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Sunday Briefing: On Nassim Taleb, Stripe, and the birth of black holes

Sunday Briefing: On Nassim Taleb, Stripe, and the birth of black holes

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Welcome to the Sunday Briefing newsletter where we share some of the interesting lessons in life, business, and investing that we’ve come across during the week.

My last note, The Sit-on-Your-Ass Philosophy to Life, received a lot of praise in a short amount of time—mainly on Twitter. I want to send a warm thanks to everyone who have sent me kind messages and comments the last few days.

What we’ve been reading

Nassim Taleb Interviewed by Naval Ravikant. Nassim’s concepts remain simple and timeless and this interview transcript is one of the best summaries around his ideas.

…instead of going from theory to practice, I went from practice to theory. I saw something completely different. So, and let me explain something, I developed something called the Ludic Fallacy. The Ludic Fallacy is that the randomness – and I deal with probability – the randomness that you encounter in real life has absolutely nothing to do with the randomness you find in textbooks or in games.

A Teardown of Stripe. Again, an instructive piece on Stripe. The more you dive into the company, the more you learn how scalable a thing is once you focus on the one thing that all the incumbents fail to focus on themselves: simplicity.

We wanted it to be extremely simple to integrate. You should be able to start charging credit cards immediately. There shouldn’t be any latency. You shouldn’t have to talk to anybody. The information you have to give shouldn’t be pages long… Google Checkout and PayPal are these confusing things, and we wondered why they hadn’t solved these issues.

New Kind of Space Explosion Reveals the Birth of a Black Hole. This one is utterly fascinating.

What we claim is that instead of collapsing to a neutron star, it collapsed straight into a black hole, and most of the star fell into the black hole.

Quote of the week

Barack Obama on improvement.

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

A thought

Too many investors treat the market as a video game. In a video game, you act all the time to little stimuli. That’s why they will never beat the market in the long run.

Have a great coming week,
Oliver Sung

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