Add a kick to your week
Time to Read: 2 min 12 seconds | December 20, 2017
Good morning squad,
I set up a Christmas tree this week. It’s kind of chubby but also pretty cute. I’ve never had a square Christmas tree before.
Here’s stuff you may or may not be interested in.
Age of no compromise. Senate Republicans passed the tax bill on party lines last night, 51–48, with no republican defections and no Democratic support. Here’s some stuff to know:
- The corporate tax rate falls from 35 percent to 21 percent
- The size of inheritances shielded from estate taxation doubles from $11M to $22M
- Average American tax reduction will be roughly $1,600 in 2018
- Taxpayers in the 95th to 99th percentile (income between $308K and $733K) benefit the most, with an average tax cut of $13,500
- The individual mandate (meaning most people must have health coverage or pay a penalty) is dead, a move that the Congressional budget office projects will increase premiums for people who buy insurance
- Oil and gas companies can now drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
The hot take…anythin’ for the W. Congress needed a win almost as bad as the Browns (0–14). Most Americans are likely to see more money in their pockets this year, and that could be a good move for the GOP in 2018 and 2020. On the flip side, this bill will likely balloon the federal deficit, a move that violates core republican principles. Be on the lookout for Congress to revisit tax in the near future.
Designed for attention. In the digital world we live in today, attention is as good as currency and modern UX is constantly looking for ways to get it. Apps bombard you with notifications so you click and engage with content; algorithms serve up content you like so you never leave. It’s basically the equivalent of a sugar rush. You love it…until you start feeling queasy.
The hot take…less is more. The next generation of design winners will take into account the psychological and emotional stress that attention-UX is causing on the average user and design products with your state of mind in mind (lol). Google’s Pixel 2 is a great example. The subtle notification experience — a pale blue or pink dot rather than the glaring red badges on the iPhone — make users feel more at peace while using their devices.
Machine Learning (or AI if you must…)
Insured for Robots. Yesterday, Google announced a partnership with Trov for its forthcoming self-driving ride hailing service. This is the first autonomous vehicle (AV) insurance that we know of thus far. Here’s what you’ll get:
- Insurance for lost and managed property
- Insurance for any medical expenses resulting from rides
- Zero cost to riders, insurance will be bundled as part of the overall service
The hot take…this is just the first of what will likely be many startups that exist in the halo economy surrounding AV. While AV is largely inaccessible for the average garageband startup, opportunities like insurance, fleet management, even real estate will be in play as self-driving cars begin to hit the road.
S&P 500: (+1.00%)
Holy crypto batman. Coin based announced they would be adding Bitcoin Cash (a derivative of Bitcoin) to their online marketplace. This immediately sent the crypto world into a frenzy. At one point, Bitcoin Cash was up nearly 800% and the rest of the crypto world was down 100%.
The hot take(s)…this is a completely reactive market, with literally no true value. And you should absolutely not invest your life saving in it. But that doesn’t mean their isn’t strategy and you can’t be responsibly interested. Yesterday’s addition of a new currency to the Coinbase platform confirms many investors’ theories that the best strategy is to correctly identify whatever currency Coinbase is going to add next. Traders can access these currencies on Binance. Please invest with caution.
Startup to Watch
Lemonade is tasty AND useful. SoftBank, the Japanese telecommunications giant, made a$120M investment in Lemonade,a startup providing renters and homeowners insurance. Additional investors include Alphabet’s investment firm, GV, General Catalyst, and Sequoia Capital. Lemonade has successfully developed a full-service business that leverages strong data science capabilities to bring insurance to your smartphone
The hot take…Lemonade already covers 90,000 policyholders for policies worth tens of billions of dollars. And Softbank, GV, General Catalyst, and Sequoia Capital are pretty much the who’s who of Silicon valley VC firms. Plus, Lemonade recently set a world record for fastest claim-to-payout time: 3 seconds…with zero paperwork.
Did you know…
Women are eight times more likely to ask Google if their husband is gay than if he is an alcoholic.
Be well and do good work.
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