Opportunity Overdrive - Issue 10 - January 18, 2024

The 5-minute personal opportunity and career development newsletter.

Because TL;DR is Life

“If you think your boss is stupid, remember: you wouldn’t have a job if he was any smarter.”

John Gotti

Mood Swings & Unicorn Dreams

Dry January? A new type of FOMO

Ah, the annual New Year's ritual where millions of Americans embark on the noble quest of Dry January with bleary-eyed resolutions and sparkling water in hand. It's like a 30-day booze-free marathon. Now, don't get me wrong; this isn't just some fad; the health perks are real! Studies say waving goodbye to alcohol for a month can work wonders, like turning you into a sleeping beauty, shrinking waistlines, and giving you that glow-up your skin desperately craved after the holiday bender.

In 2018, the University of Sussex dropped some stats that made everyone raise their non-alcoholic beer in salute: 71% of Dry January warriors reported better Zzzs, 58% bid adieu to extra pounds, and 67% were buzzing with more energy than a toddler on a sugar high. Plus, your wallet gets a vacation too – a whopping 90% of folks in the study found themselves richer at the end of January. According to the American Psychological Association, this means waving a not-so-fond farewell to things like heartbreak, liver groans, high blood pressure, and even some really scary stuff like cancer.

And who's leading this sober parade? Millennials, of course. They've been the Dry January champs in 2021, 2022, and 2023. But hold your kombucha, Gen Z is hot on their heels. CivicScience tells us that a solid 75% of Gen Z adults are eyeing the dry life in 2024, possibly nudged along by the 73% of TikTok users who are also thinking of giving their liver a vacation. Only 37% of the non-TikTokkers are contemplating joining the party, or rather, the non-party. So, there you have it – Dry January (Tik-Tok Month), the health trend that's making hangovers so last year.

Fresh Out of Silicon Valley (or Someone’s Garage)

French Startup Neoplants and its Neo P1 bio-engineered air-purifying plant show up at NEC 2024 in Vegas

Photo Courtesy of Neoplants

French startup Neoplants, founded in 2018 and having raised $20 million, unveiled its innovative air-purifying houseplants at CES 2024. These bio-engineered plants, claimed to be 20 times more efficient than traditional ones, are designed to significantly reduce indoor air pollutants, particularly volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde and toluene. Neoplants' research, backed by investors like True Ventures and Heartcore, demonstrates a sustainable approach to improving air quality in homes and offices, challenging conventional air purifiers with both functionality and aesthetics.

You can check out their white paper here.

Ramen to Riches

Andrew Bialecki, CEO and co-founder of Klaviyo.

This isn’t a rags-to-riches story; it's just a bright couple of guys who saw a need and provided a solution. Imagine turning your passion into profits and living life on your own terms. Andrew Bialecki did just that when he founded the marketing tech firm Klaviyo in 2012. With grit and vision, he grew the company into a $7 billion success story.

Now at 37, Bialecki is a billionaire from Klaviyo's IPO. He still owns a third of the company, a stake worth over $2.5 billion. Born to entrepreneurial parents, Bialecki embodies the spirit of independence. "Raise as little as you need and prove traction with customers," he advises founders. "Then fundraising gets easier."

After studying physics and astrophysics at Harvard, Bialecki honed his tech skills before striking out on his own. He bootstrapped Klaviyo from the ground up, then spending just $15 million of $455 million raised. The company turned a profit of $15 million in 2023 on $321 million in revenue.

Efficiency is in Klaviyo's DNA. Bialecki aims for the long term, stays close to customers, and runs a tight ship. His story shows how you can turn passion into major wealth. With vision, persistence, and discipline, you can build the next billion-dollar startup. Chart your own course, move fast and smart, and success will follow. Klaviyo's rise means the American dream is still alive. Your big break could be just around the corner.

Because Lost Luggage is a Mood

Dive into the digital nomad scene with Tuomas Kivioja's latest vlog, where he takes you through his 30-day grind in Thailand. This isn't your average work trip; it's a deep dive into what it really means to mix laptops and palm trees in one of Southeast Asia's coolest spots. In just 12 minutes, Tuomas spills the tea on everything from finding the perfect café to work from, dealing with time zone craziness, and getting the most out of the local vibes. If you're about that #WorkFromAnywhere life, this is your jam.

Tuomas isn't just about the Insta-worthy shots; he gets real about the ups and downs of remote work. Expect to see everything - from chaotic street markets to chill beach sunsets, and hear stories from fellow wanderlusters and locals. Whether you're plotting your escape or just daydreaming about it, Tuomas' vlog is a must-watch. It's not just another travel diary, it's a real-talk guide that could totally change the way you see the world (and your job). Tune in, get inspired, and who knows? Maybe you'll be the next to take your 9-to-5 on a one-way trip to Thailand! 🌏💻🌴


Not Actual Size

Ah, IKEA, where you go for a bookshelf and leave with the dream of a 20-foot hot dog, all for the bargain price of 50 cents. Why in the hell would you need to put "Not Actual Size" on that hot dog sign? There went my plans for a weekend BBQ that could be seen from space. Is there really a chance someone would show up expecting a 20-foot wiener for only 50 cents?

Just imagine the logistics of dressing this behemoth. We're not talking about a mere squirt of ketchup and mustard here. Oh no, we'd need a fire hose for the ketchup and a cement mixer for the mustard, delicately applying each condiment with the precision of a street artist. And the bun? Let’s just say it would take 4 guys with flamethrowers to toast it.

But, corporate lawyers gotta cover all the bases right? Don't want someone suing because they got shorted 19 ½ feet of what they call beef.

It’s Not a Trap, Just a Poll

How satisfied are you with the mental and emotional well-being support provided at your current job?

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"You don't always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens."

Mandy Hale

Pretend to Listen (But Do)

The 2024 job marketplace - Unemployment numbers don’t tell the whole story.

The data presented here is certainly eye-opening. Pay particular attention to the AI portion of this video (about 10:28 forward). At the end of the day, become aware and prepare. Tech market jobs will be there and in more demand than ever. While it’s unlikely that employers will see a trend of workers displaced by AI in 2024, a considerable upsurge in job postings that mention generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) in particular reflects the rapid rate at which adoption of AI has changed — and will continue to transform — the landscape of the way people work.

VIP (Very Impulsive Purchases)

Advanced Degrees for your Dog or Cat? Hmmm.

Fluent Pet promises to help you talk with your pets for about $80. But let's be real - you know there's a big difference in how dogs and cats would use it.

Your Frenchie would be stoked, hammering those buttons for treats and walks until the thing short circuits. "Outside! Squirrel! Ball! Treat!" The dude would never shut up. You'd have to hide it just to get some peace and quiet.

Now Darwin the Tabby? Sniff it once, give it one bored glance before blowing it off. "Come on Darwin, slay that thing ." Not, a chance in hell, way too busy licking fur and and other body parts.

Face it, you can lead a cat to a speech pad but you can't make them use it. Dogs will talk your ear off while cats won’t give a rats a**. So if you get Fluent Pet, be prepared - Frenchie will drive you nuts but figure on ghosting by Darwin. A cat using this thing? Not happening. Free returns, anyone?

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Opportunity Overdrive is brought to you by Candle. At Candle, want to empower the modern worker and put them at the center of opportunity.

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