Dear <<First Name>>,

We started watching Alone on Netflix and it's been a great way to escape and relax. Season 6, where we started, takes place in the Canadian Arctic wilderness and features 10 contestants trying to survive as long as they can in order to win $500,000.

Each contestant, armed with camera equipment and 10 items from home, are dropped off in remote locations far apart from each other. They must make the most of the land and survive the elements. They can radio in to "tap out" if they can't continue.

Having been cooped up in a Brooklyn apartment for the past 3 months, I've enjoyed the fantasy of being in the wilderness and living a simple life with nature. Of course, you quickly realize the lack of basic comforts, the hours of boredom, and the dangers of being out in the middle of nowhere all alone and end up feeling okay about apartment life. But I think I can work up the courage to go on a camping trip some day.

Last week's newsletter got a 51.3% open rate. I'm making quick progress on How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. Kendi, recalling his personal experiences growing up Black in America, provides a clear way to understand racism and what it takes to combat it as an antiracist.

Reflections from a Token Black Friend by Ramesh A Nagarajah (Medium blog post)
"I am regularly the only black kid in the photo. I have mastered the well-timed black joke, fit to induce a guilty, 'you thought it but couldn’t say it', laugh from my white peers. I know all the words to Mr. Brightside by the Killers. I am a token black friend. The black one in the group of white people."

Great, thoughtful piece.

The Epic Games Primer: Parts I-VI Directory by Matthew Ball
"Epic Games was founded by Tim Sweeney and Mark Rein in 1991. Sweeney is the CEO and majority/controlling shareholder, while Tencent owns roughly 40%. As a private company, Epic does not publicly disclose its financials. According to press reports, it was valued at roughly $15B in 2018 (when it last raised capital) and is currently raising more at a 'significantly higher' price, per Bloomberg. 

Compared to Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Google, which are worth $600B to $1.4T, Epic’s valuation is modest. However, Epic has the potential to become one of the largest, most influential tech companies in the world. This might seem hyperbolic to those who know Epic only as the marker of the hit video game Fortnite: Battle Royale. In fact, even long-time fans of Epic’s games might find such a pronouncement odd given Fortnite has generated more revenue in three years than the rest of Epic has in almost as many decades. But behind the scenes, it looks increasingly likely that Epic will be at the very center of society’s digital future." 

Eigenquestions: The Art of Framing Problems by by Shishir Mehrotra and Matt Hudson
Came across this via Invest with the Best podcast interview of Shishir Mehrotra and loved the teleportation device example he gave of the Eigenquestion in action. This comprehensive guide goes deeper into how you can become better at framing using the Eigenquestion and great diagrams.

Framing often starts with asking the right question. In many cases, a decision can look like it has ten related questions, and if asked in the wrong order, they can seem intractable. Often the best path through a decision is to pick the right question to prioritize and start with.

For a simplistic definition, the eigenquestion is the question where, if answered, it likely answers the subsequent questions as well. Great framing starts by searching for the most discriminating question of a set — the eigenquestion.

Exploring Client Concentration in an Agency Business
Client concentration isn't a topic that comes up much when I chat with other agency operators, but it's something that's been on my mind as I think about Barrel's evolving client roster and where we'd like to be in 3-5 years.

I made a Google Sheet tool that helps analyze client concentration and hopefully provides a couple useful insights for people that want to give it a try.


P.S. You can check out my list of books read right here. My hope is to get a good mix of challenging reads with some that are entertaining, inspiring, and instructive.

If you like what you've read, please share with your friends. They can sign up for the list here. Also, I always welcome recommendations of any kind–books, podcasts, movies, etc.

About me: Peter Kang is co-founder of Barrel, a digital agency in New York City. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, son, and dog.
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