451: Mr. Beast, Zuckerberg, Disney+, Apple & Bing & Google, Jony Ive + OpenAI, Hydropower, Recycling Wind Turbines, and Studio Ghibli
"If you have one of the very best businesses in the world"
We say “seeing is believing,” but actually, as Santayana pointed out, we are all much better at believing than at seeing.
In fact, we are seeing what we believe nearly all the time and only occasionally seeing what we can’t believe.
—Robert Anton Wilson
🤫😆🎭 How accurately can very introverted people imagine what it feels like to be very extroverted and vice versa?
Is it more difficult in one direction than the other?
My guess is that it’s easier for introverted people to imagine what it’s like to be extroverted than the reverse, mostly because a lot of extroverted traits are outwardly observable, while a lot of introverted traits stay below the surface.
But hey, I say this as an introverted guy, so maybe I *don’t* understand extroverts and I’m only kidding myself that I do.
To explain the difference, I like to use the analogy that introverts recharge their batteries when they’re alone and extroverts recharge their batteries when they’re with others. 🔋
Let’s pour one out for the shy extroverts, who got dealt a tough hand 😬
📺🎓 This montage of Mr. Beast explaining how he developed his YouTube skills and what it takes to rise to the top of the power law is fascinating — my biggest takeaway is his level of obsession and deliberate practice.
We should never discount the role of luck and randomness in everything we do, but that truth shouldn’t be an excuse NOT to focus on the things that we can control and have an impact on.
🛀💭🕰️ Every consumer packaged goods (CPG) company releases a “new and improved” version of their products every once in a while. We’re supposedly getting better toothpaste, detergent, deodorant, etc.
My instinct is that it’s mostly BS.
Once in a while, there’s a real notable improvement, but otherwise, it’s probably just changing things around for the sake of difference because there are huge marketing benefits to doing so.
Even if improvements are small and incremental, if they are real, over long periods they should add up to a large difference, no?
I wish I could try toothpaste from the 1950s and see if I notice a huge difference compared to modern toothpaste, or if it’s all basically the same thing (a mild soapy abrasive with mint flavor)…
Where can I find a time capsule filled with toothpaste and detergent? 🤔
🏦 💰 Liberty Capital 💳 💴
🗣️🎙️ Interview: Mark Zuckerberg 🥽
I enjoyed this one (transcript and audio-only versions here).
No, this is not the interview recorded in VR with uncanny-valley avatars that was making the rounds recently, this is a different one. (see Trung’s take on it)
I think Zuck is getting better at long-form interviews, and as one of the only Big Tech founders still around, he’s a bit of a scarce resource (I guess it depends if you count Nvidia and Tesla as Big Tech 🤔 — they certainly are big and tech).
The sections of the interview about AI, Threads, and Meta’s use of Open Source were most interesting to me.
Here’s a highlight where Zuck discusses going on the ActivityPub protocol for Threads and why they won’t do the same for the other Meta properties:
Q: Threads will eventually hook into [the decentralized social media protocol ActivityPub]. This is the first time you’ve done anything really meaningful in the decentralized social media space.
Zuck: Yeah, we’re building it from the ground up. I’ve always believed in this stuff.
Q: Really? Because you run the largest centralized social media platform.
Zuck: But I mean, it didn’t exist when we got started, right? I’ve had our team at various times do the thought experiment of like, “Alright, what would it take to move all of Facebook onto some kind of decentralized protocol?” And it’s like, “That’s just not going to happen.” There’s so much functionality that is on Facebook that it’s way too complicated, and you can’t even support all the different things, and it would just take so long, and you’d not be innovating during that time. [...]
the opportunity cost of doing this massive transition is kind of this massive thing. But when you’re starting from scratch, you can just design it so it can work with that.
I don’t know if this is a bit of revisionist history on his part (‘we have always been at war with Eastasia’), but hearing this from the founder of the biggest proprietary walled gardens online reminds me of when Microsoft started supporting Linux in the cloud and shipping it with Windows (a few years earlier, Ballmer called Linux and open source a “cancer”).
Things change, and not always in ways that would have been predictable a decade earlier!
🔮 📈📉 Reminder #453,562 that forecasts are just guesses
Most supposedly sophisticated forecasts are basically just some intern taking a ruler and extending lines linearly with a sharpie… 📏✍️
☯️ Bing is extremely lucrative…. for Apple 🍎 💰💰💰💰
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