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P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #210

April 4 · Issue #210 · 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 🚀
🪁 We had loads of fun at Austin's kite festival last weekend.
🪁 We had loads of fun at Austin's kite festival last weekend.
🐇 Welcome to the second quarter of 2021! I’m excited to come out of Covid hibernation over next few months. Happy Easter to those who are celebrating today.
  1. Income inequality and biased metrics. The WSJ published an opinion article last week titled Incredible Shrinking Income Inequality. The authors make the point that by ignoring taxes and government transfer payments, the analysis is flawed and the outcome is rigged. After all, the way we address income inequality is by taxing people with higher incomes and giving money to people with lower incomes. When the authors adjusted to include those payments, the income inequality (Gini coefficient) graph looks starkly different. I’m certainly no expert in this field, but this sure makes sense to me as a casual reader. It’s worth noting that a) wealth inequality is a different story, and b) people’s feelings about this probably matter more than the cold hard facts.
  2. The lingering email. I have a month-old email in my inbox that I never answered. I intended to reply after someone else got back to me, but that never happened. I could have pursued it with more effort, but I chose not to. I could have replied earlier, but I didn’t make time for it. Instead, I just stare at the email every time I open my inbox and feel a little bit bad. Soon I’ll probably muster up the courage to reply and explain that I dropped the ball. It’ll make me feel a little better but probably won’t help my reputation in the eyes of the other person. It’s a healthy reminder of the gap between my aspirational traits and actual performance. If I’ve ever done this to you, I’m sorry!
fun facts 🙌
Wine & math: a model pairing. This is from The Pudding, masters of the visual essay. “We’ll build a statistical model trying to predict a wine’s quality by its properties. So grab some liquid courage in your favorite aged grape variety and get ready for MATH.” | learn more
Retailer’s reply all snafu turns into a community. “A retailer alerted customers about a delay, mistakenly copying in all their email addresses. The conversation broadened. That’s when things got really interesting.” | learn more
Psychic weed recovery service. “Selling weed is illegal so they will find your lost week using psychic techniques for a fee!” | learn more
oh, chicago 🏆
Illinois cannabis licenses delayed, blaming Covid. But not so fast… “As of last August, Illinois craft grow, infusion, and transport license applications had gone through two rounds of discrepancy vetting in the scoring process managed by accounting firm KPMG. Four months later, the state Attorney General argued that regulators could not report the scores because they were delayed by the Covid-19 response.” | learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
Seeing is believing as a potential entrepreneur. Once you’ve seen it done up close, it’s easier to imagine doing it. On the flip side, some make it look easier than it is. | learn more
Rivian’s charging plan for its electric pickups is adventurous and lower-risk. The startup electric car maker is ambitious on all fronts at the same time. Their first vehicle is a truck (expected to ship this year) and their charging infrastructure is called the “Rivian Adventure Network.” How fun! | learn more
How I lost $10 million by doing something stupid. The inside story of bootstrapped todo app Flow competing in a VC-funded world. | learn more
better doing 🎯
Don’t end the week with nothing. “Prefer to work on things you can show. Prefer to work where people can see you. Prefer to work on things you can own.” | learn more
retail therapy 💸
Nike cuts 6 more retailers including DSW and Urban Outfitters. They closed 9 wholesale accounts in August and now are closing even more. The slow but steady march toward direct-to-consumer continues. | learn more
In defense of Amazon’s private labels. Ben Evans reminds us, with data and charts, that it’s not quite fair to have a problem with Amazon for their private label strategy. This is tried & true retail strategy for over a hundred years and Amazon isn’t even the best at it. | learn more
under the microscope 🔬
Some genes come to life in the brain after death. “In the hours after we die, certain cells in the human brain are still active. Some cells even increase their activity and grow to gargantuan proportions, according to new research from the University of Illinois Chicago.” | learn more
thoughts of food 🍔
Those cosmic wings you had delivered are really from Applebee’s. The revenues ghost kitchens are already generating are eye-opening. Virtual restaurants became a big deal very quickly. | learn more
The mysterious case of the F*cking Good Pizza. “A quest to find the origin of a pizza place led me down a rabbit hole of clickbait restaurants—with Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick’s new company at the end.” | learn more
big ideas 📚
What is sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)? “It’s produced from sustainable feedstocks and is very similar in its chemistry to traditional fossil jet fuel. Using SAF results in a reduction in carbon emissions compared to the traditional jet fuel it replaces over the lifecycle of the fuel.” It gets mixed with ordinary jet fuel, diluting its ecological impact. Also, it’s very cleverly named. | learn more
on the blockchain ⛓
Finally, you can bet on other peoples’ social status. “BitClout is a new type of social network that lets you speculate on people and posts with real money, and it’s built from the ground up as its own custom blockchain.” | learn more
calls to action 👇
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