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P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #182

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👋 Welcome back to P.S. You Should Know… probably the best newsletter published on Sundays between 6-7
 
September 20 · Issue #182 · 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 🚀
Petra loves playing in the our new truck. Day 1: pretend to nap in the truck bed.
Petra loves playing in the our new truck. Day 1: pretend to nap in the truck bed.
🍎🍯 This weekend marked the Jewish New Year, a holiday we call Rosh Hashanah. One tradition is to eat apples with honey, symbolic of the sweet year we wish for everyone. If 2020 isn’t working out for you, a simple re-framing might help because by the Jewish calendar we’re now in year 5781. Shana Tova!
someone else's words 💬
fun facts 🙌
A Duchess wrote one of the earliest Sci-Fi books in the 1600s. “Born in 1623, [Lady Margaret] Cavendish was an outspoken aristocrat who traveled in circles of scientific thinkers, and broke ground on proto-feminism, natural philosophy (the 17th century term for science), and social politics.” | learn more
Private rail car between NYC and Chicago. I investigated private rail options for travel during Covid-19. I quickly learned that there’s mostly no such thing anymore, but one company did offer it as a special back in 2007. The price? About as much as a private jet flight. | learn more
German soccer team socially distances during match, loses 37-0. “Holdenstedt showed no mercy and scored a goal nearly every two minutes, as their opposition … watched on from a safe distance.” | learn more
oh, chicago 🏆
Eight problems with Illinois’ dispensary application award process. As it happens, the state managed the process with the usual Illinois flair for favoritism. “There is barely a person in Illinois who doesn’t view the state’s recent cannabis dispensary award process as a total mess.” | learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
Peter Thiel on progress and stagnation. Peter Thiel is an outsized character even by Silicon Valley standards. He believes we’re in an era of technological stagnation. “This document consists only of direct quotes from Thiel, lightly edited for clarity (except for headings and where marked otherwise).” | learn more
Roam’s road ahead. The note-taking software with just over $1 million in revenue just raised money at a valuation that raised many eyebrows. “How the tool for networked thought can grow into its $200m valuation.” | learn more
Can you still make money starting a SaaS company? “With valuations of as-a-service companies and all-time highs or close to it, and more and more startups leveraging this model to serve an ever-larger number of consumers, I wondered how much more business is there to capture? Let’s try to estimate.” | learn more
better doing 🎯
Be impatient. “Being impatient is the best way to get faster at things. And across a surprising number of domains, being really fast correlates strongly with being effective.” | learn more
Reaching peak meeting efficiency. Steven Sinofsky, a former Microsoft executive, has spent a lot of time thinking about meetings. “Meetings are a critical tool for building a diverse, high-performance team with shared values.” This is his detailed and useful guide. | learn more
retail therapy 💸
Welcome to your Bland new world. An excellent commentary on the overlap among D2C brands. “Why do disruptive startups slavishly follow an identikit formula of business model, look and feel, and tone of voice? Because it works, sort of.” Fun coincidence: the author Ben Schott wrote a fiction book I enjoyed last year. | learn more
Walmart+ launches, paid subscription with free same-day shipping. The cost is on par with Amazon’s Prime, and consensus seems to be it’s a worse value because a smaller assortment. I had a different take – free same-day delivery on an entire Walmart store seems like a unique differentiatior. The real value prop might be grocery, though, not the rest of retail. Also – I loved this quote from their CFO: “Price is going to matter forever, as far as I believe, and so I feel good about our position.” | learn more
under the microscope 🔬
Nano-diamond self-charging batteries could disrupt energy as we know it. “California company NDB says its nano-diamond batteries will absolutely upend the energy equation, acting like tiny nuclear generators. They will blow any energy density comparison out of the water, lasting anywhere from a decade to 28,000 years without ever needing a charge.” | learn more
Using yeast to produce psilocybin (the magic in magic mushrooms). Extracting psilocybin from mushrooms is expensive, so the alternative is to simply grow it. “In yeast, the scientists prove that psilocybin can be produced de novo, which means that you can produce the molecule by simply growing the yeast with sugar and other nutrients, without the need to add any other starting substrates.” | learn more
A clinical blood test for Alzheimer’s disease diagnoses? “Researchers disclosed a potentially useful biomarker for Alzheimer’s Disease at a major conference this summer. The good news for clinical laboratories is that the biomarker is found in blood. If further research confirms these early findings, medical laboratories could one day have a diagnostic test for this condition.” | learn more
thoughts of food 🍔
What’s so special about a golden banana? Score another win for gene editing! “Scientists have developed a new Vitamin-A enriched banana that could help solve world hunger problems.” | learn more
on the blockchain ⛓
Public company makes Bitcoin their primary treasury asset. “This week, more details surfaced around how MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor convinced the board of a publicly traded company to allocate nearly all of the company’s $500M cash position to bitcoin.” | learn more
Yearn’s expanding DeFi universe. “In just eight weeks, Yearn has grown from a simple yield aggregator into a comprehensive DeFi ecosystem. Yearn’s asset management platform already manages more than $1B. If that weren’t enough, Yearn has already expanded into insurance and venture financing.” | learn more
calls to action 👇
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