A Little Housecleaning

Happy Friday!

It’s been a productive week for me, and I hope it’s been great for you.

I’ll keep it short today, as I usually do on a Friday.  So grab your cup of vitamin C (in this case, “C” is for “caffeine”), and let’s get right into it.

Who Doesn’t Like Full Bags?

Remember how exciting it was to get mail from a friend?

I mean the old snail mail: an actual, physical letter which was to be opened and read.

It was one of the great joys of life.

And then, email was invented.

I remember how excited I was when I emailed my old college roommate Tommy from my desk at Lehman Brothers (RIP!).

He replied in 5 minutes.  Oh, the joy and excitement of new technology!

Then we got more emails.  And more emails.  And still more.  We’ve never recovered.

But for lonely newsletter editors like me, seeing an email from you brings about a thrilling excitement like I used to get when the Sears Catalog showed up at my house.

Seriously.

So thank you for that.  It does my heart a world of good.

To Gregory and JR, to whom I have yet to reply, I will get to you this weekend.

Your questions were so intelligent and complex, I honestly need more time to think about them.  My answers to your questions may even become future Rude pieces themselves.

A Favor to Ask You

You can probably tell that every Rude newsletter is a light version of what the news industry calls a “hot take.”

That is, I’ve only got a few hours to research, write, and edit each piece.  So as much as I’d like to write each letter to rival a Sunday newspaper magazine expose, I just don’t have time between issues.

But there is something you can do for me to help out.

What I’d love from you, if you can spare a second, is for you to write asksean@paradigm.press with a list of 2 or 3 ideas of what you’d like to see in the Rude.

For example, my old friend Hung-Wah left me a voice message this morning with an excellent idea for Monday’s Rude.

I can’t wait to write it!

Your ideas don’t have to be super-specific.  Just broad topic areas that I can fall back on during slow news days.  (Yes, they occasionally come around.)

I know intermittent fasting, second passports, and crypto are all popular.  That is, I get loads of mail about them.

But if there’s anything I haven’t written about yet, or something I have written about but you’d like me to elaborate on, send it over.

I’m a firm believer in consumer sovereignty.  That is, you’re my boss.

Congratulations!

The great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises wrote about this in his book, Bureaucracy:

The real bosses [under capitalism] are the consumers. They, by their buying and by their abstention from buying, decide who should own the capital and run the plants. They determine what should be produced and in what quantity and quality. Their attitudes result either in profit or in loss for the enterpriser. They make poor men rich and rich men poor. They are no easy bosses. They are full of whims and fancies, changeable and unpredictable. They do not care a whit for past merit. As soon as something is offered to them that they like better or is cheaper, they desert their old purveyors.

Murray Rothbard and a great many modern economists reject this notion.

But within the context of our relationship, it holds!

With this in mind, do write in with your ideas, questions, comments, and issues.  That kind of give-and-take is an intellectual steroid for me.

Speaking of Consumer Sovereignty…

The contrast between the loony lefties in Silicon Valley and the excellent business sense of its successful founders, executives, and venture capitalists always gives me a laugh.

While I was thinking about consumer sovereignty – and reading Bob Murphy’s excellent explanation of the Rothbardian critique of it on mises.org – I remembered what I learned watching startupschool.org.

Before I get to that, let me explain what startupschool.org is.

Startup School is Y Combinator’s free online program for founders actively pursuing their own startup.

What’s Y Combinator, you ask?

It’s an American technology startup accelerator launched in March 2005. It has been used to launch more than 3,000 companies.

Startup accelerators are fixed-term, cohort-based programs that include mentorship and educational components and culminate in a public pitch event or demo day.

According to their About page, Y Combinator provides seed funding for startups. Seed funding is the earliest stage of venture funding. It pays your expenses while you’re getting started.

So these guys know what they’re doing.

And what’s really exciting is that startupschool.org is free!

Yes, they provide all that education free of charge.

If you’ve got an idea you’d like to turn into a business – and that’s one of our pillars here at the Rude – you can do a lot worse than sitting through their video course.

It’s a treasure trove of information.

The first video in the course is “How to Talk to Users.”

That’s how much stock they put into consumer sovereignty.

I think you should, too.  I certainly do!

Wrap Up

This was a short Rude, but it’s Friday.

What I really wanted to do today was thank you for your support, ideas, and friendship.

Generous though Agora is with their writers, the paycheck isn’t what keeps me going.

You do.

Have a wonderful weekend!

All the best,

Sean

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