Consumption Weeks 49

My notes from some of the media I consumed this week.

Lucky Unlucky
Relaxed, open (enables seeing opportunities) Tense, anxious (blocks seeing opportunities)
Intuition; thoughts and feelings Purely rational
Variety Routine
See silver linings; resilience See clouds
positive expectations Negative expectations

Tags: Luck, Attitude, Success, Opportunities

  • [In 2012] Gymshark started with a very simple structure: Ben and Lewis each owned one share. || For four days, between 17th and 21st September 2016, Lewis Morgan appeared to have no stake in Gymshark at all. Or at the very least, it looks like Ben Francis, Steve Hewitt and Paul Richardson were forming a separate holding company without him. || Maybe they used this restructure to somehow threaten Lewis to force him to sell his shares to them at a deep discount?
  • Now, [Ben] even gets to do fun rich people stuff, like take £10m of his own money that’s been distributed out of Gymshark to his family office co, and lend it back to them at a 3% premium to the SONIA rate, which means he’s making the best part of £1m a year just in interest! Isn’t being rich fun?
  • The pair then meet experienced businessmen Paul Richardson and Steve Hewitt, who tell them words to the effect of: “What the fuck are you doing? Gymshark’s the golden goose, just don’t get distracted or fuck it up and you’ll both be rich — and we can help you.” And maybe Ben takes that message to heart — and Lewis doesn’t. Ben goes all-in on Gymshark, wholeheartedly, and swears to spend the next decade building an amazing company. Lewis wants to keep building other businesses too, and investing in property, and generally being a big swinging dick.
  • Ben Francis has excellent tax advisors. Francis Family Office Ltd isn’t a mere holding company, it’s a family investment company. Assuming Francis survives for seven years after donating those shares, they become exempt from inheritance tax. To top it off, [he bought] a farm in the Cotswolds for his family. Buying a farm means you benefit from Agricultural Property Relief. Which again, means that when Francis dies and passes on the family farm to his kids, they won’t pay inheritance tax.
  • Its cash conversion cycle is getting longer and longer. If they’re not funding their growth through a negative cash conversion cycle, and they only recently took outside money, how did they fund their growth? Debt. Sales are slowing, inventory is accumulating, and Gymshark is having to discount to get rid of that inventory, possibly in order to meet debt covenants or solve cash flow issues. Revenue hasn’t grown at all this financial year.

Tags: Business, Organisational Structure, Corporate Politics, Profits, Cash Flow, Debt

  • The Matthew effect: it’s best to be born at start of the (school) year, so you’re the oldest in the class.

Tags: Children, Education, Success

  • South Korea’s world-class archers were ordered to clean up city sewage, stay up all night, stare at dead bodies in a crematory and climb a mountain with a rubber dinghy on their back
  • Since 1988, South Korean archers have trained by handling snakes, meditating at a Buddhist temple and walking through a haunted house full of actors in ghoulish outfits. They have also physical endurance tests at military camps.

Tags: Sports, Training, Mental Fortitude

  • In September, Bird, a scooter company that raised $776 million, was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange because of its low stock price. Its $7 million market capitalization is less than the value of the $22 million Miami mansion that its founder, Travis VanderZanden, bought in 2021.
  • SimpleClosure, a start-up that helps other start-ups wind down their operations, has barely been able to keep up with demand since it opened in September, said Dori Yona, the founder. Its offerings include helping prepare legal paperwork and settling obligations to investors, vendors, customers and employees.

Tags: Startups, Funding, Venture Capital, Bankruptcy

  • By land, by sea, by air, by assassination - none would go smoothly (in big part due to the mountainous geography of NK).

Tags: Korea, North Korea, War, Strategy

  • Linen is probably best for the environment (from Europe, recyclable) and health (breathable)
  • Best is to try several
  • Higher thread count may not be better
  • Regardless of what the viscose is made from (bamboo, eucalyptus etc) it’s all the same at the end

Tags: Materials, Bedding, Household, Environment

  • Transparent wood could soon find uses in super-strong screens for smartphones; in soft, glowing light fixtures; and even as structural features, such as color-changing windows.
  • The slim profile and strength of the material means it could be a great alternative to products made from thin, easily shattered cuts of plastic or glass, such as display screens.
  • By incorporating polyethylene glycol, the scientists found that their wood could store heat when it was warm and release heat as it cooled.
  • Since thicker wood is strong, it could be a partially load-bearing light source, potentially acting as a ceiling that provides soft, ambient light to a room.
  • Transparent wood is a far better insulator than glass, so it could help buildings retain heat or keep it out.



Tags: Materials, Wood