Morning Brew - ☕ Get them talking

Plus, don’t sleep on “new-old” ideas to get the job done…
November 07, 2023 View Online | Sign Up | Shop 10% Off


Good morning. This one goes out to all our Slack users:

🟪 If you don’t like the standard purple color scheme, go to “Settings” → “Themes” and choose literally any other color.

If you’re tired of sending messages too early when all you meant to do was start a new line, go to “Settings” → “Advanced” and then toggle the “When writing a message” options.

To make sure you get a warning before starting a huddle in a channel with more than 150 people in it, go to “Settings” → “Audio & video” and check that box like your life depends on it.

—Charlotte Salley and Kaila Lopez


Avoiding blank stares in the office

Blank stares in a conversation Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House/RKO Pictures via Giphy

When you ask a question in a presentation or meeting and all you get are unmuted coughs, panic can set in.

But it doesn’t have to be a repeat of your eighth grade stump speech for treasurer. Here’s how to go from blank stares to active participation.

Embrace silence. Take a breath and sit in the silence. We promise, those extra few seconds only feel awkward to you.

  • If you’re tempted to jump in and answer your own question, distract yourself with a song. Classics include: the Jeopardy! jingle, the “Happy Birthday” song, or our personal favorite—the chorus of “Waterfalls” by TLC.
  • Just remember that vibes go from awkward to weird if you start humming aloud, so keep it in your head.

Reframe the Q. If you’re not getting any responses, maybe you weren’t clear enough at the jump. Take another stab at the question with different framing.

  • For example, if you asked “Why did this happen?” and no one responded, try getting more specific by asking “How did the campaign changes impact performance?”
  • “Let me try another angle” also works wonders here.

Move on. If all other attempts at getting some interactivity have failed, it may be time to set your question aside and move things along.

  • A quick “Let’s come back to this later” can reduce tension, as long as you actually come back to it once the audience is warmer.

And if you’re really desperate, feel free to use the tried-and-true tactic that strikes fear into the hearts of middle schoolers and professionals alike: the cold call.—KL


How to remaster your ideas

Empty Abbey Road Barry Lewis/Getty Images

Last week, the Beatles released their “final” song thanks to new AI tech and the whispers and prayers of anyone who says “Music just sounds better on vinyl” at parties. “Now and Then” pulls John Lennon’s vocals from the late ’70s, with Paul McCartney on piano and bass, Ringo Starr on drums, and a guitar recording from the late George Harrison.

  • It’s gotten mixed reviews so far, but in terms of a popular vote, the song had already pulled in millions of YouTube views mere hours after being released.

True, the “new-old” song most likely won’t spark its own Renaissance Tour, but the fact that it’s nearly 50 years in the making means this is a pretty monumental deal. It turns out that sometimes the best ideas have already been created, including by Past You.

But unless you’re the resident archivist of the office, the hardest part about remastering your old ideas is actually finding them. A good place to start? Where you began as a new hire—back when you had a fresh perspective on your role. So here are a few dusty corners to check first:

  • Notes from your interview process and any projects or assessments you completed to get the job.
  • Onboarding documents from your first few months, like your 30/60/90 plan.
  • The OG pages of 1:1 agendas with your boss, back when you were still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
  • Your first notebook (remember when you took handwritten notes for every meeting?) and then your computer’s Notes app when the novelty wore off.
  • Slack messages with your team. (You can do a keyword search for a theme or topic and then sort by date sent.)

While your Day One scribbles may not lead to the next Top 40 hit, they could be the spark that becomes your next iconic project at work.


Say goodbye to spreadsheet misery

2 free masterclasses

Working in Excel is just one of those things we all have to accept doing—like saying your boss’s dog is really cute.

But you don’t have to suffer through it.

Join Miss Excel for two FREE hour-long workshops on November 8, where you’ll get the deets on how to unlock the power of those spreadsheets.

Understanding XLOOKUP and VLOOKUP—12pm ET

Miss Excel will share hidden tricks for optimizing your spreadsheets and mastering lookup functions to save you hours each week.

Productivity with Microsoft Office—3pm ET

Discover Miss Excel’s secret hacks to unleash the full power of Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote.

Pro tip: If you can’t attend live, you’ll also get access to a 48-hour replay when you register.

Sign up for free here.


Guess the co

Water cooler in front of geometric shapes

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. If you said “giving season” or “holiday season,” you’d be wrong, because it’s…earnings season.

  • That’s right, folks. It’s the best part of every quarter, when public companies are legally required to share their financials for the world to see.

So we’re putting your financial chops to the test: Can you guess this company using only the past four quarters of select financial metrics?

Hint: It’s been all over the news for being one of the only companies to use buzzwords like AI to its advantage—and deliver.

Revenue growth (year-over-year)

July 2023: +101%

April 2023: -13%

January 2023: -21%

October 2022: -16%

R&D expenses (per quarter)

July 2023: $2.0 billion

April 2023: $1.9b

January 2023: $2.0b

October 2022: $1.9b

Net earnings growth (year-over-year)

July 2023: +843%

April 2023: +26%

January 2023: -53%

October 2022: -72%


Read: The art and science of having a good conversation (even if you’re an introvert).

Listen: Behavioral economics, but be cool about it.

English teachers can confirm:I don’t know how to get smart without reading a lot,” plus other advice from 99-year-old Charlie Munger.

🚙 Traffic update: Let’s check back in on those super commuters.

Oatly spice: The former creative director shares lessons learned, including to remember that “no one cares. One of the most enabling aspects of working on Oatly was the freedom to openly admit that no one gives a sh*t about what we had to say.”

Shop: Ditch the old coffee mugs and gum wrappers for something that’s actually useful on your desk: the Excel tips deskpad, with over 60 Excel functions and 100+ shortcuts. Get it here.


Nvidia (peep the co’s financial reports here)


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