What’s Next — Sandwiches, Newton, Equity

by Jordan Gonen

What’s Next — Sandwiches, Newton, Equityby Jordan Gonen

by Jordan Gonen

Hi there 👋 What are you thinking about lately? Let me know if/how I can be of any help 📩

Hope you enjoy this week’s newsletter 👇


Articles to Read.

If you have 2 hours this week, I strongly recommend you watch all 3 of these interviews with Chamath Palihapitiya. I think there is a ton to learn from his polarizing philosophy:

Interview 1: On Money as an Instrument of Change (56 minutes)
Interview 2: Bitcoin fireside chat (30 minutes)
Interview 3: On Bitcoin (14 minutes)

I am curious what you think (especially re: #1). Lots of interesting takeaways.

American Equity:

I think that every adult US citizen should get an annual share of the US GDP.

I believe that owning something like a share in America would align all of us in making the country as successful as possible — the better the country does, the better everyone does — and give more people a fair shot at achieving the life they want. And we all work together to create the system that generates so much prosperity.

How the Sandwich Consumed Britain:

The invention of the chilled packaged sandwich, an accessory of modern British life which is so influential, so multifarious and so close to hand that you are probably eating one right now, took place exactly 37 years ago. Like many things to do with the sandwich, this might seem, at first glance, to be improbable.

But it is true. In the spring of 1980, Marks & Spencer, the nation’s most powerful department store, began selling packaged sandwiches out on the shop floor. Nothing terribly fancy. Salmon and cucumber. Egg and cress. Triangles of white bread in plastic cartons, in the food aisles, along with everything else. Prices started at 43p.

Looking upon the nation’s £8bn-a-year sandwich industrial complex in 2017, it seems inconceivable that this had not been tried before, but it hadn’t.

How Isaac Newton Went Flat Broke Chasing a Bubble:

But for the true connoisseur, the finest expression of the art comes when a high-profile investor identifies a bubble, perhaps even makes money out of it, exits in time — and then gets sucked back in only to lose everything in the resultant bust.

An early example is the case of Sir Isaac Newton and the South Sea Company, which was established in the early 18th Century and granted a monopoly on trade in the South Seas in exchange for assuming England’s war debt.

Britain’s most celebrated scientist was not immune to the monetary charms of the South Sea Company, and in early 1720 he profited handsomely from his stake. Having cashed in his chips, he then watched with some perturbation as stock in the company continued to rise.

Are you the fool at the table:

There’s a saying in Poker, “If you can’t figure out who the Mark is at the table, it’s you.”

Building Hybrid Intelligence Systems:

1. Shared memory tools make teams smarter and better than any individual can be alone.
2. Checklists help even the best humans get things right.
3. Using personal context to do the ‘right’ thing for each customer is table stakes for doing work as high quality as a human assistant would.
4. Leverage data to reduce variance in human systems.
5. Computers are better at math than humans.
6. Humans are the universal API.
7. Closing thoughts: hybrid intelligence systems should outperform pure software and isolated individual humans.

The Last Mile of City Drone Deliveries:

“Delivery” implies that the aircraft will have to land somewhere or get low enough to drop an item without damage. That is likely to put it uncomfortably close to people who can be injured, or obstacles than can be damaged or cause damage to the unmanned aircraft itself. Those are sources of both safety and business risk that will have to be solved.

The economics of making such activity cost-effective pretty much demand multiple drones in the air at once under a single person’s control. A single delivery truck can drop off dozens of packages in a single run; the only way drones can match that is for them to be almost entirely self-guiding (autonomous), except perhaps at the very moment the delivery is taking place. However, even if a single pilot can supervise multiple aircraft and service each in turn for drop-offs, they all still would have to find their way to their delivery destination, and then home again. Right now, drones don’t have the technical means of doing that without being at risk of running into other aircraft or things sticking up from the ground.

Myths of the 1%:

Income inequality inspires fierce debate around the world, and no shortage of proposed solutions. As global billionaires bid up the price of a da Vinci painting on Wednesday, to $450.3 million, Congress debated tax reforms that many analysts said would give the largest benefits to the richest 1 percent of taxpayers.

In the United States, the richest 1 percent have seen their share of national income roughly double since 1980, to 20 percent in 2014 from 11 percent. This trend, combined with slow productivity growth, has resulted in stagnant living standards for most Americans.

Apple Park’s Tree Whisperer:

At first glance, it might have seemed an unusual meeting between Steve Jobs and David Muffly. Jobs was a world-renowned technologist billionaire, and Muffly an itinerant arborist whose passion was the soil. But if you transposed the timelines of their lives, you could locate a point of intersection.

But at this first meeting in 2010, Muffly learned that he and Steve Jobs shared a love of trees, and in particular a passion for the foliage native to the pre-Silicon Valley landscape, before big tech companies showed up and changed it. The encounter would lead to Muffly becoming the senior arborist at Apple, Inc., in charge of choosing, locating and planting the 9,000 trees that justify Apple’s choice to call its 175-acre campus a park — and in making Apple Park a leaf-and-blossom tribute to the CEO who designed it but would not live to see it built. Or planted.


Fireside chat with Joe Lonsdale (video)
– [guide] How to Get What You Want Professionally
Two elements of winning machine learning companies
Bitcoin resources
– How the mechanical turk got its name 
– The best visual description of a company (Meetup)See My Full Reading List

You made it to the end! Thanks for reading 👋

If you enjoyed, would really appreciate if you shared this link! 
Want to read more? I write daily, and tweet too!

My Update:

– My friend and I launched a chrome extension called Pouch — let me know what you think!

– I am really excited for 2018. Going to be an awesome year. Is there anything that you are especially looking forward to?

– Added a few of my past projects back to my personal website.

– Today marks day 649 of blogging every single day, in a row.

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Thanks for reading! Really hope you enjoyed! (If you did, would be really awesome if you could share this link with 5 friends)

– Jordan
Personal Website

By jordangonen on December 4, 2017.

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Exported from Medium on February 17, 2018.