Weekend Briefing No. 497
A Saturday morning briefing on innovation and society.
Welcome to the weekend.
I want to let you in on a secret. I’ve been working on something behind the scenes all year. I’m super excited to share it with you today!
Meet Ace - Chat GPT for startup law.
Ace is not your lawyer, but he can help you get up to speed on common startup legal issues. Think of Ace as your own personal AI legal assistant.
I can’t wait for you to try it out. Click here to join the waitlist.
The Problem: Startup legal research is frustrating.
Getting answers to basic startup legal questions is surprisingly frustrating. Founders have have two options either hire a lawyer or turn to Google / Chat GPT.
When you hire a lawyer you can have confidence that you’re going to get an accurate answer, but it’s slow and expensive. Nobody likes getting a $2,000 bill for a long-winded email that basically says “it depends”?
The other option, doing your own research with Google or Chat GPT is fast and free. Which is great, unless you care about having an accurate result.
Do you really want to risk the future of your company on a potential AI hallucination?
With the recent advances in generative AI, there’s got to be a better way.
The Solution: AI legal research assistant.
Ace is the best of both worlds: accurate, fast, and free.
He’s trained on over 240,000 words of verified, quality legal sources. So, Ace knows a lot. But he doesn’t know everything. And certainly doesn’t understand the nuance of your specific company.
Ace shouldn’t replace legal counsel.
But, he should help startups get up to speed quickly, engage their counsel more efficiently, and save time and money in the process.
The Backstory: Built by founders for founders.
For the last 15 years I’ve served as legal counsel to hundreds of startups. I’ve also taught entrepreneurship at 2 of the best law schools in the nation – Harvard and Cornell. But before all of that, he was a startup founder. Ace is the tool I wish I had as a founder. Hopefully it will make your startup journey just a little easier.
Click below to join the waitlist for Ace.
$147,380,000,000 — Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway reported an obscene amount of cash on hand — $147.38 billion — last quarter, leading its shares to a record high.
150 — Jaan Roose broke the slackline world record by walking almost 150 feet up approximately 60 stories in the air.
8 — These eight habits could add 24 years to your life.
We Were Promised Flying Cars
The Bay Area startup Alef Aeronautics hopes to build and sell the world’s first flying car. Eight years into its development, Alef has had a momentous summer. It has banked more than $750 million in preorders for its ~$300k flying cars. (Customers can make a $150 deposit today — or $1.5K for a better spot in line.) In June, Alef logged a landmark in flying car history, gaining Federal Aviation Administration approval to run flight tests in limited locations. Alef’s vehicle is fully electric, can fly 110 miles on one charge and looks like a giant wireless mouse. One big differentiator from other flying vehicles in development: Alef’s Model A doesn’t need to be airborne to get around; it can operate on most roads (limited to ~25 mph) and fit into standard parking spots. It has two seats, four motors, and achieves vertical liftoff through its eight propellers and retractable mesh wings. Some big questions need to be answered: Will a regular driver’s license suffice to operate one? Will cities allow them? And with what rules governing their aerial roadways? How many times will Alef need to confirm that, yes, each car has a parachute for emergency landings before we get in one? The Hustle (3 minutes)
What do you think? If you had an extra $300K lying around, would you buy a flying car?
First 10,000 Days
A renewed space race hopes to put humans on the moon again, but this time in permanent settlements. This video projects with incredible detail the kinds of technologies, habitats and enterprises that will occur on the moon in the next few decades, including hotels, deep space telescopes and mining projects. Venture City (11 minutes)
77% is an outlier, but the rest may surprise you
Masterworks’ 15th sale just weeks ago returned an impressive 77% to investors. While such a high return is an outlier for the blue-chip art investing platform, every one of their sales to date has returned a profit to investors. In fact, 12 delivered double-digit returns, and 1 delivered triple-digit annualized returns. In full, Masterworks has over 300 paintings and their 15 exits have delivered: 32%, 39.3%, 36.2%, 27.3%, 9.2%, 33.1%, 21.5%, 17.8%, 13.9%, 35%, 10.4%, 325.5%, 4.1%, 17.6%, and 77.3%, net annualized returns*. Every sale but one outperformed the stock market in the period from when it was offered to when it was sold. With performance like that, offerings on the platform can sell out in minutes. However, Weekend Briefing readers can skip the waitlist to join with this exclusive link. Masterworks (Sponsored)
If malicious apps and other cyberthreats weren’t enough to worry about, a team of researchers have developed a new attack technique that can steal passwords and other data from your keyboard just by listening to your keystrokes. Researchers from several British universities have trained a deep learning model capable of stealing data from keyboard keystrokes recorded with a microphone. Surprisingly, this new acoustic attack can already do this with an accuracy of 95% using a microphone placed next to a keyboard or with 93% accuracy when keystrokes are recorded over Zoom or other video conferencing software. Besides your passwords, this attack can also be used to steal messages or any other sensitive information typed on a victim’s keyboard on one of the best laptops. Tom’s Guide (3 minutes)
This is a mesmerizing video about making LEGO cars roll downward on a LEGO treadmill with an incline, using various methods to create tire friction in order to make the cars roll downhill indefinitely. The angle of the slope is gradually increased to intensify this challenge. They're not even really about LEGO. That's just the playful hook to get you through the door. They're really about science and engineering — trial and error, repeated failure, iteration, small gains, switching tactics when confronted with dead ends, and how innovation can result in significant advantages. The ending is weirdly satisfying. Sounds weird but worth checking out. Brick Technology (9 minutes)
Kaizen, initially developed to enhance businesses, is equally applicable to personal growth, offering a remedy to the exhausting cycle of self-improvement. Instead of pursuing drastic changes rapidly, Kaizen encourages making daily, incremental enhancements, with a focus on achieving just 1% progress in the area you aim to improve. While these initial gains may appear negligible, they compound over time, resulting in noticeable improvements. The concept leverages the compounding effect, wherein gradual progress eventually leads to substantial change. This approach eliminates the erratic nature of self-improvement and divides significant goals into manageable steps. It promotes continuous action by acknowledging that change emerges from consistent, small advances. Rather than seeking a miraculous solution, Kaizen directs attention toward the present task, fostering a sense of progress through continuous small actions. Importantly, Kaizen underscores that improvement is an ongoing process, not a onetime achievement, prompting the realization that maintaining gains requires ongoing effort. Art of Manliness (8 minutes)
When you look at the lives of people who've done great work, you see a consistent pattern. They often begin with an obsessive interest in something that would have seemed pointless to most of their contemporaries. One of the most striking features of Darwin's book about his voyage on the Beagle is the sheer depth of his interest in natural history. His curiosity seems infinite. Ditto for Ramanujan, sitting by the hour while working out on his slate what happens to the series. It's a mistake to think they were "laying the groundwork" for the discoveries they made later. There's too much intention in that metaphor. They were doing it because they liked it. There is no point other than that they liked doing it. They're not doing it to impress us or to make themselves rich, but for its own sake. A simple definition for genius is: to have a disinterested obsession with something that matters. Paul Graham (5 minutes)
Should We Work Together?
Hi! I’m Kyle. This newsletter is my passion project. When I’m not writing, I run a law firm that helps startups move fast without breaking things. Most founders want a trusted legal partner, but they hate surprise legal bills. At Westaway, we take care of your startup’s legal needs for a flat, monthly fee so you can control your costs and focus on scaling your business. If you’re interested, let’s jump on a call to see if you’re a good fit for the firm. Click here to schedule a one-on-one call with me.
Check out Founder Fridays — A Friday morning briefing helping founders scale smarter.
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see. - Arthur Schopenhauer