The Art of Asynchronous Conversation (almost)

Readers and Friends –

Welcome to my third newsletter.

Thank you for reading. You can read all (two) of my previous newsletters at archive at my blog – blog.sbdavis.com.

I hope you’ll treat this letter as one side of our “asynchronous conversation” (see below)… I really want to hear from you.

If you like this, please share, if not – let me know – this is a work in progress… and if it isn’t a good fit, definitely unsubscribe and I wish you all my best.

As of today, there are 3 of you – thank you all again.

I’m (almost) on target with one article and one newsletter a week – thank you for helping keep me on track!

The Art of Asynchronous Conversation

As you can tell from this letter (I hope) and my web site, I’m experimenting a bit with my communication style. I’m trying to work out a way to be more interactive (or rather invite more interaction) through my online communications.

Now, this is pretty abstract at this point as I have an impressively microscopic (though wonderful) audience.

There is a business reason to this.

The increasing use of privacy protecting tools by customers, the “behavior” of online businesses, and, perhaps, the assumptions that we are making about our communications which would seem to have the power to be more useful for all parties than “Sign up for my mail list and get a ‘free’ download”.

It is a bit of a thought piece, I got well into it, but didn’t finish this week.

The draft is here, your thoughts greatly appreciated. Hopefully, I’ll finish it up next week, if you’d rather wait.

Vending Machine Rabbit hole and bad sleep

I didn’t quite finish my article on “The Art of Asynchronous Conversation”… I fell down an Internet rabbit hole yesterday.

I was walking through an interesting business model / investment strategy (vending machines!????!!?!). It is interesting that it is kind of like real estate investment in mobile homes. They are essentially valued based on the equipment which, when you, are fully depreciatable (and, if you are doing things right, the equipment pays for itself in a couple of months).

So in 5(?) years, the tax code is basically buying the business back from you.

They cash pretty well and if you hired someone to “run your route”, they still are reasonably profitable.

For me, here is crazy California, it is kind of a “real estate” business that has very low entry costs (sometimes you don’t even need to pay for the space or power).

… also a potential side business while you are building an online business with modest capital and time requirements.

​… as I said, rabbit hole.

That, and I’ve been hit by a particularly bad run of bad sleep.

Waking up at 1:30 and then getting fitful sleep until 5 or 6.

No one’s fault… and no magic answers.

I have no interest in using drugs as this is a chronic problem for me.

Cryptocurrency stalls… and the myth of decentralization

The article on cryptocurrency is outlined, but didn’t get further this week. There are now 4 business models and I’ve identified 3 more that I want to discuss. I hope to finish it up in the next two weeks.

One reader suggested that I talk about investing in crypto. The recent big drop in several markets should confirm to any doubters that this is a purely speculative market… but one that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

One of the loud claims about cryptocurrencies is that they are distributed and therefore somehow less risky.

I’ll flat out call BS on this.

The growth of dominant exchanges like Coinbase mean that they define the legitimacy of the market. Now, they have a vested interest in keeping things going (which is dangerous too), but they effectively “pick the winners” by who they bless and promoted.

I do expect the cryptocurrency market to collapse, but I have no idea when. It will probably have some ugly fall out, but, if you enjoy speculative rides, I’m sure it will be exciting.

I do think private exchanges have a future. The loosening of regulation of securities may lead to some meaningfully useful tools for raising capital … and weird forms of online gambling.

... and ending the era of the accredited investor

I find it personally absurd that TODAY I can be approved to invest in stock options (where I can literallly lose more than all of my money) by filling out a form, yet I can’t invest in seed startups or real estate syndicates or hedge funds which provide the same sort of prospectus that a publicly listed stock does (though no one seems to read those either).

… I feel a rant coming on.

​Systems Collection

I added 5(!) more entries to my systems collection this week. My favorite (even though I don’t have employees) was from Nathan’s Berry’s podcast on using private podcasts to introduce new employees. I also wrote up “The Bootstrapper’s Ratio” on marketing vs. product development… which I’m not following as I’m doing essentially NO marketing right now.

Personal promise, to get back to this after I move (less than 3 weeks now).

Disability Activism

Started an article on “Building an Effective Disability Legislative Caucus”. There are only 10 that I’ve been able to find in the US. Some exist, but aren’t visible (which defeats the purprose to my view). I’ve done my homework, so I’m just about to start with this.

… interestingly, this topic wasn’t my idea, but came out of a Twitter inquiry from a state senator.

… one of the things that makes Twitter kind of cool.

Packing and the sad fate of old books

Slowed down a bit. Last weekend was dedicated to my daughter’s birthday and family activities. Essentially all of my books are boxed (probably 70 boxes). I did some serious downsizing of old console games and systems as I found a place to donate them. I also packed up and lightly purged my DVDs/Blu-ray disks.

Downsizing books is somewhat depressing as many of them are from that weird time where they are under copyright, but pre-Kindle / digital books, so I’m afraid too many of them will simply be lost to pulp.

My game collection is very frustrating to pack. The sizes are very irregular and some simply don’t fit into standard boxes. With well over 800 games to pack up… this is a PITA.

Games

Not much on my “game biz” this week.

Clojure

… and Clojure may be on hold to next month as well.

Back to packing

All my best.

Steve

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