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P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #307
Remembering the Big 5.
my story 🚀
I had my first visit to Philadelphia this week! Nutrisense investor 1315 Capital hosted their portfolio companies for a peer learning day. It was a very diverse group of companies who operate in health-related markets. Those markets span from consumer wellness (where Nutrisense plays) to ECMO, which is intense life support for the sickest patients in a hospital. It’s always a pleasure to learn from a group of distinguished professionals!
i’ve been thinking 💭
When I was studying accounting at the University of Illinois, there was often talk of the Big 4 accounting firms. They all recruited heavily from the university. What I learned on my own was there weren’t always 4. Just a few years prior, there were 5. Arthur Andersen collapsed in 2002, brought down for being the (ineffective) auditor of Enron. The meeting I mentioned above was held in the offices of accounting firm KPMG. It surprised me when I noticed that our room was the Arthur Andersen Conference Room.
The explanation accompanied the nameplate:
In May of 2002, a significant number of former Partners and employees of Arthur Andersen’s Philadelphia office joined KPMG and many former clients of Arthur Andersen became clients of KPMG.
I’ve always have a slight negative bias toward the brand Arthur Andersen because of how it fell apart. That’s despite the fact that malfeasance was concentrated in one particular office (Houston). But it’s time I updated my perception! BYU accounting professor Tim Seidel did the research last year, finding “that partners who worked at Arthur Andersen during its demise now provide higher quality audits than their peer partners at other accounting firms who did not.”
fun facts 🙌
Ten good news stories for kids in 2022. “Despite enormous challenges facing many children around the globe, 2022 also brought good news. As we approach the end of the year, here are 10 areas of progress for children we can celebrate…” ~ learn more
Borgs are taking over college parties. This might be the most ironic thing I’ve read in a while: “Several harm reduction advocates pointed out that drinking from borgs [“blackout rage gallons”] may actually mitigate the dangers of college drinking culture.” ~ learn more
The invention of the wheel was useless without the axle. “The wheel on its own, while promising, is not very useful. Much like a doughnut, its most important feature is the hole in the center. If it wasn't suitable for attaching a stable platform by combining it with an axle, the wheel would be nothing but a cylinder rolling on its edge.” ~ learn more
oh, austin 🤠
Why do sidewalks in Austin suddenly end? “According to Austin’s Public Works Department, the city is missing about 1,600 miles of sidewalk — a length of concrete that could stretch from here to Winnipeg, Canada.” ~ learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
On trucking. Richard cofounded a tech company in the trucking space a couple years ago. He left pretty quickly, maybe a year in, and now runs a content marketing agency. So he likes to write! “Recently, I’ve been reflecting on my time in trucking with a couple of other founders in the trucking space. It’s, well, interesting.” ~ learn more
Flexport: how to move the world. Continuing with the “moving things around” theme: Here’s a profile of the tech startup Flexport, a tech-powered freight forwarder who was valued (overvalued?) at $8 billion last year. “It has designs on a bigger prize: owning the data layer for global trade.” ~ learn more
Signs that a startup is going bad. “A friend of mine was recently evaluating job offers and one was clearly a startup that was “going bad”. It was clear to me but not to them; I figured I would write a post spelling out some things I look at.” ~ learn more
better doing 🎯
Why thought diversity makes us better. “Diversity is how we survive as a species. This is a quantifiable fact easily observed in the biological world. From niches to natural selection, diversity is the common theme of success for both the individual and the group.” ~ learn more
The many worlds of enough. “The problem, however, is that this future self is a projection of your present-day desires. When you’re defining what enough means, you’re effectively saying, “Given what I want today, I just need this much more of it to be satisfied in the future.” But how plausible is it that what you want today will remain unchanged as you march onward to your goal?” ~ learn more
Creative wisdom from Rick Rubin. I found this writing a bit hard to get through, but maybe you’ll have an easier time. His career as a producer in the music industry is remarkable enough to merit a voice on creativity. ~ learn more
to your health ⚕
How it’s going: Mark Cuban’s Cost Plus Drugs Company. “Since I published that first article, Cost Plus Drugs has surpassed 1 million accounts, added over 1,000 low-cost generic drugs to its platform, and formed several strategic partnerships. So, as the company commences its second year of operations on a high note, it’s only fitting to reflect on the progress made and predict what’s in store for the upcoming year.” ~ learn more
under the microscope 🔬
A memory prosthesis could restore memory in people with damaged brains. “The “memory prosthesis,” which involves inserting an electrode deep into the brain, also seems to work in people with memory disorders—and is even more effective in people who had poor memory to begin with, according to new research.” ~ learn more
Asthma drug brings back “lost” memories. “Sleep deprivation can cause memory loss. However, is is unclear whether the information that gets "lost" as a result of sleep deprivation is truly gone or just difficult to retrieve. A recent animal study found that this information can be recovered through two different kinds of treatments.” ~ learn more
Pop Rocks and molecular gastronomy inspire new tumor-fighting foam. “Filling tumors with oxygen makes them more susceptible to treatment. In seeking a path to deliver more oxygen to tumors, researchers turned to an unlikely source of inspiration: foam used in cooking, like the whipped cream that baristas use to top hot chocolates.” ~ learn more
teaching the kids 👩🏫
Automated influencer operations: emerging threats and potential mitigations. Filed here because maybe the best mitigator is education. “The potential of language models to rival human-written content at low cost suggests that these models—like any powerful technology—may provide distinct advantages to propagandists who choose to use them. These advantages could expand access to a greater number of actors, enable new tactics of influence, and make a campaign’s messaging far more tailored and potentially effective.” ~ learn more
on the blockchain ⛓
SEC settlement leaves Kraken sans staking service and sans $30 million. Then the SEC Chairman Gary Gensler goes on TV to say that it would’ve all just been so simple had they completed the right paperwork. Tweet below from Kraken’s CEO.