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P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #197

January 3 · Issue #197 · 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 fifth year!

my story 🚀
This is how we roll in 2021.
This is how we roll in 2021.
🎉 Happy new year! I’m excited to take P.S. You Should Know into its 5th calendar year. Thank you for your endless support and patronage. You are the best group of readers I could ever ask for!
🎯 I had a professor in college who taught me two valuable lessons. Lesson one began when I bolted up to him after class to argue about a grade. I had been arguing in my head since he handed out the results so proceeded to escalate the argument now that I had him in front of me. His response became a lasting lesson once the sting settled: “Best to be calm, young man.”
Another time I somehow committed to buying a keg for my friends if I scored 100% on a recent exam. I got a question wrong, scoring 98%, but for some reason I can’t recall the professor gave everyone an extra 2 points. Should I buy the keg? I asked the professor for his advice. Once again, a lasting lesson, this time on technicalities: “You scored 100%. Buy the keg.”
Each year I set goals for myself across three categories: personal, family and professional. I just review them. One of this year’s family goals was to enjoy 4 getaways or vacations with family. I smirked when I saw it on the list. When I wrote the goal, we were living in Chicago and our second daughter was about a month old. We had always been big travelers and it was important to me that we carried on. I worried we’d be so swamped with parenting that we’d forget to keep exploring! The trips I had in mind were short breaks from daily routines. The 4 trips we ended up taking were unimaginably different. Yet, in keeping with the good professor’s lesson, I duly scored my goal a success.
There’s one more lesson here, and I hope to never forget it: when good fortune comes knocking, answer the door!
someone else's words 💬
fun facts 🙌
Behold the dancing robots. The team at Boston Dynamics shows us the future of robotics in this music video to the 1960s hit Do You Love Me. We’ve come a long way from the animatronic Chuck E Cheese band. | learn more
The rise and fall of the bank robbery capital of the world. “In 1980s Los Angeles, a bank was robbed every hour of every day. This is the story of how a bandit culture took over the city.” | learn more
Inside the secret team dinners that have built the Spurs’ dynasty. There’s something quite special about breaking bread with a group that promotes camaraderie. “Over the past 20 years, Gregg Popovich has sliced an exclusive culinary trail across America – all for a singular purpose. This is the story of his legendary team dinners, and how they have served as a pillar of the Spurs’ decadeslong dynasty.” | learn more
oh, chicago 🏆
Illinois population drops again for 7th straight year. At some point the trend is undeniable, right? I fear that the underlying cause is not going to go away any time soon. | learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
The creation of biotech startups: evolution not revolution. In favor of seed-stage de-risking, but pragmatic about what to expect after seed stage. Bruce Booth of Atlas Ventures offers counterpoints to the visions that biotech future proposed by tech investors at YC and a16z. | learn more
8 themes for the near future of tech. Scott Belsky, founder of behance and executive at Adobe, is immersed in the tools that creatives around the world use. He’s really got a nose for interesting startups I’ve never heard of. One theme I find intriguing: “Creativity tools will be deployed across the enterprise, much like productivity tools were deployed in previous decades.” | learn more
A new Google. “In 2000, Google got popular because hackers realized it was better than Lycos or Excite. This effect is happening again. Early adopters aren’t using Google anymore.” | learn more
better doing 🎯
Throwing bodies at the problem. I went searching for examples of adding manpower to solve an immediate problem. I found this instead. Adding headcount has diminishing returns because of indivisibility, ramp-up time, and communications overhead. I am still interested in the inverse: when does it work? If you know of examples where throwing bodies at a problem was a useful strategy, please share! | learn more
Why content is king. “We’re going to analyze media from a systems perspective, and explore the properties that make it a good source of power.” | learn more
to your health ⚕
Congress takes steps to curb unexpected medical billing. Mixed feelings here. I think it’s a win for consumers who are thrown into the gauntlet when they interact with the medical system. But I also cringe at more government intervention into who can charge what and when. Maybe this isn’t more intervention inasmuch as it’s merely different intervention? | learn more
retail therapy 💸
Amazon 3rd party brands raise $1B. “According to Marketplace Pulse, around $1B has been invested this year in firms that buy successful brands in the Amazon marketplace.” | learn more
under the microscope 🔬
Gut bacteria strain found to confer mental and metabolic health benefits. “A new study has investigated the anti-obesity effects of a specific strain of gut bacteria. From preclinical animal studies to a placebo-controlled human trial, the research suggests a novel bacterial strain may confer several metabolic benefits.” | learn more
thoughts of food 🍔
US diet guidelines updated, but no cuts to recommended sugar and alcohol intake. “Rejecting the advice of its scientific advisers, the federal government has released new dietary recommendations that sound a familiar nutritional refrain, advising Americans to “make every bite count” but dismissing experts’ specific recommendations to set new low targets for consumption of sugar and alcoholic beverages.” | learn more
on the blockchain ⛓
The interest rates on crypto are high. The best rate available now, around ~13% on dollar-backed stablecoins, is on Fulcrum (bZx). The rates available from BlockFi, Nexo and other centralized and regulated players is ~8%. I’m not taking advantage of the higher rate. A friend explained his aversion this way: “If BlockFi loses my money it’s their fault. If I lose my money on Fulcrum it’s my fault.” | learn more
calls to action 👇
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