Why “autos” will change our society, and how nutrigenomics optimises health 🚗💊
Our weekly dose of “Monday Morsels” centre’s on building “mental models” that allow you to build knowledge in AI, automation & the technologies or business models that support it. Each week we cover 2–3 morsels, this week we cover why “autos” will change our society and how nutrigenomics optimises health.
Image: Matt Cherubino
Why “Autos” will change our society —
Autonomous and electric vehicles will be the first stage for the disruption of automation amongst the mainstream. While we see a progression in the application for artificial intelligence (mainly bots), we think that autonomous vehicles could be far more impactful in the near term. The reason for that is the intensity of the “driver” culture amongst our societies and economies. So much of our lives, businesses, products & services are arranged around the accessibility or productivity of vehicles; think about how many services have evolved around the daily commute, or the cost of real estate closer to work. Over the last few weeks we’ve accrued pieces by people in Silicon Valley & the car industry discussing the Paradigm Shift in Cars, Uber’s Achilles Heel, Uber’s move to automation, new Business Models, urban planning, what everyone is generally talking about and the durability of electric vehicles. In short, autonomous vehicles will well and truly be here by 2021 changing everything. In particular, the scarce resource of asset productivity & accessibility will be lifted, changing the value of the car for both manufacturers & owners.
So how can we look at this from an entrepreneurship or personal hacking perspective? Starting with asset productivity; manufacturers could soon be seen as a valuable investment, as it could become a) more profitable for them to rent cars in a fleet, rather than sell it and b) more affordable to rent a car (as a user) than buying one long term. You can assume that a certain percentage of the population will continue to want a car for social capital, but the majority will opt for the fleet option as they can deploy their money elsewhere. We then move to accessibility; in an autonomous world, the car is well and truly a device that needs support. Content production will be the first opportunity as no doubt ads & content will be distributed within cars. Fleet management will be critical to managing vehicle productivity. Pit crew style maintenance will be essential to ensuring that vehicles are not idle, and car parks will be moved away from major city centres which will no doubt open up development opportunities. Make no mistake the dominant incumbents in the automotive sector are all pushing for this dramatic change, and they all have timelines that will be reached by 2025.
So, to start engaging in this opportunity as a business or individual I recommend going through the following process to start understanding opportunities & risks over the next five years:
- What industry am I in, and how reliant am I on the driver culture in my business or job? How invested am I in that? These questions will allow you to manage any downside risk.
- Where are the opportunities for me in deploying my capital? Examples:
- If I’m in the car business directly or indirectly, will this remove the need for my business or job? (i.e. Uber driver, taxi driver, truck driver, showroom salesperson).
- Can I offer services that support the fleet? If so, how effortless can I make it and what relationships can I build now for the next five years?
- If I can’t directly or indirectly access that through my job or business, how can I invest? Which business model will suit me best? (Manufacturer — Toyota, Tesla or Platform — Uber, Apple).
- What will happen if I don’t do any of the above? Will it impact me or can I spend my time elsewhere?
Image: Volvo Project
How nutrigenomics optimises health —
Dr Rhonda Patrick introduced me to the concept of nutrigenomics, which is the process of tailoring a healthy diet to your DNA’s polymorphisms (or unique variations). The primary benefit is that you can suit both your nutrition & lifestyle towards your health risks or strengths. Naturally, as a person who is fascinated in biochemical forms of testing, I thought I’d give it a go. Eight weeks and $250 later I completed my first DNA genotyping, which determines the differences in your DNA to other individuals by assessing the SNPs (or polymorphisms). The results were not very surprising from an ancestral perspective (60%+ north-western European, and 24%+ Southern European). But from a health perspective, it was intriguing to discover a few points that I’ll investigate further with my GP so that I can integrate this into my life:
- I cannot process more than 150mg of caffeine very well, hence why I would be exceptionally anxious after having coffee versus say tea
- I have a 30x chance of acquiring diabetes as I have a naturally high resting blood glucose (this isn’t much of a surprise though as my brother is type-1 diabetic)
- There were numerous warnings regarding corneal and macular degeneration
- My body is better at completing high-intensity workouts than just weight bearing exercise
- I’m not as good as processing fat as I think I may be (have attempted ketogenic diets in the past and failed)
These were just a few of the areas raised through the raw data, so I can highly recommend that the $250 outlay will be worth it in the long run for your overall health. The process for this is pretty straightforward in how I went about researching this:
- Investigate Rhonda Patrick’s content, mainly focusing on nutrigenomics & what you’d like to uncover with your DNA test
- Order your DNA test from 23andMe
- Complete the spit test and wait for the results
- Investigate the results once complete
- Link your account to the Promethease service to understand your raw data and examine specific health risks & strengths
- Report back to your GP, nutritionist and PT to integrate into your lifestyle
Image: Patrick Hruby, Wired
Random Morsels to get smarter
A key to having a toolkit of generalist skills, is to read outside of where you gravitate. Below is a list of our picks for the week:
- 11 Reasons to be Excited About the Future of Technology. Chris Dixon is exceptional at breathing reality into technology trends. When you read this piece you realise how lucky we are to live in this present age, because as Chris describes; there has never been a better time with more opportunities, more openings, lower barriers, higher benefit/ risk ratios, better returns, greater upside than now. This piece is useful for understanding why I continue to right on technology & business model applications.
- Why James Altucher Owns Only 15 things. James Altucher is an interesting character, particularly within his content as he’s exceptionally contrarian. When you find individuals in the “self-improvement” space that are contrarian I like to see how much of their opinions can challenge my own. This piece highlights the practices of minimalism that James is starting to apply in his life. I found his thoughts on possessions, investments and wellness interesting — well worth the 10 minute read.
- How Uber & AirBnb attracted their first 1000 customers. We often hear about exceptional rises of major companies, particularly technology companies. What we don’t hear about is the true grit involved in going from 1 to 100, 100 to 1000 — the place where most companies fall down in their first two years. Read this Harvard Business School article to understand how these platform businesses attracted & sold their first 1000 customers. It highlights that although most companies are now focused on marketing rather than sales budgets, selling will always be an important component to convincing people to use your product.
- The Amazon Tax. Over time, Amazon has built an incredible business around an ecosystem model, on each platform they’ve created (eCommerce, web services). This piece by Ben Thompson highlights the way that Amazon created a monolithic web services business that now effectively operates as an indirect tax on the internet. If you should read one article of the Random Morsels this year, I strongly recommend this one.