Nuggies: Tech Billionaires and Energy Drinks

Thursday, April 29th, 2021

Welcome to the 45th edition of Nuggies, an email newsletter that aggregates articles and commentary on business, economics, startups, and more, in bite-sized nuggets sent right to your email weekly. Created by and for college students.

Our quote of the week comes from Apple CEO Tim Cook, “I worry more about people thinking like machines than machines thinking like people.”

This Week’s Articles:

The Case for Universal Creative Income, Li Jin

We’re already printing money to fund everything else, why not print some money to fund artists? The precedent is there: we spent half a billion (inflation adjusted) during the New Deal doing just that, and this blog posts argues in favor of doing it again. This is a well researched and thorough article that argues for reinstating a universal creative income, arguing that art has myriad positive externalities that this income can help fund.

Read it here

How People Get Rich Now, Paul Graham

In the latest essay from the investor and founder of famed startup studio Y Combinator, Paul Graham talks about the changes in wealth building over the last 40 years. He examines the shift away from wealth built from oil, real estate, and inheritance to wealth built from tech companies, now. His argument can be summed up well as, “In 1982, 84% of the richest 100 people got rich by inheritance, extracting natural resources, or doing real estate deals. Is that really better than a world in which the richest people get rich by starting tech companies?”

Read it here

The Mythology of Red Bull, The Generalist

Before reading, pour one out a Red Bull for Tommy, Notre Dame’s most fervent and dedicated Red Bull brand ambassador until he became a casualty of the pandemic (and maybe his own work ethic).

This is a great article that looks at the dominance of Red Bull, the company that owns 43% of the energy market, manufacturers cans for $.09 a unit, and pours all of their money into marketing like Formula 1 teams, soccer teams, huge stunts, and more. Red Bulls is truly a feat of marketing power and economies of scale. In their pursuits of marketing glory, however, they end up doing incredible things, like breaking the sound barrier in a skydive from 150,000 feet.

Read it here

This Week’s Tweets:

This Week’s Wildcard (an extra, interesting nugget):

Check out this graphic from the New York Times from a year ago, mapping out how long a COVID vaccine will take. And people say capitalism is evil.

This Week’s Question:

Is wealth creation as a result of tech companies being built better than how wealth was built in the past, even if it grows wealth at a much faster and more disproportionate rate?

What are we listening to this week?:

This week, we’re listening to Future Nostalgia by Dua Lipa. Are we a late entry to the Dua Lipa hype? Possibly, but this is a phenomenal modern pop album that clearly shows mastery of disco influences.

Thank you for reading! Nuggies is created by Thomas Pero and Spencer Koehl, two undergraduate students at the University of Notre Dame.

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