The Profile: Allen Iverson, Joe Lubin, & Elon Musk

Good morning, friends.

I somehow went down a rabbit hole this weekend when I first stumbled across this Medium post titled “41 Insightful Quora and Reddit Threads on Life, Career, and Love.” (I almost guarantee you’ll click on one of these, so don’t do it unless you have some free time on your hands.)

Anyway, I happened to click on the Reddit thread where someone asks, “What are the most common life mistakes young people make?” The answers did not disappoint, so I thought I’d share a few with you guys:

— “That living is about attaining security — when there is actually no such thing.”

— “Confusing being able to make minimum payment with being able to afford something.”

— “Placing too much importance on what other people think.”

— “Inability to delay gratification. Immediacy, especially in today's society, controls young people. Instant gratification is a drug.”

— “Neck and face tattoos. Unless you're that guy at the job interview that said your tear drop tattoo represents the blood sweat and tears you’re ready to dedicate to the company.”

— “Not speaking up when witnessing someone else being picked on, bullied, or harassed. Among my peers (mid-to-late 20's), this is a frequently mentioned regret when we talk openly about what we wish we would've done differently back in adolescence. A lot of people we knew then have had their entire adult lives and personalities shaped and influenced by how poorly they were treated.”

— “Keeping toxic people in your life because you feel obligated. There is no obligation large enough to keep a toxic person in your life. None. Nada. Zero. Zip.”

— “Thinking too much about their mistakes. We all screw up. It's part of life.”

Let me know if you’d like to add one to this list.

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Here’s what we have this week (they’re all worth your time):

The team trapped in darkness [**HIGHLY RECOMMEND**]
— The 200-mile race champion
— The crypto billionaire in crisis
— The real Allen Iverson
— The battery company saving humanity
— The startup that stranded customers overseas


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PEOPLE TO KNOW.

The team trapped in darkness: We all remember the young soccer team that got trapped in a flooded cave for 18 days this summer. The world collectively wondered — how do you survive the darkness (with no food or water) without going insane? Meditation. The team’s coach taught the boys to breathe slowly, clear their minds, and remove themselves mentally and emotionally from the muddy cave they were physically trapped in. This incredible story demonstrates the true strength of the human spirit.

“There were many theories about which boy would go first—the youngest, the weakest, the strongest—but in the end it came down to a boy who volunteered.”

The 200-mile race champion: Elite ultrarunning is one of the few sports in which women are able to hold their own with men. And the very, very long races (I’m talking 200+ miles) is where 33-year-old Courtney Dauwalter shines. Her prowess has crystallized the debate about whether psychological fortitude can trump men’s innate strength advantages in endurance sports. Dauwalter believes her competitive advantage is suffering — she’s simply willing to suffer more and longer than her competitors. This one will blow your mind.

“I put myself in situations where suffering is going to be involved and hope to be able to tap into the mental piece every time that physical pain becomes too much.”

The crypto billionaire in crisis: Crypto mania made Joe Lubin a billionaire, and he set out to build a utopian business empire. Lubin created ConsenSys, a holding company he describes as a global “organism” to build the applications and infrastructure for a decentralized world. He believed he would revolutionize the future of work and business. But then reality got in the way. Consensys is burning $100 million-plus a year, changing its corporate structure, and undergoing layoffs. It ain’t pretty.

“ConsenSys will end up in the Harvard Business Review as a case study on changing corporate structure or as a disaster.”

The real Allen Iverson: Allen Iverson shares some stories you’ve probably never heard before. He talks about the time he gave Larry Hughes his Bentley with no gas, the time Michael Jordan was found smoking a cigar in the coach’s office, and the time he realized people wore suits to more than just church. So many great anecdotes but there’s one thing you learn from this profile — Iverson is, and always has been, unapologetically himself.

“What I stood for was something way deeper. I mean — to me, if I had to sum it up? I’d say I stood for being yourself.”

COMPANIES TO WATCH.

The battery company saving humanity: This profile takes a close look inside the Gigafactory — the massive factory where Tesla will soon make 60% of the world’s lithium-ion batteries. It’s a one-size-fits-all factory that, ideally, could make anything Tesla sells — batteries, solar panels, home storage solutions, and electric cars. But the question remains — will the Gigafactory ever deliver on its audacious promises? CEO Elon Musk believes literally all of humanity hinges on its success because “without sustainable energy, we’ll pollute ourselves to death.” 😬

“A whir of robots and machines is only occasionally disrupted by the sound of human voices, creating the feeling that, somehow, this massive factory could drone on forever without much supervision.”

The startup that stranded customers overseas: We Roam, a glitzy startup that pitched “digital nomads” on traveling the world while working remotely, had organized a series of 12 month-long stays in different countries. One day, customers woke up to an email labeled “Urgent Message From The CEO,” in which We Roam head Nathan Yates announced the company was running out of money and shutting down immediately. They realized they would be stranded in a foreign country with no promises of a refund. One day, you’re a millennial working remotely from Myanmar, the next you’re homeless in Tahiti.

“For me, where I come from, $4,000 is not a little amount of money. We paid for goods and services that were never rendered, and they took our money.”