P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #290

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October 16 · Issue #290 · 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 sixth year!

my story 🚀
Hello from California!
Hello from California!
It takes a village. I’d like to say Thank You Mom for watching our kids this weekend so Kim and I could take a trip to the coast!
fun facts 🙌
Here is a list of 17 Spanish words for popcorn used in Latin America. I overheard this on a playground and had to dig in. | learn more
Why shaving dulls even the sharpest of razors. “Human hair is 50 times softer than steel, yet it can chip away a razor’s edge, a new study shows.” | learn more
You might be hearing nothing but bad news but you aren’t hearing the full story. “Around 1900, about 4.5 per cent of the land area of the world burned every year. Over the last century, this declined to about 3.2 per cent In the last two decades, satellites show even further decline: in 2021 just 2.5 per cent burned.” | learn more
oh, austin 🤠
Building around protected trees in Austin. There’s construction on my street and that included removal of a big tree. I learned that trees larger than 19" diameter are all protected, so to remove one you must pay a fee, plant new trees elsewhere on the property, or a combination of the two. Trees over 24" are classified as Heritage trees, and are not so easy to remove. | learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
Creator earnings probably aren’t what you think. This post offers a look into the creator economics of Tiktok, Instagram and Youtube. “Professional influencers can command huge sums for sponsored posts/videos… But it’s a tough game, with enormous power laws and low chances of success. Even on YouTube, the most lucrative platform, 800 million videos are fighting over $15 billion in annual payouts.” | learn more
Dynamic pricing to sustain marketplace balance. A data scientist from the Lyft team explained their various iterations of how to keep drivers and riders in balance using price. “Dynamic pricing is the main technology that allows us to maintain market balance in real-time. If we were able to perfectly plan for the future we wouldn’t need this technology, but in reality rider demand is quite volatile and often unpredictable.” | learn more
Sugar Lab buys back its tech to take 3D-printed foods mainstream. The story of a founder buying back the technology they sold years prior is always fun. I wonder if anyone’s analyzed the outcome stats for this sort of deal. | learn more
better doing 🎯
The staircase of the self. Lawrence Yeo takes the evolution of self and grafts it onto a metaphorical staircase. It’s an interesting exploration that reminded me of the Jung quote: “The first half of life is devoted to forming a healthy ego, the second half is going inward and letting go of it.” | learn more
How to make decisions in a complex world. The actual post is titled, “Breaking: Elon Musk is Not Stupid” and that’s also a good lead. | learn more
to your health ⚕
How to build an artificial heart. This New Yorker story covers the development of artificial hearts and the continued efforts to improve their design and development. It includes recent interviews of the engineering teams who are on the cutting edge of new designs as well as those who are faithfully delivering existing versions. | learn more
retail therapy 💸
The pitfalls of churn rate. In 2018, as Spotify prepared to go public, this author noted “Spotify is making a common and dangerous mistake in their LTV calculation.” He uses this to make the point that, “Investors and entrepreneurs should shift their attention towards a superior metric: retention rates.” | learn more
under the microscope 🔬
NASA makes progress on solid state battery. No overheating or fires, “and can hold more energy and perform better in stressful environments than standard lithium-ion batteries.” | learn more
thoughts of food 🍔
Alaska snow crab season canceled. “An estimated one billion crabs have mysteriously disappeared in two years, state officials said. It marks a 90% drop in their population.” | learn more
teaching the kids 👩‍🏫
Michigan test scores down sharply from pre-pandemic. Is this happening all over the country? “Last spring, 41.5% of third-graders statewide scored at least proficient in math on the exam, known as the M-STEP. That’s a decline of 5.2 percentage points from 2019, the last time the test was given before COVID-19 shuttered classrooms.” | learn more
big ideas 📚
Bioplastics market ramping up. “But the nascent bioplastics industry envisions a far bigger role for materials made from corn, sugar, vegetable oils and other renewable materials in the hope of grabbing a larger share of a nearly $600 billion global plastic market.” | learn more
on the blockchain ⛓
It’s lonely in the metaverse. “Data from DappRadar suggests metaverse platforms Decentraland and The Sandbox each have fewer than 1,000 "daily active” users, despite $1 billion valuations.“ | learn more
Sufficient decentralization for social networks. This author argues decentralization need not be about the content, but the users’ names. “A social network achieves sufficient decentralization if two users can find each other and communicate, even if the rest of the network wants to prevent it.” | learn more
calls to action 👇
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