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The Monday 6 - July 12, 2021

The Monday 6
Happy Monday, friend.
I hope your summer is going well!
To the 6!

1. Covid Prediction Modeler - Youyang Gu
Throughout the pandemic, one thing that struck me was how off projections on the trajectory of the virus by governments and large organizations have been.
Once the vaccines were granted emergency use authorization, I was immediately curious to answer the question: how soon will vaccinations ramp up, and when will “normal” return?
Enter Youyang Gu. Gu is a 26-year-old Chinese-American data scientist, and his models projecting COVID-19 and vaccinations have been amazingly accurate. Bloomberg wrote a feature on him in February 2021:
Covid Pandemic: How Youyang Gu Used AI and Data to Make Most Accurate Prediction - Bloomberg
He built the site Covid19-Projections.com with various forecasts as to how the virus would progress and the overall progress toward herd immunity.
His tweet below references the model he last updated on March 5 for total vaccinations. Note how stunningly accurate he was:
Youyang Gu
On its last model update on March 5, 2021, https://t.co/WcXlfxv3Ah projected that 180 million people in the US will be vaccinated by July 1 (1+ dose).

Today, July 1, @CDCgov reported that the US surpassed 180M people vaccinated.

Not all models are bad.

https://t.co/aPUAQZkfX3 https://t.co/T9VpsjyLVe
It goes to show anyone with true skill and demonstrated expertise can cut through the noise.
2. Google Opinion Rewards
Google Opinion Rewards is an app for iOS or Android that will send over surveys for you to answer, rewarding you with either Google Play credit or cash via PayPal.
I’ve had this installed for several years now and have received >$100 to date. The surveys are all virtually <1 minute to complete.
Google Opinion Rewards - It Pays to Share Your Opinion
3. National Spelling Bee Champion: Zaila Avant-garde
Not only is Zaila Avant-garde the 2021 winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, but she also has several Guinness World Records doing this:
Zaila is truly remarkable. Check out this NYT piece on her to learn a little more. Also, if you Google her name, you get a cool easter egg. 😊
Zaila Avant-garde Spells ‘Murraya’ to Make Bee History - The New York Times
4. The Remarkable Story Of Why We Buy Diamonds
I feel like we all have heard most of the story of De Beers and diamonds, but this tweet thread does a great job encapsulating the story. I also learned a few things I hadn’t previously known (they created the “right-hand ring” too?!).
Samuel Jefferies
Until World War 2 only 10% wore diamond engagement rings.

Today that figure is 84%.

This is the insane story of how one company pulled off one of the greatest marketing campaigns the world has ever seen.

Diamonds - The colonialist's dream.

A thread 👇👇👇 https://t.co/asyf76xBTt
5. The Rise, Influence, and Demise of Kodak
This is a fascinating long read (I also found it as a podcast here) on Kodak and its home city of Rochester, New York.
Kodak was a giant of the 20th century, and learning about its rise and fall was illuminating.
The Rise and Fall of an American Tech Giant - The Atlantic
The Rise and Fall of an American Tech Giant - Kaitlyn Tiffany - July/August 2021 - The Atlantic Magazine in Audio
6. Deep Dive Interview With Shopify's Founder, Tobi Lütke
Shopify is the e-commerce behemoth you may have never heard of. Their store backend allows anyone with an idea and a product to quickly and easily stand up a store to start selling online. When discussing the “creator economy,” Shopify stands out as one of the preeminent pillars.
This deep dive interview on The Observer Effect with Shopify’s founder Tobi Lütke has some great nuggets. My favorites parts were:
He’s an interesting guy, and I think this is worth your time.
The Observer Effect – Tobi Lütke
That’s it for this week. If you found anything useful or fun, let me know! And if you have any suggestions, shoot them my way. 😊 See you next week!
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Kyle Petzinger
Kyle Petzinger @kylepetz

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