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🍪 Utah bakeries are at war

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The EU spent ~$407k on a 24-hour metaverse “beach party” targeting young people last week. Unfortunately, the handful of guests who showed up were mostly confused.

In today’s email:

  • Chips: Soon to be made in the USA.
  • Safe deposit boxes: Where’d they go?
  • Sweet drama: Utah bakeries are at war.
  • Around the web: Tiny houses, tiny turtles, a website building tool, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s 10-minute podcast to hear Zack and Rob break down a tale about two Utah cookie companies feuding over dozens of allegedly stolen recipes.

The big idea

TSMC ups its Arizona chip investment to $40B

“This is an incredibly significant moment.”

Those were the words of Apple CEO Tim Cook yesterday as he joined President Biden in announcing a critical win for US manufacturing.

The win: chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company is increasing its US investment in Arizona from one $12B plant to $40B across two plants.

What’s the big deal?

We wrote about the Taiwan chip problem back in October. In short, the world has put all of its eggs in one basket.

  • TSMC is responsible for 92% of global advanced semiconductor production, and its chips are critical components in iPhones, military equipment, cars — you name it. If China were to ever invade Taiwan… Well, you get the idea.

The Trump administration first pushed TSMC to break ground on a $12B fab in Arizona. This year, the Biden administration doubled down on these efforts with the $53B incentive-filled CHIPS and Science Act, and now this.

Are the new plants enough?

The fabs will produce 600k wafers per year, enough to meet US demand. Still, the move raises some questions.

  • It costs at least 50% more to make these chips in the US. How much of that will be passed down to consumers?
  • Will this impact Taiwan’s “Silicon shield,” the protection it gets by providing the US such a critical resource?

For now, let’s just marvel at the fact that we may soon be able to look at the back of an Apple product and read, “Designed in California. Made in the USA. Partially.”

TRENDING

TikTok’s year in review is basically the dictionary definition of “trending.” The company released lists of its buzziest clip, song, people, and food trends of the year. We’re all about the chocolate giraffe.

SNIPPETS

Apple’s self-driving car, code-named “Titan,” is delayed until 2026 and won’t be fully self-driving, as some have hoped. The team’s new plans reportedly include a steering wheel.

Robinhood debuted Robinhood Retirement, which offers a 1% match for every eligible dollar contributed. (Unrelated, but related: Robinhood’s CEO looks identical to Robin Hood from Shrek.)

BuzzFeed announced a 12% reduction to its headcount. Yesterday, we wrote about media’s cold, harsh winter.

A superapp from Microsoft? The company is reportedly eyeing an everything app for shopping, messaging, search, and news — much like China’s WeChat.

The FDA fast-tracked an application for over-the-counter opioid-reversal nasal spray Narcan. Narcan’s 2020 sales totaled $224m, up from $56m in 2017.

Well that’s… neat. Viral art collective MSCHF put a rather unique ATM on display at Art Basel in Miami. “Unique” because it puts your bank balance on a leaderboard for everyone to see.

NRG Energy is buying Utah-based smart appliance company Vivint Smart Home for $2.8B in a bid to diversify its business towards retail consumers.

Apparently we’re facing a shortage of… bomb-sniffing dogs. The US government employs ~5.2k dogs, which can cost $46k each to train, but just 7% of them come from America.

Corporate gifting: Trendster Sam Eitzen cleared seven figures after one year of selling artisan gifts to bigger brands. Read the entire Trends article.

Chart
Zachary Crockett

The quiet disappearance of the safe deposit box

Over the years, safe deposit boxes have become iconic — a staple not only of the banking industry but also of heist movies and spy flicks. Inside Man, The Dark Knight, Casinoand The Da Vinci Code all feature pivotal safe deposit box scenes.

In Hollywood, safe deposit boxes are so prominent, in fact, that it’s easy to miss the seismic changes racking the industry:

In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, big banks have quietly abandoned the safe-deposit business.

Both HSBC and Barclays have shuttered their safe-deposit services in many countries, and Capital One joined them in 2016. Most recently, this past September, JPMorgan Chase announced it was phasing out its safe deposit boxes, too. In the coming decade, other major banks seem likely to join them.

What went so wrong?

Read the full story →
Free Resource

From side hustler to career coach

Before making the leap, Angelina Darrisaw was a marketing specialist at ESPN and Viacom.

Today, her firm C-Suite Coach supports leaders across industries, from small business founders to Fortune 500 executives. Side Hustle Pro host Nicaila Matthews Okome helps tell her story.

On this episode:

  • How Angelina used her experience in the media industry
  • Her turning point to pursue corporate coaching
  • The first-year pivot from B2C to B2B
  • Why Google, Wayfair, and MLB worked with C-Suite Coach

Just dropping off your daily dose of inspiration.

Coach’s playbook →
Half-Baked

The great Utah cookie wars

Cookies are big business in Utah, partly because members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints abstain from booze, but indulge in sugar, per Utah Business.

Gourmet cookies can retail for $4+ each, generating annual revenues of $800k–$2.5m per store.

This makes the #UtahCookieWars an especially sweet legal drama.

In one corner…

… is Crumbl Cookies, a Utah-based chain with 575+ stores, per The Wall Street Journal.

It’s suing local underdogs Dirty Dough and Crave Cookies, alleging they copied its presentation and packaging.

But the prime beef…

… is between Crumb and Dirty Dough.

Crumbl alleged that an ex-employee — who happens to be Dirty Dough founder Bennett Maxwell’s brother — made off with 66 recipes, among other brand secrets.

Dirty Dough denies this, and is openly mocking Crumbl via billboards that read “Cookies so good we’re being sued,” and videos that imagine Crumbl’s leadership as a cabal of corrupt, yet dim, villains scheming to crush competition.

How will the cookie crumble?

A trademark attorney told CNBC that some of the alleged stolen ideas aren’t protected by IP law, while a judge could dismiss other trademark claims for being too dissimilar.

The brands’ logos do all feature cookies with missing bites, but, as Techdirt notes, they’re otherwise pretty different.

Yet there may be multiple winners.

Dirty Dough said the hullabaloo has attracted more franchisees, Crave says sales are up 50%, and local news stations are conducting taste tests to determine whose batter is better.

AROUND THE WEB

🎵 On this day: In 1999, the Recording Industry Association of America sued Napster over alleged copyright infringement, ultimately leading to the file-sharing site’s bankruptcy.

✏️ From our blog: Accidents happen. We broke down how business insurance can protect your company when things go wrong.

🖥️ Useful: Screely helps you quickly make website mock-ups.

🏘️ That’s cool: In Indiana, there’s a Museum of Miniature Houses.

🐢 aww: And now, a bunch of tiny turtles.

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How did you like today’s email? Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen, Juliet Bennett Rylahand Rob Litterst.
Editing by: Mark “Cookie Monster” Dent.

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