🍪 Starbucks' next move

Top of the mornin’ to ya, friends. Hope tax szn is treatin' ya well.

We got a lot to get through today, so let’s get to the good stuff.

In the oven this week:

  • ☕️ Starbucks 🤝 web3

  • 🍪 Cookie crumbs: 6 bite-sized headlines

  • 📵 Poll of the week: how distraught will you be if TikTok gets banned?

  • 💬 Tweet of the week: more pain for our stock portfolios

  • 🍫 Chocolate chips: our 3 best finds of the week

  • 😂 Snickerdoodles: Thursday memes



It’s hard to find true friends these days.

Someone that’s always there, wherever you go. Who’s consistent and reliable. Who helps you be your best self.

Who’s that for us, you ask?

None other than our loyal compadre: Starbucks.

We could be on the outskirts of Yemen and Starbucks will still have us sipping our iced shaken espresso with one pump of vanilla, one pump of peppermint, no classic syrup, a splash of 2% milk, and sweet cream cold foam. Sheeeesh.

You'd think their only business is coffee right?


Let me explain.

In 2009, Starbucks introduced the Starbucks card.

It’s basically a digital gift card, but with one major benefit: when you paid with the Starbucks card, you’d earn 2X more loyalty points (called stars) than if you paid with card or cash. Those stars can then be redeemed for free drinks, pastries, or other items.

To get in on the rewards, customers started depositing tons of money into their Starbucks accounts.

Like, $2B worth.

That’s unused deposits just… sitting there.

By comparison, 80% of banks in the US have less than $1B in cash deposits.

They’re basically getting a loan from customers at a 0% interest rate.

Ok, sure, you say, but won’t people eventually use that money to buy coffee?


And it gets better.

Starbucks says 12% of deposits are classified as “card breakages,” value that customers never end up redeeming. Like that $19 Aunt Frannie forgot was in there, or the $8 in the account your grandma lost the password to.

So Starbucks is actually earning 12% of interest on money customers are giving them.

That's right, Starbucks is playin' chess while us fools are playin' checkers.

Now, Starbucks is trying to build on their famous loyalty program by introducing NFTs. They’ve partnered with big names in the crypto space to make it happen, and are dropping a new NFT collection at 12pm PST today.

The NFTs in their last collection were free, but are now selling for a whooping $2K each.

Ryan Butz, their head of Loyalty, hosted a private event this week where he talked about this next collection and his vision for Starbucks’ crypto future.

We went, and here’s the scoop:

  • This new collection will be a limited edition called the Siren Collection, which will represent the iconic Starbucks logo. Supply’s gonna be low.

  • Each NFT will give you a certain number of points, which will correspond to certain benefits (TBD on what those are just yet)

  • When you sell the NFT, the points follow the NFT, so you give up the benefits when you sell

  • In the future, we should expect more airdrops and artist partnerships 👀

NFTs have been buzzy and overhyped, but Starbucks seems to see this as a long term effort.

If any brand can get this right, we have our bets on the king of loyalty.



In today’s episode of AI-is-taking-over-the-world, Salesforce is adding ChatGPT to Slack to help you summarize convos and write messages. Hope it knows a polite way to say, “no, your idea sucks, Fred.”

Meanwhile, Andreessen Horowitz made its first huge bet in AI - Character.AI, a chatbot that lets you chat with different characters like Elon Musk or Zuck is now valued at $1B. The real get is the two founders, who were previously built Google’s conversational AI model, LaMDA Wowza.

Compared to previous years, American customers are more likely to seek “revenge” on businesses by complaining to customer service or leaving scathing reviews 😂79% of customers complained to a company vs 72% in 2020. And 43% said they raised their voice to a customer service representative up from 35% in 2017.

Elon found himself in a pickle this week. One employee got his computer access cut off 9 days prior, and tweeted at Musk asking if he was still employed. Elon responded by asking him what he was working on and laid him off while the convo was happening. His justification? Apparently the employee had told HR that he couldn’t work because he couldn’t type, but was still typing up a storm on Twitter. But as it turns out, the guy had muscular dystrophy ☠️

It’s time to read those ingredient labels on your next grocery run. Apparently the sugar alternative erythritol is associated with an increased risk of heart issues and strokes. Tons of things have erythritol in them - ice cream, nuts, yogurt, candy (bye Reese’s peanut butter cups), even Vitamin Water. Don’t say we didn’t warn ya!!

The US approved a bill that would let Biden ban Tiktok and any other app deemed a security risk. BRB while we go binge while we still can 🥲



Let's see how many of ya are as crazy about TikTok as we are.

Sound off 👇🏽

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Jerome Powell testified in front of the Senate Banking Committee yesterday. It’s this boring meeting that happens twice a year where regulators and bankers get together to talk about the economy.

Since inflation came in higher than expected in January, he's saying interest rates will probably stay high for the forseeable future.

Cool, who cares?

Higher interest rates = more pain for our stock portfolios. Tech stocks + crypto usually do worse when interest rates are high.

Buckle up, friends.







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

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