This is an issue of my monthly newsletter. Main topics: technology, startups, business growth, and marketing. See other issues on my blog or subscribe. ~Max
Now, get a cup of coffee and enjoy!
Technology and Startups
- Latest YC Batch: 64 Startups. (Techcrunch)
- Crypto Canon. A list of crypto learning resources. (A16z)
- A visualization of how self-driving cars see the world. (Waymo on Medium)
- Live video of the Falcon Heavy launch. This was just epic and worth a re-watch. (SpaceX)
- B2B Buying Guide – AI, HR, legal, finance, marketing, productivity, and other products. (Y Combinator)
- Cora. The electric aircraft company that Larry Page invested in unveiled its first “self-piloting” product.
- The Building Blocks of Interpretability – visualization of image recognition machine learning algorithms. (Distill)
- Here Come the Fake Videos, Too. It gets increasingly easy to develop fake videos using machine learning. (NYT)
- YouTube, the Great Radicalizer. YouTube’s recommendations might lead you to increasingly radical content – no matter the topic. (NYT, Zeynep Tufekci)
- 10 Breakthrough Technologies of 2018. Sidewalk Labs’ “sensing city” and “zero-knowledge” proofs facilitated by Zcash cryptocurrency are interesting. (TechnologyReview)
Growth and Marketing
- What 10 Studies Say About The Best Time To Send Email. Best options: Tue at 10 am, Thu at 8 pm, Wed at 2 pm, Tue at 6 am, and Thu at 10 am.
- Analysis of the Dropbox financial model based on the S-1 filing. 1.1B revenue; 35% YoY; 7.97 multiple; 67% gross margin; -0.1% net income margin; 2% Free–>Paid conversion; 93% of customers are self-serve. (Tom Tunguz, VC)
- Lessons from Spotify. Atypically for tech, Spotify’s marginal cost is not zero as it pays royalties. Since it’s hard to negotiate better rates with the music industry, Spotify will either need to tightly control operational costs or cut out the labels altogether – not a likely option. (Stratechery)
Product Management and Design
- Making Good Decisions as a Product Manager. Come up with a framework to evaluate decisions. Possible criteria: investment of resources, the impact of a positive outcome, the impact of the negative outcome, and overall importance. (Shopify Product Director)
Leadership and Management
- To show recognition, try speaking a different language. How to give positive feedback: encouraging words, tangible rewards, and focused time. (VP of Design at Lyft)
- Ahead of the curve: The future of performance management. Real-time feedback, decoupling compensation from performance evaluations, and future-focused coaching. Overall, more question marks than answers. (HBR)
- The Moral Epistles: 124 Letters to Lucilius. I’ve been re-reading this classic and taking more time to think about stoic ideas. To me, the main recurring themes are non-attachment, perspective, and contentment.
- Rise: 3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, and Liking Your Life. Some practical and honest advice on how to become more effective as a professional and as a leader.
Podcasts and Documentaries
- Jimmy Wales on Wikipedia. (How I Built This by NPR)
- Robin Hanson on Signaling and Self-Deception. (Conversations with Tyler)
- Mental Models for Understanding Crypto Tokens. (A16z)
Cognition and Psychology
- How to Remember What You Read. Read books that are relevant to your situation, have a specific reason for reading them, take notes, build a vivid mental picture, find connections with familiar topics, and teach what you learned. (Farnam Street)
- Nuzzel sends you a digest of links most frequently shared by people you follow. I’m using it as a social filter for potentially interesting content.
- $1.9B is 2017 total robot sales.
- $1B is processed via mobile each day.
- 93% of professional developers are male. (Stack Overflow survey)
- $8.55–$10/hr is the median profit from driving for Uber/Lyft. (MIT, initially estimated at $3.4/hr)
- 1B hours are spent on Facebook each day — ½ hour per active user. (Facebook investor call)
- $8B is how much Netflix is planning to spend on original content in 2018.
- 55% of adults in the US seem concerned about government not doing enough to regulate big tech. (Online survey by Axios)
- World Happiness Report 2018. The happiest countries: Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, and Australia.
- Expat Insider 2017. The ranking of the most expat-friendly countries. Top 10: Bahrain, Costa Rica, Mexico, Taiwan, Portugal, New Zealand, Malta, Colombia, Singapore, and Spain. (Internations)
Science and Research
- A summary of the 800-page report on longevity research covers the state of affairs and the industry landscape. (SingularityHub)
- Studying Studies: Part V – power and significance. Determinants of statistical significance and the difference between statistical significance and practical/clinical significance. (Peter Attia)
- These Spotify playlists. Especially #1 and #2. Also, #4.
“No good thing renders its possessor happy unless his mind is reconciled to the possibility of loss.”
– Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius
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