TIME TO READ: 2 min 43 seconds
February 28, 2018
"Do you think if we pose like this it'll look like we know how to start a company?"
We read the fine print because you didn't.
Good morning squad,

Spent the weekend ripping lines...of powder...with my skis. I know what you were thinking. Also, this is going to sound crazy, but I think bobsledding might be my new favorite Olympic sport.

Here's a week's worth of stuff to know.

Sunday Reading

  • Lyft might prove that nice guys don't finish last. Link
  • Didi Chuxing takes on the world. Link


Changing the tone one guns. The Parkland shootings appear to be moving the ball on gun control more than any other mass shooting in recent memory. There are a couple of reasons why people haven't changed their minds thus far:
  • Repeated acts of violence can numb our emotional response. Gun violence in the U.S. is disturbingly common: 96 Americans are killed by a gun every day
  • People are bad at calculating risk. When viewed at a distance, it's hard to imagine it ever happening to us.
  • It's not clear to people why mass shootings happen, therefore there's no consensus on policy. Gun owners think parents are to blame, while people who don't own guns place the onus on the weapons
  • Gun owners often feel as though owning a gun is part of their identity. Therefore, any attack on gun policy feels significantly more personal
The hot take...any hope for gun control depends on our ability to move a majority of people beyond these psychological barriers. In the case of Parkland, it might be able to overcome some of the obstacles. Here's why:
  • Numbing is usually reinforced by a quick drop-off in media coverage. This time, however, internet-savvy teenagers are keeping the message alive on social media.
  • Focusing on semi-automatic bans rather than guns as a category might help gun owners separate the issue from their identity.

Pete Buttigeg could be the next President...if he gets out of Indiana. Link
Jared Kushner is losing his security clearance. Link 
China is eliminating Presidential term limits. Meet Emperor Xi Jinping. Link


Waymo gets approved for driverless ride-hailing service. Arizona's Department of Transportation approved a permit allowing Waymo to deploy the first driverless ride-hailing service in Phoenix, AZ. The company plans to roll the service out over the next year and will add several thousand cars to the current fleet of 600.

The hot probably won't be riding in a self-driving car this year. Phoenix is low-hanging fruit for the car's AI – light traffic, wide streets, and not a lot of alternative traffic (e.g. bikers, cabs) – and deploying in more complicated urban areas will take a lot more testing. Still, an autonomous world is not far on the horizon.

a16z talks autonomous driving ecosystems. Link
Amazon buys Ring, the smart doorbell company. Link
A bank is collecting the world's genetic code. Link
Goldman Sachs & GM: Julia Steyn talks about the future of auto. Link 


S&P 500: (+1.03%)
DJI: (+1.78%)
BTC: (+0.08%)

Telegram raises $850M in ICO...messaging giant Telegram announced that it raised $850 million from investors in the pre-sale stage of its ICO (initial coin offering). The company has been working on plans to use the money to build a Telegram Open Network (TON) that will essentially serve as the Amazon Web Services for blockchain/distributed services. Some of these products include:
  • A distributed file storage similar to Dropbox
  • A distributed VPN
  • Services for decentralized apps and contracting services
  • Distributed payment services and peer-to-peer transactions

The hot take...if this works, Telegram could soon be one of the world's most valuable companies. As more databases get hacked, more credit card numbers get stolen, and more money flows through the interwebs, people are turning anywhere and everywhere to find security. Telegram's suite of decentralized services could provide this cybersecurity on a scale nobody has seen.

From Matt Levine: Can the Kardashians trade on tweets? Link 

Design & Culture

Spielberg documentary. HBO's recent documentary Spielberg documents the career of Steven Spielberg and takes you behind the scenes (pun intended) and into the mind of one of the most brilliant directors in the history of cinema. If you have a couple hours over the weekend, it's worth checking out just to hear the story of how he got his first gig and how he shot Schindler's List

Netflix buys producer Ryan Murphy from Fox for $300M. Link
The Rolling Stones announce tour dates. Link


TB12 takes on a new venture...Tom Brady, Michael Strahan, and Gotham Chopra are teaming up to launch a new sports media start up called The Religion of Sports. The idea is essentially to source the best stories in the business – across sports – and distribute them on various platforms. Their most recent project, Tom vs. Time, racked up more than 42 million views on Facebook.

The hot doesn't quite feel like they know what they want The Religion of Sports to be. But if Tom vs. Time is any indication, The Religion of Sports is looking to tell a wide range of documentary-type stories meant to pull at your heart strings and deepen your reverence for sports and competition. This is ESPN Classics but better.

Industrious – the luxury WeWork – picks up $80M.

Did you know...

The avg. entrepreneur has a 0.00006% chance of building a billion-dollar company. (So go do it).

Be well and do good work.

- Danny

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