Thinks 751

Evan Armstrong: “The primary trends I’m investing in: China, boring AI, vertical SaaS, and Apple’s power…To generate outsized returns, you have to be comfortable with most people thinking you are an idiot. Prices on the assets you’re investing in will be lower and, if you’re right, the returns will be that much higher. It does, however, require a strong sense of confidence to employ this strategy. You have to be willing to be wrong, publicly, and perhaps for many years.”

Mandar Karhade writes about GPT-4, and starts with a backgrounder on GPT: “Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) is a text generation deep learning model trained on the data available on the internet. It is used for question & answers, text summary generation, machine translation, classification, code generation, and conversation AI. The applications of GPT models are endless. Furthermore, you can even fine-tune them on specific data to create even better results (transfer learning). By using the “sauce” from GPT models, building NLP projects becomes a heck lot easier. Easier means you save time, money, and resources and ultimately you use the generalization (giant sample size) to get started without having to reinvent the wheel for general aspects of the language.”

Rishi Joshi: “Is it better to keep pouring money at sky-high valuations into a few businesses, or should more startups with a sustainable business model be seeded to spawn a healthy startup ecosystem? It may mean fewer unicorns, but may give a lifeline to many more entrepreneurs. In emerging economies like India, that may create a more inclusive startup ecosystem. India’s small businesses, or the SMEs, are massive employment generators and better funding opportunities to them may be a lifeline for them. Even as we celebrate unicorns, let’s remember India, and the world, needs to create millions of viable, sustainable businesses that can lift standards of living and create employment for millions.”

NYTimes: “In a recent paper, Benjamin Farrer, a political scientist at Knox College in Illinois, argues that we have mistaken the key resource upon which democracy, and perhaps civilization, depends. That resource is attention. But not your attention or my attention. Our attention. Attention, in this sense, is a collective resource; it is the depth of thought and consideration a society can bring to bear on its most pressing problems. And as with so many collective resources, from fresh air to clean water, it can be polluted or exhausted. Borrowing a concept from Elinor Ostrom, the first woman to win the Nobel in economic science, Farrer argues that attention is subject to a problem known as the tragedy of the commons. A classic example of a tragedy of the commons is an open pasture that any shepherd can use for his flock. Without wise governance, every shepherd will send his flock to graze, because if he doesn’t, the other shepherds will do so first. Soon enough, the pasture is bare, and the resource is depleted. Farrer argues that our collective attention is like a public pasture: It is valuable, it is limited, and it is being depleted. Everyone from advertisers to politicians to newspapers to social media giants wants our attention. The competition is fierce, and it has led to more sensationalism, more outrageous or infuriating content, more algorithmic tricks, more of anything that might give a brand or a platform or a politician an edge, even as it leaves us harried, irritable and distracted.”

Nigel Green: “Despite [the] bullish news on India’s trajectory, we expect that it will be many years before India will replace China in the supply-chain stakes, for several key reasons. First, wages are considerably higher in India – some estimates say up to three times – which outweigh the marginally higher production costs in China. Second, the economies of scale that China still enjoys allow it to have the competitive edge. Third, India is the only major country that is not part of either of the region’s most critical trade pacts (the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership), which, when put together, make up the overwhelming bulk of international trade and commerce in the region. And fourth, there is a limited number of global manufacturers’ imports from China that will be severely hit by supply-chain issues arising from tensions triggered by geopolitical tensions. As such, a migration may be hard to justify.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.

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