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  • Virtual Shops for Gen Z, Certified Pre-loved Luxury Goods, Innovative Work Culture, Marketing SaaS Spends, Creative Horse Patents - Issue 20

Virtual Shops for Gen Z, Certified Pre-loved Luxury Goods, Innovative Work Culture, Marketing SaaS Spends, Creative Horse Patents - Issue 20

Find out what Alo Yoga, Gucci, and Disney have in common. Watch video AI Ads

Salutations! It’s May and spring is in the air. Today we’re talking about:

  • Robox Virtual Showroom Experiences - [new blog post]

  • Horsey Horseless — is this patent from 1899 a yay, or neigh?

  • How much the big SaaS brands spend on advertising

  • Creating an Innovative Work Culture

  • Results from a Linkedin Workforce Report

  • Second-hand Luxury by Carousell

As well as my top shares covering AI, the Future of Work, creativity, air travel, and more!

Let’s go!

Features

🔸 Roblox Virtual Showroom Experiences

What do Alo Yoga, Gucci, Walt Disney, Nike, Vans, Tommy Hilfiger, and Walmart have in common?

They spent the last year targetting 67m Gen Z via virtual showroom experiences.

Did it work? What’s the takeaway, and should you join in?

🔸 McKinsey on Innovation

🔸 Building 0 to 1

Product Management

Although it was published 8 years ago, Sarah Tavel's Medium post remains applicable today as it outlines three levels of product engagement and the essential elements required for building a B$+ company. Sarah shares examples from early days at Pinterest.

Sushi Pizza?

This tweet totally stole the show for me this month, and it features the perfect snapshot of a mega challenge that early-stage startups face in both the Product and Marketing realms. It's all about figuring out who your customers are and what pesky problems they're itching to solve — it shapes your product, messaging, and positioning.

Marketing

Ever wonder how much the big SaaS brands are spending on advertising as a percentage of revenue? Meritech Capital has the scoop and some of these companies are off the charts.

Sales and Marketing as a % of Revenue (LTM)

Here are a few standouts for me:

  • Monday: 69%

  • Asana: 68%

  • HubSpot: 45%

  • BigCommerce: 44%

  • Sprout Social: 40%

  • Salesforce: 39%

  • Squarespace: 36%

  • Wix: 32%

  • Adobe: 27%

  • Zoom: 26%

  • Shopify: 21%

What are the key takeaways? To make money, you've got to spend it. Customers can't buy from you if they don't know you exist. Companies allocate a median of 38% to sales + marketing — simply “If I build it, they will come” won't attract buyers. And while I don't endorse Monday.com's spending, it's really about smart allocation and how you allocate marketing budgets.

View details and filter by sector here.

(dare you to spend a few hours on YouTube without a Premium sub and see if you can dodge those ever-present Monday ads).

Future of Work

LinkedIn Workforce Report

> United States | April 2023

Stumbled on this report from LinkedIn that reports job growth by industry. It looks like the largest hiring declines were seen since April 2020, with hiring in Technology, Information & Media down 50.1% as well as Professional Services -31.8%. [Link]

🔸 Other Future Of Work Vibes

  • What Young Workers Miss Without the ‘Power of Proximity’. One of the first major studies on remote work shows a hidden penalty of flexibility: less supervision. [Link]

Frontier

🔸 Innovation

AI - Dramatically Improve Your Chat-GPT Results

It’s a quick read, but there are some useful pieces of info in here that I wasn't utilizing. Read the best practices for prompt engineering with OpenAI. [Link]

Do Not Watch These Generative AI Video Ads!

Well, I guess you’ll never know.

Did these land for you?

Other

  • BeReal fatigue? The authentic consumer social app is down from about 15 million DAU in October to less than 6 million. [Link]

  • The future of social media is a lot less social media [Link]

  • Apple is working on an AI health coach that will track your emotions [Link]

Commerce

🔸 Luxury

Certified Pre-loved Luxury Goods

Carousell, a prominent online marketplace headquartered in Singapore just launched ‘Certified luxury’, making luxury goods more accessible for its users. (For my North American friends, think Fb Marketplace).

Last week, they introduced a new way to buy second-hand luxury bags and wallets. Each item is verified by Carousell or an official partner and includes money back guarantee if something's off with the item. And a 24 hour change of mind return policy.

The team places a high emphasis on trust and is extremely confident in their inspection process. In fact, if a buyer discovers that an item is not authentic, they'll not only receive a full refund but also be awarded an additional $500 in compensation.

“With Certified Luxury, you get real luxury at a fraction of the cost, with trust and with the same quality assured. In this way, we allow for ‘’second-hand deals’, with a first-rate experience', giving our consumer the best of both worlds,”

Gijs Verheijke, head of luxury at Carousell

Singapore is a major hub for luxury (keeping up with the Joneses), so this newly announced program has huge potential. I'm intrigued to see how people in the region react. I wonder if it could even lead to a separate venture, like luxury rentals. Overall, I'm eager to see how this evolves—it aligns well with the sustainability movement.

Creativity

A few creative finds from me to you.

First off, is this horse patent a yay, or neigh?

  • Casey Neistat shares his perspective on the nature of creativity and the transformation of YouTube.

  • Scroll up! Neal delivers a rather fun and unexpected website. [Link]

  • Building a better brain through music, dance and poetry [Link]

Other

🔸 Interesting Links

  • Feeling nostalgia or triggered? A website dedicated to preserving and showcasing GUI (Graphical User Interfaces), as well as various materials related to them. [Link]

  • Will we just hyperloop? No More Cheap Flights Is the New Reality for Air Travel. Airlines face an expensive and challenging few decades ahead as climate compliance laws get stricter. [Link]

  • The Long Demise of the Stretch Limousine [Link]

Qs or Quotes Bouncing in My Brain

Monitor how you consume:

Natural organic food > Processed

Quality > Quantity

Whoever has the most fun, wins

James Clear

Personal

🔸 Life Log

Over the last 4 weeks, I've been collaborating with an exciting early-stage startup that's revolutionizing workplace safety through a unique product that blends hardware wearables and software (SaaS). My role involves conducting a comprehensive audit of their current sales and marketing strategy. Next week, once I've published a few fresh blog posts I'll be taking a deep dive into ABM (Account Based Marketing) and the world of AI.

🔸 AirPods

Listen to this episode from Founders on Spotify. James is a legend!

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

Thx for reading — have a great week!

Kenny

About

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 Southeast Asia.

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