March 25, 2024

Today's Topics

Hello! Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun has announced plans to step down at the end of 2024 after a turbulent 4-year tenure, as the aerospace giant deals with the fallout of recent safety concerns. Today we're exploring:

  • Drone home: DoorDash is piloting a drone delivery program.
  • Domain dominion: Anguilla is making money on ".ai" addresses.
  • Are you experienced? Joe Rogan's podcast is still massive.
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On Friday, DoorDash announced it was piloting — quite literally — a new partnership with Alphabet’sWing division, testing drone delivery for orders at a select Wendy’s in Virginia.

If you don’t happen to live within 2.5 miles of the Christiansburg, VA location, this news probably won’t revolutionize your food-ordering habits overnight, but it is a sign of how seriously platforms are thinking about using drones in the highly competitive world of “last-mile logistics”. For DoorDash, the rollout builds on its pilot Wing partnership in Australia, which has expanded to 3 locations following extensive testing.

Take rate tipping point

DoorDash, like UberEats, Grubhub, and others, makes its money by charging fees — for everything from service to delivery — on its in-platform sales. In recent years, the overall take rate for its services has risen: in Q1 2019, DoorDash reported taking 8.5% of the total order volume through its platform as revenue; last year, that figure was 13%.

Although it’s a long way from being a mainstream option, drone delivery would tip the balance of power even further in favor of food-ordering platforms. Indeed, it’s easy to imagine DoorDash being able to charge restaurants and hungry customers a larger fee when they have a fleet of drones whizzing burgers, noodles, and pizza across America at 65mph.

Droning on: In 2013, Jeff Bezos boldly predicted that Amazon could be drone delivering in 5 years... it has taken a lot longer, but the company does offer a limited drone service at 2 locations in California and Texas.


When many people think of the Caribbean island Anguilla, their minds might typically jump to its beautiful white sand beaches, clear waters, or local food, rather than… AI.

Last year, however, the 16-mile-long British overseas territory bagged a whopping $32 million from web developers looking to cash in on the artificial intelligence boom by registering their sites to Anguilla’s now-lucrative “.ai” domain — a trend that accounted for more than 10% of the nation’s GDP, per the NYT.


Of all the top-level domains (TLDs to the website builders amongst us), “.com”, first registered in 1985 by, has long reigned supreme, reportedly taking a 46% market share of internet addresses as of December ‘23.

Despite dot-com’s storied influence on our economy and internet culture, a flurry of online entrepreneurs have turned elsewhere in recent years. Indeed, Google searches for “ai domain” overtook “.com domain” for the first time ever in June last year, with Anguilla’s government collecting between $140 and multiple thousands each time its TLD is used in a website name bought at auction.

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No average Joe

Joe Rogan has been the world’s most popular podcaster for a while now — with The Joe Rogan Experience topping Spotify’s global podcast chart for the 4th time in a row last year — but only recently has data revealed just how big Rogan’s following is. Figures reported by Bloomberg showed that, as of last Thursday, Rogan’s show had a total of 14.5m followers on Spotify — almost triple the amount of the next most followed program, TED Talks Daily.

Hot pod

The figures are especially impressive when you consider that these followers have been accrued over the course of only 4 years, as the show wasn’t even on the platform before its founder signed a $100m exclusive deal in 2020, renewed just last month to the tune of a reported $250m (this time without exclusive rights).

Admittedly, follower numbers aren’t a perfect measure of popularity: Spotify expressed that it “represents the number of users who have decided to ‘follow’ a show on Spotify”, and not “a show’s total audience or the performance of an episode”, as not all followers will listen and not all listeners will follow.

Nevertheless, Rogan’s influence extends far beyond Spotify, with 16.4m YouTube subscribers and 18.9m followers on his personal Instagram... although the demographics of his audience are more concentrated: a recent YouGov survey found that 81% of Joe Rogan listeners were male, and 56% were between 18-34 years-old.

More Data

• American carmakers are losing $6k on every $50k electric vehicle they sell in the US, according to a new report.

• Bronze, gold, and silver screens: the Paris 2024Olympics opening ceremony will play out across 150+ IMAX screens in the US this summer.

• Germany’s national soccer teams are subbing out Adidas for Nike after using the German sportswear giant for more than 70 years.


• Commuter towns: mapping the average distances Americans are traveling to work.

• Great viz deep dive on a small Indian airport’s efforts to deal with an influx of international flights for a $100m+ pre-wedding event.

Off the charts: Which company, having grown at a stellar rate over the past couple decades, disappointed investors on Friday as it reported a not-so-positive outlook? [Answer below].

Answer here.

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