The WC – Let’s make some babies

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The WC is a selection of five useful, interesting & notable insights handpicked by CIO Wyatt Cavalier and dropped into your inbox every Wednesday.

OK, let’s go!

Where are all the babies?

Birth rates in the first world are plummeting below the population replacement rate even though men and women still want — on average — two babies each.

Down and to the right

To sustain a population, every woman needs to have 2.1 babies each.

In the US today, that number is 1.6. Europe and China come in at 1.5 and 1.3, respectively.

There are lots of guesses why this might be the case in the rich world:

  • Lack of housing
  • Lack of income
  • Lack of affordable childcare
  • Career penalties for women

But none of those arguments really stands up, especially compared to life as a parent in the 1950s. So what is it?

While a woman’s first choice may have always been (again, on average) to have two kids with a fantastic partner, her second choice has changed since the 1950s.

  • Preferred plan B in the 1950s: Have children with Mr. Wrong
  • Preferred plan B Today: Stay single

Because 70 years ago, life as a single woman (a spinster) was more horrible than life with Mr. Wrong.

The solution for this? Make it easier to be a single parent.

Dig deeper into the looming underpopulation crisis:

Thanks for the feedback

Close followers of the WC (hi, mom!) will remember our scathing report on the low quality of startups reporting three weeks ago.

We got a tonne of feedback from that issue, and there’s strong demand for concise, actionable, intelligent work here.

With that in mind:

We’re launching something incredible in the next few weeks. It’s called Venture Letter, and we want it to be a must-read for anyone looking for an edge in startup investing.

If this sounds like your thing, we’d be grateful to hear your thoughts about our first issue.

Sign up for our beta below, and you’ll get early access to Venture Letter and a month of Venture Letter Pro for free.

Dig deeper into venture journalism:

Sticking with startups for a minute, I want to highlight one of my favorites. They’re called Kingscrowd, and they’re raising money.

Since venture capital dried up last year, many startups have opted to crowdfund instead. But as we’ve discussed, the reporting and analysis you need to make decisions can be severely lacking.

Kingscrowd takes data from big crowdfunding sites (Republic, WeFunder, etc.) and ranks each company using a proprietary score. It’s a game-changer, and I wish I’d thought of it first.

They have little competition, there’s a huge demand for this type of analysis, and they’re off to a greatstart.

These guys are onto something big. Invest in Kingscrowd.

Sell your sawdust

Over the last few weeks, we’ve spoken about rare earth metals — the ones contained in the actual earth and those floating around elsewhere.

We also talked about desalination, and how it might just save the world.

Today we close the loop on this little series with a company that’s bringing it all together: Olokun Materials.

Olukun takes the disgusting briny sludge leftover from desalination and mines it for precious minerals.

What to do with all this waste?

The technology they use extracts ions like lithium from brine waste streams, including waste waters from oil and gas fracking operations, salt flats and e-waste recycling.

The process is a great example of selling your sawdust: Taking your work’s byproduct and selling it to someone else.

You see this a lot in the food industry.

BioBean turns used-up coffee grounds into logs for the fire, while Regrained takes the excess sugar from brewing beer to make snack bars.

This level of innovation gives me confidence that scientists and entrepreneurs will eventually solve whatever problems get thrown at the planet.

Dig deeper into selling your sawdust:

Covid killed the cinema star

Covid nearly killed the cinema industry in 2020 and 2021, but everyone (mostly) thought film-going would bounce right back in 2022 and 2023.


Only 14% of Americans go to the cinema at least once a month, and it’s mostly young people. Boomers are avoiding the movie theatre like, well, the plague.

Covid was the catalyst that broke the cinema industry, and it’s not come back.

Ouchtown bro, population AMC

But Covid isn’t the only reason the cinema industry is in the toilet. From a recent Morning Consult survey:

Over half of the respondents, 55%, said they are more interested in watching movies at home, 50% said it’s too expensive to see movies in theaters, and 32% said they aren’t interested in the movies playing in theaters are major reasons why they don’t go to theaters.

One possible glimmer of hope: 2022 saw 45% fewer film releases than 2019 because films take a long time to make, and there’s a big backlog left to produce. The numbers could recover if that glut comes through in 2023 and 2024.

Cocaine Bear comes out next week, which will surely help.

Dig deeper into filmageddon:

Why is the Super Bowl on Sunday?

The NFL is pushing to extend the sport’s reach beyond the US. London, Munich, and Mexico City  hosted  games this year, and it’s set to expand further in 2023.

And they’ve done a decent job of ginning up interest. Five of the top 10 countries searching for “Super Bowl” are in Europe:

Search volume for “Super Bowl”

So why is the Super Bowl played at a time that ensures none of Europe’s 750 million potential viewers will watch?

A 6:30 pm EST Sunday kickoff means anyone living in western Europe will be up watching the game from 12:30 am to 5 am Monday.

Not great if you’re looking to expand into that market.

Moving the game to, say, 4 pm on Saturday would let the NFL capture all of Europe with a 10 pm start time while China (7 am Sunday) and Australia (8 am Sunday) could tune in.

I’m obviously biased as an American ex-pat living in Spain, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea.

Dig deeper into the NFL’s quest for world domination:

That’s all for this week.




  • Our friends at Rad Diversified and Kingscrowd sponsored this issue.
  • I don’t personally hold any stock or vested interest in any products or companies covered in this email.



Wyatt Cavalier

Wyatt Cavalier

With a background in finance & intelligence analysis, Wyatt has an unhealthy obsession with finding the best blue chip investment opportunities. His previous newsletter, Fractional, resonated deeply with subscribers, bringing actionable insights and unconventional trading strategies. His rare book collection specializes in banned editions. He currently lives in Spain with his beautiful wife, three young boys, and dog Monty.

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