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Monthly Rewind: August 2023
We've been busy...
Monthly Rewind is a curated summary of the previous month's highlights at Infinite Loops HQ.
“If you're not making sense on the internet, you're just dead on arrival… the necessity to clearly communicate what you can do is life and death as a commercial endeavor.”
- Jack Butcher
I. 🎙️ Podcast Guests 🎙️
We always have a blast chatting with Jack, who first visited the show back in Summer 2021. His journey from the ‘traditional’ path of working in advertising agencies to founding his own (ridiculously successful) online creative business embodies the trends that we think will become increasingly commonplace in the era of the Great Reshuffle.
Jack has an unparalleled understanding of what it takes to succeed as an online creator. Among the many ideas discussed during the episode, a unifying theme was emergent: the importance of having tight, reality-based feedback loops for driving personal growth:
“You can really get to more of the truth of something if you have those different layers or levels of real feedback against what it is you're trying to say.”
Author, management advisor, and researcher Luca Dellanna has dedicated his life to exploring and writing about productivity, risk, leadership, and personal development.
Unlike many of the self-proclaimed ‘productivity gurus’ you may encounter on Twitter, Luca’s work is thoroughly researched, grounded in science, clearly communicated, and, above all, actionable.
One of our favorite insights from Luca’s episode is his observation that hard work can often be a form of laziness:
“The problem is using work is working hard as a form of a compensation. For example, I have a product that is not selling and the reason it's not selling is because it's not a product that people want and I overcompensate by working hard on promoting it. That's not going to work or it's going to get some marginal results, but that's it. And maybe that's not something you want to do….I see people who work hard as a way to overcompensate some problem that they don't want to face, some skill that they don't want to learn and so on.”
"My mind is a Garden, my thoughts are the seeds, my harvest will be either flowers or weeds."
Hypnotist Todd Goodwin’s first episode was so interesting that we had to invite him back for a sequel.
While our first conversation was spent digging into some of the myths behind hypnosis, our second was wider-ranging, exploring how hypnosis differs from ‘mainstream’ medical treatment.
Our biggest takeaway was Todd’s distinction between treating the symptoms and the causes of our issues:
“The cause is what the person is thinking every day that predisposes them to emotionally and behaviorally reacting. Everyone, no matter where they are in life, has the potential to unlearn these disempowering, very often disabling and debilitating mental programs.”
Are you a nice person?
Do you act reasonably?
Are you persistent?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, the chances are that you are holding yourself back.
Executive coachjoined the show for a great conversation around the merits of being unreasonable, why your business should not be your identity, why niceness is overrated, and more.
We particularly resonated with Dr. Gurner’s distinction between tenacity and persistence:
“Persistence will just keep running and running and running on the same path, whereas if you are tenacious, you'll find a side door if you need to. You will leap into a different area. You will try a different avenue.”
"Who is America’s best-known banker? That would be Jamie Dimon.
But who is the richest? That would be Andy Beal, with an estimated net worth of $9 billion."
Friend-of-the-show Frederik Gieschen joined us on 90 minutes’ notice (that’s a record) to discuss his excellent essay High Roller: Lessons from America's Richest Banker, which explores the life and work of Andy Beal, the richest banker in America.
Unsurprisingly, the conversation also veered in some weird and wonderful directions. Here’s Frederik’s thoughts on the alchemy of great investors:
“Because to me, these people you included, but people who are very good at that game, they're almost, to me, a little bit like alchemists, right? There's the signs, there's the analysis, and there's the behavioral aspect, and then there's a little bit of a mysterious element to me that's always like, "This person, there's something different." And the way they perceive the world and the way they understand themselves in relationship to the market and the opportunity set, there's something going on."
II. ✍️ Essays & Articles ✍️
We’re biased, but we think August was our best month here on Substack (judging by the amount of new subscribers, others agree).
Here are the highlights:
- , the winner of the inaugural OSV Discord monthly writing challenge, riffs off our episode with Venkatesh Rao to chronicle his journey away from being a “Paycheck Person” and towards a meaningful life.
5 Counterintuitive Truths We Learned From Luca Dellanna: Many of our default ways of looking at the world are mistaken. We share five of Luca's most surprising, perspective-altering insights.
Five Paths to Peak Performance: Dr. Julie Gurner has spent over ten years coaching top-percentile individuals on unlocking peak performance. We share some of her most actionable lessons to help you reach the next level.
Writing in the 21st Century: “Despite the rise of AI, we are not nearing the end of the written word, but merely the end of the beginning.”explains why OSV is funding ten scholarships to David Perell’s Write of Passage.
III. 📰 News 📰
Next-Gen Filmmaking Competition
We’ve launched a filmmaking competition to showcase how technological advancements are unleashing a new wave of creativity upon the world.
The submission deadline is 30 September, so there’s still time. If you’re a filmmaker looking to raise your profile, this is the competition for you.
For more information on the competition, including FAQs, judges, rules, and the submission process, check out our website.
We were so blown away by the quality of the applications we received for this year’s Fellowship that we have expedited the launch of the O’Shaughnessy Grants initiative, originally planned for next year.
Five individuals have been selected as the inaugural recipients of the O’Shaughnessy Grants. Each will receive a $10,000 grant and access to OSV’s network of founders, investors, and experts to support them in bringing their projects to life.
We wrote about the grants program here.
August also saw the wrap-up of our wisdom-keeping competition. You can find out more about the contest here.
Finally, August saw the launch of our partnership with Interintellect: Building the Future With the OSV Fellows.
Join us in this series, during which each O’Shaughnessy Fellow will shine a light on their unique areas of expertise, journey to the Fellowship, and plans to transform our world for the better.
This is a wonderful opportunity to obtain a behind-the-scenes view of some of the most exciting work being carried out today. You may even find that you leave the series with a world-changing idea of your own. See you there!
IV. 🚀 What’s Next? 🚀
September has already been a great month, with Trung Phan & Rob Henderson chatting to us about Apocalypse Now and Dror Poleg looking in his crystal ball to predict the future of work. Coming up, we have podcast-king Danny Miranda, Kaggle grandmaster Bojan Tunguz, and more.
Here on our Substack, we’ll continue to deliver you the usual selection of deep dives and other ideas that make you go, “Hmm…that’s interesting!”