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Best of May in Asia-Pacific
Curating the best content in the region
“You must recognize what you are about to do, highlight what you do not like about it, and spend time visualizing each and every obstacle you can.”
- David Goggins
A big month for me. So a shorter compilation than usual.
A recap of my run across Singapore is down at the end.
Otherwise, let’s dive into some sweet content!
Chart of the Month - MRT/LRT map overlaid on top of a map of population density in SG
Louis does a great job breaking down their business model and showcasing the large market opportunity for them. Not a hype piece. Not a hit piece. Just a good ol’ fashioned deep dive.
the used car market is large, fragmented, and generally a terrible experience for most users. There’s no reason to believe that such features are unique to any one country; after all, the lemon problem is not constrained by geography or culture. […]
But if we go back to the core problem that Carro solves (and use a great deal of imagination), it’s possible that Carro will facilitate any vehicle-based transaction that has an opaque market. Trucks, lorries, yachts, bicycles, e-scooters - these are all fair game.
Of course, not all of these will materialise, and those which do will have to operate on a tweaked business model. But if this is any sign of Carro’s ultimate potential, we’re in for a ride.
When you think of Tokyo, the first image that may come to mind is the insanity that is Shibuya crossing. Or the crowded streets and busy footpaths. But in recent years, the city has been making a concerted effort to reduce the number of cars on its roads and make it more pedestrian-friendly.
[Andre Sorensen, a professor of urban planning at the University of Toronto, who published a history of urban planning in Japan] told me about how in the 1950s and ’60s, the trains were a huge point of national pride for the Japanese government, a bit like car industries were elsewhere.
“And justifiably! It was a fantastic invention. To say we can make electric rail go twice as fast. What an achievement.” Thanks to that, the railways ministry became a huge power center in government, rather than a neglected backwater as it often had become elsewhere.
Jensen Huang NTU Commencement Speech 2023
You know if the speech is getting comparisons with Steve Jobs' Stanford Commencement Address then it’s gotta be good.
Retreat does not come easily to the brightest and most successful people like yourself. Yet strategic retreat, sacrifice, deciding what to give up is at the core, the very core, of success.
And this next bit is extremely topical for me, so can’t not include it!
Either you're running for food or you are running from becoming food. And oftentimes you can't tell which. Either way, run! And for your journey, take along some of my learnings, that you will have humility to confront failure, admit mistake, and ask for help.
You will endure the pain and suffering needed to realize your dreams.
Pair this with: Michelle Yeoh addressing the Harvard Law School Class of 2023. Spoiler - Stay loose, Know your limits, and Find your people.
"Learning how to fall teaches you how to land and learning to land gives you the courage to jump higher"
Extremely common Asianometry W.
In 1978, 70% of all the world's lithography equipment came from an American supplier. As late as 1982, Americans still held 62% of the market.
Seven years later in 1989, Japanese firms held 70% share of the market - led by their two lithography giants: Canon and Nikon. The American once-market leaders, rapidly declining. One loses $100 million by 1986. The other withdraws from the market entirely by 1989.
Japan's economy is growing at its fastest pace in years, thanks to strong exports and corporate earnings, yet stocks are still trading at relatively low valuations compared to other developed markets.
shareholder activism has also evolved to sit more comfortably in the mainstream of Japan investment. The number of activist funds in the country has risen from under 10 in 2014 to nearly 70 this year. Between 2015 and 2022, notes Masatoshi Kikuchi, chief equity strategist at Mizuho Securities, the number of shareholder proposals submitted by activists in Japan rose from below five to nearly 60.
Everything I love about making a podcast. A passionate guest, interesting stories, and above all, just dealing with amazing, kind people. Johan is a legend and I’m so stoked to share this one.
Big Panda asks Little Dragon, "What's more important to you: the journey or the destination?" To which Little Dragon answers, "Neither. It's the company."
As always, the most efficient way to share videos is through a YouTube playlist. Videos include both well-known channels and some hidden gems. But mostly, I just want to showcase some of the most insightful and interesting videos related to Asia-Pacific for this month.
No surprises around this recommendation given the month I’ve had. And I definitely recommend the audiobook version for this one given there’s a mini-podcast interview at the end of each chapter giving more context and insight.
“Every minute you spend feeling sorry for yourself is another minute not getting better, another morning you miss at the gym, another evening wasted without studying. Another day burned when you didn’t make any progress toward your dreams, ambitions, and deepest desires. The ones you’ve had in your head and heart your entire life.”
Ready to run through a brick wall after this.
“We all owe it ourselves to stand for something. Principles give us a foundation — solid ground we can trust and build on as we continue to redefine what's possible in our own lives. Sure, some will be put off by your dedication and level of effort. Others will call you obsessed or think that you've gone crazy. When they do, smile and say, "I'm not crazy. I'm just not you.”
Pretty crazy month man. Preeeeetty bloody crazy.
Spent a day running 53km across Singapore. Got my story featured on Mothership. What else is there to say?
I gave a full recap on my Instagram which I’ll include below. Fair warning, has some naughty language if that’s not ya kinda thing.
But overall, it’s honestly one of the best things I’ve ever done. Highly recommend anyone who’s keen on having a crack at it.
Happy to help out in any way possible with advice re: the route, tips, and tricks.
The biggest question I’m asking myself is: “What challenge is next?”
You can find previous posts here. I also interview legends at Compounding Curiosity, lurk on Twitter @scarrottkalani, and have a Discord server for everything Allocators Asia (I’d love for you to join our cool little community we got going).
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