Tangential Tuesday #32

Inversion, Alcohol free bars, The Next Frontier for 2-Sided Marketplaces, Homeschool, D&I...

Hey 👋 - Hard to believe it’s almost May. ~1/3 of the year is in the books 😱

Let’s get into the newsletter… but 1st a hilarious Elon tweet:

Inversion: The Crucial Thinking Skill Nobody Ever Taught You

This is the best thing I read this week. Subtracting is often more powerful than adding. Ask “What does it take to ruin a marriage?” Rather than “What does it take for a good marriage?”.

“We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of.”

- Marie Kondo

Read about inversion here.

The Next Frontier for 2-Sided Marketplaces

Working at Thumbtack - I think about marketplaces A LOT. This article is spot on in my opinion. Right now, Thumbtack is operating at a level above craigslist (see pic below) but we are still far more removed from the transaction than a company like Airbnb.

That’s one of the things that makes the services industry so hard. Getting the transaction to happen naturally on platform is really hard. The company that solves this piece most elegantly will win.

A few more takeaways:

  • Taking on more risk and responsibility creates more value AND allows you to capture more of that value

  • Aligning incentives in new ways creates great products

Read the article here.

D&I is Making Me a Worse Engineer

My friend Maggie Lou published this piece last week. It’s a super interesting take. There is a lot of “work” traditionally done by women that is simply not rewarded by the market. Child care, Caring for elderly/loved ones, Teaching, Note taking, etc.

It turns out dedicating time to Diversity and Inclusion initiatives is no different. Ironically D&I is in some ways hurting the careers of the people is was made to help.

I’m super interested in exploring ways that we can better reward work on things that are clearly important, but do not seem to be correctly rewarded in the current market.

Arts & Creativity, The environment, Preventative care, Journalism, Infrastructure & Public Transportation, Women, Minorities, all come to mind.

Read the article here.

Homeschooling Growing

The rate homeschooling is growing rapidly. I find this both exciting… and a little depressing.

Exciting because I think homeschooling is generally good and leads to more diversity of opinion and creativity. But it’s also sad. This indicates that the public is losing trust with the public education system. Homeschooling is always expensive. Many parents can’t afford to stay at home with their child for so many years, plus it’s a ton of work.

On a side note - gap years are also rapidly growing!

I’m very bullish on gap years to help kids figure out what the hell to do with their lives.

Read the study here.

Happy Hour Without The Booze

This article covers the new trend of bars popping up in NYC, Australia, and all over the place that serve exclusively non-alcoholic cocktails.

I’ve never been to one, but reading this makes me want to! I love that there are businesses willing to question such deep American norms. I wonder if this concept could work in college towns. I love a drink now and again, but I can’t help but think you’d miss out on at last some social activity by choosing not to drink in college (or after for that matter).


- Tahoe was magically as usual. Probably the warmest day of skiing I’ve ever had. There were even a few people skiing in speedos…

- Finished How to get filthy rich in rising Asia. Still working through Understanding Media. Would love some recommendations for what to read next!

- Taking a 10-week databases class starting next week at Bradfield. Super excited! Learning is fun 😅

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading 💛

- Taylor