Happy Sunday and a very warm welcome to all the new subscribers! I’m thrilled and honored to have you as readers and truly appreciate your thoughts and feedback 🙏. Each edition of 3 Things will contain a dive into 3 rabbit holes I’ve found myself going down recently. Subscribe to get each week’s edition straight to your inbox and if you enjoy it, please share (I suck at self-promotion so can use your help)! This past week I’ve been thinking a lot about:
DALL-E2 for Social Media Marketing
House Airbag for Fires
5 Minute Gratitude Actions
1. DALL-E2 for Social Media Marketing
In late 2015, Elon Musk, Sam Altman, Greg Brockman and a few others came together to form OpenAI, an organization that conducts research in the field of AI with the goal of developing and proliferating “friendly” AGI (artificial general intelligence) that benefits all of humanity. Beginning in 2016, they started releasing various projects beginning with thier OpenAI Gym which was an API for reinforcement learning. Over the years, they continued to provide access to various projects that enabled developers to take advantage of their advances in language models which keep improving and becoming applicable for more and more use cases. In June 2020, the 3rd generation language prediction model was released called GPT-3 (Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3) that uses deep learning to produce human-like text and has changed the game when it comes to content generation.
Pretty quickly, numerous companies like Jasper, Copy.ai, Writesonic, and many more leveraged the model to build products that generate all kinds of marketing and sales content from blog posts to emails to ad copy. These companies have grown insanely fast from 0 to many millions in ARR in the past 2 years. I believe a major reason is because they are replacing an existing spend and initiative at any company and can show very clear ROI by creating significantly more content, faster, and with substantially fewer resources. A few weeks ago, OpenAI released a new model called DALL-E2 that can create “realistic images and art from a description in natural language”. If you haven’t seen examples or played around, I highly recommend you check out how powerful it is. Immediately, I started thinking about what existing line item at businesses this could augment or replace and the natural answer to me is social media and paid digital ad creative. Companies spend $10s of thousands if not more per month on ad/social creative and if you could enable junior employees to use natural language to describe what they wanted and have it magically appear, that would be game changing when it comes to paid digital and social media campaigns. This is definitely not a winner-take-all market, just like the SEO content on top of GPT-3 isn’t, but there is a window of opportunity right now with huge potential. If anyone is building this, let me know!
2. House “Airbags” for Fire
The number and severity of wildfires has been increasing across the United States and the world for the last few decades. In 2021, wildfires burned 7.3m acres in the US with 2.5m acres being in California alone. There are currently over 4.5m homes that are classified as “high” or “extreme'“ risk for wildfires across the country and we have been seeing around 2500 homes destroyed by fires each year. Currently, much of the Southwest, Midwest and Western United States are experiencing “severe,” “extreme” and “exceptional” drought conditions which will only exacerbate the situation over the coming years. Homeowners who live in fire zones have been having more and more trouble getting (and keeping) insurance policies, as the insurers technically don’t have to do business in any areas they choose not to and are declining to offer coverage for many fire-prone areas and are even dropping homeowners who have held policies for decades.
The burden is now falling on homeowners to protect their homes from wildfire, and many homeowners do not have the ability and/or means to do all of the necessary fire-proofing actions like planting fire-resistant trees and plants, ensuring clear gutters, installing double-paned glass windows, and upgrading the roof and facade with fire-resistant materials. A company could create an Inspector Gadget style contraption that acts as an “airbag” for a home in the case of fire. It would sit on your roof and could be deployed via app or button in the home. There would be a large piece of fireproof fabric that gets deployed to cover the house like a parachute with weighted anchors that can be secured in the ground to protect the house. It would be way cheaper than fireproofing and could be a backup plan in the event that you couldn’t get insurance. Given the fact that the areas with the greatest fire risk are ironically seeing some of the largest population increases, the addressable market for a solution like this is both large and growing.
3. 5 Minute Gratitude Actions
Practicing gratitude has been shown to have massive impacts on both your mental and physical wellbeing. The act of gratitude is showing recognition and appreciation for the things that have a positive impact on your life; from the small acknowledgment of something like a beautiful flower, to the immense appreciation you may have for a doctor who helps you get through a life threatening illness. Gratitude has been shown to improve relationships, boost psychological and physical health, promote better sleep, improve self esteem, and reduce aggression. Numerous studies show just how impactful it can be to stop and recognize all of the positive things in your life. Playing off this research, in 2013, a company called Intelligent Change created the “Five Minute Journal” and quickly sold over 1 million units with the stated goal of helping people achieve a more mindful, fulfilling life. At a $29 price point and pretty incredible margins (it is just a paper notebook after all), that’s a solid business.
While journaling can definitely help bring awareness and attention to the things that you should be grateful for, taking it a step further and translating it into actions can actually be life altering. Volunteering has been shown to have dramatic effects on happiness and doing nice things for others can also create trickle down effects that incentivize the recipients to pay it forward. Instead of a 5-minute journal, a company can provide a “5-minute Gratitude Action” either on a daily or weekly basis that gives you a suggested action to do that expresses gratitude and can create that type of chain reaction with the people who you impact. It could be an app that combines the push of continually sharing unique (and achievable) ideas for gratitude actions and then also offer a journaling component where you would reflect on your gratitude and capture thoughts. It could also track your overall happiness using different metrics and low-touch push notifications and chart that over time, correlating actions with mental wellbeing.
That’s all for today! If you have thoughts, comments, or want to get in touch, find me on Twitter at @ezelby and if you enjoyed this, please share with a friend or two!