Opportunity Overdrive - Issue 9 - January 12, 2024

The 5-minute personal opportunity and career development newsletter.

Because TL;DR is Life

The CEO/Investor Dichotomy for 2024 - The calm before the storm?

Last year, experts were just sure 2024 would be a total disaster. A review of 2023 found that 85% of economists predicted a recession. Gloomier forecasts said the complete economic collapse was 100% guaranteed. 

But what happened? 2024 rolled around, and suddenly...everything's actually fine? Huh? Both inflation AND unemployment got better. There is no recession in sight. It's like economists were preparing for the apocalypse and instead got a light shower. +-

2024? No worries, this election year, economic, monetary, and financial risks, political, geopolitical, environmental, health, technological, trade, and globalization are all clear sailing, or are they?

A troubling gap has emerged between investors’ optimism and executives’ caution as we enter 2024. Recent economic data has been encouraging, with falling inflation, robust hiring, record markets, and solid holiday spending. However, 40% of firms plan layoffs, while over half of CEOs see deteriorating conditions ahead. This contrasts with investors, 94% of whom expect near-term improvement.

Prudence has already spurred hiring freezes, delayed expansions, and staff cuts as CEOs question sustaining massive investments made in recent years to meet strong demand.

While optimism prevails on Wall Street, Main Street faces a more unsettled outlook. Executives’ caution and investors’ enthusiasm must find common ground through candid dialogue focused on prosperity.

Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.”

George Carlin

Mood Swings & Unicorn Dreams

Gen Z Just Says No to Booze, Opts for Mood Food Instead

Once upon a time, young people got wild and crazy with alcohol. But today's youth apparently have an aversion to fun juices.

Gen Z tends to avoid hooch for "rational" reasons like not wanting to lose control, waste money, or feel like the south end of a northbound dog. According to a Food Institute report, they'd rather focus on health and wellness, citing improved fitness, weight management, and avoiding hangovers as motivators.

When it comes to destressing, Gen Z also takes a major pass on adult beverages. A Kantar survey found they're 24% less likely than older folks to drink for mental well-being. Meanwhile, Boomers practically keep therapists in business thanks to their "decompressing" wine habit.

Some say it's great that Gen Z is making responsible choices. Others mourn the loss of wild youthful indulgence. Either way, you better stock up on yogurt smoothies and celery juice. Gen Z's pre-gaming on their way to a raging evening of board games and TikTok. The future of partying is here!

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

Courtesy of Lockly

If you've ever fancied yourself as a sort of secret agent, striding up to your door and having it magically recognize your dashing face, Lockly’s new Visage smart lock is about to make your day. It's got facial recognition infrared sensors that could give Mission Impossible a run for its money. But, hold your horses, it's not a paparazzi gadget – Lockly swears it's "not a true camera" and won't snap any sneaky pics or videos (so you'll still need a video doorbell to capture your best angles).

This lock is so smart, it can tell your real, beautiful face from a photo or a 3D-printed doppelganger – thanks to its craving for "real skin." And for those nighttime secret agent returns, no need for a spotlight entrance; it works just fine in the dark.

Not keen on the facial recognition jazz? No worries! You can go old-school spy tech with your iPhone or Apple Watch and give it the ol' tap-a-roo to unlock.

Ready to shell out for this piece of the future? The Visage will set you back 350 bones and is hitting the shelves this summer.

Ramen to Riches

Nick D'Aloisio was just 15 years old when he developed the app Summly in his London bedroom. He taught himself to code at 12 and developed this app to summarize news articles. Summly caught the attention of major investors and was eventually acquired by Yahoo for $30 million when D'Aloisio was only 17, making him one of the youngest self-made millionaires. A little more detail on Nick’s journey can be found here when he had just turned 18.

Because Lost Luggage is a Mood

Here’s a similar story, but totally contrived and could easily be you. These two met while backpacking through the Philippines 2 years ago. Her adventurous spirit and kindness enthralled him. Though they came from vastly different cultures, they fell in love quickly.

They decided to try the digital nomad lifestyle so they could travel the world together. The first year was exciting as they island hopped through Southeast Asia. But the constant moving started to take its toll. Internet connections were frustratingly unreliable, making their remote work difficult. They missed having a community and a place to call home.

Still, the freedom and fulfillment they felt seeing the world and immersing themselves in new cultures always reminded them why they chose this lifestyle. They forged strong friendships with fellow nomads, which gave them a sense of belonging. And having flexible schedules meant they could volunteer and give back to local communities.

While being a nomad requires sacrifice, these two lovebirds feel the chance to have new experiences and grow closer as a couple makes it worthwhile. They've become more resilient and independent, without losing their wanderlust. There are challenges but the rewards of deep human connection and purposeful work motivate them to continue their nomadic journey.


Doggy Friendly gyms? Hmmm.

Downward dog, anyone?

Before you sprint to the nearest dog-gym, remember a few things. First, your dog needs to be the zen master of manners. We can't have Fido turning into a furry tornado among the treadmills. Second, poop bags are your new best friend. Third, scout out a gym where dogs are more welcome than free pizza on a cheat day.

Now, if you're up for a tail-wagging workout adventure, taking your dog to the gym could be the best thing since sliced bacon (from your dog's perspective). Just make sure it's a win-win for both of you and your furry gym buddy.

It’s Not a Trap, Just a Poll

Why do you think the SEC is confrontational about crypto?

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“Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them."

Vaibhav Shah

Pretend to Listen (But Do)

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VIP (Very Impulsive Purchases)

America the Beautiful Annual National Parks Pass

Get some fresh air and enjoy life. This beyond clutch Annual Pass grants you access to all 63 national parks across the US, from the surreal hoodoos at Bryce Canyon to the mega trees in Sequoia. Plus, there are tons of other public lands and discounts on camping. Grab it at REI, and they'll donate to help keep the parks pristine. With entry fees normally being $30-35 a pop, after just a few visits, this pass pays for itself. Hook up your fave outdoor enthusiast (or yourself) with this so they can adventure across all the stunning national parks and experience the diversity of landscapes this country offers.

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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.

For more information about our project, visit: https://www.projectcandle.ai/

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