Morning Brew - ☕️ What'sa meta with you?

It's short for metaverse
October 29, 2021 View Online | Sign Up

Morning Brew


Good morning. Unlike Tom Brady, our giveaway doesn’t last forever—so today is your last day to win free stuff.

That means if you want a) a free pair of Morning Brew headphones and b) a chance to win a 5-night stay at any Hilton Hotel & Resort in the world, all you need to do is rack up five referrals to this newsletter in the next few hours. It's the Friday before Halloween, what else ya got going on?

Share to win

Neal Freyman, Matty Merritt, Max Knoblauch














*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 7:00pm ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: The Nasdaq closed at a record high, but don’t expect the tech-heavy index to stay there when trading starts today. Both Apple and Amazon posted disappointing earnings due to supply chain squeezes and higher costs. Ford, meanwhile, had its best day all year after crushing earnings Wednesday and raising its outlook.
  • Economy: Welp. The US economy grew last quarter at its slowest pace since the beginning of the recovery last summer—2% annualized. Still, economists expect growth to pick back up this quarter with Covid case counts lower and the worst of the logistics disruptions hopefully behind us.


Could It Have Been Anything Else?

Mark Zuckerberg standing in front of a poster that says "Meta"


At Facebook’s Connect event yesterday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the corporation will switch its name to Meta. Why? Because calling the company Facebook is like calling Rihanna a musician—it just doesn’t work anymore.

  • “Right now, our brand is so tightly linked with one product that it can’t possibly represent everything we’re doing today, let alone in the future,” Zuck said.

Meta is short for metaverse

Which has been described by Zuck as “the next chapter of the internet.” The metaverse is a complex topic to describe, even for experts, but roughly speaking it’s a world where people work, shop, play, and do everything else they normally do IRL—just in digital form.

And if the metaverse is the next chapter of the internet, Zuck wants to write it and leave everyone else in the footnotes.

  • Meta (slowly getting used to it) is separating out its “Reality Labs” unit, which is home to Oculus and other virtual reality products. The other unit is the Family of Apps (WhatsApp, Instagram, etc.).
  • The company is spending so much on the metaverse—like hiring 10,000 jobs in Europe to work on it—that its operating profits will take a $10 billion hit this year.

How you know it’s real: Meta is giving up its ticker FB and going with MVRS on Dec. 1.

Critics say this is an intentional distraction

Companies throughout history have rebranded when facing public pressure. In 2003, cigarette maker Philip Morris changed its name to Altria to try and shed its reputation as a public health menace.

As for Facebook, you could name it Orange Juice Squared and it would still be facing the same threats, such as a recent onslaught of critical reports, Apple’s privacy changes denting its ad business, and, perhaps most significantly, decreasing popularity among young people.

Now, Facebook’s problems are Meta’s problems.—NF



The New Spending Bill: What's In, What's Out

The White House on Thursday rolled out a new, personal pan-sized framework for its Build Back Better Act—a spending package that aims to pump heaps of cash into climate, social welfare, and educational programs.

Initially eyeing a $6 trillion price tag, then $3.5 trillion, Democrats corralled by President Biden have cut the package down to $1.75 trillion after an arduous stretch of negotiations with most-likely-to-be-ratioed Senators Manchin and Sinema. But, contrary to popular belief: The bill does still contain words. So what does Building Back Better currently look like?

What’s in:

  • An additional year of the enhanced child tax credit.
  • Universal pre-K for more than 6 million 3- and 4-year-olds.
  • Environmental tax credits of up to $12,500 for new electric vehicles and incentives for installing solar panels.

What’s out:

  • Paid family and medical leave. Initially 12 weeks were floated, but the proposal has now been entirely cut.
  • Two free years of community college.
  • Prescription drug price decreases. Previous versions of the bill would’ve allowed Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
  • Medicare dental and vision coverage.
  • The Billionaires Income Tax.

What’s next: Democrats need to receive support from their own caucus to pass the bill in the Senate. House progressives have “enthusiastically endorsed” the new White House framework.—MK



Big Oil to a House Committee

Greg talking to Kendall in Succession,


Never a good day when people are comparing you to the tobacco industry. The heads of six big fossil fuel companies and trade groups testified before Congress yesterday, which some politicians said was reminiscent of the infamous 1994 hearing in which tobacco execs said they didn’t think nicotine was addictive.

This time, just replace spreading nicotine disinformation with climate disinformation.

The energy bosses don’t agree with that comparison. ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods denied allegations that the company intentionally spread disinformation about fossil fuels' contribution to global warming.

  • Exxon is still trying to break out of the villain role after a video was released in July of a company lobbyist admitting to using shady strategies to stop climate legislation.

Execs from BP, Chevron, Shell, The American Petroleum Institute, and the US Chamber of Commerce followed Woods’s lead during the hearing and said they also didn’t do anything wrong.

Big picture: Energy companies are getting squeezed by lawmakers and shareholders about their lackluster transition to renewable resources. Shell is currently in a spat with an activist investor who wants to break up the company.—MM



Invest in Robots Who Say ‘Oui, Chef’


Some robots say boring stuff like “beep boop beep bop” and “battery low.” Allow us to introduce you to a different type of robot.

A robot who says “oui, chef.”

Oh oui, Miso Robotics’ autonomous robot kitchen assistants perform tasks such as grilling and frying alongside chefs in commercial kitchens. These bots are currently working with 10 of the top 25 brands in the QSR industry, with dozens of pilot programs along the way.

Miso just announced its latest partnership with Inspire Brands, parent company of Buffalo Wild Wings, called Flippy Wings. This robotic frying solution is forecasted to increase food production speeds by 10-20%.

Furthermore, unconfirmed rumors indicate that these robot cooks also use extremely expensive hair gel and eat baguettes whilst disrupting the $273B food service industry.

Right now is the final month to invest in Miso’s robot cooks. Click here to get in on the action.


Key Performance Indicators

BJ Novak

B. J. Novak (Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage)

Quote: “I am too amused to do anything about it.”

The Office star B.J. Novak is truly chillin’ after finding out his headshot entered the public domain a few years ago and has been used on everything from Uruguayan face paint to Chinese electric razors.

Stat: Here is a trifecta of interesting stats from a new vaccine survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

  1. 5% of unvaccinated workers say they left a job because of a vaccine requirement.
  2. More than one-third of unvaccinated workers said they would leave their job if their employer required a vaccine or weekly test.
  3. 25% of workers said their employer is requiring them to get vaccines, up from 9% in June.

Read: It’s never too late to climb that mountain. (New York Times)



Hocus Poquiz

News Quiz image

The feeling of getting a 5/5 on the Brew’s Weekly News Quiz has been compared to when none of your guests show up on time to the party.

It’s that satisfying. Ace the quiz.


Where Are the Cookies Going?

A computer with the words "Click here" in front it + cookies with the "no" symbol on them

Francis Scialabba

ICYMI, Marketing Brew rolled out a guide earlier this month about all things third-party cookie. They talked to more than a dozen industry experts to get answers to questions like:

  • What is a third-party cookie?
  • How did it become so popular?
  • Why it is going away? What will replace it?

…and much more. If you could use a cookie primer, click here.


  • Starbucks is raising wages in a bid to attract workers, but also reported lower-than-forecast revenue last quarter due to challenges in China.
  • Sweetgreen’s financial docs show it wasn’t profitable in each year since 2014, despite it telling reporters that it was profitable.
  • Beeple, king of NFTs, will auction off a physical sculpture next month for an estimated $15 million.
  • Activision Blizzard’s CEO requested a new salary of $62,500, the minimum California will allow, until the company fixes its discrimination and harassment issues.



Bigger biz = bigger goals. If you’ve managed to burst out of the SME category—congrats, btw—you already know that your biz has different needs than it did before. From payments to customers to staff, Square can help you keep everything connected as you grow further. Whether you want to use pre-built integrations or customize your own, Square’s open platform is designed to support scale and all the new ways you do business. Keep growing with Square.


For focusing: Try the Pomodoro method of 25 minutes of working followed by a 5-minute break. These YouTube videos will do everything for you (except your work).

For a new follow: This guy on TikTok really, really loves trains.

For costume inspo: Here are 23 low-effort Halloween costume ideas in case you haven’t come up with one yet.


Friday Puzzle

Place a 3-letter word in the blank spaces to complete a word on the left and begin another word with those letters on the right.

Example: e a r _ _ _ m e = earthy and thyme

1. f e a t _ _ _ o i c
2. c o u r _ _ _ n d a
3. d i s p _ _ _ o v e r
4. k e e _ _ _ s i s t
5. r u n _ _ _ i c e


It's the Final Countdown

An illustration of travel luggage to promote our giveaway

Doo doo doo doo, doo doo do—okay we’ll stop. But it actually is the final countdown for this week’s giveaway, so don’t wait another second to share the Brew if you want free swag and a chance to win an epic travel adventure. The deets:

  • Refer 5 friends to the newsletter and you’ll receive a limited edition pair of Morning Brew headphones.
  • Of those people who got 5 referrals, one will be randomly selected to win a five-night stay at any Hilton Hotel & Resort in the world.

Bottom line: Getting free swag hasn’t been this easy since freshman year of college.

Claim your headphones today

*See terms and conditions here


1. featHER / HERoic
2. courAGE / AGEnda
3. dispLAY / LAYover
4. keePER / PERsist
5. runOFF / OFFice



Written by Neal Freyman, Matty Merritt, and Max Knoblauch

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