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Top Business Work Apps, Fractional Executives, Frontier AI, Gen Z Study Habits, Creative Routines- Issue 19

Exploring the future of work and why talent might be overrated

Spring is (sort of) in the air, and we enjoyed a few delightful days in Vancouver last week. First off, a big, warm welcome to all our new subscribers!

Last week, my laptop and I had a little H2O adventure, leaving me without my trusted sidekick for a few days.

Apple Store Vancouver

The revamped Apple store is looking incredibly sleek and impressive. But fear not, I'm back in action, and today we're exploring

  • Future of Work - Top Business Apps from Okta, Fractional Gig Economy, and How Gen Z Cram

  • Frontier - AI tech, AI Agents inspired by Sims

  • Creativity Routines + Talent might be overrated

Let’s get into it!

(ps - next week’s issue is going to be 🔥 )


Future Of Work

Business at Work 2023 Report

OKTA is back with its annual report that breaks down which apps and digital strategies are gaining traction. The 47-page report is worth skimming, or if time is tight, I've captured a few screen grabs.

  • The Top-performing work apps of 2022: Figma, Sentry, Miro, HubSpot, 1Password, SnowFlake, and Datadog.

Read the full report below



🔸 Gig Economy

Fractional Workers

Fractional talent marketplaces and communities are experiencing a surge in popularity.

Fractional talent refers to the practice of hiring PT or project-based professionals with specialized skills, rather than FT employees, to maximize flexibility and cost-effectiveness.

I’m adding 3 or so fractional marketplace startups per week to a Notion tracker, and believe we'll continue this trend into the Future Of Work. It is interesting to note how each marketplace network is positioning itself, but currently, most of them appear to have an abundance of supply while experiencing a shortage of demand. If you are working as a fractional consultant or are part of one of the marketplaces or communities, I would be stoked to connect with you to learn about your experiences and include you in an upcoming blog post.

^^ Captured 25+ fractional expert results and looking to hear from a few more.


🔸 Other Future Of Work Vibes

Let’s take a hot minute to chat Gen Z.

Online study groups have become increasingly popular among millions of students who either join virtual study rooms or engage in video conferences. Mostly via Discord, but check out StudyStream, which wants you to never study alone and make meaningful connections. And Fiveable, claims itself as the best way to cram for your AP exams with study guides, cheat sheets, practice questions, and dedicated study rooms.

Beyond studying, it seems that people enjoy setting hourly objectives, providing soundboards, and forming small groups for mutual accountability. Working in a silo sucks. Indie builders, solopreneurs and remote teams are turning to Flow Club to get into a deep flow. Where or how do you work remotely?

A few more shares:

  • GenZ workers in China are giving up high-paying corporate jobs to take 80% paycuts to work manual labour jobs. And they're thrilled about it. [Link]

  • ‘Lukewarm regards’: Gen Z embraces snarky email signoffs in the workplace. [Link]


"Gone are the days when we faced the blank page alone"

Creativity in the Age of AI

Every abundance creates scarcity, or so says this 6min short on how things may evolve. This video is a great example of how creativity progresses over time, and we should not be afraid of AI.


The Daily Routines Of The Worlds Most Famous Creatives

Daily Routines Screenshot - View All

Turns out great minds don’t think alike. Discover how some of the world’s most original artists, writers and musicians structured their day. https://podio.com/site/creative-routines

What schedule or which person do you resemble? My schedule seems the closest to Mozart. Initially, I didn't realize it, but you can engage with the activities in the top bar and obtain additional information about each creative on the left.


Talent is Bullsh*t — Put in the reps

Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art drops into this video pod. If deep down you know what you’re supposed to be doing with your life, and you’re not doing it, check out the book and this episode.


🔸 Innovation

Do all the awesome new AI projects come out on Sunday evenings or Monday mornings after a weekend of hacking, or am I just imagining it? I'll send out this email newsletter, but then within hours, I'll find even more amazing projects that I have to wait a whole week to share, and by then, they're old news.

It's a never-ending cycle.



This month, if you only have time to read one paper on AI, then this could be the one! "How do AI agents in a simulation work together to plan and host a successful Valentine's Day party?" Although the project and report have been widely circulated throughout the week, it demonstrates that generative agents using LLMs can simulate human-like behaviour in an interactive sandbox. (And yes, it was inspired by The Sims).


More AI

AI-related content has a short shelf life of only 24-48 hours these days, so you gotta move fast if you want to stay up-to-date. Sharing a few links in case you missed them.

  • Segment Anything - a new AI model from Meta AI that can "cut out" any object, in any image, with a single click. The homepage shows we’ll be able to almost Photoshop lasso any objects, and replace them with anything.[GitHub Repo] [GitHub Group Roundup]

  • Animated Drawings - Meta also released a new, unique AI dataset for animating amateur drawings. “Children's drawings have wonderful inventiveness, creativity, and variety to them”. Meta presents a system that automatically animates children's drawings in a simple and straightforward enough way, for anyone to use. [Github Repo]

  • How do we know who or what’s real? Worldcoin is working on Humaness in the age of AI, a path to an open and permissionless identity protocol. [Link]

  • AI Agents

    • An AI agent that autonomously does sales prospecting on its own with GPT-4. [Link]

    • Auto-GPT, the world's first #AGI? Looks fairly impressive. [Tweet] [GitHub Repo]

    • AgentGPT - Give your own AI agent a goal and watch as it thinks, comes up with an execution plan and takes actions. [Quick video demo] [website]

  • EveryDay Robots and Robotics at Google built a system for deep reinforcement learning of robotic manipulation skills applied to a large-scale real-world task: sorting recyclables and trash in office buildings. [Link]



🔸 Interesting Links

  • Gucci and Vans launch first co-branded Roblox world. [Link]

  • For Your Next Long Flight, Book a Couch in Coach. [Link]

  • AI clones teen girl’s voice in $1M kidnapping scam: ‘I’ve got your daughter’. [Link]

  • Maybe we’ll use our hands in new creative AR ways. [Link]


🔸 In The Slow Lane

Ah, yes. Some of us are approaching or looking forward to living "over the hill."

  • Nice digs. The Oakhill project is a central living environment amidst the woods in which it is situated. Built in Bromont, Canada by Matière Première. [Link]

  • How Singapore Airlines Makes 50,000 In-Flight Meals A Day. It went viral, but it’s worth the 👀 [YouTube]

Qs or Quotes Bouncing in My Brain

We all need time for uninterrupted individual work

40 years ago, Steve Jobs implemented a groundbreaking policy banning all Thursday meetings. Check the memo:

Hopefully, your upcoming calendar week isn't too jam-packed with meetings. Consider reclaiming land, shouts to IC’s!


Newsletter Vibecheck

How'd I do? Slam dunk or airball? Lmk your thoughts on this issue so I can level up future content.

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Wrap Up

My plan is to share two new blog posts in the next edition. Let’s see how far I get. Thx for reading — have a great week!


ps - I have space for one new client in May. Hit reply to book a time to connect.


Hi there, my name is Kenny Grant and I specialize in the 0 to 1 builder stage (read full bio). Every week, I cover various topics focused on product development, marketing, creativity, social impact, innovation, r&d, and the future of work. Although my perspective is universal, I mainly cover the frontier of North America and SE Asia.

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