raising a pre-pre seed round
Zayn's Digest - November Edition
I launched the crowdfunding campaign for my book Unlocking Human Potential for 9-12.
My ask is: would love if you can all read through + if it sounds interesting donate some money. Your donation is a pre-order for the book + allows me to cover shipping/production costs.
Throughout the book I interview people from Khan Lab School, Outlier, The Knowledge Society, Remind, Sora Schools, TeachforAmerica, and more.
I start the book with a root cause analysis + explain the obvious/non-obvious problems in education - intention is to show you the reader where the system is failing, why it's failing.
I mention experiments I've run in different high schools across the US (how I turned teachers into coaches or what students build when they were given autonomy to create), how we can decentralize credentialing and move to a verified peer-review based system, and how we can reprioritize retention as the core incentive in school. I have a chapter w/diagrams and resources/action items dedicated to the 20% of skills students need to get 80% of the results in life
Unlocking human potential for 9-12 is an outline for my ideal curriculum for 2030 based education and include an implementation plan and action for educational stakeholders to make this tangible.
What do you receive?
Participating in the campaign ensures that you receive a book in June 2022.
there are different perk levels - based on your donation size, you can receive up to 10 signed copies, other rewards.
Unlocking Human Potential for 9-12 is an opportunity for me to explore what’s working in education, discover the whitespaces, and eventually build a company/companies in this space.
Appreciate your pre-order + support.
jeff bezos brushes 2x/day
the most exceptional people in the world do simple things well. they are hygienic, sleep 8 hrs/day, exercise, hydrate, consume quality food.
there are two types of advantages in life - fair and unfair. everybody has access to fair advantages. a select few that spend time building up skills, leverage can gain an unfair advantage.
the five health activities that exceptional people complete are fair advantages but it’s interesting that despite its access, most people don’t take enough ownership to prioritize these.
predicting the future of tech 5-10 years ahead
good allocation of scarce resource is a skill that 0.1 - 0.5% of the population have. I think the top two assets are time + capital. when thinking about where to input capital + make bets here’s what I think about:
is there a new product/service that democratizes access financially or intellectually?
no-code is an example of wealth with skill. the industry is democratizing what was formerly hard and giving it to people at lower learning cost.
what are the most common/dominant questions from a group of people?
ex: Khan Academy began based on Sal noticing that his cousin didn’t have conviction around concepts in math. His observation size grew and b/c of this he was able to gain more users + grow platform. When thinking about new companies or places to invest in, its helpful to get a heterogeneous sample of different places + listen to what people are talking about.
nth order effects of new technologies?
metaverse trended in conversation when Meta was announced. one of the side effects is more people will move out of cities and into rural/suburbs. does it make sense to invest in real estate? or, on the technology side, how do we fit complex technology in small form factor of AR glasses?
in order to make successful bets, knowledge of solution and knowledge of need are required. knowledge of solution = knowledge amount a new technology, so much that you understand the application it can be used for, how it can be used, and what you need to make it work. you might know about blockchain or virtual reality technology but in order to take advantage of horizon 3 opportunities you need depth of knowledge.
knowledge of solution entails understanding existing solutions in a given industry space. for example - with my current interest in education technology, there are several companies starting up that are fixing different problems with similar solutions. understanding this space, how people are thinking about product development, and piloting to different places can help with me identify gaps and create something that is differentiated + has possibility for disruption. being an explorer of an industry before I exploit gives me an opportunity to widen my knowledge. one of the best pre-reqs before entering horizon 3 is immersion in an industry space before creating a solution. this experience can happen from a primary sense - being a teacher, student, because you have perspective that other people don't.
knowledge of need is about understanding the driving need and then the other related needs. user anthropology (observing users and seeing how they use a product/service) is one method to gain a knowledge of need. the online space (seeing what keywords are most frequently used in a geographic area, reviews, etc.) is another method.
when making bets I think it’s helpful to generate hypotheses amount what industries, companies, people, time buckets are going to give you the highest return, test them and repeat.
strategy of life = finding the truth
in startups, it’s helpful to create a data frame (two-dimensional dataset) that has a set of knowns + a set of unknowns. the more your company knows, the less risk you have. some unknowns can be fixed with hiring. some can be fixed with 2-3 hours of research. others, require failure, iteration, hypothesizing and testing.
growth in public - favorite moment
background: I’ve been using twitter as a method to make my ideas more tangible and scalable - allowing me to reach more people with my thoughts.
spent some time earlier this month thinking about community building + why paypal mafia was successful.
what’s up, thanks for reading the newsletter! Send me an email with some thoughts, an update on what you’re working on, or just to say hi!