The Profile: The In-N-Out burger billionaire & the AI doctor in your home

Good morning!

I sent the first edition of The Profile in February 2017 to a few friends, my mom, and her friend Peggy. As it has grown, it has become a close community of smart and curious people with whom I’ve had some of the best conversations/debates/brainstorming sessions.

So — I’d love to allow us to meet in person & exchange ideas. If you’re interested in helping coordinate or sponsoring a casual drinks meetup in NYC, let me know.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming:

The charity worker with a dark secret [**HIGHLY RECOMMEND**]
The In-N-Out burger billionaire
— The bed-bug whisperer
The AI doctor in your home
The robot helping you retire
— The high-tech athleisure empire

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The charity worker with a dark secret: Katie Meyler, a 31-year-old American, raised more than $8 million — including $600,000 from the U.S. government — for her charity in Liberia called “More Than Me.” Meyler claimed her school was saving some of the world’s most vulnerable girls from sexual exploitation when, in fact, it was doing the opposite. This chilling ProPublica investigation of rampant sexual abuse under Meyler’s watch begs the question — Who is responsible when those with seemingly good intentions cause inexplicable harm?

“Our girls cannot be victimized a second time by a culture that accepts their rape as standard practice.”

The In-N-Out burger billionaire: At 36 years old, Lynsi Snyder is the youngest woman on this year’s Forbes 400 Richest Americans list. With a net worth of $3 billion, she’s the sole owner of burger empire In-N-Out. Snyder’s past lies in stark contrast to the company’s long-standing stability — she never graduated from college, battled through drug use, and went through three divorces. Taking over the franchise in 2010 gave her a sense of purpose. “When you persevere, you end up developing more strength,” she said.

“It’s not about the money for us. Unless God sends a lightning bolt down and changes my heart miraculously, I would not ever sell.”

The bed-bug whisperer: Billy Swan has been invited into thousands of homes across New York. He’s seen rich people arguing over money, adult children neglecting their aging parents, & lonely octogenarian bachelors yearning for conversation. People hug him, argue with him, and send him photos. Swan is half-exterminator, half-therapist, whose job requires him to get rid of your bed-bugs while keeping you from going insane in the process.

“For the most part, once you start asking people questions they get away from hysteria and start making a game plan. They just want you to tell them it’s going to be okay.”


The AI doctor in your home: Don’t cough near your Amazon Echo. Amazon secured a patent this week for technology that would let its AI assistant Alexa analyze your voice for signs of illnesses or mood changes to sell you a product. If you sound like you have a sore throat, it might offer cough drops with expedited delivery. If you’re sniffling, it might recommend a chicken noodle soup recipe. What happens when the robots know us better than we know ourselves?

“Big Brother is watching your vital signs, and using them to sell you things.”

The robot helping you retire: The premise of robo-adviser Betterment is to replace the traditional financial adviser with an algorithm. It aims to make things so simple, you might set up your account, arrange for direct deposits, and then never log in to it again until you retire. Betterment has no plans to add crypto trading or lending, but instead will focus on breaking into the 401(k) business. As someone on Twitter said, “Good luck with that.”

“Most of the financial-services industry is a complete waste of human time.”

The high-tech athleisure empire: This profile offers a glimpse into Lululemon’s secretive innovation lab. The athleisure company has a “sensory immersion lab,” which develops technology that identifies and measures each person’s unique pattern of movement. Why? Because even your leggings are personalized in 2018.

“We’ve created this place to understand how you move, and how you feel when you move.”