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Hi friend, 

It will be post-Thanksgiving when we converse next. It's a tough time here in the United States even as we go into the most unifying American holiday on the calendar.

The second (or third, depending on who is counting) COVID-19 wave is upon us. Yes, a vaccine is coming soon, but what even is a mRNA vaccine? Despite the spate of good news on this front, resolution still feels ambiguously far away.  

There is still a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. I'll send out a worldwide cheers to that. 

Today's Contents:

  • Weekly Song: Rivers and Roads
  • Obviously The Future: Citizens Vote With Their Feet
  • Good Reads

Weekly Song: Rivers and Roads

I always loved the chorus of Rivers and Roads. It sounds like a pilgrimage or a journey to see old friends and family. I haven't lived in my home state of Minnesota since graduating from high school. I've missed many a family Thanksgiving in the past, but all of the missed events with family and friends can add up.  

One highlight this week is - completely out of the blue - my friend from college and DS community member Elliott texted a few of us with just a "We can get a cameo from the Most Interesting Man in the World" and this link. Just, you know, a public service announcement. 

I miss my friends and family and I'll be extra thankful this Thanksgiving for all the many adventures, the random ideas, the competitive banter, the past dinner parties, and the future dinner parties. We'll make it happen. Right? Feels like some rivers and roads 'til I reach you. 

"Rivers and Roads" by The Head and The Heart

Nothin' is as it has been
And I miss your face like hell
And I guess it's just as well
But I miss your face like hell

Been talkin' 'bout the way things change
And my family lives in a different state
So if you don't know what to make of this
Then we will not relate

Rivers and roads
Rivers till I reach you

Rivers and roads
Rivers and roads
Rivers till I reach you

Obviously the Future: Citizens vote with their feet.

Since leaving Minnesota, I have spent meaningful time living in North Carolina, California, Nigeria, Pakistan, London, New York, and Washington state. That would not have been possible two generations ago and yet has been increasingly common for an increasingly large pool of mobile individuals from around the world who are able to relocate for a host of reasons and continue to do so in large numbers.

Yet even this relatively recent phenomenon is changing once again. As the standard of living across the developing world continues to climb and the Internet enables individuals to live, learn, and work from almost anywhere, migration of commerce (and the associated opportunities and people who seek them) may shift as well, redistributing from the several urban megapolis that have concentrated wealth and talent into a broader set of cities. How localities compete for citizens - in the same way many have competed for business in recent decades, exemplified by the fervor surrounding Amazon's search for HQ2 - may differentiate the places that "win" and shape the rest of the 21st Century. 

Choice is all around us. In a free society, everyone makes choices. Everyone likes being able to choose the life they want to live. Where to call home. What community norms to ascribe to.  Where to educate your kids. 

The wealthier you are, the more choice you have. You can choose to send your children to a private school. You can choose to see a doctor that doesn't take insurance. You can decide to get a second opinion. Wealth can mean that you don't have to play by the constraints of any particular government and its rules. 

When people don't like the choices they are given or don't feel they are being honored - they choose to take to the streets or to leave. And protesting and leaving they are.

I have written this argument out in full, but for reasons I don't understand Mailchimp keeps cutting it off. So if you want to read it please use the link here.

Sensible Investing: Good Reads 

Do Good Things: Lux Capital quarterly LP letter. I often find Lux letters difficult to read because they can feel scattered, but there is a lot in there. Here are some good lines:
  • The optimist opines that we’re in the best of all worlds — and the pessimist fears that it is true.
  • We say when investing that 100% of the information we have is based on the past and 100% of the value of the decisions we make is in the future, which is inherently probabilistic. 
If it hurts, it's probably true. One founder's reflection on a lesson learned. 

Are COVID-19 patients gasping 'it isn't real' as they die? No. Probably not. That was just a viral story. Consider this your weekly reminder: most things you read that go viral on the internet probably are loaded with cognitive bias and deceptive 'only a small fraction' of the story. 

DoorDash and Societal Arbitrage. Read here. "We are legal": They are hyper-aggressive and will attack every imaginable loophole and push every possible regulatory boundary. It's just the nature of the capital and the culture. 

Primer on the travel industry: 150+ page Airbnb S-1 The Economist believes that: Airbnb’s future depends on its ability to police its service and meet a growing list of legal requirements in cities around the world. 

Happy Thanksgiving Friends. Thank you for reading, always. 

Please always be in touch. 


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Katelyn Donnelly
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