Below are all my favorite pictures, ideas, and charts from January – December 2019 – a visual representation of some of the coolest things that I’ve been reading, thinking about, and studying for the past year. Most of them are scraped from the non-financial tweets that I’ve liked over the past 12 months.
None of the below represents investment advice or endorsement. All credits are linked in the title of each favorite. Please let me know if you see a miscredit or something that is yours!
Los Angeles. Is. So. Large.
According to Nathan Feifel, the markets have never been down the day that Kanye released an album
“We cannot make assumptions about other species based on human characteristics” – Sarah L Jacobson, Sign via the Syracuse Zoo
A good reminder that although we all might be similar, we are not all the same.
Just.game is autodecentric (self-decentralizing) technology. The autodecentric infrastructure is C.U.R.V.Y (cute, unstoppable, recursive, virus, yikes) – how software uses money to keep itself alive.
Read their very interesting whitepaper here.
Deutsche Bank Responds to Zero Hedge
They simply had enough of that nonsense.
Originally posted by Austen Allred, the CEO of Lambda School. Read more about Lambda here.
Accessibility and inclusivity are always to be celebrated.
Pricing and frequency usage across different subscription services. The late 2010s will be remembered as the age of “oh yeah, I have a subscription for that”.
Postman advises on what happens when media and politics become entertainment.
“Uber’s entry increases public transit use for the average transit agency and that effect grows over time“. Turns out that people use Uber as a “last-mile” tool – to get them to the final point in their destination.
How Nick Maggiulli thinks about levels of wealth (x axis as log scale)
- Level 1. Paycheck-to-paycheck: $0-$0.99 per decision
- Level 2. Grocery freedom: $1-$9 per decision
- Level 3. Restaurant freedom: $10-$99 per decision
- Level 4. Travel freedom: $100-$999 per decision
- Level 5. House freedom: $1,000-$9,999 per decision
- Level 6. Philanthropic freedom: $10,000+ per decision.
Our levels of wealth are more of steps, rather than a smooth line. The above table outlines how much would be trivial in our decision making. A $8 decision impacts a Level 2 more than a Level 6, because $8 is a much larger percentage of Level 2’s overall wealth.
First introduced to me by a friend, I now cannot avoid the Cloud Appreciation Society. Not that I mind. Because they post pictures like this. And I personally love the clouds. Check out their online gallery here.
We’ve been getting more turnt than we thought!
Yoga is really, really good for you.
“Brain regions showing differential task-related activation in yoga-practitioners. Yoga practitioners showed less activation than non-practitioners in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during the encoding phase of a Sternberg Working Memory task (yellow). Yoga practitioners also showed less activation than non-practitioners in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and right superior frontal gyri, but more activation in the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex during various aspects of an Affective Stroop task (red). All regions shown were created by making a 5 mm sphere around the coordinates provided in the studies reviewed.”
“There is no empirical support for the fact that loneliness is increasing, let alone spreading at epidemic rates.” Loneliness =/= aloneness. We might be spending more time alone, but that doesn’t mean that we are lonely.
According to Jonathan Hall of the University of Toronto:
- When roads get congested, they get clogged, and throughput falls
- Carefully designed tolls can increase highway capacity
- If travelers were identical, this would be enough to conclude that everyone is better off. Drivers pay a toll, but travel times fall.
- Problem: Drivers are not identical. We do not all value our time the same way.
- Pricing just some of the lanes can help everyone, without requiring everyone to pay the toll AND increases social welfare by $1,740 per driver per year.
AWS is everywhere.
And it runs everything.
Category density and opportunity of 729 digitally native brands. Outlined in a white paper on 2pm’s website. Where does the most opportunity lie?
Is there an Enterprise Margin Crisis in Software Startups?
All via Martin Casado:
- Artifical intelligence is expensive
- Lack of a central buyer in non-traditional verticals like forestry, mining, etc
- Data costs are high – expensive to collect, store, maintain, move, process, label, and keep fresh
- Automation isn’t magic – humans are sometimes the easiest (albeit not the cheapest) option
- Unoptimized cloud – cloud implementations can be inefficient as companies scale out
- Reselling clouds – back-end cloud costs get resold without the direct discounting authority attached to it
- Dropping ACVs – need to boost annual contract value
- Getting to market – there has been a shift to bottom-up adoption, but larger dollar pools are reached via enterprise sales.
- Services – continual shift of customer dollars from product to service
- 1980s: U.S.
- 1990s: Japan
- 2000s: U.S.
- 2010s: China
- 2019: Saudi Arabia
- 2020s: ?
When Does it Count? The Timing of Food Stamp Receipt and Educational Performance
Math scores tend to be higher when children receive their benefits at the beginning of the month, and drop when they’re late in the benefit cycle. This is extremely important to consider as students are judged more and more on the results of testing.
The Most Used Words in the Titles of 500 most-cited Articles in AER, JPE, and QJE by decade
via The Era of Evidence
Relationship Between Trust and Economic Performance
If you don’t trust, you don’t gain. Trust is the hallmark of any good relationship.
“In general, the evidence suggests that adaptation is an important feature of well-being. Many common but important life events have a modest long-term impact on self-reported happiness. Yet adaptation to some events, such as long-term unemployment, is neither perfect nor immediate.”
We celebrate. And then we move on.
Sam Zell had many excellent things to say on the changes that are coming as this next generation takes the societal reins. Read the entire piece from Ed Friedrichs here.
Read the whole thread for a litany of crab jokes.
“There were 496 scripted TV shows made in the US last year, more than double the 216 series released in 2010. In the past eight years the number of shows grew by 129%, while the US population rose only 6%”. Not only is how we consume content rapidly evolving, but so is the content that we consume.
- If watching sports (and to a lesser extent, news) on TV is important to you, you’re going to probably keep paying for a bundle of TV channels
- There are plenty of people who are paying for a TV bundle who don’t care about sports and news, and those people are eventually going to cut the cord.
- Those 13 million cord-cutters-to-be are up for grabs for the streamers: They’d like you to take the money you’re paying Comcast and spend it with them instead. Which means they’re going spend like crazy over the next few years to win you over.
Donald Trump as Muhammad Ali
I would be wrong to not include at least one tweet from Trump in this wrap-up. I’ve kept it at one (and the most popular one), if you were concerned.
Not even tuna is safe.
The Millennials aren’t going to want any of this.
“Corporations don’t pay taxes.”
Waffle Houses by State via Eddy Elfenbein
Waffle House has a strong presence in the South!
via Win Smart, CFA, chart created by Visual Capitalist. Will be interesting to see how they move for the next 50 years.
Via the CoinSharesCo Crypto Trends report. An interesting overview of the different ways that crypto is being implemented cross-markets.
David Dobrik Wins Sexiest Heartthrob
THIS is power of the crowds. Dobrik “rallied his 9.4M Instagram followers to beat out the competition”.
The Correlation Between James Harden’s Performance and Strip Clubs
Conclusion: “I have proven to a statistically significant degree that James Harden’s game performance declines in cities with higher rated strip clubs” As always, correlation =/= causation.
Read the whole piece here.
I don’t even know where to begin. There are so many gems in this deck. Please read in it’s entirety here.
- “Optimistic people live longer, based on nearly 50 years of longitudinal data.
- Optimism better predicts mortality than income, including health and other controls.
- Optimism changes over time and is positively associated with socio-economic status.”
A controversial post. Especially considering that it’s based on Google search volume. (Love that Kentucky is the ONLY state that was searching Swedish Fish)
Growth in Popular Protests Across the World
Levine wrote an excellent piece on the fallen angel, WeWork, and imagined a series of conversations between Adam Neumann, the founder of WeWork, and Masayoshi Son, the CEO of SoftBank Group Corp. All are hilarious.
As Matt Ridley quoted, “the inflation is here, it’s just not evenly distributed.”
Inclusivity. For everyone.
Love all the amazing work that tasty trade continues to do!
He is here. Source: @dark_putout
Transaction (primarily social media platforms and other engagement tools) versus Innovation (pure tech companies)
Poorly Drawn Lines (one of my favorite comics)
Support them here!
Chess players are ATHLETES.
Myopia (short-sightedness) has gripped East Asia in recent years. Almost 90% of Chinese teenagers are short-sighted, up between 70-80% from a mere 60 years ago. The solution? Send people outside.
“Eye drops and light boxes do not have quite the appeal of sending children outside to play, which has plenty of other benefits besides those for the eyes. “It probably also increases physical activity, which decreases likelihood of obesity and enhances mood,” Rose says. “I can only see it as a win — and it’s free.””
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
How Amazon came to be. And how it has continued to be.
A shift in dialogue and in focus. And probably not for the best.
Competitive advantage can be represented in the form of feedback loops. Once a company masters any of the below, which takes effort to do, the wheel spins along smoothly, moving based on it’s own momentum.
Here are som real world examples of Wal-Mart, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. As you can see, the “most succesful moats have multiple flywheels that feed off each other’s momentum.”
It’s getting hot in here and the CO2 levels are making me fall asleep.
In honor of BYND.
One of the most fascinating spaces to watch. Video gaming has become evolved from something that people did in their parent’s basement to a booming industry with mega-prize money.
Saving the world from Excel Hell!
“These results suggest that the improvement of respiratory muscle endurance and blunted respiratory muscle metaboreflex could, in part, contribute to improved endurance performance in endurance-trained athletes. However, it is also suggested that there are no additional effects when the RMET is performed in hypoxia.”
Maybe athletes don’t need to go into the mountains to train.
How where we live impacts how we invest. “Invest in what you know” is clearly articulated.
How motivated beliefs affect the direction of the entire field(s). Moshe Hoffman has an excellent thread unpacking it.
Nature at its finest.
So much competition.
This paper discusses the evolution of culinary systems across the world, compiling recipes from 25 different world regions to study statistical patterns and usage of ingredients over time.
“Why have airline prices gone up? I’ll give you a hint: It is not due to indexing or “Common ownership.” Bankruptcies + mergers have taken what had been 10 major U.S. airlines down to four mega-carriers which dominate the market. ” – Barry Ritholtz
Disney’s attempt to nab NFL football rights.
“Genetics applies to startups as well! This study finds startups carry over practices from the “parent” firms where the founders used to work. Looking at the Valley family tree (from a different source) you can see why there is a common culture there: most companies are cousins!” – Ethan Mollick
Robert Jensen wrote a paper detailing how the “price dispersion for fish decreased in India when cell phone towers were built and information about prices up and down the beach became easier to obtain.”
“Kitkat and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup customers won’t tolerate price hikes. For every 1% increase in pricing, volume drops 2.1% and 3.9%, respectively.” – UBS (h/t Sam Ro)
Costco’s business model is fascinating.
“Chevron’s data set in the Permian is about to get a lot larger and more valuable. The APC Delaware acreage is further east of CVX’s more recent activity. It’s oilier too.” – Robert Clarke
” Chick-fil-A unit economics…at $4M AUV, let’s assume they’re operating at industry EBITDA margins (25%) and build-out is ~$1.5M. 60%+ ROIC per location isn’t too shabby. It’s no wonder they continue to build 100+ locations/year. ” – Devin Gfeller
Support him here!
Jerry Hargrove is a genuis.
What investing $100 at IPO would be worth today
The pattern of technology adoption: holds true for 100 years across dozens of different technologies
“Huge wins are rare
Mostly luck Claimed as skill
But huge wins beget halos
And halos beget better reputation
And better rep begets better opps
And better opps up the odds
That you get lucky
With a rare huge win “Source: Josh Wolfe
Not to be confused with Peloton woman.
Were they met?
Also known as the “Oh My God” graphic to Jeremy Littau
“Given sufficient time, all big companies will change their brand colors to be made up of red, green, blue, and yellow” – Vlad Magdalin
“This is such a key point. The American food system will not change by creating an alternative system. The giants will simply subsume it (General Mills buying Annie’s, Hormel buying Applegate, Pepsico buying Naked Juice, etc). Change the existing system.” – Austin Frerick
The distance between Republicans and Democrats on set of 10 policy questions
Did they come true?
Finally: one of my favorite pictures of all of 2019.
Thanks for reading! Connect with me on Twitter @kylascan or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.