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Nov. 11, 2023 Weekly Recap & Good Reads
Last week in Random Walk+Good Reads, all in one email
In case you missed it, here’s a recap of this past week’s Daily Datas (short and sweet) and Random Walks at Night (longer and with more feeling).
Plus, some Good Reads.
I hope you had a nice weekend. See you Monday.
Everything reads better in your browser or in the app. The footnotes especially, and Random Walk is really leaning into the footnotes. Plus, if you have the app, you can set delivery to “app only” and then my daily barrage will feel less like a barrage. Unfortunately, substack does not yet have a “Weekly Digest” option, but I’m hectoring them aplenty.
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Random Walk Reads
Some long reads worth reading, longly:
My company died. Learn from my mistakes. A post-mortem from the fintech Braid. Early PmF can be fake. Buying rather than building is fraught with peril. Regulators cast a pall over all the actors, or how a few bad people ruin it for everyone. Related: Five Traps for Real Estate Tech Entrepreneurs via. Great insights throughout. Tl;dr don’t run the standard startup playbook.
EVs in the Sunbelt & Windfarms in Hudson. Two stories about how massive subsidy-driven “clean tech” bets are effecting local economies. Subsidized capital is a helluva drug and, while the environmental implications are a bit vague, the economic ones are very real (and complex).
Alex Izydorczyk on Nielsen, the Market Research Colossus. There’s a lot of enduring value in measuring things that matter.
The physician shortage problem. Some data and observations around the persistent healthcare worker shortage, in this case physicians. Tbh, the proffered solution isn’t very compelling. As RW has observed in the past, when the cost of something is higher than what the market can bear, the solution is to unthrottle supply.
China is making more stuff than there are buyers. Lots of interesting anecdotes and some data about the growing glut of Chinese manufactured goods, and the implications to other manufacturers. You can have all the industrial capacity that you want **cough** EV factories **cough** but it’s not going to do you much good if the universe of buyers is shrinking. MaKe MoAR BaBIeS!
No Revenge for Nerds. NBER working paper suggests that Ivy League schools correctly discriminate in favor of student-athletes who tend to professionally out-perform non-athletes. “Collectively, our results suggest that non-academic human capital developed through athletic participation is valued in the labor market and may support the role that prior athletic achievement plays in admissions at elite colleges.”
The Tradition of Knowledge Behind ASML. A tech monopoly built on a Dutch tradition of knowledge and industrial policy. Institutional and social capital that preserve and replicate “know how and expertise” take a long time to build, but make an incredible moat. It seems like civilization is vastly underrated these days.
ICYMI: Random Walk Recap
I. Daily Datas
Data to inform and delight that you may have otherwise missed.
II. Random Walk at Night
Slightly longer perspectives that you won’t find elsewhere . . . because if there’s nothing new and different to say, then why say anything at all?
I hope everyone had a great week and we’ll see you again Monday.
Random Walk is an idea company dedicated to the discovery of idea alpha. Find differentiated data, perspectives and people, and keep your information mix lively. A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. Fight the Great Idea Stagnation. Join Random Walk. Follow me on twitter. Follow me on substack: