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SAHIL SAPRU

SAHIL SAPRU

1 year ago

Growth tactics that grew businesses from 1 to 100

More on Entrepreneurship/Creators

Scrum Ventures

Scrum Ventures

1 year ago

Trends from the Winter 2022 Demo Day at Y Combinators

Y Combinators Winter 2022 Demo Day continues the trend of more startups engaging in accelerator Demo Days. Our team evaluated almost 400 projects in Y Combinator's ninth year.

After Winter 2021 Demo Day, we noticed a hurry pushing shorter rounds, inflated valuations, and larger batches.

Despite the batch size, this event's behavior showed a return to normalcy. Our observations show that investors evaluate and fund businesses more carefully. Unlike previous years, more YC businesses gave investors with data rooms and thorough pitch decks in addition to valuation data before Demo Day.

Demo Day pitches were virtual and fast-paced, limiting unplanned meetings. Investors had more time and information to do their due research before meeting founders. Our staff has more time to study diverse areas and engage with interesting entrepreneurs and founders.

This was one of the most regionally diversified YC cohorts to date. This year's Winter Demo Day startups showed some interesting tendencies.

Trends and Industries to Watch Before Demo Day

Demo day events at any accelerator show how investment competition is influencing startups. As startups swiftly become scale-ups and big success stories in fintech, e-commerce, healthcare, and other competitive industries, entrepreneurs and early-stage investors feel pressure to scale quickly and turn a notion into actual innovation.

Too much eagerness can lead founders to focus on market growth and team experience instead of solid concepts, technical expertise, and market validation. Last year, YC Winter Demo Day funding cycles ended too quickly and valuations were unrealistically high.

Scrum Ventures observed a longer funding cycle this year compared to last year's Demo Day. While that seems promising, many factors could be contributing to change, including:

  • Market patterns are changing and the economy is becoming worse.

  • the industries that investors are thinking about.

  • Individual differences between each event batch and the particular businesses and entrepreneurs taking part

The Winter 2022 Batch's Trends

Each year, we also wish to examine trends among early-stage firms and YC event participants. More international startups than ever were anticipated to present at Demo Day.

Less than 50% of demo day startups were from the U.S. For the S21 batch, firms from outside the US were most likely in Latin America or Europe, however this year's batch saw a large surge in startups situated in Asia and Africa.

YC Startup Directory

163 out of 399 startups were B2B software and services companies. Financial, healthcare, and consumer startups were common.

Our team doesn't plan to attend every pitch or speak with every startup's founders or team members. Let's look at cleantech, Web3, and health and wellness startup trends.

Our Opinions Following Conversations with 87 Startups at Demo Day

In the lead-up to Demo Day, we spoke with 87 of the 125 startups going. Compared to B2C enterprises, B2B startups had higher average valuations. A few outliers with high valuations pushed B2B and B2C means above the YC-wide mean and median.

Many of these startups develop business and technology solutions we've previously covered. We've seen API, EdTech, creative platforms, and cybersecurity remain strong and increase each year.

While these persistent tendencies influenced the startups Scrum Ventures looked at and the founders we interacted with on Demo Day, new trends required more research and preparation. Let's examine cleantech, Web3, and health and wellness startups.

Hardware and software that is green

Cleantech enterprises demand varying amounts of funding for hardware and software. Although the same overarching trend is fueling the growth of firms in this category, each subgroup has its own strategy and technique for investigation and identifying successful investments.

Many cleantech startups we spoke to during the YC event are focused on helping industrial operations decrease or recycle carbon emissions.

  • Carbon Crusher: Creating carbon negative roads

  • Phase Biolabs: Turning carbon emissions into carbon negative products and carbon neutral e-fuels

  • Seabound: Capturing carbon dioxide emissions from ships

  • Fleetzero: Creating electric cargo ships

  • Impossible Mining: Sustainable seabed mining

  • Beyond Aero: Creating zero-emission private aircraft

  • Verdn: Helping businesses automatically embed environmental pledges for product and service offerings, boost customer engagement

  • AeonCharge: Allowing electric vehicle (EV) drivers to more easily locate and pay for EV charging stations

  • Phoenix Hydrogen: Offering a hydrogen marketplace and a connected hydrogen hub platform to connect supply and demand for hydrogen fuel and simplify hub planning and partner program expansion

  • Aklimate: Allowing businesses to measure and reduce their supply chain’s environmental impact

  • Pina Earth: Certifying and tracking the progress of businesses’ forestry projects

  • AirMyne: Developing machines that can reverse emissions by removing carbon dioxide from the air

  • Unravel Carbon: Software for enterprises to track and reduce their carbon emissions

Web3: NFTs, the metaverse, and cryptocurrency

Web3 technologies handle a wide range of business issues. This category includes companies employing blockchain technology to disrupt entertainment, finance, cybersecurity, and software development.

Many of these startups overlap with YC's FinTech trend. Despite this, B2C and B2B enterprises were evenly represented in Web3. We examined:

  • Stablegains: Offering consistent interest on cash balance from the decentralized finance (DeFi) market

  • LiquiFi: Simplifying token management with automated vesting contracts, tax reporting, and scheduling. For companies, investors, and finance & accounting

  • NFTScoring: An NFT trading platform

  • CypherD Wallet: A multichain wallet for crypto and NFTs with a non-custodial crypto debit card that instantly converts coins to USD

  • Remi Labs: Allowing businesses to more easily create NFT collections that serve as access to products, memberships, events, and more

  • Cashmere: A crypto wallet for Web3 startups to collaboratively manage funds

  • Chaingrep: An API that makes blockchain data human-readable and tokens searchable

  • Courtyard: A platform for securely storing physical assets and creating 3D representations as NFTs

  • Arda: “Banking as a Service for DeFi,” an API that FinTech companies can use to embed DeFi products into their platforms

  • earnJARVIS: A premium cryptocurrency management platform, allowing users to create long-term portfolios

  • Mysterious: Creating community-specific experiences for Web3 Discords

  • Winter: An embeddable widget that allows businesses to sell NFTs to users purchasing with a credit card or bank transaction

  • SimpleHash: An API for NFT data that provides compatibility across blockchains, standardized metadata, accurate transaction info, and simple integration

  • Lifecast: Tools that address motion sickness issues for 3D VR video

  • Gym Class: Virtual reality (VR) multiplayer basketball video game

  • WorldQL: An asset API that allows NFT creators to specify multiple in-game interpretations of their assets, increasing their value

  • Bonsai Desk: A software development kit (SDK) for 3D analytics

  • Campfire: Supporting virtual social experiences for remote teams

  • Unai: A virtual headset and Visual World experience

  • Vimmerse: Allowing creators to more easily create immersive 3D experiences

Fitness and health

Scrum Ventures encountered fewer health and wellness startup founders than Web3 and Cleantech. The types of challenges these organizations solve are still diverse. Several of these companies are part of a push toward customization in healthcare, an area of biotech set for growth for companies with strong portfolios and experienced leadership.

Here are several startups we considered:

  • Syrona Health: Personalized healthcare for women in the workplace

  • Anja Health: Personalized umbilical cord blood banking and stem cell preservation

  • Alfie: A weight loss program focused on men’s health that coordinates medical care, coaching, and “community-based competition” to help users lose an average of 15% body weight

  • Ankr Health: An artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled telehealth platform that provides personalized side effect education for cancer patients and data collection for their care teams

  • Koko — A personalized sleep program to improve at-home sleep analysis and training

  • Condition-specific telehealth platforms and programs:

  • Reviving Mind: Chronic care management covered by insurance and supporting holistic, community-oriented health care

  • Equipt Health: At-home delivery of prescription medical equipment to help manage chronic conditions like obstructive sleep apnea

  • LunaJoy: Holistic women’s healthcare management for mental health therapy, counseling, and medication

12 Startups from YC's Winter 2022 Demo Day to Watch

Bobidi: 10x faster AI model improvement

Artificial intelligence (AI) models have become a significant tool for firms to improve how well and rapidly they process data. Bobidi helps AI-reliant firms evaluate their models, boosting data insights in less time and reducing data analysis expenditures. The business has created a gamified community that offers a bug bounty for AI, incentivizing community members to test and find weaknesses in clients' AI models.

Magna: DeFi investment management and token vesting

Magna delivers rapid, secure token vesting so consumers may turn DeFi investments into primitives. Carta for Web3 allows enterprises to effortlessly distribute tokens to staff or investors. The Magna team hopes to allow corporations use locked tokens as collateral for loans, facilitate secondary liquidity so investors can sell shares on a public exchange, and power additional DeFi applications.

Perl Street: Funding for infrastructure

This Fintech firm intends to help hardware entrepreneurs get financing by [democratizing] structured finance, unleashing billions for sustainable infrastructure and next-generation hardware solutions. This network has helped hardware entrepreneurs achieve more than $140 million in finance, helping companies working on energy storage devices, EVs, and creating power infrastructure.

CypherD: Multichain cryptocurrency wallet

CypherD seeks to provide a multichain crypto wallet so general customers can explore Web3 products without knowledge hurdles. The startup's beta app lets consumers access crypto from EVM blockchains. The founders have crypto, financial, and startup experience.

Unravel Carbon: Enterprise carbon tracking and offsetting

Unravel Carbon's AI-powered decarbonization technology tracks companies' carbon emissions. Singapore-based startup focuses on Asia. The software can use any company's financial data to trace the supply chain and calculate carbon tracking, which is used to make regulatory disclosures and suggest carbon offsets.

LunaJoy: Precision mental health for women

LunaJoy helped women obtain mental health support throughout life. The platform combines data science to create a tailored experience, allowing women to access psychotherapy, medication management, genetic testing, and health coaching.

Posh: Automated EV battery recycling

Posh attempts to solve one of the EV industry's largest logistical difficulties. Millions of EV batteries will need to be decommissioned in the next decade, and their precious metals and residual capacity will go unused for some time. Posh offers automated, scalable lithium battery disassembly, making EV battery recycling more viable.

Unai: VR headset with 5x higher resolution

Unai stands apart from metaverse companies. Its VR headgear has five times the resolution of existing options and emphasizes human expression and interaction in a remote world. Maxim Perumal's method of latency reduction powers current VR headsets.

Palitronica: Physical infrastructure cybersecurity

Palitronica blends cutting-edge hardware and software to produce networked electronic systems that support crucial physical and supply chain infrastructure. The startup's objective is to build solutions that defend national security and key infrastructure from cybersecurity threats.

Reality Defender: Deepfake detection

Reality Defender alerts firms to bogus users and changed audio, video, and image files. Reality Deference's API and web app score material in real time to prevent fraud, improve content moderation, and detect deception.

Micro Meat: Infrastructure for the manufacture of cell-cultured meat

MicroMeat promotes sustainable meat production. The company has created technologies to scale up bioreactor-grown meat muscle tissue from animal cells. Their goal is to scale up cultured meat manufacturing so cultivated meat products can be brought to market feasibly and swiftly, boosting worldwide meat consumption.

Fleetzero: Electric cargo ships

This startup's battery technology will make cargo ships more sustainable and profitable. Fleetzero's electric cargo ships have five times larger profit margins than fossil fuel ships. Fleetzeros' founder has marine engineering, ship operations, and enterprise sales and business experience.

Atown Research

Atown Research

1 year ago

Meet the One-Person Businesses Earning Millions in Sales from Solo Founders

I've spent over 50 hours researching one-person firms, which interest me. I've found countless one-person enterprises that made millions on the founder's determination and perseverance.

Throughout my investigation, I found three of the most outstanding one-person enterprises. These enterprises show that people who work hard and dedicate themselves to their ideas may succeed.

Eric Barone (@ConcernedApe) created Stardew Valley in 2011 to better his job prospects. Eric loved making the game, in which players inherit a farm, grow crops, raise livestock, make friends with the villagers, and form a family.

Eric handled complete game production, including 3D graphics, animations, and music, to maintain creative control. He stopped job hunting and worked 8-15 hours a day on the game.

Eric developed a Stardew Valley website and subreddit to engage with gamers and get feedback. Eric's devoted community helped him meet Steam's minimum vote requirement for single creators.

Stardew Valley sold 1 million copies in two months after Eric launched it for $15 in 2016. The game has sold 20 million copies and made $300 million.

The game's inexpensive price, outsourcing of PR, marketing, and publication, and loyal player base helped it succeed. Eric has turned down million-dollar proposals from Sony and Nintendo to sell the game and instead updates and improves it. Haunted Chocolatier is Eric's new game.

Is farming not profitable? Ask Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone.

Gary Brewer established BuiltWith to assist users find website technologies and services. BuiltWith boasts 3000 paying customers and $14 million in yearly revenue, making it a significant resource for businesses wishing to generate leads, do customer analytics, obtain business insight, compare websites, or search websites by keyword.

BuiltWith has one full-time employee, Gary, and one or two part-time contractors that help with the blog. Gary handles sales, customer service, and other company functions alone.

BuiltWith acquired popularity through blog promotions and a top Digg ranking. About Us, a domain directory, connected to BuiltWith on every domain page, boosting it. Gary introduced $295–$995 monthly subscriptions to search technology, keywords, and potential consumers in response to customer demand.

Gary uses numerous methods to manage a firm without staff. He spends one to two hours every day answering user queries, most of which are handled quickly by linking to BuiltWiths knowledge store. Gary creates step-by-step essays or videos for complex problems. Gary can focus on providing new features based on customer comments and requests since he makes it easy to unsubscribe.

BuiltWith is entirely automated and successful due to its unique approach and useful offerings. It works for Google, Meta, Amazon, and Twitter.

Digital Inspiration develops Google Documents, Sheets, and Slides plugins. Digital Inspiration, founded by Amit Agarwal, receives 5 million monthly visits and earns $10 million. 40 million individuals have downloaded Digital Inspirations plugins.

Amit started Digital Inspiration by advertising his blog at tech events and getting Indian filter blogs and other newspapers to promote his articles. Amit built plugins and promoted them on the blog once the blog acquired popularity, using ideas from comments, friends, and Reddit. Digital Inspiration has over 20 free and premium plugins.

Mail Merge, Notifications for Google Forms, YouTube Uploader, and Document Studio are some of Digital Inspiration's most popular plugins. Mail Merge allows users to send personalized emails in bulk and track email opens and clicks.

Since Amits manages Digital Inspiration alone, his success is astounding. Amit developed a successful company via hard work and creativity, despite platform dependence. His tale inspires entrepreneurs.

MAJESTY AliNICOLE WOW!

MAJESTY AliNICOLE WOW!

1 year ago

YouTube's faceless videos are growing in popularity, but this is nothing new.

I've always bucked social media norms. YouTube doesn't compare. Traditional video made me zig when everyone zagged. Audio, picture personality animation, thought movies, and slide show videos are most popular and profitable.

Photo by Rachit Tank on Unsplash

YouTube's business is shifting. While most video experts swear by the idea that YouTube success is all about making personal and professional Face-Share-Videos, those who use YouTube for business know things are different.

In this article, I will share concepts from my mini master class Figures to Followers: Prioritizing Purposeful Profits Over Popularity on YouTube to Create the Win-Win for You, Your Audience & More and my forthcoming publication The WOWTUBE-PRENEUR FACTOR EVOLUTION: The Basics of Powerfully & Profitably Positioning Yourself as a Video Communications Authority to Broadcast Your WOW Effect as a Video Entrepreneur.

I've researched the psychology, anthropology, and anatomy of significant social media platforms as an entrepreneur and social media marketing expert. While building my YouTube empire, I've paid particular attention to what works for short, mid, and long-term success, whether it's a niche-focused, lifestyle, or multi-interest channel.

Most new, semi-new, and seasoned YouTubers feel vlog-style or live-on-camera videos are popular. Faceless, animated, music-text-based, and slideshow videos do well for businesses.

Buyer-consumer vs. content-consumer thinking is totally different when absorbing content. Profitability and popularity are closely related, however most people become popular with traditional means but not profitable.

In my experience, Faceless videos are more profitable, although it depends on the channel's style. Several professionals are now teaching in their courses that non-traditional films are making the difference in their business success and popularity.

Face-Share-Personal-Touch videos make audiences feel like they know the personality, but they're not profitable.

Most spend hours creating articles, videos, and thumbnails to seem good. That's how most YouTubers gained their success in the past, but not anymore.

Looking the part and performing a typical role in videos doesn't convert well, especially for newbie channels.

Working with video marketers and YouTubers for years, I've noticed that most struggle to be consistent with content publishing since they exclusively use formats that need extensive development. Camera and green screen set ups, shooting/filming, and editing for post productions require their time, making it less appealing to post consistently, especially if they're doing all the work themselves.

Because they won't make simple format videos or audio videos with an overlay image, they overcomplicate the procedure (even with YouTube Shorts), and they leave their channels for weeks or months. Again, they believe YouTube only allows specific types of videos. Even though this procedure isn't working, they plan to keep at it.

Photo by Nubelson Fernandes on Unsplash

A successful YouTube channel needs multiple video formats to suit viewer needs, I teach. Face-Share-Personal Touch and Faceless videos are both useful.

How people engage with YouTube content has changed over the years, and the average customer is no longer interested in an all-video channel.

Face-Share-Personal-Touch videos are great

  • Google Live

  • Online training

  • Giving listeners a different way to access your podcast that is being broadcast on sites like Anchor, BlogTalkRadio, Spreaker, Google, Apple Store, and others Many people enjoy using a video camera to record themselves while performing the internet radio, Facebook, or Instagram Live versions of their podcasts.

  • Video Blog Updates

  • even more

Faceless videos are popular for business and benefit both entrepreneurs and audiences.

For the business owner/entrepreneur…

  • Less production time results in time dollar savings.

  • enables the business owner to demonstrate the diversity of content development

For the Audience…

  • The channel offers a variety of appealing content options.

  • The same format is not monotonous or overly repetitive for the viewers.

Below are a couple videos from YouTube guru Make Money Matt's channel, which has over 347K subscribers.

Enjoy

24 Best Niches to Make Money on YouTube Without Showing Your Face

Make Money on YouTube Without Making Videos (Free Course)

In conclusion, you have everything it takes to build your own YouTube brand and empire. Learn the rules, then adapt them to succeed.

Please reread this and the other suggested articles for optimal benefit.

I hope this helped. How has this article helped you? Follow me for more articles like this and more multi-mission expressions.

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Vitalik

Vitalik

2 years ago

An approximate introduction to how zk-SNARKs are possible (part 2)

If tasked with the problem of coming up with a zk-SNARK protocol, many people would make their way to this point and then get stuck and give up. How can a verifier possibly check every single piece of the computation, without looking at each piece of the computation individually? But it turns out that there is a clever solution.

Polynomials

Polynomials are a special class of algebraic expressions of the form:

  • x+5
  • x^4
  • x^3+3x^2+3x+1
  • 628x^{271}+318x^{270}+530x^{269}+…+69x+381

i.e. they are a sum of any (finite!) number of terms of the form cx^k

There are many things that are fascinating about polynomials. But here we are going to zoom in on a particular one: polynomials are a single mathematical object that can contain an unbounded amount of information (think of them as a list of integers and this is obvious). The fourth example above contained 816 digits of tau, and one can easily imagine a polynomial that contains far more.

Furthermore, a single equation between polynomials can represent an unbounded number of equations between numbers. For example, consider the equation A(x)+ B(x) = C(x). If this equation is true, then it's also true that:

  • A(0)+B(0)=C(0)
  • A(1)+B(1)=C(1)
  • A(2)+B(2)=C(2)
  • A(3)+B(3)=C(3)

And so on for every possible coordinate. You can even construct polynomials to deliberately represent sets of numbers so you can check many equations all at once. For example, suppose that you wanted to check:

  • 12+1=13
  • 10+8=18
  • 15+8=23
  • 15+13=28

You can use a procedure called Lagrange interpolation to construct polynomials A(x) that give (12,10,15,15) as outputs at some specific set of coordinates (eg. (0,1,2,3)), B(x) the outputs (1,8,8,13) on thos same coordinates, and so forth. In fact, here are the polynomials:

  • A(x)=-2x^3+\frac{19}{2}x^2-\frac{19}{2}x+12
  • B(x)=2x^3-\frac{19}{2}x^2+\frac{29}{2}x+1
  • C(x)=5x+13

Checking the equation A(x)+B(x)=C(x) with these polynomials checks all four above equations at the same time.

Comparing a polynomial to itself

You can even check relationships between a large number of adjacent evaluations of the same polynomial using a simple polynomial equation. This is slightly more advanced. Suppose that you want to check that, for a given polynomial F, F(x+2)=F(x)+F(x+1) with the integer range {0,1…89} (so if you also check F(0)=F(1)=1, then F(100) would be the 100th Fibonacci number)

As polynomials, F(x+2)-F(x+1)-F(x) would not be exactly zero, as it could give arbitrary answers outside the range x={0,1…98}. But we can do something clever. In general, there is a rule that if a polynomial P is zero across some set S=\{x_1,x_2…x_n\} then it can be expressed as P(x)=Z(x)*H(x), where Z(x)=(x-x_1)*(x-x_2)*…*(x-x_n) and H(x) is also a polynomial. In other words, any polynomial that equals zero across some set is a (polynomial) multiple of the simplest (lowest-degree) polynomial that equals zero across that same set.

Why is this the case? It is a nice corollary of polynomial long division: the factor theorem. We know that, when dividing P(x) by Z(x), we will get a quotient Q(x) and a remainder R(x) is strictly less than that of Z(x). Since we know that P is zero on all of S, it means that R has to be zero on all of S as well. So we can simply compute R(x) via polynomial interpolation, since it's a polynomial of degree at most n-1 and we know n values (the zeros at S). Interpolating a polynomial with all zeroes gives the zero polynomial, thus R(x)=0 and H(x)=Q(x).

Going back to our example, if we have a polynomial F that encodes Fibonacci numbers (so F(x+2)=F(x)+F(x+1) across x=\{0,1…98\}), then I can convince you that F actually satisfies this condition by proving that the polynomial P(x)=F(x+2)-F(x+1)-F(x) is zero over that range, by giving you the quotient:
H(x)=\frac{F(x+2)-F(x+1)-F(x)}{Z(x)}
Where Z(x) = (x-0)*(x-1)*…*(x-98).
You can calculate Z(x) yourself (ideally you would have it precomputed), check the equation, and if the check passes then F(x) satisfies the condition!

Now, step back and notice what we did here. We converted a 100-step-long computation into a single equation with polynomials. Of course, proving the N'th Fibonacci number is not an especially useful task, especially since Fibonacci numbers have a closed form. But you can use exactly the same basic technique, just with some extra polynomials and some more complicated equations, to encode arbitrary computations with an arbitrarily large number of steps.

see part 3

Will Lockett

Will Lockett

1 year ago

The World Will Change With MIT's New Battery

MIT’s new battery is made from only aluminium (left), sulphur (middle) and salt (left) — MIT

It's cheaper, faster charging, longer lasting, safer, and better for the environment.

Batteries are the future. Next-gen and planet-saving technology, including solar power and EVs, require batteries. As these smart technologies become more popular, we find that our batteries can't keep up. Lithium-ion batteries are expensive, slow to charge, big, fast to decay, flammable, and not environmentally friendly. MIT just created a new battery that eliminates all of these problems.  So, is this the battery of the future? Or is there a catch?

When I say entirely new, I mean it. This battery employs no currently available materials. Its electrodes are constructed of aluminium and pure sulfur instead of lithium-complicated ion's metals and graphite. Its electrolyte is formed of molten chloro-aluminate salts, not an organic solution with lithium salts like lithium-ion batteries.

How does this change in materials help?

Aluminum, sulfur, and chloro-aluminate salts are abundant, easy to acquire, and cheap. This battery might be six times cheaper than a lithium-ion battery and use less hazardous mining. The world and our wallets will benefit.

But don’t go thinking this means it lacks performance.

This battery charged in under a minute in tests. At 25 degrees Celsius, the battery will charge 25 times slower than at 110 degrees Celsius. This is because the salt, which has a very low melting point, is in an ideal state at 110 degrees and can carry a charge incredibly quickly. Unlike lithium-ion, this battery self-heats when charging and discharging, therefore no external heating is needed.

Anyone who's seen a lithium-ion battery burst might be surprised. Unlike lithium-ion batteries, none of the components in this new battery can catch fire. Thus, high-temperature charging and discharging speeds pose no concern.

These batteries are long-lasting. Lithium-ion batteries don't last long, as any iPhone owner can attest. During charging, metal forms a dendrite on the electrode. This metal spike will keep growing until it reaches the other end of the battery, short-circuiting it. This is why phone batteries only last a few years and why electric car range decreases over time. This new battery's molten salt slows deposition, extending its life. This helps the environment and our wallets.

These batteries are also energy dense. Some lithium-ion batteries have 270 Wh/kg energy density (volume and mass). Aluminum-sulfur batteries could have 1392 Wh/kg, according to calculations. They'd be 5x more energy dense. Tesla's Model 3 battery would weigh 96 kg instead of 480 kg if this battery were used. This would improve the car's efficiency and handling.

These calculations were for batteries without molten salt electrolyte. Because they don't reflect the exact battery chemistry, they aren't a surefire prediction.

This battery seems great. It will take years, maybe decades, before it reaches the market and makes a difference. Right?

Nope. The project's scientists founded Avanti to develop and market this technology.

So we'll soon be driving cheap, durable, eco-friendly, lightweight, and ultra-safe EVs? Nope.

This battery must be kept hot to keep the salt molten; otherwise, it won't work and will expand and contract, causing damage. This issue could be solved by packs that can rapidly pre-heat, but that project is far off.

Rapid and constant charge-discharge cycles make these batteries ideal for solar farms, homes, and EV charging stations. The battery is constantly being charged or discharged, allowing it to self-heat and maintain an ideal temperature.

These batteries aren't as sexy as those making EVs faster, more efficient, and cheaper. Grid batteries are crucial to our net-zero transition because they allow us to use more low-carbon energy. As we move away from fossil fuels, we'll need millions of these batteries, so the fact that they're cheap, safe, long-lasting, and environmentally friendly will be huge. Who knows, maybe EVs will use this technology one day. MIT has created another world-changing technology.

Steve QJ

Steve QJ

2 years ago

Putin's War On Reality

The dictator's playbook.

Stalin's successor, Nikita Khrushchev, delivered a speech titled "On The Cult Of Personality And Its Consequences" in 1956, three years after Stalin’s death.

It was Stalin's grave abuse of power that caused untold harm to our party.
Stalin acted not by persuasion, explanation, or patient cooperation, but by imposing his ideas and demanding absolute obedience. […]
See where Stalin's mania for greatness led? He had lost all sense of reality.

The speech, which was never made public, shook the Soviet Union and the Soviet Bloc. After Stalin's "cult of personality" was exposed as a lie, only reality remained.

As I've watched the nightmare unfold in Ukraine, I'm reminded of that question. Primarily by Putin's repeated denials.

His odd claim that Ukraine is run by drug addicts and Nazis (especially strange given that Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian president, is Jewish). Others attempt to portray Russia as liberators rather than occupiers. For example, he portrays Luhansk and Donetsk as plucky, newly independent states when they have been totalitarian statelets for 8 years.

Putin seemed to have lost all sense of reality.

Maybe that's why his remarks to an oligarchs' gathering stood out:

Everything is a desperate measure. They gave us no choice. We couldn't do anything about their security risks. […] They could have put the country in jeopardy.

This is almost certainly true from Putin's perspective. Even for Putin, a military invasion seems unlikely. So, what exactly is putting Russia's security in jeopardy? How could Ukraine's independence endanger Russia's existence?

The truth is the only thing that truly terrifies leaders like these.

Trump, the president of “alternative facts,” "and “fake news” praised Putin's fabricated justifications for the Ukraine invasion. Russia tightened news censorship as news of their losses came in. It's no accident that modern dictatorships like Russia (and China and North Korea) restrict citizens' access to information.

Controlling what people see, hear, and think is the simplest method. And Ukraine's recent efforts to join the European Union showed a country whose thoughts Putin couldn't control. With the Russian and Ukrainian peoples so close, he could not control their reality.
He appears to think this is a threat worth fighting NATO over.

It's easy to disown history's great dictators. By the magnitude of their harm. But the strategy they used is still in use today, albeit not to the same devastating effect.

The Kim dynasty in North Korea has ruled for 74 years, Putin has ruled Russia for 19 years (using loopholes and even rewriting the constitution).

“Politicians and diapers must be changed frequently,” said Mark Twain. "And for the same reason.”

When their egos are threatened, they sabre-rattle, as in Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump's famous spat about the size of their...ahem, “nuclear buttons”." Or Putin's threats of mutual destruction this weekend.

Most importantly, they have cult-like control over their followers.

When a leader whose power is built on lies feels he is losing control of the narrative, things like Trump's Jan. 6 meltdown and Putin's current actions in Ukraine are unavoidable.

Leaders who try to control their people's reality will have to die to keep the illusion alive.

Long version of this post available here