🍋 Apple's Big Bet

Apple poised to make one of its biggest announcements yet, the $60 million cannabis startup turned Ponzi scheme, and the latest Taylor Swift/Ticketmaster scandal.

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“When I look at my heroes, what they all have in common is unbelievable clarity of thought.” — David Senra

Good Morning! The SEC shut down a $60 million cannabis startup, spearheaded by none other than SoundCloud rapper BigRigBaby, labeling the firm a Ponzi scheme. Meanwhile, Europe finds itself grappling with a different kind of "mafia" - a tech mafia. However, rest assured that this tech mafia is merely the term used to describe the thriving ecosystem of startup spin-offs.

JPMorgan Chase puts the probability of a debt default at 25% and rising. Pharma bro Martin Shkreli claims he’s scraping by on just $2,500 a month in Queens. And there’s even more Taylor Swift-Ticketmaster controversy, with some fans reporting that tickets they purchased on the resale market are going missing.

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1. Story of the Day: Apple’s Big Bet

Apple has made a habit of defying expectations and breathing new life into stagnant markets. Now, with the next week’s announcement of their highly anticipated virtual reality (VR) headset, Apple CEO Tim Cook stands at a pivotal crossroads that could shape his legacy forever.

The VR headset will cost a pretty penny at $3,000 and looks like a pair of ski goggles. The product launch has its doubters. But Apple has built a reputation proving its doubters wrong - many skeptics didn’t think the iPod, iPhone, Apple Watch, AirPods, etc. could become as ubiquitous as they are now.

That said, the VR headset launch has seemed a little rocky from the outside. The company has poured billions of dollars into the product, delayed its launch date, and its focus on the metaverse seems a bit ambiguous.

However, Apple has always been a strategic player, entering the fray when the conditions are ripe for success. Their unparalleled ability to captivate a global audience should never be underestimated.

Takeaway: Apple is going all-in on virtual reality and the… metaverse? This bet puts the company's reputation on the line. Skeptics may scoff, but considering the company’s remarkable track record, we’re giving Apple the benefit of the doubt.

2. Markets Rundown

Stocks closed lower on debt ceiling worries.

Movers & Shakers

  • (+) Urban Outfitters ($URBN) +18% after the company announced earnings.

  • (+) Palo Alto Networks ($PANW) +8% after the company announced revised guidance.

  • (–) Intuit ($INTU) -8% after earnings sank on fewer tax filings.

Private Dealmaking

  • ReNAgade Therapeutics, an RNA medicine startup, raised $300 million 

  • Insider, a Turkish digital marketing company, raised $105 million

  • Tyme, a South African digital bank, raised $77.8 million

  • Go, a Japanese ride-hailing company, raised $72.3 million

  • Figure , a humanoid robots developer, raised $70 million

  • Chalo, an Indian bus commute tech startup, raised $45 million

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3. Top Reads

  • Elon Musk teases new AI project (Axios)

  • How New Balance went from underdog to $5B fashion favorite (CNBC)

  • Microsoft’s gaming future depends on the US (YF)

  • AI intrigues ETF managers as both investment and tool (BB)

  • Private equity getting drawn back into presidential politics (Axios)

  • Nvidia shares spike 25% on huge forecast beat driven by AI chip demand (CNBC)

  • For Citigroup, breaking up is hard to do but still worth it (WSJ)

  • Fitch places U.S.’s AAA rating on negative watch (Fox)

  • How some people get away with doing nothing at work (Vox)

  • First Citizens sues HSBC for stealing SVB staff and secrets (BB)

4. Book of the Day: The Messy Middle


Creating something from nothing is an unpredictable journey. The first mile births a new idea into existence, and the final mile is all about letting go.

We love talking about starts and finishes, even though the middle stretch is the most important and often the most ignored and misunderstood.

Broken into three sections with 100+ lessons, this no-nonsense book will help you:

• Endure the roller coaster of successes and failures by strengthening your resolve, embracing the long-game, and short-circuiting your reward system to get to the finish line.

• Optimize what’s working so you can improve the way you hire, better manage your team, and meet your customers’ needs.

• Finish strong and avoid the pitfalls many entrepreneurs make, so you can overcome resistance, exit gracefully, and continue onto your next creative endeavor with ease.

With insightful interviews from today’s leading entrepreneurs, artists, writers, and executives, as well as Belsky’s own experience working with companies like Airbnb, Pinterest, Uber, and sweetgreen, The Messy Middle will outfit you to find your way through the hardest parts of any bold project or new venture.

“The indispensable guide to navigating the volatility of new ventures and leading bold creative projects.”

5. Short Squeez Picks

  • Best board game cafes in NYC

  • Why Apple’s Eddy Cue says no to almost everything

  • 3 strategies for leaders to become better public speakers

  • Morgan Housel on vicious traps

  • Should we trust Apple with our mental health data?

A Message from Babbel: Start Speaking a New Language in 3 Weeks

Summer is here, which means it’s time to clean house and set some new travel plans. Take this time to finally treat yourself to learning a new language.

Babbel’s premium, subscription-based platform can help you start speaking in as little as three weeks — in time for your next trip. You can learn through bite-sized lessons, games, podcasts, and live teaching sessions.

6. Daily Visual: UK Consumer Price Inflation

Source: Axios

7. Daily Acumen

The Circle of Influence and Circle of Concern is a concept introduced by Stephen Covey in his book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." It helps individuals differentiate between things they have control over (Circle of Influence) and things they have little or no control over (Circle of Concern).

Circle of Influence: This represents the things that you have direct control or influence over. It includes your thoughts, actions, behaviors, and choices. By focusing on your Circle of Influence, you can take proactive steps to make positive changes and have a greater impact on the situations and outcomes that matter to you.

Circle of Concern: This represents the things that you care about or have an interest in, but over which you have little or no control. It includes external events, other people's behaviors, or global issues. While you may be concerned about these things, spending excessive time and energy on them can lead to feelings of frustration, helplessness, and stress.

The key principle of the Circle of Influence and Circle of Concern is to focus your time and energy on the areas within your control. By doing so, you can expand your Circle of Influence and gradually address concerns that were previously outside your control.

By understanding and applying this mental model, individuals can become more proactive, take ownership of their lives, and make positive changes in areas where they have the power to do so. It encourages a mindset shift from being reactive to being proactive, leading to greater effectiveness and personal growth.

8. Memes of the Day




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