FutureBlind is devoted to covering four general topics: business, investing, tech, and design. It was initially launched in 2007.
The email newsletter goes out about once a quarter, 4-5x a year. Newsletters will typically be a roundup of recent posts, my thoughts, and other interesting things I’ve found. Occasionally I’ll send out a longer essay via email.
The name “FutureBlind” comes from the fact that we can’t predict what comes next — in business, investing, and life. We cannot truly plan because we don't understand the future. Detailed plans usually fail, because the circumstances inevitably change. But what we can do is set ambitious goals while finding creative ways to make progress with minimal risk. My approach towards both inventing and investing exemplifies this view.
Here’s some examples of areas I’ll cover:
Technology — in particular frontier tech like AI, Space, Bioengineering, etc.
Progress — how we can make faster progress, in particular how we can tell better stories that drive progress.
Business & Investing — mental models about startups, investing, and business analysis.
Design — how to design better experiences and how new tools drive better design.
In general, my writing will be optimistic and pro-progress (similar views to progress studies, the abundance agenda, and American dynamism). I truly believe that with human ingenuity and a lot of of effort we can overcome any problem.
The future is exciting! Or at least we can make it exciting. There are possible outcomes that are dreary or scary . . . but it’s exciting that we have the power to do something about it.
We live in a complex world. Humans, nature, and technology coexist in an ever-adapting system of interactions. In the long-run, each needs the others to survive. This is Earth’s “superorganism”. The health of our superorganism is not zero-sum — the whole and every part can be made better over time. How do we improve our outcome? How can we make life better for humans without making sacrifices in other areas?
A little about me
My name is Max Olson. I currently run product design at Mashgin, where we’re reinventing the checkout experience. I also run Explorist Productions, a media company that published Warren Buffett’s Letters to Shareholders, and angel invest via Braewick Holdings, a fund that invests in public and private companies. I’ve been involved in and have a passion for many things: building companies, investing, programming, design, writing, storytelling, and learning anything new that comes my way.
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Posts to get started with
🔄 Advantage Flywheels — Competitive advantage can be represented visually as 1 or more feedback loops.
🚀 Take the Iterative Path — How SpaceX moves fast and blows things up to become an industry leader.
⚡️ Let’s jumpstart the new industrial revolution — What could a new industrial revolution bring?
🤖 Mashgin: The Future of Computer Vision — Our vision at Mashgin as of 2016.
🌌 The Future of Space, Part I: The Setup — Why the space industry is about to take off.
🌺 Generalists vs. Specialists (and the Specialist’s Dilemma) — How we can learn from generalist and specialist species.
🪜 Managing Modes of Effort — A framework for managing progress at every level of abstraction.
🚀 Product Strategy: Falcon 9 — A short product case study on SpaceX’s Falcon 9.
🍔 The Restaurant Investor — A long-form essay on the turnaround of Stake-n-Shake, McDonalds, In-N-Out, and what it takes to succeed in the chain restaurant business.