🍪 BetterUp on how to up our Zoom game

Good morning, friends. It’s the end of August, and you know what that means. Yup - Lowe’s is officially selling Christmas trees.

Is it us or does Christmas come earlier and earlier every year? Santa’s gonna need a muscle tank soon…

Alright alright, let’s get to the good stuff.

In the oven this week:

  • 💬 What all the best conversationalists are doing

  • 🗳️ Poll of the week: are you back in office?

  • 🍪 Cookie crumbs: 7 bite-sized headlines

  • 🍫 Chocolate chips: 3 of our favorite finds

  • 😂 Snickerdoodles: Thursday memery



Goldman Sachs is forcing its employees to go back to the office 5x a week, but the rest of us WFH normies are getting some help from BetterUp.

They’ve got a behavioral research lab that just released some interesting findings on what someone a good conversationalist over video calls.

Here’s how it all went down:

Thousands of participants aged 18-65 got paired up to have recorded Zoom conversations about any topic for ~30 minutes.

After the convo, each partner got to rate and review the other person.

The lab then analyzed conversations for different variables like loudness, nonverbal gestures, switching the subject, etc. to figure out which traits were most correlated with the people that got higher ratings.

So who Zooms best?

The highest-rated conversationalists had a few things in common. They:

  1. Spoke ~3% faster than the average 3.3 words per second

  2. Nodded and shook their heads more often to signal their attentiveness

  3. Exhibited more emotion than average

  4. Could stay on topic but also offer subject changes to mix it up

  5. Varied their vocal intensity - volume, tone and inflection, etc.

  6. Read Bite Sized Beta every week and shared it with friends

Ok maybe we just made up the last one, but hey, it might make your friends wanna talk to you more ;)

Anyway, back to our scheduled programming.

So we’ve got the keys to the Zoom kingdom. This will be us for the rest of the week:

There were also some bonus findings they didn’t expect:

  • Older people spoke for longer than younger people

  • Women were more vocally expressive with each other than with men

  • The most common topic in almost every conversation was family

  • Regardless of the rating, across all groups, people reported feeling happier after their conversations, especially those ages 50-69.

You heard it here first. Call your parents, friends.



A bunch of tech co’s are forcing their employees back to office 2-3x a week, but the word on the street is that it’s been tough to enforce. Are people actually going into the office these days? Let’s hear it.

Where are you spending the majority of your work week?

Sound off 👇🏽

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.



The average US interest rate on 30-year mortgages rose to 7.48% this week, the highest level since 2000. Insane. If you bought a place in Jan 2021 (at the 2.6% low), plz walk away and let the rest of us cry, ty.  

Back in June, we wrote about Nate Chastain, Opensea's former head of product, who got charged with money laundering and wire fraud for flipping NFTs that he knew would soon be featured on OpenSea's front page. Well turns out, he's now going to prison for 3 months, all for profiting a measly 19 ETH (aka $31K in today’s prices). Talk about the worst deal of the century…if you’re gonna be a criminal, at least make some money, sheesh.

Arm files for IPO. Who’s arm? Softbank’s. It's a semiconductor company that designs the chips in pretty much every smartphone. Softbank bought it for $32B back in 2016 and tried to sell it to Nvidia, but got blocked by regulators. Now they're taking 'em IPO and trying to raise $10B at a $60B valuation.







That's all we got for ya this week, folks. See ya next Thursday!

If you enjoyed this, we'd love it if you'd fwd to a friend! We don't gate keep here - spread some of these sweet treats. 🙏🏾

What'd you think about this email?