It has been a few years since I was able to attend the Founder Camp, an annual celebration and gathering of founders backed by True Ventures. The global pandemic and travel restrictions made it impossible for us to host the event, but we found a way to gather outdoors and enjoy each other this year. While we call all work from remote corners of the world, there is no joy more than being in each other’s presence. IRL, rocks! 

I didn’t do any work yesterday other than attending various conversations. The energy from the event kept me up late, and I spent a lot of time on my iPad, reading and catching up on my massive “read it later” list. In doing so, I found some interesting nuggets that caught my eye. 

  • Spotify launched the Car Thing. It likely will try and hasten what insiders already know: radio listening is going down in the cars. New technologies, bigger screens, and transition to EVs mean that the “radio” won’t be at the center of the entertainment experience — our phones are. 
  • Remember streaming was supposed to kill the music business? Quite the opposite is true, actually. In 2021, the global revenues were $25.9 billion, up by $4 billion over 2020, according to IFPI’s Global Music Report. Streaming accounted for 65.0% of recorded music revenues, up from a 61.9% share in 2020. Revenues from ad-funded streaming services (including video services) matched physical sales in 2021. There are 523 million paid subscribers. 
  • Cord-cutting continues unabated. Pay-TV providers in the U.S. lost about 4.69 million net video subscribers in 2021 versus 4.87 million in 2020, and Comcast lost over 1.6 million in 2021. 
  • Oura, the sleep tracking and health-focused ring maker, says it has sold a million rings. For context, Apple has sold upwards of 50 million watches in 2021 alone. I have ordered an Oura — it is a less intrusive way to track sleep than Apple Watch. 
  • Starlink has 250,000 subscribers. That didn’t stop them from raising prices for its kit – $599 for new orders. 
  • AT&T has cut prices on its 5G and has launched a new value plan. Let me remind you that their 5G is pretty shit, and thus there isn’t much value in it. OpenSignal, a market research and analytics company points out that if you want 5G in the US, you have to go with T-Mobile USA.


March 24, 2022. San Francisco

Dating with Facebook: What’s love got to do with it?

In Hindi, there is a saying that no matter what you do, you can’t unbend a dog’s tail. I was reminded of that saying when I read the news that Facebook was launching a dating app, to make a love connection. While on the surface it might impact the fortunes of Tinder, the dating app that changed the rules of modern dating, a conclusion reflected in the stock of Match Group which promptly nosedived.

“We have designed this with privacy and safety in mind from the beginning. Your friends aren’t going to see your profile, and you’re only going to be suggested to people who are not your friends.” Mark Zuckerberg.

Continue reading “Dating with Facebook: What’s love got to do with it?”

7 Stories to Read This Weekend (Jan. 17)

It is a long weekend here in the U.S., and so it’s no surprise that I got caught up in the fun and forgot to email the newsletter. Oops! But better late than never. Here are seven of my favorite reads from this week. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

  • “Mr. (Swipe) Right?” A profile of Sean Rad, one of the founders of hot dating service Tinder, and his dreams of the future.
  • “Inside the Secret Sisterhood of Women Who Worked at Playboy.” An interesting and surprising Elle magazine feature.
  • “An Interview With Alan Rickman.” This week Alan Rickman, a well-known British actor, passed away after a long battle with cancer. Wonderful obituaries were penned, but I think this interview is a great way of remembering the actor who entered my world as a villain in Die Hard.
  • “The 19th Century Plug That’s Still Being Used.” The BBC celebrates the design that first was used in the 19th century and is still going strong in the 21st century. It’s all the more interesting now that there are rumors that Apple is going to do away with the headphone port and jacks and force us to use the lightning port to connect to our headphones.
  • “T-shirts Unravelled.” Threadbase, a New York-based startup, “washed, dried, measured and weighed 800 of the most popular men’s t-shirts available online,” and you won’t believe what happened next.
  • “This Lawyer Digs Into the Horrors of Fast Fashion.” Julie Zerbo, the founder of The Fashion Law,  is doing some of the most important work in the world of fashion. Milk magazine profiles her.
  • “This Millennial Might Be the New Einstein.” A profile of Sabrina Pasterski, a 22-year-old MIT graduate and Harvard Ph.D., is being compared to legends such as Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein. She is currently focused on quantum gravity, and Jeff Bezos is keeping a job open for her, in case she decides to leave academia.

A Pico Conversation

  • I just published a conversation with Erik Spiekermann, who is one of the most well-known and creative thinkers in design. A type, information and graphic designer, he is one of my favorite people, and I love my conversations with the man who doesn’t hold back. And he didn’t this time around. Please find time to check it out.

In addition, here are some of my writings from this week: