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P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #343
Don’t call it a tip.
my story 🚀
i’ve been thinking 💭
Don’t call it a tip. I met an entrepreneur who is in the early stages of building a business. They asked whether I had any tips for them. I had to decline, as I’ve learned to avoid tips since my Entrepreneurs Organization initiation a decade ago. I learned that business advice can cause unintended problems. Instead, we were taught to share relevant experiences, leaving the listener to choose what they take away.
The entrepreneur didn’t relent, asking instead what I head learned that I’d apply for my own next venture. They made it past my filter and I had an answer: I’ll be more deliberate about how I nurture the health of my partner relationships. I went through a co-founder divorce and I believe I learned a lot from that process.
The question came back to mind later in the day, along with another answer. I’ll avoid being undercapitalized. I once carried our scrappy start and existence as a badge of honor. I now understand that we had to solve a lot of extra problems because I failed to see and solve a fundamental one. When our acquirer removed the balance sheet constraint to our business, not only did it become easier to operate but it also became more profitable.
fun facts 🙌
ACT test scores for U.S. students drop to a 30-year low. This is fun because you can overfit whatever your preferred explanation is to this outcome. “Scores have been falling for six consecutive years, but the trend accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.” I’d love to see some more granular data, starting with average test completion time. ~ learn more
Fair coins tend to land on the same side they started. This is published evidence from 350,757 flips among 48 flippers. The bias comes from the flippers, because most people can’t seem to flip coins without also introducing a wobble. That causes them to land on the same side that they started 50.8% of the time. ~ learn more and original paper
Brandolini's law is the worst part of the internet. “The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than that needed to produce it.” ~ learn more
oh, austin 🤠
A bearish view of Austin’s office space market. This article from the Washington Post is sprinkled with bad-sounding factoids about vacant space throughout the city’s new buildings. “Roughly 87 percent of new office space is expected to open vacant, according to data from the commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.” However, I think the article doesn’t actually tell a cohesive story about the market and its sentiment could easily be shown ‘wrong’ in the next couple years. The developers quoted within do not seem worried, for what it’s worth. ~ learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
State of AI Report 2023. This annual report by Nathan Benaich and team is well worth the read in all its 163-slide glory. You can start with this link for Nathan’s “director’s cut” of slides that stood out to him. ~ learn more
The definitive list of digital health unicorns. There are currently 66 private companies valued at over $1 Billion. Another 3 are in the ‘deadpool’ and others have been acquired or have gone public. ~ learn more
Rekindling my admiration of ChatGPT with photo inputs. I knew that the product recently enabled uploading images, but I hadn’t tried it until I saw this post. As an example, you can screenshot a website and ask for specific feedback on how to improve it. ~ learn more
to your health ⚕
How PCPs are penalized for positive outcomes from lifestyle change. Here’s a doozy: “But a physician utilizing diet alone to achieve remission in a patient with type 2 diabetes is penalized financially because, when the risk is adjusted, diabetes is no longer listed among the patient's conditions. So, Medicare pays the physician less money.” ~ learn more
under the microscope 🔬
The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. “The Initiative has just dropped a new trove of research, with an international team of hundreds of scientists publishing more than 20 papers across Science journals. Among them are the first “atlas” of cells in the human brain, based on an analysis of 1.1 million brain cells across 42 different brain regions in 3 human brains.” ~ learn more
big ideas 📚
The time America flooded roughly 180 square miles on purpose. “When it comes to renewable energy infrastructure, Lake Sam Rayburn and other hydroelectric projects — the vast majority of which were built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 20th century — show what the state can do when it is both ambitious and competent.” ~ learn more
How pre-cooling homes could dramatically reduce energy usage. “In the most comprehensive study of its kind, Sanders and Stepp Mayes, a USC Viterbi Ph.D. student in civil and environmental engineering, have found that if people sufficiently cool their homes in the afternoon when solar energy is plentiful, they will use less electricity between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., when the power grid is most at risk of rolling blackouts.” ~ learn more
on the blockchain ⛓
Tether freezes wallets linked to terrorist groups. “Unlike more traditional cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), stablecoins—such as Tether’s USDT—are directly issued by centralized entities, and backed by centralized reserves of real-world assets. In practice, that means users holding stablecoins can be programmatically frozen out of their money at government request, much like traditional bank deposits.” ~ learn more