Marvin’s Best Weekly Reads Nov 27th, 2022
“Real courage is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. Doing the unpopular thing because it’s what you believe, and the heck with everybody.”― Justin Cronin
- “The more self-sufficient this brotherhood of men are, the more powerful they are. The less likely they will be manipulated by worms and snakes. The current elite seek to make men dependent on the system and not their fellows. To benefit off our helplessness. This of course works very well for those on the top until this unnatural way collapses on itself. Your main goal in this society is to be self-sufficient like your ancestors were. Only after you’ve decoupled can you regain your wild spirit.
The purest form of being a man is the warrior. The warrior — as Nietzsche says — is responsible for himself. He’s willing to under go hardship and deprivation so long as it preserves his distance from other men. The manly or virile instincts, to use Nietzsche’s words, revel in war and victory. Notice also Nietzsche never says the words I told you to stop using. In the form of the warrior, man is able to take the long and unforgiving road toward glory and fame. The last people to do this were the Americans when we settled in the New World.
The sons of those Americans went on to help America become a superpower after two World Wars. We’re still riding on the coattails of the accomplishments of those men who tamed the frontier. This won’t last forever. History never ends. Hard times are coming and it’s your duty as a man to be ready for them. To make sure your sons are ready for them.”
The Warlike and Manly Spirit
Please read the previous part in the series: What Does it Mean to Have Race in the Warrior Religion?
2. Don’t really agree with vote rigging comments but I agree with conclusions.
“The Struggle for Power is not going away, rather growing with each passing day. The economic and political crisis’ that stand before us will cause more chaos, violence, and turmoil.
The reality of Geopolitics now is a knife fight. The brutality will continue and escalate. Who wants it more will win in the end.
The hard choices are just beginning.”
Welcome back to Mercurial Space, the newsletter that breaks down Geopolitical events from an insider's perspective…
3. “I would say on the new deal front, on the pre-seed and seed side, we’re seeing timelines that were one to two weeks now [extending into] more like two to four weeks, which is really healthy because it allows for more proper diligence.
We are able to do deals in a matter of days if we have strong conviction, but we do like that the market is a bit more sane.
Another dynamic that we’re seeing is that entrepreneurs are starting to really wake up to this new world, and that wasn’t the case even six months ago.
Back then, we saw growth deals really kind of halt, but that didn’t really impact the way that first-time founders in particular thought about their valuations. Now we’re seeing them come around as well. So [collectively] we’re actually seeing a lot of really interesting deals.”
Bling Capital has $212M to invest across two new funds -- and two coasts
Bling Capital doesn't have the kind of bets that are right now becoming a black eye for a lot of other venture outfits…
4. Cool new VC fund for Europe. Unruly Capital.
Stefano Bernardi becomes first Atomico angel to launch own fund
Self-described "c rypto-anarcho-eco-capitalist" Stefano Bernardi, who's been quietly angel investing for the past few…
5. Solid conversation here with the guys especially on Google business. All in Podcast.
6. An excellent talk on what’s happening with the disaster zone of Crypto, SBF, FTX and what not.
7. “Vidio is succeeding where foreign competitors like Netflix and Disney+ have stumbled in Indonesia — by developing an acute sense for what Indonesians want to watch. Despite earlier being considered an underdog, it is now the fastest-growing streaming service in a country of 270 million, and the biggest in terms of active users with about 60 million viewers per month, the company told Rest of World.
In the second quarter of this year, it snatched the number one spot for over-the-top (OTT) streaming platforms across all of Southeast Asia, according to consultancy Media Partners Asia, both in new subscriber growth and popularity of original content.”
Forget Netflix and Disney: A local streaming service is king in Indonesia
In late October, football fans across Indonesia roared from their living rooms as rivals Chelsea and Manchester United…
8. This is going to be an amazing movie on Netflix.
Polyamory, penthouses and plenty of loans: inside the crazy world of FTX
asual observers could be forgiven for thinking the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX is another typical tale…
9. This is absolutely right. Watch this space. USA versus the CCP.
10. “The coming winter will feature more fighting, but at a different pace. It will see continued long range strikes from both sides and an ongoing information war. And it will demand both sides attend to the protection of their soldiers (and equipment) from the elements, in order to preserve as much of their combat power as possible to exploit opportunities during winter, and to conduct larger offensive campaigns in 2023.”
The Winter War in Ukraine
Recently, I have been asked a lot of questions about the impact of winter on the war in Ukraine. In some respects, this…
11. “As biotech evolves, some of the strengths of the Bay Area are becoming even more important. With several technological revolutions — such as Sequencing, Synthesis, Scale, and Software — young scientists and engineers with direct technical experience with these new technologies have a central role to play in shaping the future of the industry.
One of the unrivaled superpowers of the Bay Area tech scene is its ability to empower ambitious young people who are on a mission to change the world. The same fluid capital networks that made the Bay such a major winner in the digital revolution are also playing an important role in the TechBio revolution.”
Betting on the Biohub
Welcome to The Century of Biology! This newsletter explores data, companies, and ideas from the frontier of biology…
12. “The U.S. is the undisputed overall leader in the semiconductor industry, but that’s as the central node of a global supply chain in which other countries also possess highly advanced technologies and lead in critical niches. Some companies in these other countries have competencies that are a strong starting point for developing alternatives to U.S. technology.
U.S. technology is irreplaceable over the near and medium term, so the immediate consequences of this policy are essentially guaranteed to be disastrous for China. However, if China succeeds in persuading U.S. allies to assist China by developing and providing alternatives to key pieces of U.S. technology, then the long-term outcomes of this policy could be disastrous for U.S. national security and economic competitiveness.”
The Only Way the U.S. Can Win the Tech War with China
The tech war between China and the U.S. over advanced semiconductors is rapidly heating up, but the U.S. needs allies…
13. “And then there is Mathias Döpfner, a six-foot-seven former music journalist turned billionaire CEO of the media conglomerate founded by, and named after, Germany’s preeminent postwar press baron, Axel Springer. Springer’s widow took a shine to Döpfner — she felt he saved the company and kept it true to its mission — and gifted him controlling shares.
For the past decade, Döpfner has been transforming Springer into a digital player worldwide.
Nothing about Döpfner is small. He’s got a big ego, big appetites, big plans, big hands, and a big mouth. He speaks with supreme self-confidence, but there’s something boyish about him, energetic and a touch mischievous. “He’s a controversial person, not everyone likes him, but there’s nobody who would say he’s not an agenda setter,” says John Harris, a co-founder of Politico. “I think his arrival here at this moment is a very encouraging thing not just for Politico but for the broader profession. I really think we need these capacious figures in American media again. The profession seems somewhat adrift without them.”
Politico's German Owner Mathias Döpfner Is Part Murdoch and Also Part Musk.
This article was featured in One Great Story, New York's reading recommendation newsletter. Sign up here to get it…
14. No wonder the mainstream media is losing credibility fast.
“Over the past two years, Bankman-Fried cultivated the media lavishly, if not carefully. Drawing on what then seemed like an unlimited pool of cash, SBF (as we’ll call the mythologized version of the real person) dispersed investments, advertising dollars, sponsorships, and donations to key news outlets — including ProPublica, Vox, Semafor, and The Intercept — with extraordinary effectiveness.
In the space of four days, media participants that lie far outside the highly capitalized mainstream did more investigative work than the entire corporate media had done in two years.”
15. Must read for all founders who want to survive the startup winter.
Current conversations with founders: How to adjust for the current Funding market
This post is a quick follow-up to the post from earlier today. During my confidential conversations with founders…
16. Poland will be the continent’s dominant military power along with Turkey.
Meet Europe's coming military superpower: Poland
Press play to listen to this article When a stray missile landed in a Polish border town last week killing two people…
17. There is so much to unpack here. Chamath is a controversial figure in Silicon Valley and Wall Street. But lots to learn from him regardless. It’s an almost 3 hour conversation.
18. “One thought exercise a company planning a RIF can do is imagine a scenario with a 25–50% headcount cut. How does that really impact team output and burn? What teams would you be forced to cut and how much do those teams really truly matter? How does that align with your various financial scenarios? Even if you still only cut 10–15%, it might be an informative exercise.
The key thing to remember is that if your valuation is very far ahead in this new market environment, and your business slows due to recession or spending cuts, it may be hard to raise money in the near term.
Layoffs should either get you to default alive (aka enough money to last reasonably indefinitely) or default fundable (a strong enough situation to be able to raise more money in today’s or tomorrow’s market). Things are likely to get worse before they get better. Make every dollar count.”
Changing times (or, why is every layoff 10-15%?)
In 2019, tech and software multiples hit all times high. After 10 years of quantitative easing and lowered interest…
19. Solo GPs of Europe. Look forward to seeing more here.
Meet Europe's growing crowd of solo GPs
Europe now has a small, but growing, number of solo general partners - folks who've opted to raise and run a VC fund…
20. “Although there are language and cultural barriers that require a good dose of tenacity and entrepreneurship to overcome — the scale of the opportunity and positive changes in the environment make Japan worth another look for investors and entrepreneurs alike.”
21. “But this is why now more than ever, we can’t lose our faith in crypto.
Sure, it can be hard not to feel pessimistic at times like this. And it’s easy to listen to the doomsayers who are now prophesying that this is the end. But to give up now will almost certainly pave the way for the absolute dominance of government-controlled CBDCs, and the weakening of the only independent alternative that’s still owned by us.
This is why I’m still personally betting on crypto.
Remember, crypto didn’t fail us. Exchanges did. And we don’t need exchanges to hold or use these assets.”
Sometime around the year 300 BC, a wealthy merchant set sail hauling a load of precious cargo across the shimmering…
22. Solid discussion on American strategy.
23. All true.
“If you work in retail, the four weeks between US Thanksgiving and Christmas is the busiest time of the year. It’s also the sprint-to-the-finish for anyone in a B2B business trying to hit Q4 numbers.
But in the land of venture capital, it’s a uniquely slow-moving period that can best be thought of as fundraising purgatory. Put bluntly, it’s where many fundraising rounds go to die.
Why? Well for starters, anyone who was actively fundraising prior to Thanksgiving that hadn’t yet received a term sheet just had their momentum interrupted by a giant speed bump.”
The 2022 Fundraising Window is Now Closed - Chris Neumann
It's official. The 2022 fundraising window is now closed. No, this isn't a commentary on the current macroeconomic…
24. The rise of the Turks in geopolitics.
“The most significant geopolitical effect of the Turkic rise might be the ascension of Turkey to true Great Power status. I would argue that they are close to such recognition with their complete dominance of the Black Sea and the South Caucasus as well as their growing economic and cultural influence around the region.”
The Great Game #2 - Rise of the Turks
Welcome to the second edition of The Great Game - our weekly editorial on everything power, guns and politics! For more…
25. This is a fascinating conversation on the business of sports.
26. If anyone can figure this out, it’s Japan.
“Whatever the problem is, Japan’s policymakers, academics, and corporate managers need to start viewing export weakness as a matter of urgent national importance. In the 90s, exporting was optional; now, it is not. Japan’s population is aged and shrinking, which limits domestic market opportunities, even as the country is still dependent on imported food and fuel.
If it’s going to avoid both long-term stagnation and vulnerability to currency drops like the recent one, the country must become more of an export powerhouse. Hopefully the weak yen can provide the impetus and the inspiration for Japan to get serious about this.”
The weak yen is an opportunity
When I first lived in Japan in the mid-2000s, it was very easy to remember how much a yen was worth - it was just about…
27. This is pretty interesting. New American way of war: Proxy wars.
28. “That Powell leans into the exciting, scary thing helps explain why, after years of increasingly solid, steady work, Powell’s acting career might be about to enter a new stratosphere. His is a calming charm, very “emotional support animal you’d enjoy having three to four beers with:” in our age of movie franchises, he is exactly the type of guy you want in your tentpole.
It’s not just that he looks like someone who could land a plane in an emergency situation — he feels like someone who could. (He could, by the way: after his experience with Top Gun training, and a gift of flying lessons from Tom Cruise, Powell is a licensed pilot.) It’s a brand of charisma that makes him a truly good hang, both offscreen and, more importantly for his Hollywood ambitions, on it.”
How Glen Powell Poured Jet Fuel on His Hollywood Ascent
The Top Gun star is riding his old-world looks, new-school charm, and a few key pieces of advice from Tom Cruise to…
29. Jim Rogers is always a good listen.
30. This seems like not good news for Pipe. Startling is probably the right word.
Pipe's founding team stepping down as hunt for 'veteran' CEO begins
All three co-founders of alternative financing startup Pipe are retreating from their roles but remain the company's…
31. “War — and the competitive activities beneath the threshold of violence — is now a battle of industrial systems. In some respects, this is a return to previous eras where mass production for conflict, such as during the US Civil War and the World Wars, provided a decisive advantage. The post-Cold War ‘small, exquisite, periodic and expensive’ approach to weapons procurement in the West must end.
The expansion of defence industrial capacity, whether nationally or as part of a larger compact between democratic nations, is an integral part of conventional deterrence. In defending themselves, countries need potential adversaries to know they can (and will) step up production if authoritarians pick a fight. The possession of an expanding industrial base is a demonstration of capability, and importantly, telegraphs the will of peoples to actively defend against the predations and aggression of countries such as Russia and China.”
The West needs to boost its industrial capacity fast
In February this year, a few days before the Russian Army began its invasion of Ukraine, the Pentagon released a report…
32. I can’t help but be entranced by this.
33. “Think of what happened in the last two or three years: whatever you did was rewarded by some investor because of the plethora of capital,” Leone said.
“You were rewarded no matter what — you made a s — t decision, a crap decision, you got money; you made a good decision, you got money — which is a lousy way for you to learn your craft. All that is gone.”
“What you’re going to learn now is the best lessons you’re ever going to learn, even in our business,” he added.
Leone said he doesn’t expect tech company valuations to recover until at least 2024.”
34. “Although the decline of U.S. power has been significantly overstated in some quarters, America’s economic decline relative to the rest of the world is real. Economic strength and technological strength have become more dispersed around the globe, and over time military strength is likely to follow the same pattern. This is one reason avoiding boots-on-the-ground interventions will become ever more of an imperative.
The presumption that the U.S. needs to deploy ground forces in a fighting capacity if it wants to achieve meaningful results from interventions has been evident again and again since the 1980s. Yet the reality has often been the opposite. The more the U.S. takes over and inserts its own forces into a conflict, the more expensive and, in most cases, counterproductive the intervention becomes.
Such conflicts are also more polarizing for American society — as U.S. involvement in Vietnam, Iraq, and to a lesser extent Afghanistan demonstrate. Meanwhile, avoiding ground wars but relying on financial aid, advanced technology, intelligence, and even diplomatic coordination and outreach is something the U.S. actually can do effectively.”