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P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #194

December 13 · Issue #194 · 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 🚀
🔬I invest in businesses that are building the kind of future I want to live in. A big part of my ideal future relates to food, nutrition and health—I believe all are related and we’re just starting to learn how. Factor, my first ever investment, makes fresh, organic, nutritious and delicious meals easy. Mori makes an all-natural coating to slow spoiling of fresh foods. My most recent investment (not yet announced) enables a key cost breakthrough for gut microbiome research that’s critical to a deeper understanding of nutrition and health.
NutriSense guides consumers to personalized knowledge of their foods’ impact with sensor technology originally developed for healthcare. I met the team last summer, used the product (and wrote about it) last winter and became an investor this summer.
Occasionally, I get to play a slightly larger role in building my ideal future. I’m excited to announce this is one of those times! I’ll be rolling up my sleeves with the NutriSense crew as interim head of marketing. Already on a major growth trajectory, we’re going to build an ass-kicking marketing team to accelerate further. This is a company with a big vision and a clear path to make the world healthier. If you know any marketers who might want to jump aboard this rocket ship, send them my way! 🚀
🕎 Happy Hanukah to everyone who’s celebrating this week! We’re certainly getting our fill of latkes (potato pancakes) and chocolate gelt (coin-shaped treats).
someone else's words 💬
fun facts 🙌
How to launder Mexican drug money. Sending pallets of cash across the border is risky. So, what’s a drug cartel to do? | learn more
A 1,020 year old Japanese shop has survived crises before. “A mochi seller in Kyoto, and many of Japan’s other centuries-old businesses, have endured by putting tradition and stability over profit and growth.” | learn more
oh, chicago 🏆
Former Chicago alderman sentenced to prison, but not yet. “A former Chicago alderman nicknamed “Fast Eddie” for his backroom dealing was sentenced Friday by a federal judge to 18 months in prison for tax evasion.” Here’s the part that makes me shake my head: “After sentencing Vrdolyak, U.S. District Judge Robert Dow said he will hold a hearing in three months to discuss when the 82-year-old Vrydolyak will report to prison.” | learn more
The fine line between jail and bail. “A driver who allegedly dragged a Chicago cop for several blocks with her car during a traffic stop in River North this week got out of jail by posting just $5,000 bond after a court hearing, according to court records.” Her passenger, also arrested, remains in jail because he was holding on to too much marijuana. | learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
Value investing old timer Jeremy Grantham leans into venture capital. In a recent interview, he said his foundation is now targeting a 60-70% allocation to venture capital. Wow! It seems the target has been going up over the recent years, a decision driven by low interest rates. | learn more
Toyota’s got a “game-changing” solid-state battery coming next year. “A trip of 500 km on one charge. A recharge from zero to full in 10 minutes. All with minimal safety concerns. The solid-state battery being introduced by Toyota promises to be a game changer not just for electric vehicles but for an entire industry.” | learn more
He was accepted into YC twice, with 2 different ideas, in back-to-back years. What I like about this is the author’s process for idea discovery—going and talking to people in the target market, then building a product that launches quickly to get real feedback. At the same time, this left me with a lesser opinion of YC and their current filter on acceptance. | learn more
better doing 🎯
“Airbnb broke my heart.” Northwestern’s Melissa Kaufman shares her personal story of almost joining Airbnb in the very early days and the lesson she took from the experience. Punchline: “Forget about the title, compensation, and role. When you stumble upon something that you believe in, do whatever you can be to be part of it.”
to your health ⚕
Free market vaccines. The Grumpy Economist, John Cochrane, offers a thought experiment on Covid-19 if we had a free market for vaccines. Libertarians will love this. I think he makes a compelling case for non-libertarians as well. | learn more
retail therapy 💸
The most expensive plain vanilla index funds. Index funds and efficient markets seem like an inseparable match. They look good compared to actively managed funds that don’t, on average, earn their fees. But what about the efficient market for index funds? Why do so many pay extra for a commodity product? | learn more
The state of automation in supply chains. Prologis is the largest owner, operator and developer of industrial real estate in the United States. “Three trends are aligning to drive higher levels of automation within our facilities.” | learn more
under the microscope 🔬
Manipulating the microbiome in plants and humans. I only recently learned about Flagship Pioneering and I have a small crush on them. They’ve founded over 100 companies, including Moderna (a name you’re hearing often in vaccine context), with 22 IPOs since 2013. Here’s them on plants: “Plants … are populated by massive colonies of microbes. All this creates vast potential to improve both our personal health and our agriculture.” | learn more
thoughts of food 🍔
A short history of yogurt. This post is on a microbiology blog, so bacteria take center stage. “Human consumption of fermented milk likely goes back thousands of years to the dawn of civili­zation, when milk-producing animals were first domesticated. The reason seems obvious, without refrigeration milk will quickly spoil.” | learn more
big ideas 📚
The Great Stagnation, optimism, and critical thinking. For about a decade, there’s been a view among some sharp thinkers that innovation is slowing. There’s plenty of detailed evidence to support this view. But this week, among that same group, there is been optimism. Cracks in the Great Stagnation and Techno-optimism for the 2020s are two posts I enjoyed. However, “This recent wave of anti-stagnation writing consists largely of anecdotes, supported by scant evidence, and without any sign of serious thought. The problem is not even that the ideas are wrong. The problem is the blatantly imbalanced and isolated demands for rigour.” Oof! | learn more
Six easy steps to avert the collapse of civilization. The video is gone, but the summary remains and it’s certainly more succinct. “Civilizations always think they’re immortal, Eagleman noted, but they nearly always perish, leaving "nothing but ruins and scattered genetics.” It takes luck and new technology to survive. We may be particularly lucky to have Internet technology to help manage the six requirements of a durable civilization…“ | learn more
calls to action 👇
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