“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
– Michael Jordan
Greetings from LA and Oahu!
This week we’re discussing the drama around Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, sharing some mind-bending science facts, and explaining why life’s challenges are a great compass for making decisions.
Today’s email is sponsored by Super Serious 616
Super Serious asks the question, “What would it be like to live in a world of superheroes?” Each newsletter contains a podcast with hosts who are “in universe”, within the early 1960s Marvel Universe. The first episode discusses the ramifications of the Fantastic Four gaining their powers by traveling into space. Later episodes discuss the impact of Dr. Doom on New York real estate prices, how the Avengers Emergency Fund is allocated to victims, Spider-man and tax law, and why Iron Man may or may not be a good use of shareholder capital. There is nothing else like it. Think of it as a modern “talk radio podcast” in the world of 1960s Marvel Comics. Sign up free here for a bit of fun.
Buy, Buy Twitter
Media outlets are awash with stories about how the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, secured a deal to buy Twitter for about $44 billion (at $54.20 per share) a few weeks ago.
Here’s his explanation…
There’s a lot of controversy surrounding this. To his supporters, Musk is an icon that stands for free speech and democracy. To his detractors, he’s a flippant billionaire that doesn’t care about censoring hate speech or moderating Twitter posts.
Here are just a few headlines that have come out over the last few weeks…
- Twitter’s top lawyer reassures staff, cries during meeting about Musk takeover
- Twitter workers freaking out over Elon Musk in internal Slack messages
- Elon Musk Shows What He’ll Do With Twitter: Serve Up His Employees for the Far Right’s Racist Abuse
But… how big of a deal is this acquisition really?
Probably not much.
CNBC predicts the following changes based on Musk’s own input…
- Looser content moderation
- Add an edit button so users can edit their own Tweets.
- Pay for Twitter Blue via cryptocurrency
- Open source algorithm
- Eliminate spam bots
We live in a weird and mind-bending universe.
Did you know, for instance, that the human stomach is acidic enough to dissolve razor blades?
Or how about that a laser beam can get trapped in a fast-moving stream of water?
Or that a single cloud can weigh up to a million pounds?
The Problems You Want
David Cummings, the founder behind brands like Pardot, SalesLoft, and Terminus, recently told the following story in a post titled, I Have all the Problems I Want:
Several years ago there was an entrepreneur that I’d meet with regularly. As is custom, I’d ask the standard meeting intro, “How are things going?” Now, with 99% of the people I talk to I get something along the lines of “Good. How are things with you?” Instead, with this entrepreneur, I’d always get the same answer, “I have all the problems I want.”
Hmm, “I have all the problems I want” is an unusual answer and I’ve never heard it from anyone else. At the time, I didn’t think much of it. Yet, here I am, years later, thinking about that answer to the most common of questions.
That answer prompts several questions:
- What problems do I want?
- What problems don’t I want?
- Do I want a life with no problems?
- What’s the value of having problems?
This makes me think the entrepreneur has a strong locus of control and works to manage his life around “good” problems and attempts to eliminate most “bad” problems.
This is similar to Mark Manson’s idea that we should all choose what we want to pursue in life based on the “sh*t sandwich” that we’re willing to eat “because eventually, we all get served one.”
Here’s Manson’s take:
Everything involves sacrifice. Everything includes some sort of cost. Nothing is pleasurable or uplifting all of the time. So, the question becomes: what struggle or sacrifice are you willing to tolerate? Ultimately, what determines our ability to stick with something we care about is our ability to handle the rough patches and ride out the inevitable rotten days.
He even goes so far as to call this your “competitive advantage” — “By definition, anything that you’re willing to do (that you enjoy doing) that most people are not willing to do gives you a huge leg-up.”
Cummings ends his post with the following call to action:
Humans feel most alive when experiencing, creating, or problem solving.
That resonates with me. If most “bad” problems are removed, more flexible time is available and can be devoted to experiencing, creating, or problem solving.
Do you have all the problems you want?
Here is some other random stuff we found interesting this last week!
- The lost Jews of Nigeria by The Guardian
- Day of the Oprichnik, 16 Years Later by n+1
- How polyester bounced back by Virginia Postrel
Books We’re Reading
Here’s what we’re currently reading!
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
- Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
- I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
This Week’s Photo
“A lamb looks around a bush in St. Austell Bay, Cornwall, England, on April 18, 2022.” via The Atlantic
This Week’s Riddle
Here’s this week’s riddle — the answer is at the bottom of the email!
A man runs away from home. He turns left but keeps running. After some time, he turns left again and keeps running. He later turns left once more and runs back home. Who was the man in the mask?
This Week’s Question
Answer this question — either privately or by replying to this email. If your answer inspires us, then we’ll ask for permission to include it in a future email!
How should life’s challenges help you make better decisions?
This Week’s Challenge
Think about the “The Problems You Want” section of this email and ask yourself what problems you want — what problems you are willing to put up with because the process/outcome is so enticing. Discover what that thing is… and then set time aside this week to pursue that passion.
Until next week,
Mike & Alec
Riddle Answer: A baseball player running the bases.