Ben Young
Ben Young
March 31, 2023

Edition #398

A grand train tour of Switzerland, squashed workloads, Substack lets you become an investor & BuzzFeed’s creator score.

Always be growing, that is a foundational rule of the internet. If you’re not growing, someone else is, and taking your share. Sucks hey.

That is the concern or nagging fear with AI. That others will get ahead, and get ahead a lot faster. Leaving you for dust. Loss aversion, or the fear of loss is greater than the desire for gain is a real tangible concept. Add this to your reading list.

The real accretive thing with the new tools, is that they *can* squash workloads. Things that took a lot of work now, could now be done a lot easier. That means that beginners can do more faster, incumbents must neutralize their competitors by upskilling and that more people will start, as it is now easier.

Early in the pandemic I’d talked about how now there were a lot of ‘new content marketers’ – folks just starting out. And that was skewing the market. AI tools could do the same. Availability of a tool doesn’t mean it will but it has the potential to.

So that’s what I’m keeping an eye on, what are workloads that can be squashed. What are projects that were taken off the table because they were too big. What part of the strategy wasn’t explored because of a capability gap.

If you spot any squashed workloads, let me know. Or invest, execute, and tell me quietly later ;).

Notable stories this week


  • AxiosHQ raises $20m, now valued at nearly $100m.
  • WPP acquires social influencer agency Obviously.
  • The digital media rollup dream is dead for the moment – now it’s all about core brand strength.
  • Substack invites newsletter writers to invest.

Campaign of the week

  • [Upcoming] Tourism Switzerland to debut a Grand Train Tour of Switzerland with Roger Federer and Trevor Noah.

View all 2023 best campaigns.

Smartest commentary

  • “I talk to my team a lot about how content marketing, it’s two words there, content and marketing. And so we really have to bring the best of journalism and the best of marketing together to get to this sweet spot of content marketing.”Natalie Zmuda, Google

Datapoints of note

  • Apple to spend $1b annually on movies.
  • Nearly 90% of US marketers said AI or machine learning technology saves their company time and money, while 82% said the content it generates is as good as—if not better than—human-generated content.
  • People are spending more time streaming YouTube on TV than any other streaming platform.
  • $143b in revenue lost to fake traffic in 2022.

That’s it for this week.