Hi, welcome to your Weekend!
Perhaps you’re reading this as you’re packing up the Winnebago for Burning Man, which is back in session this Sunday for the first time in three long years. If you are indeed heading to the playa, congratulations—I hope you dance like nobody’s watching. And I really hope you’re not planning to work while you’re out there, like Backend Capital founder Lucy Guo just tweeted she might be doing.
Guo, the co-founder of Scale API, was asking around about camps that had Starlink terminals so she could “get work done.” Having never been a burner myself, I have to ask: Isn’t the whole point to unshackle yourself from the bonds of work, while simultaneously tapping into a group flow state that you’ll later channel while you’re at actual work? At least, that’s how Sergey and Larry do it.
If you’re going through all the trouble of motor-homeing out to the Nevada desert this weekend, at least enjoy the full array of diversions, minus the big one that drove you here in the first place: Real life.
Now onto the weekend’s stories...
Jeremy Kauffman, the libertarian co-founder of blockchain startup LBRY, is embroiled in a nasty fight against the Securities and Exchange Commission. Kauffman’s company has not only rejected the agency’s argument that its tokens constitute unregistered securities, it’s called for SEC chair Gary Gensler to be jailed for 10 years. But it’s not the drama that makes the case a must-watch, Aidan writes—it’s how a ruling could impact the rest of the crypto industry. “When there’s a ruling in the LBRY case,” said one attorney who represents crypto firms, “every legal team in the country will read it.”
The past few weeks, social media users have gone crazy for Shuffles, a virtual collaging app developed by Pinterest. Since quietly launching this month as a closed beta release, Shuffles has become perhaps the most coveted app on the internet. Access codes are being bid up on resale sites like Depop, and early adopters are being bombarded with DMs from desperate wannabe shufflers. As Pinterest reckons with a 5% decrease in global monthly active users, Annie asks if one buzzy app could bring back the company’s It-factor?
scene and heard
Seven days. 300 events. 15,000 people. One elaborate coming out party. Erin pulls back the curtains on the just-wrapped LA Tech Week, a celebration of innovation in Los Angeles, and a chance for venture firm Andreessen Horowitz to permanently plant its flag in Southern California. Come for the La La Land-inspired gif; stay for the mansion and yacht parties, LA investing rivalries and group surfing lessons.
‘I Don’t Ever Think about Elon Musk’: ‘For All Mankind’ Star Edi Gathegi on Borrowing from Apple, Not SpaceX
A brash tech visionary with his head in the sky and a trail of disgruntled people on Earth? Sure sounds familiar, and yet Edi Gathegi, who plays the stratospherically ambitious CEO Dev Ayesa on the AppleTV+ space drama "For All Mankind," said he takes little inspiration from Musk. Steve Jobs, on the other hand... Abe talks to Gathegi about the show’s aspirational vision for humans on Mars.
Watching: A Cash App ad featuring Kendrick Lamar and *checks notes* Ray Dalio
Cash App has long leaned into its connections to the world of hip hop. So, getting Kendrick Lamar to appear in an ad is a no-brainer. Having him star alongside 73-year-old billionaire Ray Dalio, however, is a less conventional choice. It somehow works, though, as in the ad, Kendrick acts as a “financial translator” between the Bridgewater Associates founder and comedian ExavierTV. The unusual ensemble is the latest turn in the Block-owned brand’s quest for celebrity-aided virality. Combined with spots from Serena Williams and Megan Thee Stallion, it’s a solid trilogy. –Annie
Noticing: How minority founders fare vs. Adam Neumann
Among the more baffling facts illuminated by Neumann’s recent $370 million fundraise for his real estate company Flow is this one: Neumann has now secured more seed funding for his startup than all Black and Latino founders have raised in 2022—combined. That and other startling data points were amassed by Insider’s Sindhu Sundar and April Joyner, who compared Neumann’s haul to the total amounts raised this year by minority founders. Women fared better, but with a huge caveat: female founders brought in $589 million from 285 deals, while it took Neumann just two deals to scored $420 million. Whether or not you think the ex-WeWork CEO deserves his comeback, it’s a good moment to reflect upon the minority founders who weren’t even given a first chance. —Margaux
Reading: Explaining the “Girl Explaining” meme
By now, thousands of Twitter users have put words in Denise Sanchez’s mouth. She’s the star of the internet’s new favorite meme: the “explaining girl,” in which Sanchez is captured yelling into the ear of a young man who, despite her impassioned speech, carries a lifeless expression. For the Washington Post, María Luisa Paúl profiles the young Argentinian explainer herself, who says the photo was taken at a concert four years ago and that her disinterested ex-boyfriend is long gone. The piece is both a humanizing look at what it’s like to go viral, and a keen analysis of a meme’s half-life. —Margaux
Makes You Think
Until next Weekend, thanks for reading.
Weekend Editor, The Information