Week 59
3 min read

Week 59

Dear Reader,

Celebrate the end-of-the world with awesome end-of-the-world music and tools to work and exercise remotely.

1/ An album recommendation from me and the Grammys

Vampire Weekend add second Alexandra Palace date to UK tour

TL:DR; Find "Father of the Bride" on your favorite music service.

Vampire Weekend sounds like a teenage chick flick, but is the name of a band that was formed by students of Columbia University. I've enjoyed their music over the years, not least because Ezra Koenig's lyrics don't shy away from tackling current issues. The latest album Father of the Bridge took them 6 years to make and is incredible (I also recommend catching them on the concert tour if you can). In this interview he talks about why such a long break was needed.

2/ COVID-19-proof bodyweight training regimen

TL:DR; If you want to stay strong while avoiding the gym, try this workout system.

One of the most common failure modes of people working out is working too hard without a clear plan for progression. Here's how it goes: you commit to 10 push-ups per day. After 30 days you don't feel like you are much stronger or can do that many more push-ups, so you stop. Or maybe you start running and eventually build up to running 5k. So three days a week, you do your 5km run, trying to beat your previous time. Of course that fails, because it's unsustainable to do 3 high heart rate runs per week.

It's easy to include progression in weight training. You simply add more weight every week to whatever you are lifting. Bodyweight training doesn't accomodate for that. If you're also put off from going to the gym, you need to find a way to create progressive load through bodyweight training.

Enter this workout system. Using varied exercises that impart more leverage, it allows bodyweight training to get progressively harder to develop more strength.

3/ Loops connect moats

TL:DR; When building a moat, devise a loop that connects with an existing moat you have.

I love loops as a way of understanding company strategy. But the idea of a single complicated loop is highly non-reductive and too complex to be useful as a model. Above is the Disney loop.

I wrote a draft article laying out a simpler theory where loops are simply ways to go from one set of moats to another. More detail in the article. I think this is a useful extension of the 7 Powers strategic framework.

4/ Async and remote working

TL:DR; Async is a stronger form of remote work.

Auditless is a remote-first company. This happened organically but fits well with our beliefs - talent is global, asset-light is high ROI, etc. There are some adaptations one has to make that are now becoming relevant for more and more companies. Being remote is one thing, but being asynchronous is a whole other challenge. Remote means relying on Zoom for all meetings and Slack for conversations - it's simply bringing things offline. Asynchronous means relying on tools like Notion for writing, ideation, task management, etc. to empower people to move forward without relying on others. Asynchronous creates room for the kind of focus sophisticated engineering requires.

This Gumroad document lays it out pretty well.

5/ Suhail's mega-thread on the early days of mightyapp is 👌

TL:DR; Check out this thread.

I've been following Suhail's thread about the early days of Mighty App. Just like Making of Karateka, there's something incredibly inspiring about the ups and downs of day-to-day start-uping - and it's much more educational than reading a blog post about a framework they used along the way.