Medley 200: IPOs, Cars, Carbon, Containment, Noobs, Tomorrow, Trains, 27...

This is the Monday Medley, a newsletter that goes out, you guessed it, every Monday. I republish it here for sharing and referencing, but if you'd like to sign up you can do so right here:

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Happy Monday!

I can't believe this is the 200th Medley, and that I've somehow not missed a single one in almost four years. There have been some pretty close calls, but so far, the streak continues!

Speaking of streaks, I also published my annual birthday review article last week: 5 Lessons from Year 27.

And Cosette and I decided to get a second dog! He's pretty darn cute.

Alright, on to the Medley.

The World of Sponsorship

πŸ₯› This week's Medley is brought to you by Perfect Keto! Since I stopped doing as much intermittent fasting, I've been using their grass fed whey protein and collagen to make an easy shake most mornings for "breakfast." They're delicious, not too sweet, and the ingredients are super clean. They're also giving you 20% off your first order with the code "Medley"!

πŸ“… This Medley is also brought to you by my favorite calendar app, Woven! Not only is it a beautiful calendar tool with free Calendly-style scheduling, but it also lets you "tag" events so you can see where your time is going overtime. Like look back on your month and see how much time you spent on meetings, fitness, etc. It's great for easy time tracking.

The World of Tech

🏦 With all the bungled IPOs and slow declines of newly IPOd companies this year, this is a compelling case for the "end of the IPO as we know it." I didn't know much about Direct Listings before reading this, but it makes sense that more companies would find ways to control more of their IPO process, get more of the upside, and avoid giving 7% of their new cash to investment banks.

πŸš• I've heard similar stories like this before, but this is a fascinating story about how some people are leasing out a bunch of cars for other people to drive on Uber, and how challenging it can be for those drivers to make much money. This seems like an insane business to start though. Your upside would only be, what, a few hundred dollars a month? And your downside could be getting stuck with a bunch of cars you don't need!

⛽️ At this point, reducing our greenhouse gas emissions won't be enough to stay below the 2 degree celsius goal. We need to also start actively removing more CO2 and other gases from the atmosphere. Ryan Orbuch put together a really good analysis of all the options and their pros and cons here.

The World of Work

πŸ“ƒ Here's a good thought experiment: codifying in one page how to run any company well, using simple principles. I really like the ones Niko lays out here.

πŸ™ˆ And for something a little different, this was a great discussion between Eric Weinstein and Riley Reid on working in the porn industry. I like that they avoided the overly erotic discussions and stuck to talking about the industry, legislation, and common misconceptions the normies have.

The World of COVID-19

😱 Reading the shares in this section of the newsletter each week really highlights how much has changed. On January 20th, China only had 300 cases. Now they have almost 81,000, and it would be way higher if their aggressive containment weren't working so well.

πŸ“ˆ John's Hopkins has put together a great dashboard for tracking the infection. The most interesting metric to me is "infections outside of China." It looks like this:

πŸ›‘ Now obviously that doesn't have to continue. China has done a great job with their containment, but the US isn't taking it anywhere near as seriously (yet). That's a big deal since the growth rate will be significantly impacted by the extent of containment, demonstrated well in this chart and discussion.

😰 Nick Bostrom, author of "Global Catastropic Risks," put it well in describing why it's worth it to "panic early" (Sam is quoting him here):

πŸ’‘ I've been fortunate throughout this development to have friends like Taylor Pearson who are following the development borderline-obsessively, and sharing what they're finding. He's written a fantastic guide on how to think about, and prepare, for the growing COVID-19 spread and it's second and third order effects.

πŸ˜” On that note, the Venture Capital firm Sequoia published a short piece on their advice to companies and founders. It's pretty bleak, and it's not so subtle in suggesting that many companies will need to downsize to survive.

Alright, enough Covid stuff for this week.

The World of Mind

🧠 Paul Graham put out a great essay on how "being a noob" is a great thing for developing a broader understanding of the world. From the article:

"if you stay in your home country, you'll feel less of a noob than if you move to Farawavia, where everything works differently. And yet you'll know more if you move. So the feeling of being a noob is inversely correlated with actual ignorance."

πŸ§˜β€β™‚οΈ And a good reminder from Ryan Holiday: don't forego enjoying today by fixating on tomorrow. His weekend routine sounds pretty nice.

The World of Just for Fun

πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ This is a hilarious story of the Olympic Marathon race in 1904. My favorite bit:

"The #9 and #12 finishers were from South Africa, and ran barefoot. South Africa didn't actually send a delegation - these were students who just happened to be in town and thought it sounded fun. #9 was chased a mile off course by angry dogs."

πŸ›© This airplane is floating perfectly in place by "flying" at 45mph into a 45mph headwind. It really doesn't feel, intuitively, like this should be possible till you think about the physics of it.

πŸš‚ I loved Thomas the Tank Engine growing up, so it was pretty trippy reading this article on its "Repressive, Authoritarian Soul" and watching some of the old clips it referenced.

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.

If you want to support the Medley and my other writing, there are many ways you can do that here.

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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