Digital Coffee (Free) #10 — did I really just hit my goal? 📈

We’re already up to newsletter #10! If I think back to the beginning, I promised I’d write 10 newsletters and see (a) how the community was growing and (b) how much I was enjoying writing on a semi-regular basis. 

So what’s my take thus far? 

First and foremost, it is quite the commitment — each newsletter roughly takes an hour or so to write. This is fine for the weekly free one (that you’re currently reading) but for the paid ones that I send out 2-3 times per week, it means quickly squeezing it in before work — which again, up until now, hasn’t been a problem, and I’m actually quite enjoying it.

How’s my writing style? Do you notice it improving? I’m trying different takes on voice and narrative. I’m also trying to better structure the sentences — e.g. a mix of long and short, making it feel more alive, and a bit more personal. 

As always, if you enjoy this week’s post — please be sure to hit the like button. It gives me a bit more visibility on the discovery page, hopefully encouraging more people to subscribe 📈 also I’d be grateful if you could forward it to 2-3 people who you think would enjoy it.

Happy Sunday & I’ll see you next week! 

There are only two ways to achieve greatness in life. Either do something that you are obsessed with, or do something that you love. Half assed efforts produce mediocre results and doing something that you don't love leads to living someone else’s life.

This week’s recommended podcast

The Daily — The Economy is Booming. Or is it?

The US economy is in the middle of a record long expansion. So why is the government deploying an economic weapon it last used during the 2008 financial crisis? Guest: Ben Casselman, who covers the economy for The New York Times.

Freakonomics Radio — America’s Hidden Duopoly 

We all know our political system is ‘broken’ — but what if that’s not true? Some say the Republicans and Democrats constitute a wildly successful industry that has colluded to kill off competition, stifle reform, and drive the country apart. So what are you going to do about it?

This week’s espresso shots

💰 First Bitcoin, then Libra: Why nation states are petrified

This instant pushback against Libra seems even more intense than any initial government condemnations against Bitcoin itself when it started to gain traction over the initial ramp up. Perhaps there are good reasons for this, such as: (1) In the rear-view mirror, it’s possible that governments now view giving Bitcoin some room to run was a mistake, and it opened a Pandora’s box (from their perspective) which would be unable to be contained, and (2) Facebook provides an identifiable target – governments can actually pinpoint them and (for now) regulate or threaten to regulate them. They can’t target Satoshi Nakamoto or an open source repository of computer source code.

🚀 Flying across the Channel on a jet-powered flyboard

French inventor Franky Zapata has made the first-ever successful Channel crossing on a jet-powered flyboard. Mr Zapata, 40, took off from Sangatte, near Calais, at 06:17 GMT on Sunday and landed in St Margaret's Bay in Dover. The invention, powered by a kerosene-filled backpack, made the 22-mile (35.4-km) journey in 22 minutes.

✨ How to understand the universe when you’re stuck inside of it

Quite the read... The universe is kind of an impossible object. It has an inside but no outside; it’s a one-sided coin. This Möbius architecture presents a unique challenge for cosmologists, who find themselves in the awkward position of being stuck inside the very system they’re trying to comprehend.It’s a situation that Lee Smolin has been thinking about for most of his career....

🤔 The multidisciplinary approach to thinking

The secret to leadership is to see through the eyes of all six important counter-party groups and make sure that everything you do is structured in such a way to be win-win with them.

📈 People don’t buy products, they buy better versions of themselves

For the first time in history, a brand decided to promote the type of user that purchased a product as opposed to the product itself. Beyond that, Pepsi promoted the idea of an entirely new generation, one free from the manipulative, consumerist messages being perpetuated by the mass media. (It was, after all, the 1960s.) This group would come to be known as “The Pepsi Generation.”

Coffee & chats

Moving forward I want to try and cover topics that may take a week or two to fully understand and make progress on. And because Substack, the platform I’m using to post these, makes it relatively easy to go back to previous means we can start jumping into things in a little more depth.

I’m going to also ask you, the community, a question — what topics would you like me to cover? It can be anything from launching an AI-first product, to running a successful marketing campaign online, to anything regarding side projects or small online businesses. Let me know and I’ll slice and dice it up into 2-3 parts over a series of weeks. Maybe even make it project based so that we can all complete it together.

The first series is going to be regarding health living.

My girlfriend and I, over the past three weeks, have really been making a concerted effort to improve (1) our diets (2) our sleep (3) our exercise regime and (4) reduce any vices.

Below are various things I’ve learned thus far:

Record the metrics

When you start recording stuff (even if it’s through a relatively inaccurate measuring instrument — e.g. Apple Watch for sleep), it enables you to have something quantifiable, it generally does trend in the right direction when you start doing the right stuff. If anything if gives you a little bit of purpose and increased willpower. We’ve also taken to using a gadget called “MyZone”, it’s basically a heart rate tracker that you wear whilst at the gym. In return for a high heart rate (e.g. putting in effort) you get something called MEPs. On the app you can friend people — and therein lies the competitive element which gives you some accountability and the extra push to not take your foot off the gas. Sort of like having a personal trainer there shouting at you to continue. It seems like going to the gym 3-4 times per week is enough to start really moving the metrics in the right direction. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve lost around 1kg.

Cut the takeaways and processed food

We’ve made it a rule that we’re going to cook at home on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Furthermore the food has to be fresh and whole — e.g. was it growing in a field 2-3 days ago. If so, cut it up and cook it. Same with meat — we’re reducing our pork and red meat consumption, really focusing mostly on fish and a little bit of chicken. I used to eat so much takeaway that I think I didn’t use my kitchen for over a year to actually cook a meal — it’s crazy when you think of all the bad stuff that is put into the likes of Wagamama etc. I’d also recommend you start taking Symprove to make sure your microbiome is up to scratch, alongside reading the book Brain Maker.

Get enough sleep

This list is starting to sound cliche. But I guess cliches are just that for a reason. These are true and tested. We bought a new bed, a huge one to make sure that each of us don’t impact one another's sleep. We’ve also started reading before bed rather than scrolling instagram. Again going back to the metrics, I use an app to track the number of hours of sleep I’m getting per night and the sleep quality. One week into the new bed, and new bedtime regime — my quality % is up at 84% — never before seen highs.

All of the above are relatively obvious, but I wanted to kickstart the series covering some of the basics. If you have any helpful tips — please reply to this mail or write a comment. Maybe I’ll compile a list for next week’s issue.

That’s it folks, I hope you enjoyed this first newsletter. Again, if you did — please share it with your friends! See you next Sunday (hopefully) 🗓