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P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #237

October 10 · Issue #237 · 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 🚀
  1. Finally, a good parts-buying UX. Buying replacement parts for appliances is traditionally a poor experience. Common problems include cryptic part numbers, vague descriptions, limited availability, long shipment delays and hidden prices. I thought I’d have to wade through these murky waters to get a small replacement part for the dishwasher in our new home. Luckily, Bosch came through with an excellent end-to-end experience. They even shipped the same day. When something is this easy on the front end, you can bet it’s hard to build. Kudos to the Bosch team – you certainly earned your 90% margins on this parts order!
  2. How fast is fast growth? Chicago is barely growing, eking out 2% population growth over the decade between 2010 and 2020. Austin, on the other hand, grew at about 2% annually over the same period. Cisit Austin and the signs of that growth are all around – cranes in the sky, construction crews in the neighborhoods, and oodles of new residents in line to get a driver’s license. Compared to the 20 fastest growing cities in the world, though, Austin and the rest of North America don’t even come close. The city of Gwagwalada, Nigeria is poised for 6.5% growth from 2020-2025. If the difference between 2% and 6% doesn’t seem huge, consider that compounded for 20 years that’s the difference between 50% growth and 320% growth. There’s probably a lesson to be learned here about compounding. This pairs nicely with the “exponential age” link below.
fun facts 🙌
How to catch a gator. 52 seconds you won’t regret. | learn more
Ambient chaos. The website to visit if you’re looking for a cacophony of ambient noise. | learn more
Six degrees of Wikipedia. Enter any two topics from Wikipedia and this page calculates the shortest path between them. I tried Austin Powers and Albuquerque, New Mexico and learned that the movie’s director was born there! | learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
Starting SaaS companies: 2013 vs 2021. “In 2013, I co-founded Heap, a product analytics company that I helped grow to over 200 people and $X0,000,000 in ARR before I left in 2020. In 2021, I co-founded Airplane, a developer platform for quickly creating internal tools. Here’s what I’ve observed as being different in SaaS startups this time vs last time.” | learn more
22 reasons your investor might have passed. OpenView Venture Partners does a nice job of content marketing. In this piece they interviewed 4 VCs (including two of their own partners) to create a useful list for founders to learn from. | learn more
Twist Biosciences: The DNA API. “Twist is a DNA factory. They start with inputs - the A, C, T and G chemical letters that make up the base-4 code for life on earth. And they produce outputs - sequences of DNA, called oligonucleotides, whose code gets compiled by cells into molecular products and molecular work. In that sense, they are a manufacturing company.” | learn more
better doing 🎯
We see as we be. “Which conspiracy do you get sucked into?” | learn more
Taking strategy seriously. The story of United Airlines, a newly announced strategy, and a 15% drop in their stock price. | learn more
Tactics for better meetings. “Spanning across team offsites, stand-ups and 1:1s with your direct reports, as well as more specific arenas like product reviews and board meetings, each piece of advice was selected for its focus on helping you approach your regular meetings with more energy and intention.”| learn more
under the microscope 🔬
How the bacteria in your mouth could be the reason you dislike broccoli. “The classic bitter taste of Brassica vegetables is commonly thought to be due to compounds called glucosinolates. When we chew a big mouthful of broccoli or cauliflower these molecules are converted into a chemical called isothiocyanate, which is responsible for the pungent flavor many struggle to overcome. But new research is indicating another process may be influencing some people’s undesirable response to these vegetables.” | learn more
A lithium-metal battery with energy density of 560 Wh/kg. “For context, there are research consortiums dedicated to breaking through the 500-Wh/kg density threshold in order to power next-generation electric vehicles, while today’s best-in-class lithium-ion batteries have energy densities of 250 to 300 Wh/kg.” | learn more
thoughts of food 🍔
The birth of espresso. A short and sweet video. | learn more
big ideas 📚
The Exponential Age will transform economics forever. Azeem Azhar writes about the Exponential Age (we’re living in it). He argues that the models that served business so well in the past are a looming liability today. I find any reminder of the exponential nature of our world to be a helpful one. “The pace of change was accelerating. The companies that could harness the technologies of the new era would take off. And those that couldn’t keep up would be undone at remarkable speed. This divergence between the old and the new is one example of what I call the exponential gap.” | learn more
calls to action 👇
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