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P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #163

👋 Welcome back to P.S. You Should Know… probably the best newsletter published on Sundays between 6-7
May 10 · Issue #163 · View online
P.S. You Should Know...
👋 Welcome back to P.S. You Should Know… probably the best newsletter published on Sundays between 6-7am CST, and definitely the best one published by me. Now in its fourth year!

my story 🚀
🎂 Daphne is 6️⃣ months old this week and Petra picked flowers for mama! 🌼
🎂 Daphne is 6️⃣ months old this week and Petra picked flowers for mama! 🌼
🦷😷 I’ve been reaching out to a couple people a week to stay connected. Lucky for me, when I called Tiger Safarov, I heard a remarkable and heart-warming entrepreneurial story. His company ZenSupplies makes inventory management software for dental practices. Dental offices across the country are preparing to reopen, but many are stuck without personal protective equipment. Their distributors can’t help them. Despite being a software business that doesn’t sell products, Tiger and his team were driven to do something. They found a supplier with inventory, drove across the country to vet them in person, and organized a group buy at cost to support the reopening of over a hundred small businesses. I suggested Tiger find a way to tell this story to the world in more detail (including all of the other roadblocks he overcame). In the meantime, my short version will have to do. Please share with you friends in the dental industry. They won’t find someone who works harder for them than Tiger and ZenSupplies.
I’d love to share more awesome stories like this. If you have one, please contact me!
🌻 Happy Mother’s Day to all you mamas out there! And an extra shout out to my wife Kim, my mom Irina, and my grandma Dora.
someone else's words 💬
fun facts 🙌
Human psychology and wine tasting. If you’ve ever confidently conflated wine price with wine taste, you may have tricked yourself. This article (titled ‘wine-tasting: it’s junk science’) and referenced study are a bit dated, so I wonder if anyone has more current info on the disconnect between 'good wine’ and 'inexpensive wine’? | learn more
How prior outbreaks drove bathroom design. “The modern bathroom developed alongside outbreaks of tuberculosis, cholera and influenza; its standard fixtures, wallcoverings, floorings, and finishes were implemented, in part, to promote health and hygiene in the home at a time of widespread public health concerns.” | learn more
Who is Alexandra Elbakyan? A lot of science is funded by taxpayers. However, the credibility of a study often depends on the journal that publishes it. So that taxpayer-funded science gets hidden behind paywalled journals. Elbakyan didn’t appreciate that, so she created Sci-Hub, “… characterised by Science correspondent John Bohannon as "an awe-inspiring act of altruism or a massive criminal enterprise, depending on whom you ask.” | learn more
oh, chicago 🏆
Chicago’s plan for reopening. “Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s detailed her "Protecting Chicago” plan for reopening the city after the coronavirus pandemic Friday afternoon.“ | learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
Neuralink’s brain-machine interfaces almost ready. Elon Musk made a second appearance on the Joe Rogan show this week. “Musk said the BMI unit would be implanted in a human’s skull and would basically restore anything that’s wrong with the brain, citing how it can improve vision impairment and virtually eliminate epilepsy.” | learn more
VC incentives: logo-hunting and optionality. Byrne Hobart offers an intriguing analysis on the incentives of VC associates. They’re not partners, and typically not on track to be partners, so he says they’re best served by promoting high-publicity deals rather than high-return deals. For those subscribers who have been in this role: was this true for you? | learn more
better doing 🎯
How to write usefully. A recent gem from Paul Graham: “What should an essay be? Many people would say persuasive. That’s what a lot of us were taught essays should be. But I think we can aim for something more ambitious: that an essay should be useful.” | learn more
retail therapy 💸
All roads lead to Amazon this week. While their flywheel keeps turning, I like to keep an eye on issues that might drive real business challenges. Right now there are a few of them.
The anti-Amazon alliance. Ben Thompson writes in Stratechery, reminds us that “everyone in commerce is, whether they realize it or not, in the Anti-Amazon Alliance, and that provides plenty of motivation.” | learn more
Amazon made deep cuts to affiliate commissions recently. You may not be surprised that a lot of purchases from Amazon start with product discovery outside of Amazon. One of the big drivers of growth the past 20 years has been their vast network of ‘associates’ who drive traffic to Amazon in return for a cut of sales. That cut is now significantly lower (30-80% lower). This saves Amazon a ton of money in the short run, but might it promote new retail competitors as well? | learn more
Bye, Amazon (from a VP who quit in protest). “May 1st was my last day as a VP and Distinguished Engineer at Amazon Web Services, after five years and five months of rewarding fun. I quit in dismay at Amazon firing whistleblowers who were making noise about warehouse employees frightened of Covid-19.” | learn more
under the microscope 🔬
Are humans constantly but subconsciously smelling themselves? Yes, we are. “Paradoxically, we observe that although this very prevalent behaviour of self-smelling is of concern to individuals, especially to parents of children overtly exhibiting self-smelling, the behaviour has nearly no traction in the medical or psychological literature.” | learn more
Discussion of NAD boosters. I’m almost done reading a book about extending human lifespan by David Sinclair. He believes we’re on the cusp of decades-longer, healthier lives. Meanwhile, I’m sharing this article where he writes about NMN and NR, two compounds that boost NAD to achieve that goal. | learn more
thoughts of food 🍔
Fresh Stack Burger, a restaurant startup from grandson of Wendy’s founder. The first location is opening this week in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. (Congrats Sean & Mookie!) | learn more
A presentation defending animal consumption. Georgia Ede, a nutritional psychiatrist (I’m not certain what that is), gave this very intriguing talk in February. “During her presentation, Ede delineates the various ways authoritative bodies such as the USDA and World Health Organization, through their spread of unscientific dietary guidelines that are rife with misinformation, have complicated her efforts to help patients eat healthfully.” | learn more
Why this pig farmer loves the idea of a plant-based diet. Much of this article is a direct response to Georgia Ede’s attacks on the EAT-Lancet nutritional guidelines (which is a big part of the video above). It’s a solid counterweight to her arguments, though I think doesn’t diminish the serious issues she found with the basis for governmental nutritional recommendations. | learn more
big ideas 📚
Universities are in trouble. “Schools should expect a 15% decline in enrollment next fall and a $45 billion decline in revenue from tuition, room and board and other services, according to the American Council on Education, the nation’s largest advocacy group for colleges and universities. Some administrators say those projections are too rosy.” | learn more
on the blockchain ⛓
Bitcoin has a new buyer: billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones. “Thinking about what store of value assets will be winners in ten years’ time, [Jones] stated “at the end of the day, the best profit-maximizing strategy is to own the fastest horse. Just own the best performer and not get wed to an intellectual side that might leave you weeping in the performance dust because you thought you were smarter than the market. If I am forced to forecast, my bet is it will be Bitcoin.” | learn more
calls to action 👇
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