It’s exploiting your confirmation bias — because it’s good business

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Photo by Gonzalo Arnaiz on Unsplash

YouTube gave the spoken word the same thing the printing press gave the written word: massive reach. Before Gutenberg, writing — and reading, for that matter — were reserved to the elite for one simple reason: expensive, centralized distribution. Similarly, if you wanted to share your thoughts in an audio or video format 50 years ago, you’d have to go through systems with infrastructure in place — like radio or TV stations. Systems with gatekeepers.

Even 20 years ago, it was pretty inconceivable to be able to take a virtual high-definition walk around Moscow, sit in on a Stanford psychology…


The 20-year journey of Ben Chestnut, founder of MailChimp

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Ben Chestnut was 26 when he was laid off and started a web design agency. Original image by Wikimedia Commons

“I had a month’s heads-up about the whole thing. So I had time to kind of plan my life.”

After getting laid off in 2000, Ben Chestnut resorted to the trade he knew best — designing websites. Over the years, he’d built “about 2 thousand” banner ads for his former employer, Cox newspapers. He knew exactly how to design clickable things online.

“And I thought… Well, this is our chance to start a company. My business partner and I went out and got clients. We went knocking on doors, down the hall from our office. And we got paying projects…


Google’s new storage policy says that if you hadn’t logged in to Gmail, Drive or Photos in the last two years, they ‘may’ delete your files permanently

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Make sure to log into all Google accounts you care about before June 1, 2021 at least once. Shutterstock image

Earlier this fall, Google announced that they’ll be deleting files within your trash folder indefinitely after 30 days of holding them. G Suite Administrators will still have the ability to restore files within 25 days after they’ve been deleted. So, no biggie.

However, on November 11, Google has announced changes to their storage policy. They’ve made two important adjustments:

  • If you’re inactive in one or more of these services for two years (24 months), Google may delete the content in the product(s) in which you’re inactive.
  • Similarly, if you’re over your storage limit for two years, Google may delete your…


Josh Browder’s ‘robo-lawyer’ is the hero we need right now

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Joshua Browder, founder of DoNotPay. Creative commons licence

This is Joshua Browder. He was 19 when he moved from the U.K. to the U.S. to study at Stanford.

Joshua had a driver’s license by then, but his parking skills weren’t very good. In fact, after moving to California, he already had more than 30 parking tickets to his name.

“I obviously didn’t have the money to pay these really expensive tickets. They were like $100, $200 a piece. I had to find other ways to get these tickets dismissed.”

Story based on these three interviews.

A Few Late Nights Later..

Turns out, you can.

In San Francisco, many parking spots are marked with…


Six-time unicorn angel investor, Jason Calacanis, talks about how he chooses his bets

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Jason Calacanis, early investor in Uber, Robinhood, Trello, Calm. Wikimedia commons image

This is Jason Calacanis. He wrote some of the first checks for founders who eventually built companies valued at $1+ billion.

Jason is a legendary investor. He saw the potential of startups like Uber, Robinhood, and Calm before anyone else.

Jason invests in companies at their earliest stages. He is the guy who identifies the genius within the founders — before they have the numbers to back it up.

“I invested $25K in Uber when it was worth around $5 million. …


5 questions that will help you find yours

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Meaningful work isn’t always pleasant. Shutterstock image

First of all, let’s make a clear distinction between the two.

Passion is when you’re excited to see a new episode of your favorite show.

Passion is when you’re getting goosebumps listening to a song.

Passion is when you’re doing things for the sake of doing them.

Purpose is the opposite of that.

Purpose is when you’re *not* eating that box of doughnuts because you want to look good after the pandemic is over.

Purpose is when you’re so anxious you’re going to be sick, but you still get on that decisive video call.

Purpose is when you’re doing things…


In 2008, Drew Houston posted a screencast of his demo product online. 14 months later, he was sitting across the desk from Steve Jobs, rejecting his nine-digit acquisition offer.

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Drew Houston, co-founder of Dropbox. Wikimedia Commons image

Drew describes himself as a poker enthusiast, but I think he was one of those people (like me) who wanted to get rich playing poker in their dorm room. It was the year 2006, and the dream was still very much alive.

As any sensible engineer would do, Drew built himself a poker-bot: a piece of software that would play hands while its creator was daydreaming.

“I was obsessed with that thing. I thought of our dog growing up, Whimsy. When you throw a tennis ball, she would just go pounding after it, just bashing through stuff, tongue hanging out…


How the legendary founder employed minimalism to turn Apple around at its lowest point

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CEO and founder of Apple Computers & Pixar boss, STEVE JOBS, at the world premiere of Disney/Pixar’s Monsters, Inc., at the El Capitan Theatre, Hollywood. Shutterstock image

Busy is the new cool, right?

Keep your phone on the table so that you can instantly check the super-important messages that come in every 7 minutes. Walk to work so fast you overtake peaceful joggers. Tell your mama you’ll definitely visit next week. Oh, and, God forbid you don’t have 18 certificates on your Linkedin page and five urgent projects to attend to.

We design our homes minimalistically, but we clutter our own lives — both personal and professional — into a FOMO-induced chaotic blend of “I don’t have time right now” and “I don’t know what I’m doing…


In just four years, Andrew Mason turned his Wordpress blog into an empire only to have it slip away

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Andrew Mason, Groupon co-founder and ex-CEO. Wikimedia commons image

Get a music degree.

Realise it’s not exactly in demand.

Teach yourself coding.

Get an internship in designing websites.

Mention a website idea to a coworker.

Get back into school to study politics.

Get a call from your former boss. He likes your website idea.

A week later, get a million dollars to build your website.

Spend months perfecting every detail. Launch it.

Watch it fail to take off.

Panic.

Pivot in desperation.

See your other idea grow exponentially.

Hire 1,000 people in the next year.

Raise over $1 billion in the next four years.

Pay yourself $200 million. …


How two average programmers created an e-commerce empire by imitating their former employer

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Flipkart co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal. They’re not related. Flipkart photo

Neither Sachin nor Binny Bansals put a lot of effort into school.

Sachin has a long history with video games and would isolate himself for weeks in his room.

He passed IIT Delhi entrance exams with flying colors but found himself possessed by video games Quake and Age of Empires. His grades suffered. As a result, he would have to stay an additional year at the school just to score enough credits.

Binny was less into the extremes — but he was, by all measures, as average as it gets. His grades were OK — though not outstanding. He had…

Alan Trapulionis

In quest of understanding how humans work.

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