Issue 2 - News & Thoughts from Sanjay

What lock down week is this now?

Hey there friend. For this issue I’ve added a separate “coronavirus” section below with some pieces on important news. If you’re tapped out on coronavirus, just skip that section.

Your friend,

Sanjay


Content From Sanjay

This week I’ve only got two things (!) for you - the latest episode of Tech Talk Y’all as always. You really should subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcast app (or Spotify!).

I’ve also just published my first blog post in a very long time. I’m giving away four ideas for startups/technologies that would help improve public health and accomplish something real. I’m never going to build these so I hope you or someone you know will. One of the ideas I share would even be one I’d be willing to invest in as an angel. Check out the story on Medium (you can also follow me on Medium!).


Articles I’ve Read

Coronavirus

  • There may be hope on the horizon for a coronavirus treatment that seems to work if used early in the infection. The rates of recovery shot up from 62% without the drug to 91% for those treated with favipiravir. The study needs to be confirmed but there is perhaps a glimmer of hope on the horizon. (link)

  • Due to the current pandemic and a lack of ventilators, a group has launched an open source ventilator project out of Ireland. In my view, once we’re past this pandemic we should have groups doing this for every possible piece of medical equipment in the hopes to cut worldwide healthcare costs and make us more resilient (in terms of speed and available funding) to attack the next medical crisis. (link)

  • This video of a new ventilator setup (one ventilator serves two patients without the need to “split” the ventilator) from Georgia Tech is inspiring. It makes you wonder - why didn’t this simple innovation already exist in current ventilator devices? Could it because that would halve sales? Nah - that’s too pessemistic of a reason. (link)

Business & Startups

  • Airbnb successfuly closed a debt and equity deal for $1 billion. Obviously this puts a pending IPO on hold and I wonder what it means for employees who are now going to see their options expire if they don’t exercise them. Of course, the company could modify the terms but that may cause IRS scruitiny since there would likely be tax consequences of doing so. I hope none of those employees leveraged those options as collateral for loans. I always say, the deal isn’t done until the cash is in the bank - this applies to startup funding and making out on a stock grant (and a lot of other things). (link)

Technology

  • The new Xbox Series X (these names are just crazy by the way) is officially slated to come to market during the “Holiday 2020” seasons (no idea when that actually means). This article says this means around Thanksgiving based on past console launches. I never realized there was 7-8 years between console launches so I think we may make the plunge and get this new Xbox later this year. (link)

  • Those terracotta warriors from China and their weapons are incredibly well preserved and previous thought was there was some ancient preservation technique used. As it turns out, the secret isn’t in the craftsmanship (which is incredible) but it’s in the soil. (link)

  • Sorry, but a little coronavirus throw into this one. This tweet shows a heatmap tracking all of those (dumb) kids in Florida for spring break and where they went afterwards. Visually this shows you how much spread one group of people have and why it is so important to isolate right now to slow the spread of this virus. Also, your phone is giving up a lot of info about you. (link)


Recommendation

I’ve got another band recommendation for you this time. I have been loving a lot of songs from Litany (real name: Beth Cornell). Litany is definitely still under the radar but her voice is amazing and the lyrical work is really well done. One example is the song “Call On Me” where she implores “you can hit me with hadouken” (and I’m totally stealing that line for my next Q&A session). If that line doesn’t make sense to you, then you’re either too old or too young and this artist might not be for you. :-)

I’ll also recommend “My Dude” as well. Unless you’re listening really well you’ll miss the very interesting lyrical word splits that happen through the verses. Really well done and easy to miss unless you understand what is being said line by line (if you still don’t get it, might I suggest following along on genius.com?).