Neuralink's monkey plays games, fire Twitter threads, and more...

What We've Been Following. April 11, 2021

Welcome to The Takeoff, a newsletter and podcast helping students and young professionals learn more about startups, tech, venture capital, and more. In this newsletter, we share content that our team found worthwhile over the past two weeks. If you enjoy the content, please subscribe below, share it with friends, and give us a like by hitting the ❤️ button!

Hey everyone 👋

Welcome to the April 11th Edition of What We’ve Been Following, our bi-weekly newsletter highlighting some of the newsletters, podcasts, blog posts, tweets, startup news, and more that our team found interesting over the past few weeks.

If you missed the last Edition of What We’ve Been Following, published on March 26th and written by Lukas, be sure to check it out, here.

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New content since the last What We’ve Been Following newsletter from March 26th.

  • (Guide) Lukas released a Guide to the Behavioral Health Space on Notion. In his guide, Lukas dives into some of the companies, challenges, and solutions in this space.

  • (Podcast) Michael chatted with Barak Kaufman (Co-founder and CEO of Intello). Intello is a SaaS management startup that Barak co-founded in 2017 and recently sold to identity security leader SailPoint.

  • (Clubhouse) Michael and Roshan hosted an “Endowments 101” clubhouse room with Adam Kurkiewicz and Arun Sundaresan of WUIMC (WashU’s Endowment). Thank you to everyone who came!

What We’ve Been Following

  • (YouTube) In this incredible video from Neuralink, a monkey plays a video game telepathically using a brain chip (jump to 2:16 for this). If you check out one thing from this edition of WWBF, I highly recommend this video.

  • (Podcast) Colossus recently launched a new podcast, Business Breakdowns, which our team has been enjoying. My personal favorite so far has been the Chipotle breakdown.

  • (Podcast) Also from Colossus, this conversation with Jesse Pujji diving into performance marketing was a great listen.

  • (Podcast) Our team has still been avidly listening to The All-In Podcast. In 2021, this has quickly become my favorite podcast. I especially enjoyed hearing the besties discuss a wealth tax in the most recent episode, episode 28.

  • (YouTube) In 2018, Jeff Bezos spoke at the Economic Club of Washington. This short video highlights his thoughts on sleep and discusses how executives should have a long-term vision.

  • (Article) This incredible research article from a16z dives into the 100 biggest private marketplace startups (ranked by GMV) and gives some of their takeaways. The trend I found most interesting was how concentrated consumer spending is in private marketplaces –– #1 Instacart accounts for >70% of the list’s GMV.

  • (Article) This article from Pitchbook highlights how crypto startups are hotter than ever, with venture capital investments in cryptocurrency and blockchain startups reaching $3B in Q1 2021.


  • A great thread of resources to learn about finance.

  • After a16z’s Marketplace 100 listed above, Jon Lai dove into building gaming marketplaces.

  • Great thread on building an MVP using Roku as an example

  • Great thread on learnings from UiPath’s growth

That’s all for today’s Edition of What We’ve Been Following!

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Written by: Roshan Chandna (Co-founder at The Takeoff. Junior at Washington University in St. Louis. Prev. Investment Analyst Intern at Octahedron Capital)