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Dreaming it all up again...
I sent my first newsletter almost exactly seven years ago. The world, and my life, were very different then. It was August of 2016. Barack Obama was still President, nearing the end of his second term as we all barreled towards the 2016 election. We all remember what happened next... I was just wrapping up a vacation in Europe with my wife. Over two years away from our first child being born. Now I’m here living in Europe, waiting on our second.
Anyway, I was thinking about this first newsletter today as our youngest just watched Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (after my wife read her Roald Dahl’s book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — power swap by Hollywood there, ampersand and all). That first newsletter — which, sadly, no longer resides online because The Artist Formerly Known as Twitter killed off the Revue newsletter platform on which it was sent, so it now just resides in my inbox vault — was entitled “In a World of Pure Imagination”, because Gene Wilder, the star of said movie, had just passed away.
In the quiet moments before the wonderful chaos, I’m finding myself thinking, as I often do, about content. And I think I have a plan. A giant, unified plan. Finally. But it will take some time as I take some time. Stay tuned, in a few months. ✍️🍻
Caity Weaver humorously tries to track down where Cruise actually lives — likely somewhere in England — as he’s become something of an enigma in modern life. Unlike seemingly every other actor on social media, Cruise only seems to exist in the real world when he’s promoting his movies (which he does relentlessly). I appreciate this reclusiveness, it is a bit odd for a celebrity in our modern world, but it also adds to his mystique as the last “true” movie star. One where we don’t know (and track) his every Starbucks order.
If, like me, you were shocked by the news that Anchor Brewing, the 152-year-old iconic San Francisco brewery, was going out of business, this backstory as to why will probably just make you angry. Let’s hope someone —the employees?! — steps in to save them.
Speaking of SF, the title and certainly the images (!) are a bit much here, but overall, this feels like a fair look at the city — where I lived and watched degrade over the past 15 years — by Tabby Kinder and George Hammond. Still, there’s some hope…
Mark Gurman, as always, seemingly has all the key details about the iPhone 15 ahead of its launch. The key upgrade this year will clearly be the first chip built with the 3nm process — which should both lead to a nice speed jump and, more importantly, better battery life. But the real hardware upgrade (beyond the switch to USB-C) will likely be the mute toggle becoming an “Action” button, just like the Apple Watch Ultra has. Say goodbye to the constant swiping left to open the camera app. (Also, StandBy is great.)
Scott Galloway on the Gulf States attempt to pivot from oil. The “Neom” project is the most forward-facing effort, but there are hundreds of other elements to the pivot, both large (tech investing, buying sports teams) and small (marketing luxury and trying to lure the world’s wealthiest people).
This post by Ellis Hamburger, who previously worked at Snap, from April still very much resonates. Even if they growing to a massive scale, all social media services eventually die by their own hands due to cheap engagement tactics to ramp monetization. From Facebook on down, it’s inevitable.
“What gives you opportunities is other people doing dumb things. In the 58 years we’ve been running Berkshire, I’d say there has been a great increase in the number of people doing dumb things.”
— Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting this past May
The Quick Stuff
It’s morbid, but if you really want to know what happens to the human body when a submarine implodes while heading down to the Titanic, this is the piece for you. 🚢
What will happen to Christopher Nolan’s 11 miles of IMAX film for Oppenheimer once it’s out of theaters? 🎞️
Maybe don’t just blindly believe (and cite) that Sensor Tower data… 🙅♂️
AI was used to create the “perfect” James Bond — and it looks a lot like a young Clive Owen? (Though yes, a bit like Aaron Taylor-Johnson too. My dark horse money is still on Richard Madden.) 0️⃣0️⃣7️⃣
There’s apparently a replica of San Francisco at a theme park in Japan. 🌉
Ever wonder why some directors get their name in the movie title marquee (it’s not always just the obvious marketing element)? 📽️
Quite the backstory for David Gilmour, the man who created Fiji Water, who died recently at 91. 💧
Another founder with an interesting backstory, Bill Oesterle, Co-Founder of Angie’s List, who died way too young at 57. 📝
Before the Hollywood strikes likely pushed everything back, Heat 2 was seemingly progressing nicely as Michael Mann’s next film… 🤞
Hints of Quentin Tarantino’s next (and supposedly last) film… 🎥
To discover a new type of gravitational wave, scientists had to “hack the galaxy” to use it as a detector. 🔭
As we approach 100 years post-Hindenburg might (new types of) airships make a comeback? 🌬️
Salt Life, the random, generic slogan that became a massive brand. 🧂
Allbirds, the massive brand that became a random, generic one. 🐦
Keita Takahashi created Katamari Damacy 20 years ago and now gets nothing from its continued success. He did have an (indirect) hand in helping to create Slack though! 🕹️
In terms of cities being constructed as grids on a 0 to 1 scale, Chicago gets a 0.89 while London gets a 0.015. 🏙️
The creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, bought and revitalized this wacky and tacky restaurant in Colorado. 🌴
I still cannot believe Michael Lewis was shadowing Sam Bankman-Fried when FTX collapsed. Here’s a fun quick interview ahead of the book. 🪙
Did the T. Rex have lips 65 million years ago? Sure seems like it. 🦖
Are French people just lazy? Now we’re just full-on asking questions. 🇫🇷
Oh yes, Tweets no longer render here, of course, so here’s a screenshot…
ESPN set to let traditional cable television bleed out…
Some thoughts as Succession ends…
🔪 The Shiv
A few quick thoughts on Succession’s finale…
Some initial thoughts on Apple’s position versus Meta’s…
Zuckerberg vs. Musk. Literally. Who gives a shit?
A little bit of the old Steve Jobs plain talkin’ distortion…
How will Vision Pro scale?
Some quick, initial thoughts on Meta’s Threads service
A no-joke very bad centipede bite…