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P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #137

👋 Welcome back to P.S. You Should Know… probably the best newsletter published on Sundays between 6-7
November 10 · Issue #137 · View online
P.S. You Should Know...
👋 Welcome back to P.S. You Should Know… probably the best newsletter published on Sundays between 6-7am CST, and definitely the best one published by me. Now in its third year!

my story 🚀
Our family is overjoyed to introduce you to Daphne Jay Sokolovsky!
By far, the highlight of week 45 is meeting our new daughter who decided to join us a bit earlier than expected. Mama and baby are both in great shape.
someone else's words 💬
👉 Like this quote? Yes 👍 OR No 👎
fun facts 🙌
TurboTax has been fighting to prevent free tax filing for 20 years. I have always had a slight distaste for Intuit and now it’s grown stronger. “Using lobbying, the revolving door and “dark pattern” customer tricks, Intuit fended off the government’s attempts to make tax filing free and easy, and created its multi-billion-dollar franchise.” | learn more
Vice reporter accidentally uncovers nationwide Airbnb scam. “While searching for the person who grifted me in Chicago, I discovered just how easy it is for users of the short-term rental platform to get exploited.” | learn more
oh, chicago 🏆
University of Chicago projected to be the first in U.S. to charge $100k per year. “A great deal of college tuition inflation has been driven by an enrollment strategy to dole out more institutional aid to a growing number of students.” | learn more
Uber suing Skokie, but the real target is Chicago. It seems like a clever strategy to sidestep a battle with the big city with more legal resources. “The firm contends the north suburb’s ride-hailing tax violates state law. Its arguments could apply to the mayor’s proposed $40 million tax hike in Chicago, too.” | learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
Seed financing landscape 2019. This is an excellent set of slides summarizing the world of seed funding for startups as we see it today. The presentation was put together by Mar Hershenson from Pear VC. | learn more
The gross margin problem: lessons for tech-enabled startups. David Sacks, the original COO of Paypal and now a VC at Craft Ventures digs in to the difference between tech startups, which are mainly software, and tech-enabled startups, which operate in meat-space (my term, not his). While the former never has to worry much about gross margins and unit economics, the later sure does. | learn more
The SpaceX Starship is a very big deal. Let’s say it all together now: we’re going to Mars! “Yet none of the oft-published mainstream articles seem to capture the magnitude of the vision that Starship embodies. Starship prompts superlatives, but by the end of this post the reader will understand not only how big Starship is, but also that it’s as small as it can possibly be.” | learn more
better doing 🎯
The genius of the AND. The concept comes from researcher and author Jim Collins (his book: Good to Great). “Builders of greatness reject the "Tyranny of the OR” and embrace the “Genius of the AND.” They embrace both extremes across a number of dimensions at the same time—purpose AND profit, continuity AND change, freedom AND responsibility, discipline AND creativity, humility AND will, empirical analysis AND decisive action, etc.“ | learn more
retail therapy 💸
Is Amazon unstoppable? This post is written by Charles Duhigg, the author of The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better (two books I enjoyed). “Politicians want to rein in the retail giant. But Jeff Bezos, the master of cutthroat capitalism, is ready to fight back, Charles Duhigg writes.” | learn more
As DTC brands grow, Shopify is struggling to keep up. Shopify is a great ecommerce platform for any store that’s getting off the ground. It’s easy to stand up and the marketplace of apps available to plug into it is wonderful. It’s not without its trade-offs, though. | learn more
under the microscope 🔬
How sunlight on the skin directly affects the gut microbiome. “New research has for the first time demonstrated how exposure to Narrow Band Ultraviolet B light (UVB) can directly influence gut microbiome diversity in humans.” | learn more
New Alzheimer’s drug unexpectedly approved in China. This is the first new treatment to reach the market in almost 20 years. The drug uses a completely different pathway than any before it. It “is suggested to reduce neuroinflammation by modulating a person’s gut microbiome.” After a 9-month Phase III clinical trial the drug was approved with some limitations. There’s still a healthy dose of skepticism around it’s long-term value, though. | learn more
thoughts of food 🍔
Insights from the first map of America’s food supply chain. “Most of our food is moved across great distances—and through many different forms of transit—before it reaches our plates.” | learn more
on the blockchain ⛓
The trillion dollar lawsuit. “If these accusations are found by a jury to be true, or even approximately true, then it will immediately go straight to the Hall of Fame level of Largest Frauds of All Time. In terms of monetary evaporation, the accusations here are ten times the size of WeWork, and at least ten times as interesting.” | learn more
Binance is blitzscaling. “Binance is executing more aggressively than any other business in the blockchain industry. As a proof point, in Q3 alone, Binance launched 12 major products/initiatives in quick succession, outpacing the development of all of the other “Real 10” exchanges (Coinbase, Kraken, Bitfinex, Poloniex, Bittrex, Gemini, Bitstamp, itBit, and bitFlyer) combined.” | learn more
the end ✅
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