Medley 199: CRMs, COVID, Predicting, Taxes, Meat, Cooking, Mortgages, Turkeys, Recessions...

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Happy Monday!

This week the SEMrush podcast had me on to talk about the kind of work we do for some of our bigger SEO clients at Growth Machine. It was a really fun interview, and pretty different from the normal free-flowing-conversation interviews I typically do.

I also finished up a bunch of new videos in the Roam Course, including using Roam as a personal CRM, turning your notes into "knowledge hubs," and doing more advanced knowledge-searches with Queries.

Alright, on to the Medley!

The World of Sponsorship

🍴 This week's Medley is brought to you by Perfect Keto! Despite not normally being on a Keto diet, I love PK because they have the most obsessive, borderline anal, product quality standards of any food or supplement brand I know. They've done a great job blending really great flavors with exceptionally clean ingredients, so you can have a desert-like snack without feeling guilty about it.

💬 This week's Medley is also brought to you by Woven! One thing Woven has done exceptionally well, besides being a beautiful calendar app, is integrated their scheduling links into iMessage. I don't think I've ever seen a cleaner way to schedule meetings in text messages than the one Woven has developed, and it's made scheduling events especially with friend so much simpler.

The World of COVID-19

🚨 I'm feeling somewhat vindicated this week for being "alarmist" the last month about the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19. With the first two deaths in the US, and more and more cases popping up by the day, it looks like it has the potential to become a very big deal.

☑️ I had a thread about some simple things you can do to prepare, but the biggest one is just having enough food and medicine, and maybe water, to hide out at home for 2-4 weeks. You can go way beyond that, but that's the bare minimum starting point. There's also some evidence that Zinc lozenges might help prevent you from getting infected.

👩‍⚕️ It might still seem like a small deal, but experts are predicting that it will spread more widely in the coming weeks.

👴 If you're young, you don't have as much to personally worry about, but if you have older parents it's worth thinking about how to plan for their safety. From some preliminary data from China:

The [mortality rate] jumped considerably among older patients, to 14.8% in patients 80 and older, and 8.0% in patients ages 70 to 79.

🙅‍♂️ With an R0 of 2-4, and a ~14 day incubation period, there could be thousands or tens of thousands of people infected before anyone shows symptoms or goes to a hospital, let alone gets tested. Assume that the governments will continue to do a terrible job reacting to this thing and take care of yourself.

The World of Politics

🤔 My friend Adil turned me on to this site: PredictIt It's a legal betting market for future predictions, most of them centered around political wagers. I haven't dived too deeply into it yet but it seems like a fun platform to check your intuitions against, and to put some skin in the game for your opinions.

😱 This is a pretty wild new tax idea from Sanders: Taxing private company options at vesting, instead of when you sell them. So if you left your job at WeWork after 4 years with $1,000,000 in private options, you'd have to pay taxes on that $1M before you even sell them, and regardless of whether or not those options actually turn into being worth anything. If a tax like this actually passed it'd be horrific for the startup scene in the US.

The World of Management

📈 I loved this article on Product Management Leveling at Oscar. It's a robust, yet simple way to outline levels of progression within a company and to get everyone on the same page about where they are and where they can grow to. I'd be curious to see any similar "leveling" systems anyone else has set up in their own business.

⏰ And Keith Rabois has some great lessons on how to be an effective executive (or manager), which is kind of a condensed take on the book with some of his own flair added to it.

The World of Food

🥩 Anthony Gustin interviewed Paul Saladino in a recent episode of the Natural State podcast. It's about the carnivore diet, but what I really liked is that unlike pretty much everyone else in the carnivore community, Paul seemed very reasonable and presented an interesting, balanced case for it.

👨‍🍳 I've been enjoying Thomas Keller's Cooking Masterclass in some of my free time. The production value on these Masterclass courses is really exceptional, it's a great new take on MOOCs.

The World of Investing

🦃 Taylor Pearson wrote a great article on "Antifragile Investing," and how his work on his blog led him to starting a hedge fund. This is one of my favorite examples of "skin in the game," instead of just writing about these ideas he's majorly put his money where his mouth is.

🏠 I found this article on the 30 year mortgage being an "intrinsically toxic product," pretty interesting as well. It's not necessarily that it's a bad idea for the individual, rather that it has bad effects on economic society at large. I hadn't thought about the systemic effects of having so much debt and net worth tied up in this one kind of asset.

🤣 This is a hilarious article about /r/WallStreetBets, one of my favorite Subreddits, and the apparent real impact they're having on the stock market. I can't believe this is a real paragraph in Bloomberg:

For Reddit’s band of self-styled “autists”—a term of endearment, relatively speaking, that crudely leans into stereotypes surrounding extremely online people—the chief prize is “tendies” (chicken tenders, the treat an overgrown man-child receives for being a “Good Boy”). Figuratively speaking, tendies are the financial rewards that follow from a successful bold wager. Bears are usually referred to in homophobic terms.

The World of Recession

📉 With all the exciting stock market changes in reaction to COVID-19, it looks like we're headed for some kind of recession or at least serious correction. First, some good data from Tony Robbins in Unshakeable:

Fewer than 1 in 5 corrections escalate to a bear market. Just because the market is correcting doesn't mean that it's going to completely go to recession. So hey, maybe this won't be so bad (but I think it will).

💰 And assuming it will, here's a good read from The Financial Samurai on "How to Make Lots of Money During the Next Downturn." Granted it would have been better to read this a few months ago, but better late than never!

End Note

As always, if you're enjoying the Medley, I'd love it if you shared it with a friend or two. You can send them here to sign up. I try to make it one of the best emails you get each week, and I hope you're enjoying it.

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And should you come across anything interesting this week, send it my way! I love finding new things to read through members of this newsletter.

Have a great week,
Nat

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