Junk, Humble, and Money

10/29 – What’s Next

This was originally published in my newsletter on 12/10

Hey! Cannot believe how fast this year is moving. So many (good and bad) things going on in the world. Rooting for you!

I have been thinking lots about this question lately:

“Why do we graduate from college and settle for conventional jobs that do not unlock our real potential?”  – @kevinhartz

So I put together this list of high-potential places for people to launch their careers with…”The Signal

Hopefully the list is valuable for you. I also tweeted on this subject.

Enjoy the newsletter!

Articles to Read.

Humble Exits

Jack Welch allegedly passed a note across the table to Jerry Seinfeld. “$5 million per show” it said. Extending Seinfeld for a 10th season would have earned Jerry $110 million. He declined. He was done with the show.

Leaving on top is, I think, something all of us aspire to, in one form or another. But it’s hard because those who make it to the top tend to be grinders, optimists, relentlessly dedicated to what they do. They made it far because they looked past the challenges competitors didn’t want to face and just kept plowing ahead. So the ability to wake up one day and say, “No more, I’m out,” is polar opposite to their prevailing skillset.

A gradient of childhood self-control predicts health, wealth, and public safety

Following a cohort of 1,000 children from birth to the age of 32 y, we show that childhood self-control predicts physical health, substance dependence, personal finances, and criminal offending outcomes, following a gradient of self-control.

Poor self-control in childhood was a stronger predictor of these financial difficulties than study members’ social class origins and IQ.

Uber’s Secret Restaurant Empire

On Aug. 1, Brooklyn Burger Factory began selling gourmet patties in its residential neighborhood of Crown Heights. But even though the restaurant serves a steady stream of jerk burgers, salmon burgers, and veggie burgers, not a single person has shown up to eat one. That’s because the restaurant exists only in the Uber Eats delivery app.

Brooklyn Burger Factory is located in the kitchen of Gerizim Cafe & Ice Cream, a small establishment on Ralph Avenue. The data team at Uber Eats perceived a demand for gourmet burgers in the area, and they approached Farmer about the possibility of expanding the selection. Farmer liked the idea; most of the raw ingredients were already on hand. The Brooklyn Burger Factory has been such a success—it’s now selling as many as 75 burgers a day, with revenue 28 times that of Gerizim Cafe.

The more money you make, the more fast food you eat

A new CDC brief suggests it’s not people below the poverty line doing the buying — it’s people well above it.

The stereotype is that poor people eat more fast food than rich people, who virtuously eat only organic salads and cows with names.

The percentage of adults who ate fast food rose with increasing income. About 32 percent of people who earn less than 130 percent of the federal poverty line — $32,630 a year for a family of four — ate fast food daily. But 42 percent of people above 350 percent of the poverty line — $112,950 a year or more for that size family — were daily consumers.

The Emperor Has No Clothes, There is No Santa Claus, and Nothing is Rocket Science (founder of Venmo)

A lot of people I talk to in the Bay Area are terrified of the idea that they could be making slightly more money somewhere else – and these people are all making a ton of money.

The week I was graduating from college, my mom was visiting me. I remember she asked me what I was going to do after college. I told my mom I didn’t have to move out of the dorm room for another two weeks, so I had plenty of time to figure things out.

This is the way I have been telling this story for years, James Dean cool. I eventually did say this to my mom, but I remembered as I was preparing this talk that before I said that, I cracked up. I interpreted the question with an existential gravity that got me crying just like I did when my mom told me Santa Claus was a lie that parents told kids. The idea that you figure out “what you are going to do” with your life when you become an adult and enter the “real world” was another fairy tale from childhood.

TikTok Is Cringey and That’s Fine

Screenshots from TikTok videos

A social platform can’t scale without attracting normal users.

Over the past several months, TikTok videos have begun to go viral beyond the platform, racking up millions of views on Twitter and Instagram. They’re easy to identify once you’ve seen a couple: 15-to-60-second-long clips set to music; often featuring someone lip-synching, dancing, or doing a trick.

As with any new short-form-video app, TikTok has invited debates about whether it’s the next Vine (nothing is) or Snapchat (also no). But TikTok is hard to categorize. It’s a social network with an impressive suite of video-editing tools, Snapchatlike AR filters, and features that let you sync your video to nearly any soundtrack you can think of.

What is the revenue generation model for DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckGo has been a profitable company since 2014 without storing or sharing any personal information on people using our search engine. It’s actually a big myth that search engines need to track your personal search history to make money or deliver quality search results.

Alarmingly, Google now deploys hidden trackers on 76% of websites across the web to monitor your behavior and Facebook has hidden trackers on about 25% of websites, according to the Princeton Web Transparency & Accountability Project. It is likely that Google and/or Facebook are watching you on most sites you visit, in addition to tracking you when using their products.

As mentioned, DuckDuckGo is profitable based mostly on keyword-based search ads, though we have always been on the search for other ways to anonymously make money so that we can reduce the dependence on advertising.

More to Check Out: 
– China plans to launch world’s first “artificial moon” over city to light up night sky
– Myers-Briggs is Bunk
– Giving Up Burgers Will Not Save the Planet
– Not Exercising May Be Worse for Your Health Than Smoking
– China is Watching Silicon Valley

Kudos (to people in the community).

Looking to work on new projects? What are you thinking about? Email me!

My Update.

  • Published The Signal – I think you all will find it really valuable!
  • Who do you think I should talk to?
  • Would you ever pay ($5/mo or so) for a newsletter (not this one, it will stay free), but curious if I sent you another email every week with something valuable would you “buy me a coffee” a month? Just an idea!

Thanks so much for reading! Find me on twitter : )