INSIGHTS

Artificial Intelligence, Bona Fide Fraud

This week, the WSJ published a blowout exposé on pervasive fraud in the AI startup ecosystem. It got zero attention, because the hype train isn’t supposed to get derailed, but we thought the story deserved a redux. I wrote this Letter with Wayfair’s senior algorithms guru and Brandt data science lead Clayton Kim. A quick note before we

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Travel Hacking for Adults

The internet runneth over with travel advice written by vagabonding bloggers that makes a ton of sense if you’re also a vagabonding blogger. It’s simple, they say. Put your merino wool shirts and exoficcio boxers in a neon backpack, find a hostel, and churn out that paid content, brah. For the rest of us, who travel for work as

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The Trebuchet Catastrophe

In elementary school, I looked forward to science projects because they meant time in the basement workshop with dad. Plenty of kids get help with homework from their parents. But not every dad is a mechanical engineer who worked on naval missile defense for Sperry and the black box vibrational control mechanism at Brookhaven National

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Right Hook

I’m going to ask you for a favor today. I’m also going to tell you a decent story. In the winter of 2013, I was sick as a dog and wearing a tuxedo in Gary Vaynerchuk’s office. I had just Irish’d early from a fancypants charity dinner and was now pitching my heart out in

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Fix Your Meetings

Is there a single more consistent workplace complaint than crappy meetings? How many months of your life have you lost under fluorescent lights waiting for the sweet relief of “next steps” to wash over you? What percentage of meetings you attend add value to your work? What percentage of people in meetings really belong there?

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Your Checklists will Kill You

You’re in the left seat of a Boeing 737 Max. During initial climbout, the elevator trim starts running down — hard. The cockpit lights up with red CAS warnings. You can see your nose pitching down into the ground. All of your strength on the yoke can’t prevent the attitude change. Your first officer digs out the

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7 Minute Diligence

If watching Something about Mary taught me anything, it’s that the only thing that beats 8 minute abs are 7 minute abs. So in a world where diligence on private-market operating businesses can take months, it’s natural to wonder how much accuracy would be lost if we compressed all that work down to seven minutes.

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Cheating, with Frameworks

We’ve spilled a lot of ink talking about pattern recognition in previous Letters. It’s that uncanny power of highly experienced professionals to be able to sniff out the right answer with incomplete information. Observing someone skilled in this art can be equal parts awe-inspiring and frustrating. As they cut through pitches like a ginsu knife,

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