Nerd Corner #63

Blue Mind, Money, and more!

Hello friends!

San Francisco is back almost back to normal. The fog came back in full strength. Winter feels close once again.

Based on all your feedback (a big thank you to all who took the time to reply to last week’s email!), I’m running a new experiment. Now, you’ll be able to read the Nerd Corner section of these emails both in your inbox or directly on my website.


What I am Reading 📚

I'm currently reading "Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What you Do" by Wallace J. Nichols.

It is a fine book with some insights and cool data points but, like the subtitle you just read, it feels much longer than it really needs to be. Nichols does a good job of distilling and describing the recent progress that science has made into explaining why we love water so much. To my taste, the book focuses too much on the therapeutic aspects of water and not so much on the physiological and evolutionary traits that make us humans enjoy being in or underwater. For example, there's not a single mention of the mammalian diving reflex which helps explain why even though we're not water animals we can learn to hold our breath and dive to depths of more than 200 meters.

Next, I'll read a novel for a change: "What Makes Sammy Run?" by Budd Schulberg.


Nerd Corner 🤓

This section is also available on my site.

Last week we talked about "Small Tech". There is an alternative to pursuing growth at all costs. So much so that people and companies are staying small on purpose. The canonical example of this is Basecamp, a tech company that has not taken outside investment for the past 15+ years, doesn't give its employees stocks and builds great products at their own pace.

But there are many other examples, and not only in tech. The Internet has allowed an incredible amount of successful ventures that we can't even imagine. Echoing Patio11's Law"The software economy is bigger than you think, even when you take into account Patio11’s Law", I realized that "Making Money On The Internet Is Easier Than You Think even after you think about it".

So I started compiling a list of successful solo operations. Here are a few:

Of course, this doesn't mean that all enterprises are successful, nor that they're easy. But, I find these stories inspiring. To me, they're a powerful reminder that despite everything that's happening around the World, it has never been easier to make a living on your own terms. All it takes is a decent Internet connection, a willingness to try new things and, patience.

If you've been wanting to start something new I'd encourage you to try it. The worse that can happen is that you end up in the same place you're right now. The stakes have never been so low. And, remember there's no need to get fancy: folks are making more than $250K with vending machines.

Now, I'd love to hear your own Internet success stories, what have you tried, what has worked for you?


Cool Finds 🤯

  • If you read anything from this email, read this article. It was recommended by two friends in two different conversations. In short, having discussions about difficult issues is becoming harder posing a real danger for our society.

  • Speaking of making money, I've been reading about Herb Wertheim, "The greatest investor you've never heard of". His story is remarkable. It all started, as he says, because, “I wanted to be able to have free time. To me, having time is the most precious thing.”

  • This Twitter thread is a good reminder to be patient and accumulate experience: older startup founders are more successful. In case you haven't read Range, here are my notes on it.


Before you go 😎

If you’re enjoying these emails it would mean the world to me if you share it with a friend or two. Just send them this link to sign up. I’m trying to make this one of your must-read emails each week!

And, if you come across anything interesting this week, send it my way. I love discovering new things through Nerd Corner readers!

Have an awesome week!
Alberto