Digital Coffee #20

Happy Sunday 🚀

We’re now over 75% of the way through 2019; how are you doing against the goals you set yourself for this year? It’s never too late to start to make progress! 

Morning from a rather dull and grey London! With my flu now an ever fleeting memory, time permitting, I should be able to push out an audio version of this issue! 

You know the drill by now — if you enjoy reading this newsletter and think you know someone else who would too — forward it to them 🙏 failing that if you could tap the little heart icon, it’d also be greatly appreciated. 

Now have a great week, and onto the content 🚀

This week’s Digital Coffee is sponsored by 10 Minute Guides— and yes, that is my own project 📈. 10 Minute Guides are concise, practical, and beautifully designed books on topics that matter today. With the perfect blend of theory and practical, you'll be better equipped to further immerse yourself in whatever topic you choose. Each guide is written by a domain expert, and available in digital, physical and audio formats.

Some thoughts to ponder 

Second order problems — things are not always as they appear. Often when we solve one problem, we end up unintentionally creating another one that’s even worse. The best way to examine the long-term consequences of our decisions is to use second-order thinking.

On second order problems... Warren Buffet used a very apt metaphor once to describe how the second order problem is best described by a crowd at a parade: Once a few people decide to stand on their tip-toes, everyone has to stand on their tip-toes. No one can see any better, but they’re all worse off.

Tweet of the week

Five interesting links to kickstart your day

📝 How I generate $10K/month as an indie author...

ST: An interesting read on what it really takes to take home a comfortable wage through writing — as you’d expect it does take quite a significant amount of work to make your job by your sole source of income. I like how Nick diversified and derisked to a certain extent through the ancillary publishing business. Well worth the read for any of you city folk that want to quit and escape to the countryside. 

🔮 Is predictive text fundamentally changing the way we write?

Even though the technology has little understanding of what it’s saying, it could still compose phrases and sentences that we like better than our own. 

💰 Silicon Valley is trying out a new mantra: make a profit

Start-up investors are warning of a reckoning after the stumbles of some high-profile “unicorns.” Now turning a profit is in.

ST: This was inevitable as we get toward the end of the current cycle (i.e. we’ll soon be in recession). Competitive ‘cheap cash’ removed even the most basic requirement of starting a business — have a path to profitability. In the SoftBank era, profitability & positive economics were optional. $2 of ad spend to make $1 back from the customer... no problem, where do I sign! 

👩‍⚕️ Why I think we can predict the future 

ST: Transcript of Bill Gates’ lecture as the recipient of the 2019 Stephen Hawking Fellowship. Well worth reading, Bill has dedicated his life and most of his wealth to the topic he is talking about. The transcript offers a fascinating insight into his predictions.

🌍 Three big things: the most important forces shaping the world

How demographics, inequality, and access to information influence seemingly unrelated events.

Subscription auditing

Every quarter I take stock of what services I’m subscribed to — and I’d encourage you to do the same. $10 per month here, $20 there... and soon they add up to quite a significant chunk. Below I’m highlighting only my subscriptions for content, and whether or not I’m going to keep. 

Content subscriptions:

  1. Amazon Prime — no brainier, keeping. 

  2. Netflix — no brainier, keeping. 

  3. Audible — questioning the utility I derive, Blinkist maybe better.

  4. Blinkist — good, but constantly forget I have it.

  5. Spotify — good, but actually use YouTube premium more now. 

  6. Apple Music — not sure why I’m keeping this? 

  7. YouTube Premium — actually pretty good, no adverts, and long ‘chill playlists’ to listen too. 

  8. Medium — cancelled, too much clickbait, motivational writers and people with no experience dishing out advice

  9. Apple News+ — great new add this week, tonnes of great magazine and newspapers included for $10 per month

Want to become an AI Product Manager? 

I launched, a free 10 week course that teaches you all the basics on how to build and launch artificial intelligence products. Check it out, or recommend it to a friend who you think would find it useful. 

Until next time, thanks for taking the time to check out this issue of Digital Coffee.

“Be a voice, not an echo” — Unknown