and target underserved areas within AI to develop distinctive, high-impact solutions.

  4. Iterate rapidly: Use iterative development to respond to societal feedback and integrate AI responsibly.

  5. Prioritize ethical AI: Commit to deploying AI ethically, with continuous evaluation of its societal impact.


Greg Isenberg & Jonathan Courtney (63 mins) #ideas

  1. Repackage boring products for premium sales: Innovate mundane items by repackaging and selling at higher prices.

  2. Leverage personal annoyances for innovation: Turn personal frustrations into product ideas that solve common problems.

  3. Capitalize on niche markets with high-quality offerings: Enter niche markets with superior products to establish dominance.

  4. Focus on practical solutions over trends: Offer straightforward, effective solutions without relying on current trends.

  5. Use direct response marketing for precise targeting: Apply direct response marketing to track every dollar spent and directly link efforts to sales.


David Perell & Sam Corcos (99 mins) #writing

  1. Emphasize deep work: Dedicate uninterrupted time to boost productivity and innovation.

  2. Build a writing-centric culture: Foster a workplace where clear writing is essential, especially for remote alignment.

  3. Document rigorously: Keep detailed records to ensure continuity and clarity across the company.

  4. Prioritize asynchronous communication: Use async tools to reduce distractions and improve idea exchange.

  5. Schedule strategic thinking: Regularly set aside time to focus on broad strategic issues for better direction and innovation.


Products & niches

Vitamins and supplements are maintaining top earning positions across Amazon and Shopify. From basic immune boosters like vitamin C and zinc capsules to pre-workout formulas for enhancing gym performance, there’s a supplement for all that ails you.

  • Meal prep containers - top products on Amazon making around $15k p/m

  • Hyaluronic acid shampoo - top products on Amazon making around $37k p/m (link)

  • Cellular shades - top products on Amazon making around $30k p/m (link)

  • Sea moss gummies - top products on Amazon making around $35k p/m (link)


Customer acquisition

  • With Meta shifting impressions to Reels, leveraging UCG is more important than ever

  • UCG ads performing well at the bottom-of-the-funnel, and the conversion rate is 36% higher for UCG ads vs the Meta average (The Readout)

  • Cross-channel is an important trend, but it comes with the challenges of attribution, and keeping on top of the creative requirements

  • Pinterest CPA is down 60% YoY, meaning cost-effective opportunity. Audiences come to the channel when they are considering purchasing a product.


Economy

  • Fed holds interest rates at 23-year high, citing 'lack of further progress' on inflation

  • US job openings fall to 8.5 million in March, the lowest level in more than 3 years

  • Long-predicted consumer pullback finally hits restaurants like Starbucks, KFC and McDonald's

  • Low-income consumers are starting to crack

  • BNPL schemes suffer higher delinquency rates than traditional consumer credit (link)


Last words

What's the least obvious wellness advice you can give no one talks about? (r/HubermanLabs)

Reframe.

Every day has multiple opportunities to be horrible, fine, or great. A lot of happiness and health is adjusting your perspective.


Posts that got me thinking

Image of…

← Back home, to find more trends!