Forever young. Fashion robots. Maybe nothing is real.

Playing the long game


The naked mole rat may hold the secret to aging well.

To begin with, cancer is relatively rare for naked mole rats. And some of these handsome creatures live to be well past 30.

Source: Giphy

Google is studying them for this reason, as our Future of Aging report shows. The company's healthcare division Calico published a paper on naked mole rat longevity.

Not only do they live a long time for a small animal, but naked mole rats also do not degenerate physically. They are active, happy, and spritely little naked mole rats well into their middle and old age. 

The intersection between living longer and better lives is the subject of our new deep-dive report on aging.

The report also looks at many cutting-edge treatments and drugs for slowing the aging process, including placental cells, caloric restriction, and a mysterious drug called rapamycin that originated on Easter Island. Not to mention many other fascinating odds and ends.

Forget naked mole rats, did you know Greenland sharks live to be 400 and some may have been swimming around when the pilgrims landed? 

From animal studies to clinical trials to diet fads, there is a race on to find interventions that will slow down aging.

Even if there are snake oil salesmen out there, for better or worse, there is a new spirit of experimentation transforming this field.

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are still mostly associated with hardcore gamers, but the technologies have much more potential.

AR/VR headsets are becoming more affordable and user-friendly, and startups are developing new use cases that extend far beyond the gaming world.

From retail to law enforcement to healthcare, we take a look at 19 industries that AR/VR could transform.

All about Canadian VC

Canadian VC funding declined for the second straight quarter, following a record high in Q1'18. Investment in Canadian companies fell 42% to $541M in Q3'18.

For more trends, check out PwC and CB Insights' new Canada Venture Capital report.

 Invest, don't stress

Big food companies are feeling the pressure from rising startups. Rather than submit, they're trying to co-opt the startup threat by launching venture funds, partnering with incubators, and investing directly.

We take a closer look at the different investment strategies that big food companies are using. Expert Intelligence clients can check them out here.


Fashion is one of the largest industries in the global economy. Today, tech is transforming the space faster than ever.

From trend-predicting algorithms to VR mirrors to robots that sew, we dive into how technology is automating, personalizing, and speeding up every aspect of fashion. Check it out here.

 Facebook's shopping list

Facebook has reportedly put together a team to look into acquiring a major cybersecurity company by the end of the year.

This would be a public signal that Facebook is getting serious about learning from its mistakes and improving security.

We identified seven likely areas of focus for Facebook's acquisition and potential targeted companies. Clients can see them here.

What? Actual corporate executives!?

Have you been to corporate growth conferences full of innovation fluff and vendors?

Never fear. TRANSFORM is the real thing. We select speakers based on a corporate growth skill they’ve perfected. We work with them to create a session drawing on their best ideas.

TRANSFORM is a corporate executive conference attended by actual big-company executives. Save $500 using code realthing or check out our discounted group tickets. Prices go up November 1.

Have a great rest of the week.


P.S. On November 1, we'll be discussing global fintech trends in Q3'18. Sign up for the briefing here.

This week in data:

  • $312M: Bucking the bearish trend this week for tech stocks, Tesla’s stock surged as much as 15% on Wednesday, after Q3 earnings exceeded expectations. The company reported earning $311.5M on $6.82B in revenue in the third quarter, the company’s third profitable quarter since it went public in 2010. We’ve previously covered 8 industries — including auto — being disrupted by Elon Musk and his companies. Check them out here.

  • 600: Yesterday, the Dow fell more than 600 points (2.4%), erasing all of its gains for 2018. The S&P fell more than 3%, while Nasdaq plummeted 4% — its worst one-day drop since 2011. Tech stocks have taken a hit: despite reporting a jump in subscribers earlier this week, Netflix was down more than 9% on Wednesday (and 17% for the week), while Facebook, Amazon, and Apple all fell 3% to 5%.
  • $432,500: Auction house Christie’s held the first-ever auction of art created by artificial intelligence. The AI-generated Portrait of Edmond Belamy was generated by the Paris-based collective Obvious, using an AI method called “generative adversarial network” (GAN) and 15,000 reference portraits painted between the 14th and 20th Centuries. It is signed with the artist signature, “min max Ex [log(D(x))]+Ez [log(1-D(G(z)))].” The auction house expected the work to fetch $7K – $10K, but it ultimately sold for $432,500 — nearly 45 times the original estimate. We recently launched our weekly This Week In AI newsletter for CB Insights customers. Clients can see the most recent roundup of AI news here.

  • $12M+: Who’s the biggest political advertiser on Facebook? Facebook. Since May, Facebook has spent over $12M on “ads related to politics and issues of national importance,” according to a political ad spending report released by the company earlier this week. In a distant second place is Beto O’Rourke ($5.37M), followed by Donald Trump ($3.14M). Check out all our recent Facebook research, from the company’s data security patents to its potential blockchain bets, here.

  • 46%: Teens spend most of their money on food, according to Piper Jaffray’s semi-annual Taking Stock With Teens Survey. The survey of over 8,600 US teens, averaging 15.9 years old, found that Chick-fil-A is the top restaurant for teenagers across income brackets, followed by Starbucks. Snapchat is the preferred social media platform for 46% of teens, while 32% favor Instagram.
  • 30 minutes: The $20B bridge connecting Hong Kong and Macau to the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai opened yesterday. At 34 miles, it’s the longest sea-crossing bridge in the world, a few miles longer than the Lake Pontchartrain causeway near New Orleans in the US, and cuts the travel time between Zhuhai and Hong Kong from 3 hours to just 30 minutes. The Zhuhai bridge is fitted with special cameras that check for drowsy drivers — if a driver yawns 3 times, authorities will be alerted.
  • 1 in 303 Million: One winning ticket was sold for Tuesday’s record-breaking Mega Millions jackpot of nearly $1.6B. The jackpot’s lump-sum cash value is $878M, and the retailer where the ticket was sold (KC Mart #7 in Simpsonville, South Carolina) will get a $50K cut. A winning ticket is a 1 in 303 million chance — meaning you’re 20,753 times more likely to be hit by lightning, 466x more likely to draw a royal flush, and 81x more likely to be eaten by a shark than you are to win the jackpot.
One more thing...

More than a century after the Titanic sank, a replica of the ship is taking the seas in 2022.

The Titanic II is being built identically to the original, but its hull will be welded instead of riveted, and it will be equipped with modern navigation and radar systems.

The ship will hold approximately 2,400 passengers, 900 crew members, and plenty of life boats. It will follow the path of its predecessor, from Southampton to New York, before sailing around the world.
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