Startup Professionals Musings: 8 Errors To Avoid In Your First Minute With Investors

via Startup Professionals Musings: 8 Errors To Avoid In Your First Minute With Investors

Via The Newsletter

How to reset your caffeine tolerance

Takeaway: When you consume caffeine habitually, you’ll need to consume more and more to experience the same energy boost. This makes occasionally resetting your caffeine tolerance worth the effort and the struggle. To do this, slowly lower the amount of caffeine you consume each day, or go “cold turkey” if you don’t consume a lot to begin with. Invest in your energy at the same time to counterbalance withdrawal symptoms.

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes, 59s.

Podcast Length: 29 minutes, 49s.

It’s worth resetting your caffeine tolerance every once in a while. The reason for this is simple: as your body becomes accustomed to consuming caffeine, you need to consume more and more of it to experience the same energy boost.
When you go from consuming zero coffee a day to drinking a single cup, you feel a big energy boost. But soon, your body adjusts, and you need two cups to experience the same effect. Then three. And then maybe even four. You get the picture. (Here’s why: caffeine binds to a chemical in your brain called adenosine, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel tired. Your brain normally reabsorbs this chemical and loses energy by itself—not so after you consume caffeine. Your brain even grows more and more adenosine receptors as you drink greater amounts of caffeine, meaning you need to consume more and more of it to feel the same effect. This also leads to larger energy crashes—once the caffeine in your brain dissipates, your brain absorbs a whole whack of adenosine at once.)
This idea of caffeine inflation can be dangerous. Setting aside the fact that it’s never fun to rely on drugs to feel a proper amount of energy, consuming too much caffeine can also lead to anxiety, exhaustion, and can disrupt your sleep, among many other factors. Plus, large energy crashes can obliterate your productivity.
I fell into this trap a couple of months ago when, during the holidays, I found myself drinking far more coffee than usual—the equivalent of five cups of coffee each day, in the form of coffee, tea, and espresso.
There’s nothing wrong with consuming caffeine for a productivity boost, especially when you drink it strategically—like before working on important tasks—so you can actually make use of the energy boost. But it’s worth performing a caffeine reset whenever you find yourself consuming caffeine habitually, or when you’re consuming more of it to experience the same energy sensation. A caffeine reset can be a struggle, but it’s worth it to get out of a downward spiral.
You can reset your caffeine tolerance in one of two ways:

  1. Slowly reducing how much caffeine you consume each day, if you rely on it heavily to experience a passable amount of energy. I’ve done this by drinking the same amount of tea or coffee, but substituting more and more of it with decaf, until I’ve cut out caffeine altogether.
  2. Going cold turkey, and not consuming caffeine until your energy rebalances. I’ve found this method helpful in the past during times when I’ve been drinking a couple cups of tea per day, or a single cup of coffee. I actually prefer this method—I can feel the effects of going without caffeine, and watch the effects diminish over time.

espressorzThe toughest part of writing about caffeine is that everyone
is wired differently. Just as everyone responds to caffeine differently, a caffeine reset may have a different effect on each person. If you consume caffeine habitually, you’ll almost certainly experience symptoms as you reduce your tolerance—in the past, I’ve experienced headaches, mood swings, sadness, an inability to focus, brain fog, and even flu-like symptoms. While this may make resetting your caffeine tolerance seem like more trouble than it’s worth, consider that you’re experiencing these symptoms because you’ve grown reliant on a drug for energy.
Thankfully, while you’ll probably experience some withdrawal symptoms, there are many ways to mitigate them:

  • Starting on the weekend. This will give you an excuse to veg out, and will minimize the impact the reset has on your productivity.
  • Treating your worst symptoms. If your headaches and other withdrawal symptoms are bad, aspirin or ibuprofen can help relieve them, until they go away in a week or so (depending on how much caffeine you regularly consume).
  • Investing in your energy levels. Eating clean-burning foods that provide lasting energy, getting exercise (which rebalances your brain chemicals), drinking plenty of water, and getting enough rest can minimize the amount of energy lost as you cut back on caffeine. You may even find that you have more energy than before.

Caffeine is a drug—a popular and usually delicious one, but a drug nonetheless. I’m personally a big fan of caffeine—and consume it most days, especially before working on my most important tasks. But because the costs of caffeine can be so great, it’s worth consuming it strategically, rather than habitually.
Resetting your tolerance to caffeine can be a pain—but once you get over your withdrawal symptoms, you’ll be able to consume it a lot more deliberately and productively.

5 Hit Business Trends to Keep an Eye on in 2020

via 5 Hit Business Trends to Keep an Eye on in 2020

Going Green Is Picking Up Steam 

More people are adopting a green lifestyle. Beyond Meat, maker of plant-based proteins, has increased its stock prices by more than three times since its IPO launch. But for consumers, the eco-conscious lifestyle doesn’t stop at vegetarian diets and organic hygiene products. Lunya, a popular women’s-clothing maker, constructs its products from natural fabrics and fibers, and its sleepwear and intimates lines use Pima cotton for durability and comfort. Using natural materials lowers the carbon footprint of their business, as well as that of the individual consumer.

According to Small Business Trends, when it comes to tapping new consumers in an already-crowded green market, “The answer may lie in supplying consumers with details — and authenticity.” It’s not enough to be green anymore; you have to help the customer understand what making eco-friendly choices means for you and them.

“Mitigation of Shock, Singapore” shows a post-climate change apartment – via FAst Company

via “Mitigation of Shock, Singapore” shows a post-climate change apartment

Step inside an apartment from the climate change-ravaged future

This working apartment in Singapore shows how much things will stay the same once the climate changes—and also how much we’ll have to adapt.

[Photo: courtesy Superflux]
1/18 [Photo: courtesy Superflux]

Right now, visitors in Singapore have the chance to wander through a family’s apartment. The first thing they’ll see is a kayak resting against the exterior wall, and as guests enter the home, they’ll pass ponchos, snorkeling gear, and homemade fishing spears, the tips of which are fashioned from old circuit boards and held to a bamboo base with plastic strips.

Further inside, there’s a kitchen, that, though familiar at first glance, contains a few oddities: books entitled “Pets as Proteins” and “How to Cook in a Time of Scarcity,” ration cards on the counter, homemade burners made out of cans. The living area has been given over to food growing systems—fogponics structures and mealworm habitats—and through a window, a view of a flooded Singapore.

[Photo: courtesy Superflux]

No one actually lives in this apartment, but it’s a glimpse into how humans might live in the second half of this century. Called “Mitigation of Shock, Singapore,” it’s an immersive installation by London-based design studio Superflux and part of the 2219: Futures Imagined exhibit at Singapore’s ArtScience Museum.

Superflux cofounders Anab Jain and Jon Ardern say they wanted to make climate change and its impacts feel more personal, and putting people in an apartment of a family making due with such hardships was one way to do it. “Not just thinking about big, global scale problems, but how does that impact day-to-day life?” Ardern says. “From our research, one of the big impacts is going to be on price and availability of food, so given that reality, we wanted to explore what might we sacrifice in our homes in order to make our access to food a little more robust.” Another detail in the kitchen: a piece of paper with a recipe for “wild pepper and roach stir fry.”

[Photo: courtesy Superflux]

Jain and Ardern worked with experts like Benjamin Horton, chair of the Asian School of the Environment at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, to understand the ways climate change will affect food supply and the city of Singapore in general, and spent months perfecting the food growing system, which actually works (after much experimentation to ensure soil health and crop growth). They could have used props or plastic plants, but that trial and error, Ardern says, helped immerse them in the project and informed the entire installation.

[Photo: courtesy Superflux]

Other elements in the apartment, from handcrafted kitchen burners to bamboo knives, emphasize how in the future, we may have to be more resourceful. “We wanted to create tools from the detritus of the Anthropocene, so to speak, so you know, everything that we have, you’re going to have to transition to new things,” Jain says. This installation isn’t exactly a prediction, she notes, but it is one possible, evidence-based future.

[Photo: courtesy Superflux]

It isn’t meant to be apocalyptic, either. It may show the end of the world as we currently know it, and highlight the challenges that are certainly in store in the future, but the apartment is also a depiction of family life and perseverance. “We’re talking about multispecies cohabitation,” Jain says. “We’re talking about humility and deep resourcefulness and imagination.” Ardern notes that there are “drawings on the wall from a happy child,” though at least one is a drawing of “everyday life in a flooded city.” Still, it’s proof that generations have survived.

[Photo: courtesy Superflux]

“Mitigation of Shock, Singapore” builds on a prior exhibit from Superflux called “Mitigation of Shock, London,” which depicted a London apartment adapted to climate change-ravaged 2050—only 30 years in the future (The Singapore instillation is set a bit further in the future, but Ardern and Jain prefer to keep the specific year ambiguous). Ardern and Jain picked the initial 2050 date because that’s when their son, currently 8 years old, will be around the age they are now. “That was an emotional lens for us when we were making it,” Ardern says. “Hopefully some of that hope and some of our desire for a better world is visible and readable within that space.”

Visitors have had mixed reactions to the instillation. At the London exhibit, people got angry and upset by the depiction, Jain says, even though they intended to present a hopeful vision of the future. Visitors to the Singapore exhibit, which opened in November and is on view until April 5, 2020, have said the opposite: it’s too optimistic and that things will actually be much worse. (Jain notes that the Australian bushfires began after the exhibit opened, and that catastrophic blazes, worsened by climate change, may have made this apartment’s version of the future seem downright utopian).

Ultimately, Jain and Ardern want to show that there is hope in how we will adapt to a changing world, and that even though we don’t know what the future will hold, there will be some familiarity, like that sense of home and family structure. And above all else, this immersive exhibit may help people realize that they need to acknowledge that climate change is happening. “We wanted people to situate their lives in that space and imagine what it might be to live [in the future],” says Ardern. “There’s an uncanniness to it, but it’s not completely unrelatable.”

Wisdom Quotes

No matter what happens, keep trying. If you fail, fail better.

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. (Samuel Beckett)

If shadows are all you see in front of you turn around to face the light.
Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow. (Helen Keller)

Quotes of the Week

Malcolm Forbes

“Failure is success if we learn from it.”

via Today’s Quote January 20, 2020 at 11:44AM
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Martin Luther King, Jr.

“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”

via Today’s Quote January 21, 2020 at 11:44AM
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Walter Cronkite

“And that’s the way it is.”

via Today’s Quote January 22, 2020 at 11:44AM
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Elizabeth Kenny

“It’s better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life.”

via Today’s Quote January 23, 2020 at 11:46AM
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“Don’t think, just do.”

via Today’s Quote January 24, 2020 at 11:46AM
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Jules Renard

“It is not how old you are, but how you are old.”

via Today’s Quote January 25, 2020 at 11:46AM
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Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

“Without wearing any mask we are conscious of, we have a special face for each friend.”

via Today’s Quote January 26, 2020 at 11:49AM
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Random Acts of Kindness

1. Ask someone “How are you really doing?”—and then really listen to her response.
2. Be kind to the customer service rep on the phone. It’s not their fault.
3. Pay for the car behind you at the drive through
4. Take flowers to a nurses’ station – for the nurses.
5. Write a thank you note for your mail carrier.

Did you know…

Did you know…

… that today is the birthday of the Quadruple Twist Lift? In 1977, the Soviet figure skating pair of Sergei Shakrai and Marine Tcherkasova became the first skaters to perform a quadruple twist lift during a competition in Helsinki, Finland. Trivia buffs: Shakhrai’s problems lifting his partner eventually resulted in them splitting up. By 1981, Cherkasova had grown so tall that Shakhrai could no longer lift her!


Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“The mindless junk of your past crowds out opportunities and sets pointless limitations. Move out the junk, and you create room for the rest of your life. Ultimately, it’s not just a question of tidying your house; it’s a question of liberating your heart.”

— Merlin Mann

Sun Tzu quotes that will expand your mind

  1. “If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.”― Sun Tzu

  2. “Leadership is a matter of intelligence, trustworthiness, humaneness, courage, and sternness.”― Sun Tzu

  3. “If the enemy know not where he will be attacked, he must prepare in every quarter, and so be everywhere weak.”― Sun Tzu

  4. “Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.”― Sun Tzu

  5. “Those who win every battle are not really skillful—those who render others’ armies helpless without fighting are the best of all.”― Sun Tzu