Marvin’s Best Weekly Reads July 20, 2020 (Normally Sunday)

The Chinese quote is apt:

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Decided to do weekly collection of best reads of the week like every single person in Silicon Valley it seems. Difference is I think I have better taste :)

Please sign up if interested.

“The single best productivity hack — that everyone should aspire to -don’t keep a schedule.” — Naval Ravikant

1. “So why does this matter? Companies with network effects that don’t look like network effects are diamonds in the rough. Because their networks are hard to measure, they can often be under-appreciated in the short run and disproportionately strong in the long run.

In the same way that the best startup ideas are good ideas that initially sound like really bad ideas — because the obviously good ideas are both picked over and hyper-competitive — some of the strongest network effects companies end up being strong precisely because they initially don’t seem to have strong network effects.”

2. “Startup founders and investors love disruption theory because it gives them a playbook: find an incumbent who has made their product too expensive or complicated, then make a version that’s simpler and cheaper, but better along some new dimension. Then, launch to a previously ignored audience, and improve the experience over time.

This isn’t necessarily a bad way to go! But, increasingly, the smartest thinkers in modern strategy are questioning whether the playbook always works.”

3. An interesting new phenomenon happening in Silicon Valley. Venture Capital Funds being unbundled by big name Operators & Founders. Watch this space.

The Rise of the Solo Capitalists

4. “Going from Coordinator → Channel Manager → Sr Channel Manager, you develop more channel expertise and better execution capabilities. You become great at optimizing KPIs within the constraints of your channel. But focusing on the things that make you great as an individual contributor will actually trip you up as a Team Leader. Psychologically, it’s incredibly difficult to get out of the habits that initially made you successful.”

Crossing the Canyon: Leading Your First Marketing Team — Reforge

5. Open AI’s GPT3 is a big deal. A very good write up. I’m still thinking through the implications.

OpenAI’s GPT-3 may be the biggest thing since bitcoin

6. A good call to action here.

“We aren’t used to this sort of cognitive challenge. Software is so democratized today, we forget just how blisteringly difficult almost all other facets of human endeavor are to even start. A middle schooler can build and deploy a web service scalable to millions of people with some lines of code (learned from easily & widely accessible resources on the internet) & some basic cloud infrastructure tools that are designed to onboard new users expeditiously.

Try that with rocketry. Or with pharma. Or with autonomous vehicles. Or any of the interesting new frontiers with green fields that are just sitting there waiting for the taking.”

The dual PhD problem of today’s startups

7. “Nespresso triumphed by selling itself as a sophisticated component of an elite, globalised lifestyle. Wherever you were in the world, you could be a Nespresso person, just as you could wear Nike trainers or use American Express. Now, as that lifestyle looks increasingly bankrupt, it is learning to be just another coffee company.”

How Nespresso’s coffee revolution got ground down | Food

Ever curious: Tsundoku, Reader, Aspiring Shokunin, World traveller, Investor & Tech/Media exec interested in almost everything!

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