Rise and Fall: Childhood Experiences

I’ve been thinking back to how experiences that used to be so common have shifted over the past couple decades. Some of the changes have been gradual, while others seemed to happen overnight. Here are a few that stick out: Dry Cleaning I have fond memories of going to a local dry cleaner with my … More Rise and Fall: Childhood Experiences

McDonalds as a Cultural Barometer

Since its humble start in the 1940s, McDonald’s and its golden arches have become a powerful symbol worldwide. Thanks to its focus on standardizing food and experience, McDonald’s also serves as an indicator by which we can see the evolution of Western culture (particularly for the United States). 1950s-1960s: Beginnings Although the first McDonald’s was … More McDonalds as a Cultural Barometer

What’s in a (college) name?

Whether it’s private institutions like the “Ivy Plus” elite (Ivy League, Stanford, UChicago, etc.), powerful public schools (e.g. the University of California system), or those in secondary echelons of selectivity, millions of students dream of one day calling a top institution their alma mater. What makes these name-brand schools so interesting goes beyond education — … More What’s in a (college) name?

How to Attract Employees Back to the Office

After more than 2 years of remote-first work, many companies are calling their white-collar employees back to the office. Tech giants Google and Apple are ramping up to full hybrid schedules (3 days in-office, 2 days flexible), while Investment Banking heavyweights like Goldman Sachs are already back in person, although not without rising discontent among … More How to Attract Employees Back to the Office

Bad Startups, Part 2 (Good in Hindsight)

I’ve previously written about some objectively bad startups. This time, I want to highlight some startups whose models were unintuitive at best, and how they overcame status quo perceptions in their journey to success. Cam Boys Here’s the investor pitch: we’re going to create a 24/7 livestream of one of our founders, who’s not particularly … More Bad Startups, Part 2 (Good in Hindsight)

The Art of (Little) Acquisitions

Have you made a PowerPoint presentation recently, or perhaps opened up Google Maps to figure out how to get to a destination? Silicon Valley is rife with discussions about “acquihires”, overvalued purchases, and even allegations of anti-competitive “buy and kill” behavior: purchasing competitors before they can become a bigger threat. For all the negatives we … More The Art of (Little) Acquisitions

Welcome to the (Literal) Meme Economy

I’ve heard about NFTs. You’ve heard about NFTs. Maybe even your older family members are asking about them, too. So what’s the deal with NFTs? An NFT (or “non-fungible token”) is defined as a unique (“non-fungible”) unit of data (“token”) stored on a blockchain (kinda like a database or digital list, generally decentralized, where you … More Welcome to the (Literal) Meme Economy

Aloha Airlines: Memories of Chocolate Chip Cookies Past

There’s one memory of flying as a child that always stands out for me: returning from a family trip to Hawaii on Aloha Airlines, watching through the window as day faded into night, and the smell of chocolate chip cookies, freshly heated, served one-by-one down the aisle with a glass of cold milk. These days, … More Aloha Airlines: Memories of Chocolate Chip Cookies Past

The Good and Bad of Buy Now, Pay Later

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) programs are nothing new, but the resurgence of installment-based programs in the early 2020s has generated interest not seen since the Great Depression. With retailers and third-party vendors alike getting into the BNPL business, it’s worth thinking through the ways these programs can benefit consumers, as well as the risks … More The Good and Bad of Buy Now, Pay Later