Top Reads: March 2023

This month's top reads include tokenization, influencer kids and NASA's new spacesuits.

Top Reads: March 2023
Photo by LuAnn Hunt / Unsplash

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Wow, it's the end of Q1 – and spring is officially here in the Northern Hemisphere. Sending thoughts and prayers to my friends in finance who are working on quarter close.

Here are my favorite articles from March.

1. PitchBook’s new tool uses AI to predict which startups will successfully exit

TechCrunch | 7 minutes


Is it possible to predict startup success? Pitchbook joins CB Insights and many accelerators as it launches a new product designed to help VCs with investment decisions. VC investment is still more art than science, especially at the early stage, but data sets are getting big. Despite many flaws and equity concerns, this tool could signal a shift in the industry.  

“The takeaway is that no predictive tool is perfect, and to his credit, McGinn doesn’t deny this. We only hope that investors don’t rely on VC Exit Predictor exclusively to make their financial decisions, particularly in the absence of a third-party audit of the algorithm.”

2. What YouTube hustle gurus are really selling you

Vox | 7 minutes

Sebastian Ghiorghiu / YouTube

The modern “get rich quick” scheme starts on YouTube. These influencers are conning people for their own gain, creating new spins on old wisdom: save wisely, live healthy, and figure out what works for you. 

“The problem is that it’s never been easier to seem like a billionaire business guru. Lambos can be rented, after all, and all it takes is a single viral video for potentially millions of people to believe you can help them get rich.”

3. The Strangely Beautiful Experience of Google Reviews

Longreads | 12 minutes

Cheri Lucas Rowlands

A thoughtful story about the shared experiences woven into Google Reviews. After a bit of recent travel, I enjoyed this read.

“On the surface, these personal stories read like strangers shouting into the void, demanding for their lives to be heard and recognized. I have lived, these reviews say, I have fought and struggled and cried in the face of beauty. I have felt pain, and I have been to Taco Bell and it was only average. To review is to mark your actuality. To not review is to be lost to time in this strange, crowdsourced record of existence.”

4. How to Escape the Hedonic Treadmill

TechTello | 6 minutes


A good reminder to slow down, appreciate the journey and practice gratitude every day. Journey before destination. 

“When it comes to goal pursuit, we all keep our sights on the end result without realizing that the journey is more valuable than the destination. Every small step in the direction of our goals, every little move that takes us closer to our destination, and every forward step counts.”

5. Ethereum moved to proof of stake. Why can’t Bitcoin?

MIT Technology Review | 6 minutes

Stephanie Arnett / MITTR | Envato

A look at the headwinds for Bitcoin to become better for the environment. Let’s hope it evolves, along with many other cryptocurrencies.

“In principle, a small group of people could take the reins and switch Bitcoin to proof of stake. Since it is an open-source project, Bitcoin’s development relies on decisions made by the community, which in theory includes anyone who wants to participate. But updates to Bitcoin’s code are actually controlled by a small core team of developers, known as “maintainers,” whose salaries are privately funded by influential groups such as Blockstream, a Bitcoin startup; Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange in the US; and the MIT Digital Currency Initiative, a research project hosted by the MIT Media Lab.”

6. BlackRock CEO Touts Tokenization, Warns US ‘Lagging’ in Innovation

Blockworks | 3 minutes

World Economic Forum | Photo Moritz Hager

A major financial leader sees promise in digital assets. We’re in the early days here, but it’s exciting to see signs that our financial system may evolve in this direction.

“Fink oversees the world’s largest asset manager, which has nearly $8 trillion in assets under management. And he believes the asset management industry is yet to utilize some of the most promising technologies in the digital asset space. Specifically, the tokenization of assets is an attractive use case for the BlackRock CEO because it points to chances of ‘driving efficiencies in capital markets, shortening value chains, and improving cost and access for investors.’”

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7. Influencer Parents and The Kids Who Had Their Childhood Made Into Content

Teen Vogue | 8 minutes

Jose Luis Pelaez Inc

Imagine coming of age with an entire online history, already there for all to see, made without your consent. Hard pass. Kids deserve to write their own story.

”She wants them to have a blank slate to become who they want to be, not a digital footprint of their lives since birth. Sometimes, Althoff said, people forget their kids aren’t going to be kids forever. They’re going to grow up and she wants them to be able to have an identity outside of being a TikToker’s child.”

8. Apocalyptic Infrastructures

Noema | 12 minutes

Christian Sayer

This article explores the relationship between colonization, infrastructure and the environment. We need to undo centuries of harm, change how we use (and reuse) materials, and build truly restorative infrastructure.

“Planners must not privatize the profits made from infrastructures while demanding public investments and socializing the risks. For infrastructure to work, for it to serve the public and steward the world’s air, water and soil for future generations, it has to be planned through more open, egalitarian and environmentally militant processes.”

9. So You Want to Turn an Office Building Into a Home?

NYT | 9 minutes


On the topic of privatized infrastructure, this visual article examines how developers convert building floor plans from offices to apartments.

“Developers and architects who’ve been doing this niche work for years say that few conversions are physically impossible if you’re creative enough. But the economics and the regulations aren’t as malleable. That’s where cities have some power to make these puzzles simpler.”

10. The invention that made us human: fire

Big Think | 6 minutes

James Thew / Adobe Stock

A new theory posits that fire and cooked food helped early humans evolve large brains.

"Wrangham argues that the ability to create cooked foods shaped the brains and bodies of our Homo ancestors. Since our ancestors spent less energy digesting foods and could draw out additional nutrients, they had more nutrients to spend, and evolution spent those dividends on maintaining larger brains — not to mention smaller teeth and jaws. Larger brains allowed us to process more information, create more dynamic social groups, and adjust to unfamiliar habitats. All of which benefited us evolutionarily."

Bonus: New Moon Suit for NASA’s Artemis Astronauts Unveiled

NYT | 5 minutes

David J. Phillip / Associated Press

The new space race is on! NASA has finally updated the 40-year-old spacesuit for the commercial space era.

“The latest in lunar space wear — black with orange and blue highlights — comes from Axiom Space in Houston. By turning to this private company, NASA is again relying on new commercial space enterprises to provide key components faster and cheaper than it could itself develop.”

On the topic of space, check out this image: the first ever high resolution photograph of a prelude to a supernova. This star is 15,000 light years away and 30 times the size of our sun. If you had a rough week, remember that we're all just specks of dust on a gorgeous, fragile rock, spinning in the void. Enjoy today.


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Beyond the Streets exhibit, Saachi Gallery, London