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P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #175

👋 Welcome back to P.S. You Should Know… probably the best newsletter published on Sundays between 6-7
August 2 · Issue #175 · 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 🚀
Quick family selfie after an al fresco lunch.
Quick family selfie after an al fresco lunch.
💘 Five years ago, I married the girl of my dreams in New York City. We vowed to be loving and supportive companions in life. Together we’ve created a home full of love and two amazing daughters, and we’re just getting started! I’m incredibly lucky to have her by my side on this crazy journey we call life. Happy Anniversary Kim!
someone else's words 💬
fun facts 🙌
A history of rockets, with pictures. This is a neat summary from NASA highlighting the developments in rocketry since its birth circa 400 BC. “The mighty space rockets of today are the result of more than 2,000 years of invention, experimentation, and discovery.” | learn more
How to outrun a dinosaur. “If, through some scientific malfunction, you found yourself transported 70 million years into the past, you might be safer from certain hungry reptiles than you think.” I found this link in Explore & Observe, a cool email newsletter about modern day exploration. | learn more
Emoji use in the new normal. “😂 Face with Tears of Joy remains the most used emoji on Twitter” and “🥺 Pleading Face is experiencing surging popularity.” Emojipedia analyzed over 68 million tweets across 2018-2020. | learn more
oh, chicago 🏆
Chicago’s second scooter pilot starts soon. “The pilot launches Aug. 12 and will include vendors Lime, Bird and Spin, according to an announcement from the Chicago Department of Transportation. The pilot, which ends in mid-December, will have four times as many scooters as last year’s program and be available in most areas of the city.” | learn more
Private jet chartering in Chicago increases amid pandemic. “After spending a few months grounded with no end in sight for the coronavirus pandemic, Leckey said everyone in the family agreed: “It was time to get back to the private plane lifestyle.”” We’ve never flown private, so if anyone wants to invite us along for a ride, we can make ourselves available 😁. | learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
Tech and the new normal. From Ben Evans: “This June, I updated my macro trends deck, with a condensed version of where we were in January and some thoughts on where we are in June: forced experimentation and years of progress in weeks.” | learn more
Chinese AR startup Rokid’s smart glasses. The company’s first generation product came with a temperature-detecting feature that let wearers measure across groups of people. The new version will do even more. Reading this reminded me to check in on Google Glass, which is still alive and kicking in the enterprise world. | learn more
Conflicts of interest in Amazon’s startup investments? The WSJ highlights a few examples of alleged impropriety where Amazon’s Alexa Fund made early stage investments and Amazon later launched competing products. While it’s popular to be critical of Amazon these days, these examples don’t quite paint the “bad Amazon” picture that the author suggests. Amazon, naturally, denies wrongdoing and says they don’t use confidential info to build competing products. | learn more
better doing 🎯
The polymath playbook. “You’ve likely heard the saying: “A jack of all trades is a master of none.” … It may surprise you to learn there’s actually an extended version: “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.” With a subtle addition, its meaning becomes inverted to tout the benefits of being a polymath (a.k.a. generalist). Why is the former so common, and the latter so unknown?” | learn more
to your health ⚕
A $175 Covid-19 test, $2,479 in charges. “A global pandemic ravaging America is no time to forget the first rule of American health care: There is no set price. One out-of-network medical provider in Texas seeks permission from patients to charge fees as high as six-figures to their insurance.” | learn more
retail therapy 💸
How Costco convinces brands to cannibalize themselves. Costco’s private label brand Kirkland Signature launched in 1992 and has been delivering a great product experience ever since, as well as win for manufacturers. “Kirkland products have to be at least 1% better than the equivalent branded products (on some metric of their choosing).” | learn more
The “messy middle” of the purchase journey. From Google’s consumer insights team: “Discover in-depth research on the buyer decision-making process and purchase behaviour, and how you can adapt your strategy to fit the process.” | learn more
under the microscope 🔬
Some scientists are taking a DIY coronavirus vaccine. Harvard Biologist Preston Estep had none of the typical trappings of vaccine development: funding, a company, animal data, nor ethics approval. “What he did have: ingredients for a vaccine. And one willing volunteer. Estep swirled together the mixture and spritzed it up his nose.” | learn more
The basic science of genome editing. Long, detailed, hard to read, and also fascinating. “Key advances include the development of techniques for generating molecular tools for cutting the DNA of genomes in specific places to allow targeted alterations in the DNA sequence. Over recent years, several such methods have been introduced and used effectively in clinical applications.” | learn more
thoughts of food 🍔
Alley innovation now includes restaurants. A new restaurant called Pizza Friendly Pizza is serving Sicilian-style slice from an alley in Ukrainian Village. This weekend we grabbed a bite to eat at Goddess & The Grocer’s patio that was very recently an alley (pictured above). I’m reminded of a plan to evolve Chicago’s alleys into creative spaces. While some alleys are smelly no-go zones, even a few upgrades to others could really improve a neighborhood. Amsterdam, after all, has found myriad uses for its alleys.
The Oatly story. “Oatly doesn’t think like the rest. They’ve been around for 20 years as a Swedish company fighting for attention. Last week, the oat milk company raised $200mm at a $2bn valuation. This is a lesson on creativity and how @oatly turns disadvantages into massive opportunities.” | learn more
big ideas 📚
The four quadrants of conformism. A new essay from Paul Graham sorts people into four quadrants to discuss social conformity: “Starting in the upper left and going counter-clockwise: aggressively conventional-minded, passively conventional-minded, passively independent-minded, and aggressively independent-minded.” I really like this, except the implication that people are categorically in one quadrant. I think for each person, their quadrant depends on the topic. | learn more
calls to action 👇
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