It’s only the first week of January but we have the funniest NFT story of the year.
So here’s this celebrity, Stephanie Matto, who started to sell her farts in a jar. Both a wonderful troll move and a brilliant business opportunity, bringing in $50K a week (good for her!)
And then she claims that producing farts is such a stressful work that she had a heart attack scare. She even got hospitalized to drive the point home.
Finally, in the ultimate troll move, Steph stops selling physical farts and moves to selling NFTs, which is just genius — a digital fart is somehow both less than a fart and more than a fart at the very same time.
One of the best NFT use cases I’ve seen so far.
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This year’s reading list is some 50% thinner than it usually gets, but hey ho. I blame missing commute in 2021.
- From “Small Giants by Bo Burlingham” I learned that if you want a company that cares, you need people who care, and they need to be motivated by more than money
- From “Skin in the Game by Nassim Nicholas Taleb” I learned that a doctor is pushed by the system to transfer risk from himself to you, from the present into the future.
- From “Zilch by Nancy Lublin” I learned that if you need to ask for something, be as specific as possible, see “This thing X will cost you Y and will help Z number of women.”
Reading through my notes, I’m sure I’ll re-read some of the books from this year. The complete list:
- 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
- Skin in the Game by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
- Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter F. Drucker
- Zilch by Nancy Lublin
- Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
- Howard Stern Comes Again by Howard Stern
- The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
- The E-myth Revisited by Michael E Gerber
- Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer
- Ä by Max Goldt
- Traction by Gino Wickman
- After the Quake By: Haruki Murakami
- The Most Beautiful Woman in Town by Charles Bukowski
- A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
- Start Finishing by Charlie Gilkey
- A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking
- 12 Months to $1 Million by Ryan Daniel Moran
- Big Money Energy by Ryan Serhant
- All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin
- I Never Knew That About New York by Christopher Winn
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To my deep disappointment, cosmic latte is not a super-massive coffee.
Cosmic latte is the average color of the universe, found by a team of astronomers from Johns Hopkins University. In 2002, Karl Glazebrook and Ivan Baldry determined that the average color of the universe was a greenish white, but they soon corrected their analysis in a 2003 paper in which they reported that their survey of the light from over 200,000 galaxies averaged to a slightly beigeish white. The hex triplet value for cosmic latte is #FFF8E7.
— From Wikipedia
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Every time physicists discover something new about the universe, they realize that the world is more complex than they previously thought. Ancient Greeks learned that the physical world can be broken down to tiny particles, and they named the particles “atoms.” They used their word for “indivisible” because they thought, surely, this is as complex as it gets.
Later, the first physicists who worked with the electron had no inkling of quantum mechanics. Now we talk about the types of quarks, and the next time we learn more, would you bet along with me that it won’t get any simpler?
It’s as if our understanding of the world is in constant movement toward the increasingly complex. And most people’s default mindset seems to have adjusted to this well.
When we work on many types of problems, we tend to favor additive solutions rather than starting with the simplification step. We fit an extra wheel to carts, use more description to explain things, or add another layer to a cake—to make it “better.” Sometimes we do these things because the additive solution appears easier, and often because we didn’t even think to consider the alternative.
Simplifying takes effort. Consider the quote, widely attributed to Mark Twain: “I apologize for such a long letter—didn’t have time to write a short one.”
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People want to share their experiences with their social circles, even if nobody gives them money for it.
There are many reasons for this, from wanting to look like the most informed person in the community to simply wanting to help others. In fact, being selfless is so important to some of us that financial incentives can hinder our willingness to recommend a product to our friends.
And here we have the marketer’s conceptual dilemma. Can they make a referral look like an organic, word-of-mouth type of invite?
Consider the following sentence: “You will both get 10% off your next order.”
By rephrasing it to “You’ll get 10% off your next order. Your friend will also get 10% off their next order,” we haven’t changed the meaning of the sentence. The offer is still the same; the person sending the referral and their invitee each get exactly 10% discount, yet in an A/B test, each message will usually yield different results.
What many experiments find is that a pro-social emphasis will see better results. Interestingly, we often see that more people will submit to a campaign that says “Your friend gets 10% off their next order, and you’ll also get 10% off.” Why this happens is anybody’s guess, but it might be because the phrasing does a better job of reducing the amount of guilt a referrer may feel for being rewarded.
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In 1930, John Maynard Keynes wrote an essay titled, “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren,” in which the economist attempted to predict the future during the bottom years of the Great Depression. Keynes wrote that within 100 years (by 2030), humanity would be so much more technologically advanced that the problem of scarcity would already be solved, and we would only have to work 15 hours a week.
Then, the anthropologist James Suzman spent 30 years studying and living with one of the world’s enduring hunter-gatherer societies. His work with the Ju/’hoansi people in southern Africa has provided a unique lens into our modern obsession with work.
As Suzman writes in his new book, Work: A Deep History, From the Stone Age to the Age of Robots, hunter-gatherer societies spent only about 15 hours a week meeting their material needs. Despite being deeply impoverished by modern standards, they considered themselves affluent.
It just so happens that, in our modern urban world, there actually isn’t a whole lot of life outside of work for most people. Some of the hardest working people are actually the ones who should have to work the least. It’s as if the reward for work were more work.
It’s not only you. When Bill Gates was asked about work-life balance at a conference, he said, “I never took a day off in my twenties. Not one.”
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