9 June 2019 •  View in browser
Long time no see.
Hi to +350 subscribers who're reading Velocity for the first time. Hope you're living the summer. Tell me what exciting stuff you did/have planned? Me, I went to Goa for the first time. It was pretty cool.
Here's what we have in this edition -
💳 The making of Amazon Prime. An oral history of the subscription service that changed online shopping forever.
💰 How WeWork makes money. WeWork is one of the world's most valuable startups, though just how its business works is widely misunderstood - here are more insights about its business.
💄 The era of digital makeups. ModiFace had a hand in creating custom AR beauty apps from Sephora, Estée Lauder, and well over 80 others.
💩 The $500m smiley face business. Nearly 50 years ago, one man ‘invented’ the modern smiley face. Then, another man halfway across the world made it into a multimillion-dollar cash cow.
👶 Strategy of the kids app market. How do you take on a market where the user isn’t your customer? A market that overlaps and competes with four major industries, but doesn’t belong to any of them?
📱 The immortal startup founder. When her best friend died, she rebuilt him using artificial intelligence - Blackmirror episode?
🕶 World's first billionaire rapper. What happens when you go from rapping about the ultra-rich to becoming the ultra-rich?
☕️ The bitter business behind Darjeeling’s dynasty. Darjeeling’s tea trade was, quite literally, uprooted from Chinese soil: In 1848, the British East India Company hired a Scottish botanist to smuggle live tea bushes from China into India.
💉 The story behind the $20B+ plasma business. Blood can only be donated, but plasma can be sold. The whole relationship works out well for pharma companies, who pay $150 for a plasma donation and sell it $500.
🧭 From technical to product to sales CEO. a16z Podcast - Since the startup founder journey doesn’t go linearly from tech to product to sales, tightening one knob creates slack in one of the other knobs, which demands turning to yet another knob.
Fun facts 
😵 Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe from the sitcom Friends) published an academic paper in neurology the same year that Friends debuted on TV. Link.
🙄 During the time of the Great Depression, a banker convinced struggling families in Quincy, Florida to buy Coca-Cola shares which traded at $19. Later, the town became the single richest town per capita in the US with at least 67 millionaires. Link.
😳 80% of toilets in Hong Kong are flushed with seawater in order to conserve the city's scarce freshwater resources. Link.
😱 Pringles had to use supercomputers to engineer their chips with optimal aerodynamic properties so that they wouldn't fly off the conveyor belts when moving at very high speeds. Link.
😮 The inventor of the cereal Apple Jacks is currently a professor of biological engineering at MIT and invented the cereal as a summer intern. Link.
Free ideas
💡 Google Map should also show CO2 levels to help me decide where to run or cycle when showing me a route.
💡 A simple button in your email client that will permanently hide a scam email, but forever engage the scammer in a conversation using AI on your behalf.
💡 A shuffle button for your reddit/twitter/insta homepage so that you get different iterations of your personal feed so you don’t get bored.
💡 The ticket price for a concert or show should include a free video download for the same concert.
💡 Art museum where every once in a while they rotate all the paintings 90 degrees so people can come up with new interpretations.
Gaurav Baheti
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