Juan David's Newsletter - June 27, 2021

Superpowers?, Writing English Papers with A.I., and a Business isn't a Family,

Hi there,

You know I have a superpower, right? Yeah, I’m this cool. Well, I didn’t even know about it. Let me tell you more.

I found my superpower (at least one of them, I hope…)

I was having a conversation with Nir Eyal, and I was curious to hear his thought process about how to choose what to work on. One should never focus on making money but focus on what to work on.

He asked me reflective uncomfortable questions like we were digging for gold in a dry creek. I thought my answers were going nowhere until…

…. we found one of my superpowers.

What is it? Learning and digesting information quickly and the ability to share it with people in a consumable way. In Nir’s words:

Taking esoteric shit and making it digestible for people.

Once I heard this, it all made sense because even though I may say I “hate” writing, I do it every day.

But then, I thought, “How can one find more superpowers?”

Here are a couple of suggestions:

  1. Do and explore many activities. Forget about perfection and try something. My first essays sucked. My latest essays still suck but suck less. The ones in 10 years will continue to suck less.

  2. Ask yourself questions like “What do I want to work?” “What do I want to learn more about” “What problems do I have to solve?” via writing. Writing is where philosophers think.

  3. Have conversations with Future Selves (Not Mentors). They’ll help you dig gold in seemingly dry creeks.

If you want to know, who (and who not) get advice from, read this essay. And if you want to be more ambitious (e.g. eat the world), read this one. 



Me: Where are you, Curiosities?

Curiosities: I’m always down here 🙄.

Curiosities 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦🦾📚

1. A Business isn’t a Family

Shopify, like any other for-profit, is not a family. The idea is preposterous.

You are born into a family. You never choose it, and they can't un-family you…The dangers of "family thinking" are that it becomes hard to let poor performers go.

Shopify is a team, not a family

From Shopify CEO, Tobi.

Many big tech companies spread the idea of a business being a family. But a business is more cut-through and competitive where only the skilled performers continue playing.

A business being a family became a virus, and it needs to be eradicated.

2. Two Quotes

Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty is an absurd one.

From my old friend, Voltaire.

Travel isn't always pretty. Sometimes it hurts; it even breaks your heart.

But that's OK.

The journey changes you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your heart, on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.

— Anthony Bourdain

3. Going to College for Networking?

We believe that one reason to go to college is because of the networking argument, but that’s not convincing.

A big motivation for people going to college is “networking.” Is meeting people important? Sure yeah, but do you remember the time we’re living? We can meet anyone by clicking a button. 

The networking thing isn’t solid enough and lacks independent thinking. Hello? We have LinkedIn and Twitter and whatever else.

From Am I Going to College? Yes. Should You Go to College? Maybe Not.

Even if you don’t care, you might want to learn about how not to network.

4. Using A.I. to Write Boring English Papers

Look at what my friend, Alex, did:

This made LOL so hard. This was such a move. The best out of this was that he got 100% on both of them.

I could totally see myself doing this in high school, especially those papers about the motif of some generic bs.

5. Average Flags of the World

You can almost predict where a country is by the color of the flag. Many flags were inspired by wars (red for blood) and resources (yellow for gold, blue for water).

I wonder how new flags would look like if we had to recreate them. How many of them would have a smartphone?

Every time I see a book store, I go in because it’s like a time machine to the past. You can also feel that they won’t be here for that much longer.

I went inside and found this quote. I’ve been thinking about this quote since I started seriously reading. Watch this video, to learn why you shouldn’t read popular books and find out my favorite obscure books.



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Juan David Campolargo