Breakfast Notes #36 (Tips For Writing, NFTs, Alibaba)
Good morning friends.
The quote of the week that I have been thinking about comes from the best-selling author, Morgan Housel,
A lot of denial masquerades as patience.
The question I am still asking - 'How do I know what I have is true patience?'
Like Socrates, I'd like to think that there is a daemon in me, a true inner voice that calls out my b.s. (Yes, it's that same voice saying, 'You shouldn't have' whenever I inhale a Double Mcspicy)
Three Writing Tips You Wish You Knew Earlier
You should know I am on a mission to become Siglap's best writer.
This week, I learned three lessons on the craft of writing, and I want to share them with you.
- Be a miser with syllables. Short words are more forceful and less pretentious than their longer kin. Crisis is urgent, calamity isn't. Force is stronger than pressure.
- How to Sell Sushi to An Itamae. That's way better than 'Marketing Japanese Cuisine". A good title is short, informative and appetizing. Exaggeration and humour work wonders.
- Everything is material. Don't just settle for books and articles. You can write about a conversation you had, a podcast you listened to, or even a passing 'potty' thought.
When in doubt, I always consult the copywriter guru himself, David Ogilvy.
Watch the above three principles play out in this quote by Ogilvy in his Confessions of an Advertising Man,
The creative process requires more than reason. Most original thinking isn't even verbal. It requires 'a groping experimentation with ideas, governed by intuitive hunches and inspired by the unconscious.' The majority of business men are incapable of original thinking because they are unable to escape from the tyranny of reason. Their imaginations are blocked.
The Most Valuable NFT in The World
The First 5000 Days is a collage of 5000 individual NFTs that Beeple created for his Everyday's series. It sold for a whopping USD 69 million (42.329 ETH) in 2021 at the Christies Auction house, making it the most expensive NFT on Earth.
But it's not the most valuable.
That title belongs to an NFT called' Save Thousands of Lives' by Noora Health.
The non-profit runs programs in hospitals in South Asia to teach new mothers how to take care of their babies once they get home. Right now, they are operational across 165 hospitals. As they know the numbers before and after they begin at a new hospital, they can quantify their impact, which stands at an impressive nine lives saved per thousand live births.
They are using the proceeds from the NFT to fund their subsequent work. Based on my internet digging, Paul Graham, the legendary Silicon Valley investor, purchased the NFT for around USD 2.4 million, roughly saving about 2000 lives.
In dollar value, Beeple crushes Noora Health. Noora Health will be leading 2000-0 from this NFT sale in terms of total lives saved.
Unless... Beeple donates all of his sales earnings to fund Noora Health's work.
Visualization Of The Day
This is a visualization of the milk prices in the US.
It's weird to know milk in New York is cheaper than in Philadelphia.
China's Biggest School: Alibaba
I want you to pause and digest the next sentence.
Alibaba has 1 billion active users in China.
The next question, 'So what?'
Well, for the first ten to twenty years of China's digital economy - Alibaba built the entire e-commerce infrastructure for China.
In the (edited) words of Ram Parameswaran, the founder of Octahedron Capital,
For twenty years, Alibaba trained and educated two generations of merchants to use amazing e-commerce tools. If Alibaba had not done what they had did to educate an entire country on e-commerce, competitors like Pinduoduo and JD wouldn’t exist.
This is why Alibaba is significant - they taught a nation recovering from years of turmoil marked by deep distrust on how to transact with strangers. Today, the entire nation buys almost everything online now.
Thank you for reading and may the sun shine upon your face,