Weekend Reading: American-Dream-as-a-Service, Content Marketing, the Fifth Column Reading List, and More

March 20, 2021 • #

👨‍🎓 The American-Dream-as-a-Service

Antonio Garcia-Martinez interviews Austen Allred, founder of Lambda School. Lambda charges no tuition and builds its program on the ISA (income sharing agreement), in which you only pay when you get a salaried position in your field of study.

The cool thing about the incentive alignment is that we’re not going to train you to be a sociologist, because it just doesn’t work. A common critique of the ISA model is: oh, now people aren’t going to study poetry anymore. And my response to that is: yeah, we’re not a university, we’re a trade school. The university has 18 million things that it does for you, and we cut cut off a tiny sliver of that, which is: we’re going to help you get a better job, we’re going to help you improve your state in life. That’s all we do.

There are actually more high-paying jobs available than there are people to fill those roles. And that’s true all over the place. I think about it as an optimization problem. You’ve got all this latent human potential, and it’s just kind of bouncing around. Sometimes it goes to school, and it picks stuff at random to study, and you know what you know because of who you’re surrounded by.

📝 Content-Driven Growth

Lenny Rachitsky gets into different types of content marketing by startup, plotted on two dimensions: user-generated to editorial, and vitality-driven to SEO-driven. Useful structure here for thinking about where you want to be and what types of content and tactics fit.

🌍 Earth at a Cute Angle

Some great examples of oblique satellite imagery. Love the shots of the Tour’s mountain passes — Col du Galibier and Tourmalet.

📖 Fifth Column Podcast Reading List

Someone in the Fifth Column podcast community put together an archive of all the books mentioned on the show over the years. This’ll greatly extend the reading list, nice mix of classics and modern stuff.

💻 Microsoft Power Fx

Microsoft has open-sourced its simplistic formula language based on Excel.