Day: October 26, 2022

How Battery Metals Can Power Energy Independence in America

This post is by Govind Bhutada from Visual Capitalist

The following content is sponsored by Surge Battery Metals
battery metals

How Battery Metals Can Power Energy Independence in America

The U.S. has been historically dependent on foreign sources of energy to meet the needs of domestic consumption. 

However, as the country transitions to clean energy and electrified transport, the raw materials behind green technologies offer an opportunity to build an energy-independent future. As clean energy technologies grow, the U.S. can reshore energy production for the future by investing in domestic mineral supply chains, from mine to battery.

This infographic from our sponsor Surge Battery Metals highlights the state of America’s energy transition and explains how battery metals can help in enabling energy independence. This is part three of the Energy Independence Series.

America’s Energy Transition in Numbers

The United States may not be on track to reach its climate goals yet, but the country’s energy transition is well underway. 

For example, no new coal-fired power plants have come online since 2013, and the energy sector has retired 30% of its coal-fired capacity since 2010. In turn, the decline in coal-fired generation is being offset by new renewable capacity.

Energy SourceNet Capacity Additions
(2021-2025P, megawatts)
2021 Total Capacity (megawatts)Net Capacity Additions as % of Current Capacity
Natural Gas18,151.8491,0004%
Solar51,241.7 (Read more...)

So is the On Demand Economy Dead?

This post is by Om Malik from On my Om

man riding bicycle near vehicles
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Delivery startups don’t deliver — that is the gist of the big feature story on GoPuff, a delivery service that started selling hookahs and other smoking paraphernalia in Philadelphia. The company is the latest in what seems to be a long line of money-losing attempts at instant (or near-instant) delivery. From Amazon to Deliveroo to Instacart — all have learned that hard lesson. GoPuff isn’t the first.

The story might give you the impression that the “on-demand” economy that gained enormous traction during the pandemic was dead. Or that the nearly $10 billion of venture capital that went into quick commerce companies in 2021 was dead money. But I don’t buy that — on-demand has now become an endemic (urban) social behavior, and it will only become more pervasive. 


But first, let’s talk about GoPuff. Like many others before, you can easily tell GoPuff’s misery is mostly self-afflicted. 

It seemed like such a great story when I first heard about them. It was the brainchild of Drexel University friends Yakir Gola and Rafael Ilishayev. The scrappy startup was founded in 2013, away from the glare of Silicon Valley in Philadelphia. In 2016, it raised a modest $8.25 million. Three years later, it raised $750 million, with $250 million coming from Softbank. By March 2021, the company had raised nearly $3 billion, including Softbank’s Vision Fund.

Things started to go wrong for GoPuff (much like its competitors) when it got too much (Read more...)

2022 Thomvest SaaS Benchmarks — Part II: Output & Operationalization

2022 Thomvest SaaS Benchmarks — Part II: Output & Operationalization

Our 2022 Private Company SaaS Benchmarks & How to Operationalize Them

By Alex Rohrbach

In this two-part series, we examine private company SaaS benchmarks. Part I explains why we created our benchmark and what we learned from other benchmarks. Part II presents our 2022 SaaS benchmarks and describes ways to operationalize them.

We calculated our benchmarks using a “trimmed mean” of the seven published SaaS benchmarks. A trimmed mean helps to eliminate the influence of outliers that would unfairly skew the results. At each revenue range, we took the mean after excluding top and bottom outliers. We used a non-trimmed mean when four or fewer datasets were available.

We chose metrics that were:

  1. Simple — Less is more. Metrics should reveal significant problems, not necessarily diagnose root causes.
  2. Interest aligned — Metrics should matter for operators and investors. Otherwise, benchmarks can create misalignment and distraction that detracts from performance.
  3. Clear — Metrics (and their underlying drivers) should be well understood and hard to manipulate.
  4. Evidence-based — Metrics should be supported by evidence, not gut feelings or traditions.

Let’s explore a few of these metrics in more detail. We include definitions at the bottom of this article.

Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) Growth

As companies grew, growth slowed. A vast gulf emerged between median and top quartile growth performance. Lagging growth performance may not (necessarily) be a problem if other metrics outperform. For example, the Rule of 40 (see below) balances growth and EBITDA margin.

We saw a wide range of ARR growth across (Read more...)

Animation: Global Life Expectancy (1950-2021)

This post is by Carmen Ang from Visual Capitalist

Comparing global life expectancy over time

Animated Chart: Global Life Expectancy (1950-2021)

At a glance, life expectancy has been increasing worldwide over the last 70 years. But when you break it down by region and by sex, a clear yet variable gap in life expectancy emerges.

Using data from Our World in Data, these graphics by Pablo Alvarez provide both a breakdown of average life expectancies worldwide, as well as a more granular view that looks at the life expectancy of men and women across different continents.

Life Expectancy, by Continent and Sex

In the 1800s, the average life expectancy at birth was just 40 years.

Over the last 200 years, average life expectancies have nearly doubled, largely thanks to improvements in healthcare, sanitation, and global medical practices.

However, increases in life spans have not been consistent across the sexes—around the world, women now live 5.4 years longer than men do on average. And in certain parts of the world, this gap is even wider.

Comparing Life Expectancy men vs women across regions

For instance, in South America, the average life expectancy for women is seven years longer than it is for men.

Here is the continental breakdown, with data by continent for both male and females:

Life Expectancy by Region (2021)Life expectancy at birth, females (years)Life expectancy at birth, males (years)
North America8175
South America7670
Global Average7468

What’s causing this discrepancy in life expectancy between men and women?

Theories to Explain the (Read more...)

Rings of Power: a few thoughts

This is Joseph.


Amazon made a Rings of Power show set in the second age of middle earth. There are some tough decisions to make when doing this sort of show and I think it is useful to think about the options with a prequel. The downside (of both prequels and historical epics) is that we already know what happens and so certain types of suspense are lost. If you watch the Hobbit after watching the Lord of the Rings, there really is no tension in whether or not Bilbo survives. 

I think there are three solutions to this problem:

  1. Focus the story on somebody that we don't know anything about. Arondir is a good example of this in the Rings of Power. Were he and Bronwyn to be the main characters then we'd not know anything about how their story ends. They could end up being secretly quite important to the events of the second age or involved in things that happened far away from the main characters of the third age.
  2. Engage us in the characters and make us feel empathy for the decisions that are made. This is a common focus of historical epics -- we all know that the Great Heathen Army will lose to Alfred the Great in Vikings, but watching it happen is still interesting as we get drawn into the stories. This is especially effective if there are parts that are not part of the popular understanding of the period that really deepen the (Read more...)