Feature image:  The world’s worst offenders for plastic pollution.  This visual and additional content about it is contained in the Visual Dataset.

Content & Platform updates summarize the content I add to my business platforms and include any other items I found interesting.   

Lot’s of good stuff in this issue.

Let’s start with some inspiration on perseverance from one of my reading sources:

“But the one thing to understand about grinding is the compounding effect. It’s just like investing; once you stop compounding, the music stops. So the way to keep growing is to keep grinding and keep compounding. Eventually people will notice. “

Basecamp InQb8r Platform

Basecamp InQb8r members must be logged in to access some of the links below.

University Updates This Period

My learning platform for early-stage B2C/B2B2C/DTC startups.

  • Section 4, Finance, Fundraising: added notes to fundraising and tips on the pitch deck. There is a ton already out on the internet about fundraising so I have never wanted to duplicate that information. But I am have recently seen a number of pitch decks that were just wholly inadequate and missing key things, so I put my thoughts down on the very specific and key things that a pitch deck absolutely has to answer to have any hope of raising money.
  • Section 8, Support, Human Resources: added some about hiring from Ray Dalio and his Principles Book.
  • Section 1, Strategy, Risk Analysis: added article on managing risk using the Nasa Matrix to my Risk Analysis main toolset.

Knowledgeboard Updates This Period

I post current strategies and tactics working in the marketplace for B2C/B2B2C/DTC startups as well as other key news and trends.

New submissions:

  • Emerging Architectures for Modern Data Infrastructure (2020): This is a great overview (but technical) article on the latest in databases and data management, along with service providers and architectures.
  • Here’s a promotion tip I liked and copied from a research source:  “My favorite tip was “run promotions on oddly-shaped and hard to pack/ship items early.” Specifically, The Cookie Countess sells a very long rolling pin, which takes significantly longer to pick and pack compared to most other items. Having a rush on these rolling pins amid cyber week volume adds huge strain to their fulfillment process. To combat this, Jon and his team run their absolute lowest-priced promotion for this item much earlier in the holiday season. This allows customers to take advantage of the best prices and allows Jon’s team to fulfill the bulk of these challenging orders earlier in the season”. Via Shippo
  • Curated resource on virtual events: platforms, tools, processes, best practices
  • TikTok is a sleeping e-commerce giant (2020). Excerpt from article:  “Ou said direct-to-consumer brands selling products under $200 are doing really well on the platform. On the flip side, companies that sell luxury items—or products with long sell cycles, like furniture, which require re-targeting custom audiences several times over—have struggled. Products under $200 are seeing better conversion rates on TikTok than even Facebook or Instagram, proving the app’s young user base is willing and able to buy things.”
  • Twitch emerges as rising platform for beauty brands (2020):  Any new consumer business today needs to seriously figure out how to leverage Twitch, Snapchat, Tik Tok, or a combination thereof.

Data Platform Updates This Period

Investments Portal

My online platform for researching and tracking my private and public company investments.  My current list of investments on my watch list and/or owned is here.

  • The shift toward autonomous trucks should spur consolidation in the trucking industry.  Among the 500,000 trucking companies in the US, most are owner-operated with fewer than six trucks each. Autonomous technology is likely to submit to natural geographic monopolies given the massive data collection necessary to create successful platforms.
  • Bitcoin is repeating the same pattern found in history. The first wave is the speculative bubble, followed by a bust, followed by a second wave where the real money starts coming in. It appears we are entering the second wave with bitcoin, with serious institutional money buying in.
  • This is incredible, via a Twitter source. In 2019, Express produced $2B in sales, they spend $250M+ a year in rent. The last 3YRs, cash flow was $60M, $25M, $50M respectively. In a net cash position as of August BUT ~$1B in lease liabilities. ~600 stores. Worth more alive than dead. Simon + Brookfield will own it. The market cap for EXPRESS is currently $46.1 million. It trades at $.72 per share.  Simon might make a killing here in scooping up such value.
  • 10/25/20: Electric mobility after the crisis: Why an auto slowdown won’t hurt EV demand | McKinsey Growth in Asia and Europe to outpace US because lower fuel taxes in US so ICE oil can compete and less government subsidies and incentives.
  • Added to my business ideas dataset:  my wife is always complaining about having to haul things in from her car (groceries, store items, personal bag, work-related stuff, and vice versa taking stuff to her car).  A simple wheeled robot to put stuff in and which follows a simple command to “follow me” to and from the car or vice versa.
  • New megacities with explosive growth through 2030.  May be worth spending some time to determine how best to put on a trade to profit from this growth.  See visuals below.
  • “Health care [will see] the convergence of DNA sequencing, artificial intelligence, and CRISPR gene editing—all new technologies that have fallen enough in cost and price and are ready for prime time now.” Via Twitter.

Calendar Updates This Period

See Calendar for details.

  • My open office hours are ongoing each week. Basecamp InQb8r startup members, please check the calendar and pop-in at your convenience.

Miscellaneous Items

  • Wow. How can what appears to be the perfect person with the right experience screw this up so badly? Takeaways: (1) impossible trying to balance what your boss wants and what your underlings can do; (2) applying your world view that you learned from past experiences onto this one, thinking you will get the same results. Reminds me of what I read a long time ago in Fooled By Randomness, which described how traders made incredible amounts of money in short periods of time because their experience and knowledge matched the market situation that allowed them to profit, but when the market situation changed, they could not adjust and never succeeded again. To be successful long-term means you have to adjust based on changing circumstances, and not rely on what has worked in the past.
  • I added the Whoop health monitoring wearable. While I am still learning how it works and letting it compile background data on me, I have noticed that my heart-rate-variability (HRV) suffers when I eat the wrong foods that can cause mild autoimmune issue for me. While I don’t need the HRV reading to tell me that, because I always feel those issues the next day, its helpful to see the measured condition reflect the observed symptoms.
  • The Present Future of Audio: Talk, Music, Video, Interactivity Great read!
  • I finished reading the Interdependency series.  Great sci-fi books.
  • This is amazing. I would not have expected that the planet is getting more green.

Visuals