If you’re reading this in the first half of 2020, I hope you’re staying safe and sane in the coronavirus mayhem. If you’re reading this in the second half of 2020, it means I decided to not update this letter and let it live as a time capsule. Either way, I'm sending lots of good vibes your way and wishing you all the best in whatever age this find you in 🙏🏼.
As I write this, it’s 2020, and the world has some pretty big problems. On top of COVID-19, we have obesity, anxiety, loneliness, and opioid epidemics and a climate change crisis. Many of these problems were born by the advent of industrialization in the 19th century, globalization in the 20th, and the semiconductor in the 21st.
At a macro-level, these three technological milestones have brought us only good. Infant mortality and wartime deaths have hit record lows, while average life expectancy and GDP per capita have hit record highs. We have reached a state of the human condition that's unprecedented for our species.
But that isn't the full story. In the last hundred years, our society has not evolved as fast as our technology. The proliferation of cheap, accessible food has dramatically decreased global hunger, and also caused a worldwide obesity epidemic. The creation of social media has allowed us to remain in contact with more people than ever before, and also ushered in a generational wave of teenage anxiety and loneliness. The production line and specialization of labor has increased our worldwide production of goods by an order of magnitude, and also created a culture of work that, for many, is mundane at best, and depressing at worst.
Unbeknownst to us, we have created a world we don’t know how to live in.
But that’s just the present.
The future still belongs to us. In the coming years, our society’s relationship to wellness and work will evolve dramatically as the next generation of founders build amazing companies that solve the most complex problems of our time - problems of human health and happiness.
There are no easy answers here. There will be no single company to solve global obesity or halt climate change. No single one to democratize healthcare or to fix the monotonous 9-5. It will be a collective effort - one that we can make together by joining hands to tackle them head on 💪🏼.
It’s a future that can be built by those that care - and hopefully, one built by you.
Founder and Managing Partner