Good evening squad,
Just want to take a moment and say thanks to everyone who reads this! Each week, about 50 people read this newsletter through their email, and more than 150 read it through Facebook. That's a pretty cool thing for me.
Many of you respond to the hot takes, send me things that you think are interesting, or just ask me how it's all going. I'm so grateful for all of it. Thank you for coming back each week to feast on a little dose of spice. Without further ado...
...here's some stuff worth reading this week:
- The birth of a new American aristocracy. Link
- 5 of the best college application essays. Link
China wants to become a high-tech economy. China's Made in China 2025 plan aims to make the country less dependent on the U.S. in 10 advanced manufacturing sectors – particularly microchips, 5G technology, and robotics. Now, the U.S. is preemptively beginning to place tariffs on high-tech goods made in China in the hopes that it can stall the country's growth in key technology sectors.
The tepid take...it's unclear who needs who more, but both countries face an uphill battle to separation. The U.S. is betting that if it forces American companies out of China, they'll figure out how to source components from other areas of the global supply chain. But there's no guarantee that's possible. At the same time, a trade war with China eliminates an enormous marketplace and labor source for American companies, which could stall economic growth.
China, on the other hand, needs a lot of American-made technology to bring it into the future - case and point, ZTE. Without American components, China will need to develop the technology on its own. Additionally, Trump Administration sanctions on goods like electric cars and satellites mean a lot of that technology will continue to be developed and exported by the U.S.
Israel kills dozens at Gaza Border. Link
Is the U.S. too big to govern? Link
China and it's "Debtbook Diplomacy". Link
Apple + GS = Credit Card. Apple and Goldman Sachs are teaming up to release a new credit sometime next year. The card would live under the Apple Pay brand and help them compensate for slower growth in their phone sales. GS, on the other hand, sees this as a way to get into consumer banking to compensate for a slowdown in securities trading.
The hot take...the move is part of a larger effort by Goldman to get into the consumer lending business and Apple to double its payment business to $50 billion by 2020. In the new deal, Apple could make as much as 0.30% per transaction through it's digital wallet (it's currently at 0.15%, regardless of what credit card is used).
Google is trying to decide whether or not to sell AI to the government. Link
Airbnb's new font. In a world where website and mobile app design is converging into a few tried and true design patterns, companies like Airbnb are having to find new ways to set their products apart. Enter font design. Airbnb's new font – named Cereal – is rolling out across its products this week. Its goal? Tell a brand story in a way that works on a tiny UI button and on a gigantic billboard. Check it out here.
Design & Culture
Netflix is launching a news show. Link
Startups & VC
Compound wants to let you short crypto. In its first-ever investment round, crypto giant Coinbase put its new venture fund behind Compound, a new crypto startup that wants to let you lend cryptocurrency for interest or borrow and short it later. Interest rates are set algorithmically.
The hot take...the guy who started this company said, "My thesis is that almost every crypto asset is bullshit and not worth anything." So he created a company to screw over all the idiots. To be honest, he's probably on to something. Now that crypto has semi-stabilized and is receiving some real media attention, people are realizing it has no real value...yet. Also, the company got money from some of the biggest names in VC< including Andreesen Horowitz, Bain Capital, and Polychain.
Did you know...
A derecho storm is a long-lived, widespread wind storm. They are referred to as such for their quasi-linear convective systems.