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M&Ms 54: Long-term

Louie Bacaj
Louie Bacaj
4 min read
M&Ms 54: Long-term

Hello from St Thomas,

My wife and I decided to take a vacation this week. We left the kids with our parents and in-laws—a huge advantage of living close to a big family. Our parents will take turns watching our three-year-old and six-year-old.

I am immensely grateful and fortunate to have that.

St. Thomas is beautiful, has excellent food and fantastic weather. Because it’s part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, renting a car is a breeze. The roads, on the other hand, can be tricky at first, but if you drive slow, you are fine. This place has beautiful scenic roads but lots of tight lanes along steep mountainous hills. And you have to drive in the left lane. It sounds scarier than it actually is.

But the rewards are views like this:

A fun fact about the U.S. Virgin Islands is that the US bought them from Denmark in 1917 for 25 million dollars.

Many parts of the islands, especially here in St Thomas, still have many features left behind by the Danish. Small and tight European walkways and roads. Stone walkways in the small city of Charlotte Amalie make you think you are in Europe.

Stones from Denmark in the Americas.
Too difficult not to be a typical tourist and take some selfies.

But the thing that is perhaps most fascinating and striking to me about this place is that the government of the United States had the foresight to negotiate with Denmark to buy these islands way back in 1917. To make the sort of long-term investment that generations later will enjoy.

As someone with two young children, I can’t stop thinking about how enterprising and long-term thinking the U.S. Government is. It’s a lesson and reminder to leave the next generation with more opportunities and resources than you might’ve even had. Something that resonates deeply with me because I started with little, and yet I feel like I have everything that matters.

Enjoying this vacation for now, but on Monday, it's back to the Small Bets.

The first Cohort of our live four-week course Newsletter Launchpad will kick-off.

Chris Wong and I will help people publish a newsletter weekly. Give them regular feedback and hopefully improve their writing. And teach systems that we know lead to consistency. Hopefully, creating a community of people hungry to succeed with newsletters in the process.

Since this first cohort is very much beta for us, it will be small. We will be learning too. We will let people that sign up for this first one take future cohorts, too, and hope to continue helping them.

If you are interested, this is the last weekend to sign up for this first cohort. (For folks in this newsletter that are interested there is a discount if you reply to this email)

Newsletter Launchpad
Shake up your 9-5 life Spark new ideas Start a newsletter

Two Tweets from this week:

Some great advice from Warren Buffet in this thread. I find his decades of experience and wisdom valuable in these crazy times.

This Tweet reply to a well written note by the founders of Stripe perfectly sums up why writing is so valuable no matter what role you're in.

Three Memes from this week

This meme is particularly good if you’ve ever had to deal with UI issues across devices.

Exactly how startup pitches work.

One quick updates from me:

We launched the seventh episode of The Engineering Advice You Didn't Ask For podcast.

We dug deep into promotions for engineers and especially into the senior ranks.

Thank you for reading. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.


P.S. you can respond directly to this email. I'd love to hear from you.