big ideas

The four quadrants of conformism

A new essay from Paul Graham sorts people into four quadrants to discuss social conformity: “Starting in the upper left and going counter-clockwise: aggressively conventional-minded, passively conventional-minded, passively independent-minded, and aggressively independent-minded.” I really like this, except the implication that […]

thoughts of food

The Oatly story

“Oatly doesn’t think like the rest. They’ve been around for 20 years as a Swedish company fighting for attention. Last week, the oat milk company raised $200mm at a $2bn valuation. This is a lesson on creativity and how @oatly […]

thoughts of food

Alley innovation now includes restaurants

A new restaurant called Pizza Friendly Pizza is serving Sicilian-style slice from an alley in Ukrainian Village. This weekend we grabbed a bite to eat at Goddess & The Grocer’s patio that was very recently an alley (pictured above). I’m reminded of […]

under the microscope

The basic science of genome editing

Long, detailed, hard to read, and also fascinating. “Key advances include the development of techniques for generating molecular tools for cutting the DNA of genomes in specific places to allow targeted alterations in the DNA sequence. Over recent years, several […]

under the microscope

Some scientists are taking a DIY coronavirus vaccine

Harvard Biologist Preston Estep had none of the typical trappings of vaccine development: funding, a company, animal data, nor ethics approval. “What he did have: ingredients for a vaccine. And one willing volunteer. Estep swirled together the mixture and spritzed […]

retail therapy

How Costco convinces brands to cannibalize themselves

Costco’s private label brand Kirkland Signature launched in 1992 and has been delivering a great product experience ever since, as well as win for manufacturers. “Kirkland products have to be at least 1% better than the equivalent branded products (on […]

to your health

A $175 Covid-19 test, $2,479 in charges

“A global pandemic ravaging America is no time to forget the first rule of American health care: There is no set price. One out-of-network medical provider in Texas seeks permission from patients to charge fees as high as six-figures to […]

better doing

The polymath playbook

“You’ve likely heard the saying: “A jack of all trades is a master of none.” … It may surprise you to learn there’s actually an extended version: “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better […]