Embracing Creative Monopolies
The Mission Newsletter, 7/18/18
“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” — Thomas Jefferson
Zero To One, a Discussion
Episode 58 of The Mission Daily
“It can sound like a scary word, but in fact, monopoly is something that we have all around us. If you have a good idea, if you start a business, if you file a trademark or a patent, you’re actually getting a temporary license to a monopoly on something for a specified period of time. So this isn’t something to be fearful or worry about too much. In fact, it’s something that really values individuals, imagination, and courage. So it sounds scary on the surface, but that’s only in a world where nothing changes, where there aren’t new monopolies.”
This is the audio version of Chad and Ian’s discussion about the big ideas from Peter Thiel’s Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future.
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News That Matters
If you’re running for relaxation purposes, you might consider darkness and white noise when you’re getting those miles in.
A recent experiment had participants run in two different conditions, one where only a spotlight lit the way for the runner, who was otherwise in complete darkness, and the only noise was white noise coming through a sound system. In the next scenario, the lights were on, music was thumping through the track speaker system, and a crowd was cheering on the runner.
In the first environment, runners reported feeling more in tune with their body, more aware of their pace, and sweating less. In the louder, brighter test, runners exerted more effort, sweat more, but completed the course an average of 60 seconds faster.
The reason? With the lights on, runners felt like they were performing and felt more time pressure. So, if you want to practice “mindful running,” and use the exercise to relax your mind and your body, researchers suggest taking away some of the forms of stimulation. Obviously, not everyone has a blackout track they can access, but you can turn off your music and focus on the sound of your footfall, repeating a mantra in your head, and listening to the rhythms of your body.
Tesla has had a stronghold on the electric car market for some time, but new reports suggest that German companies, including BMW and Daimler, are set to move up on the leaderboard sooner rather than later and take a bite out of the lucrative market.
“Tesla will remain №1 in 2019, according to the forecast by PA Consulting Group. But by 2021, when traditional rivals flood the road with a variety of models, Elon Musk’s company will fall to seventh place. By then, Daimler will be in the lead, followed by BMW, the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi alliance and VW.”
Part of the reason for Tesla’s fall will be because of their troubles producing the Model 3, as well as various restructurings in the company. Plus, the competitors have been making strides in achieving their CO2 targets and maintaining production schedules.
Learn more about how this could all shake out here.
Most scientists will tell you that coincidences are just that … coincidences. Events that happen with no link or deeper meaning. But even though that may be statistically true, there is something special about coincidences and their ability to make us feel connected in deep ways.
“Longwinding, Dickensian stories of interconnected coincidences leading to a cathartic conclusion can provide us with a sense of meaning, of life holding subtler, unseen mysteries that make even our suffering worthwhile — as if our lives were really a series of sophisticated, interconnecting puzzle pieces. This largely explains the seductiveness of most mainstream religions as well: a divine hand orchestrating our lives is a particularly comforting notion, even if, scientifically, there’s little to lend credence to such beliefs.”
What we see as coincidences, though, are mostly humans ascribing meaning to what they believe are low-probability events that, in actuality, are not all that low probability at all. People fall in love with the mystery of things rather than look at the logic behind them.
For a deep dive into coincidences, check here.
A new laptop-sized chip developed in Sunnyvale, California, is being used to identify microbes in the human body with incredible speed and accuracy.
Using key genetic markers, the chip could have the potential to help identify and treat a number of diseases and also help doctors combat antibiotic resistance. All it takes is a simple cheek swab and then that bio-information is uploaded to the chip. Two hours later, a report is ready, which is a huge improvement on a process that took days or weeks with other forms of microbe testing.
The world was abuzz with the Amazon Prime Day deals — and subsequent crash of the website — but in the rest of the retail market, other stores also had days of drastic sales in order to compete with the online retail giant.
Bed, Bath & Beyond and Walmart each planned a week’s worth of savings for their customers starting on July 16. Meanwhile, Target, Best Buy, Nordstrom, and others each had one- and two-day sales to try to keep pace with Amazon. Check out the deals here.
It wasn’t until after World War II that creativity began to be studied in-depth in the field of psychology. In Dr. Dean Keith Simonton’s paper on the subject, he delves into the various ways creativity has been looked at over the years.
From single, individualized tests to a compilation of assessments among participants, there was never one correct or accepted way to measure creativity. Through various studies, researchers have found that creativity is determined by a number of factors, including evolution, environment, and genetics. But Simonton argues that more needs to be done to learn the exact origins of creativity.
“We need to know more about creativity as a social phenomenon. For obvious reasons, psychologists are strongly inclined toward viewing creativity as an entirely individual behavior. Yet such a perspective is woefully inadequate. In the first place, creativity often takes place in a social context, such as the work environment, which may or may not be conducive to optimal performance (Amabile, 1996). In addition, creativity will often not be individualistic at all, but rather it will originate in small-group processes, such as research laboratories or industrial teams (Dunbar, 1995; West & Farr, 1990). Lastly, but perhaps most critically, both individual- and group-level creativity take place in a larger disciplinary and sociocultural environment that shapes both quality and quantity of the results (Csikszentmihalyi & Sawyer, 1995; Harrington, 1990). Work in this area would let us learn how much of creative achievement is a matter of being the ‘right person’ and how much can be attributed to being merely at the ‘right place and time.’”
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