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1 year ago
Take a look at The One, a Los Angeles estate with a whopping 105,000 square feet of living area.
The interiors of the 105,000-square-foot property, which sits on a five-acre parcel in the wealthy Los Angeles suburb of Bel Air and is suitably titled The One, have been a well guarded secret. We got an intimate look inside this world-record-breaking property, as well as the creative and aesthetic geniuses behind it.
The estate appears to float above the city, surrounded on three sides by a moat and a 400-foot-long running track. Completed over eight years—and requiring 600 workers to build—the home was designed by architect Paul McClean and interior designer Kathryn Rotondi, who were enlisted by owner and developer Nile Niami to help it live up to its standard.
"This endeavor seemed both exhilarating and daunting," McClean says. However, the home's remarkable location and McClean's long-standing relationship with Niami persuaded him to "build something unique and extraordinary" rather than just take on the job.
And McClean has more than delivered.
The home's main entrance leads to a variety of meeting places with magnificent 360-degree views of the Pacific Ocean, downtown Los Angeles, and the San Gabriel Mountains, thanks to its 26-foot-high ceilings. There is water at the entrance area, as well as a sculpture and a bridge. "We often employ water in our design approach because it provides a sensory change that helps you acclimatize to your environment," McClean explains.
Niami wanted a neutral palette that would enable the environment and vistas to shine, so she used black, white, and gray throughout the house.
McClean has combined the home's inside with outside "to create that quintessential L.A. lifestyle but on a larger scale," he says, drawing influence from the local environment and history of Los Angeles modernism. "We separated the entertaining spaces from the living portions to make the house feel more livable. The former are on the lowest level, which serves as a plinth for the rest of the house and minimizes its apparent mass."
The home's statistics, in addition to its eye-catching style, are equally impressive. There are 42 bathrooms, 21 bedrooms, a 5,500-square-foot master suite, a 30-car garage gallery with two car-display turntables, a four-lane bowling alley, a spa level, a 30-seat movie theater, a "philanthropy wing (with a capacity of 200) for charity galas, a 10,000-square-foot sky deck, and five swimming pools.
Rotondi, the creator of KFR Design, collaborated with Niami on the interior design to create different spaces that flow into one another despite the house's grandeur. "I was especially driven to 'wow factor' components in the hospitality business," Rotondi says, citing top luxury hotel brands such as Aman, Bulgari, and Baccarat as sources of inspiration. Meanwhile, the home's color scheme, soft textures, and lighting are a nod to Niami and McClean's favorite Tom Ford boutique on Rodeo Drive.
The house boasts an extraordinary collection of art, including a butterfly work by Stephen Wilson on the lower level and a Niclas Castello bespoke panel in black and silver in the office, thanks to a cooperation between Creative Art Partners and Art Angels. There is also a sizable collection of bespoke furniture pieces from byShowroom.
A house of this size will never be erected again in Los Angeles, thanks to recently enacted city rules, so The One will truly be one of a kind. "For all of us, this project has been such a long and instructive trip," McClean says. "It was exciting to develop and approached with excitement, but I don't think any of us knew how much effort and time it would take to finish the project."
1 year ago
10 Sneaker Terms Every Beginner Should Know
So you want to get into sneakers? Buying a few sneakers and figuring it out seems simple. Then you miss out on the weekend's instant-sellout releases, so you head to eBay, Twitter, or your local sneaker group to see what's available, since you're probably not ready to pay Flight Club prices just yet.
That's when you're bombarded with new nicknames, abbreviations, and general sneaker slang. It would take months to explain every word and sneaker, so here's a starter kit of ten simple terms to get you started. (Yeah, mostly Jordan. Does anyone really start with Kith or Nike SB?)
Colorways are a common term in fashion, design, and other visual fields. It's just the product's color scheme. In the case of sneakers, the colorway is often as important as the actual model. Are this year's "Chicago" Air Jordan 1s more durable than last year's "Black/Gum" colorway? Because of their colorway and rarity, the Chicagos are worth roughly three pairs of the Black/Gum kicks.
Pro Tip: A colorway with a well-known nickname is almost always worth more than one without, and the same goes for collaborations.
A “beater” is a well-worn, likely older model of shoe that has significant wear and tear on it. Rarely sold with the original box or extra laces, beaters rarely sell for much. Unlike most “worn” sneakers, beaters are used for rainy days and the gym. It's exactly what it sounds like, a box full of beaters, and they're a good place to start if you're looking for some cheap old kicks.
Pro Tip: Know which shoes clean up nicely. The shape of lower top sneakers with wider profiles, like SB Dunk Lows and Air Jordan 3s, tends to hold better over time than their higher and narrower cousins.
In the world of Jordan Brand, a “Retro” release is simply a release (or re-release) of a colorway after the shoe model's initial release. For example, the original Air Jordan 7 was released in 1992, but the Bordeaux colorway was re-released in 2011 and recently (2015). An Air Jordan model is released every year, and while half of them are unpopular and unlikely to be Retroed soon, any of them could be re-released whenever Nike and Jordan felt like it.
Pro Tip: Now that the Air Jordan line has been around for so long, the model that tends to be heavily retroed in a year is whichever shoe came out 23 (Michael Jordan’s number during the prime of his career) years ago. The Air Jordan 6 (1991) got new colorways last year, the Air Jordan 7 this year, and more Air Jordan 8s will be released later this year and early next year (1993).
In spite of the fact that eBay takes roughly 10% of the final price, many sneaker buyers and sellers prefer to work directly with PayPal. Selling sneakers for $100 via PayPal invoice or $100 via PayPal friends/family is common on social media. Because no one wants their eBay account suspended for promoting PayPal deals, many eBay sellers will simply state “Message me for a better price.”
Pro Tip: PayPal invoices protect buyers well, but gifting or using Google Wallet does not. Unless you're certain the seller is legitimate, only use invoiced goods/services payments.
Kanye West and his sneakers are known as Yeezys. The rapper's first two Yeezys were made by Nike before switching to Adidas. Everything Yeezy-related will be significantly more expensive (and therefore have significantly more fakes made). Not only is the Nike Air Yeezy 2 “Red October” one of the most sought-after sneakers, but the Yeezy influence can be seen everywhere.
Pro Tip: If you're going to buy Yeezys, make sure you buy them from a reputable retailer or reseller. With so many fakes out there, it's not worth spending a grand on something you're not 100% sure is real.
Regardless of how visually repulsive, uncomfortable, and/or impractical a sneaker is, if it’s rare enough, people will still want it. GR stands for General Release, which means they're usually available at retail. Reselling a “Limited Edition” release is costly. Supply and demand, but in this case, the limited supply drives up demand. If you want to get some of the colorways made for rappers, NBA players (Player Exclusive or PE models), and other celebrities, be prepared to pay a premium.
Pro Tip: Limited edition sneakers, like the annual Doernbecher Freestyle sneakers Nike creates with kids from Portland's Doernbecher Children's Hospital, will always be more expensive and limited. Or, you can use automated sneaker-buying software.
A “grail” is a pair of sneakers that someone desires above all others. To obtain their personal grails, people are willing to pay significantly more than the retail price. There doesn't have to be any rhyme or reason why someone chose a specific pair as their grails.
Pro Tip: For those who don't have them, the OG "Bred" or "Royal" Air Jordan 1s, the "Concord" Air Jordan 11s, etc., are all grails.
Anything released in “Bred” (black and red) will sell out quickly. Most resale Air Jordans (and other sneakers) come in the Bred colorway, which is a fan favorite. Bred is a good choice for a first colorway, especially on a solid sneaker silhouette.
Pro Tip: Apart from satisfying the world's hypebeasts, Bred sneakers will probably match a lot of your closet.
DS = Deadstock = New. That's it. If something has been worn or tried on, it is no longer DS. Very Near Deadstock (VNDS) Pass As Deadstock It's a cute way of saying your sneakers have been worn but are still in good shape. In the sneaker world, “worn” means they are no longer new, but not too old or beat up.
Pro Tip: Ask for photos of any marks or defects to see what you’re getting before you buy used shoes, also find out if they come with the original box and extra laces, because that can be a sign that they’re in better shape.
The words “Unauthorized,” “Replica,” “B-grades,” and “Super Perfect” all mean the shoes are fake. It means they aren't made by the actual company, no matter how close or how good the quality. If that's what you want, go ahead and get them. Do not wear them if you do not want the rest of the sneaker world to mock them.
Pro Tip: If you’re not sure if shoes are real or not, do a “Legit Check” on Twitter or Facebook. You'll get dozens of responses in no time.
10 months ago
An Average Day in the Life of a 25-Year-Old -A Rich Man's At-Home Unemployed Girlfriend
And morning water bottle struggles.
Welcome to my TikTok, where I share my stay-at-home life! I'll show you my usual day from morning to night.
I rise early to prepare my guy iced coffee. I make matcha, my favorite drink. I also fill our water bottles, which takes time and effort, so I record and describe the procedure. As you see me perform the unthinkable by putting a water bottle in a soda machine, you'll see my magnificent but unowned condo. My lover has everything, including:
In the living room, a sizable velvet alabaster divan. I was unable to use the words white or sofa in place of alabaster or a divan since they are insufficiently elegant and do not adequately convey how opulent the item is. The price tag on the divan was another huge feature; I'm sure my lover wouldn't purchase any furniture for less than $20k because it would be beneath him.
A plush Swiss coffee-colored Tabriz carpet. Once more, white is a color associated with the underclass; for us, the wealthy, it's alabaster or swiss coffee. Sorry, my boyfriend is wealthy; I'm truly in the same situation. And yet, I’m the one whos freeloading off of him, not you haha!
Soft translucent powder is the hue of the vinyl wallcoverings. I merely made up the name of that hue, but I have to maintain the online character I've established. There is no room for adopting language typical of peasant people; I must reiterate that I am wealthy while they are not.
I rest after filling our water bottles. I'm really fatigued from chores. My boyfriend is skeptical about hiring a housekeeper and cook. Does he assume I'm a servant or maid? I can't be overly demanding or throw a tantrum since he may replace me with a younger version. Leonardo Di Caprio's fault!
After the break, I bring my lover a water bottle. He's off to work with my best wishes. After cleaning the shower, I text my BF saying I broke a nail. He charged $675 for a crystal-topped shellac manicure. Lucky me!
After this morning's crazy choirs, especially the water bottle one, I'm famished. I dress quickly and go to the neighborhood organic-vegan-gluten-free-sugar-free-plasma-free-GMO-free-HBO-free breakfast place. Most folks can't afford $17.99 for a caffeine-free-mushroom-plus-mud-and-electrolytes morning beverage. It goes nicely with my matcha. Eggs Benedict cost $68. English muffins are off-limits. I can't make myself obese. My partner said he'd swap me for a 19-year-old Eastern European if I keep eating bacon.
I leave no tip since tipping is too much pressure and math for me, so I go shopping.
My shopping adventures have gotten monotonous. 47 designer bags and 114 bag covers Birkins need their own luggage. My babies! I've never caught my BF with a baby. I have sleeping medications and a turkey baster. Tatiana is much younger and thinner than me, so I can't lose him to her. The goal is to become a stay-at-home wife shortly. A turkey baster is essential.
After spending $955 on La Mer lotions and getting a crystal manicure, I nap. Before my boyfriend's return, I can nap for 5 hours.
I wake up around 4 pm — it’s time to prepare dinner. Yes, I said “prepare for dinner,” not “prepare dinner.” I have crystals on my nails! Do you really think I would cook? No way.
My husband's arrival still requires much work. I clean the kitchen, get cutlery and napkins. I order UberEats while my BF is 30-45 minutes away.
Wagyu steaks with Matsutake mushroom soup today. I pick desserts for my lover but not myself. Eastern European threat?
When my BF gets home from work, we eat. I don't believe in tipping UberEats drivers. If he wants to appreciate life's finer things, he should locate a rich woman.
After eating, we plan our getaway. I requested Aruba's fanciest hotel for winter and expect a butler. We're bickering over who gets the butler. We may need two.
Day's end, I'm exhausted. Stay-at-home girlfriends put in a lot of time and work. Work and duties are never-ending.
Before bed, I shower and use a liquid gold mask in my 27-step makeup procedure. It's a French luxury brand, not La Mer.
Here's my day.
Note: I like satire and absurd trends. Stay-at-home-girlfriend TikTok videos have become popular recently.
I don't shame or support such agreements; I'm just an observer. Thanks for reading.
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7 months ago
Why Bitcoin NFTs Are Incomprehensible yet Likely Here to Stay
I'm trying to understand why Bitcoin NFTs aren't ready.
Ordinals, a new Bitcoin protocol, has been controversial. NFTs can be added to Bitcoin transactions using the protocol. They are not tokens or fungible. Bitcoin NFTs are transaction metadata. Yes. They're not owned.
In January, the Ordinals protocol allowed data like photos to be directly encoded onto sats, the smallest units of Bitcoin worth 0.00000001 BTC, on the Bitcoin blockchain. Ordinals does not need a sidechain or token like other techniques. The Ordinals protocol has encoded JPEG photos, digital art, new profile picture (PFP) projects, and even 1993 DOOM onto the Bitcoin network.
Ordinals inscriptions are permanent digital artifacts preserved on the Bitcoin blockchain. It differs from Ethereum, Solana, and Stacks NFT technologies that allow smart contract creators to change information. Ordinals store the whole image or content on the blockchain, not just a link to an external server, unlike centralized databases, which can change the linked image, description, category, or contract identifier.
So far, more than 50,000 ordinals have been produced on the Bitcoin blockchain, and some of them have already been sold for astronomical amounts. The Ethereum-based CryptoPunks NFT collection spawned Ordinal Punk. Inscription 620 sold for 9.5 BTC, or $218,000, the most.
Segwit and Taproot, two important Bitcoin blockchain updates, enabled this. These protocols store transaction metadata, unlike Ethereum, where the NFT is the token. Bitcoin's NFT is a sat's transaction details.
What effects do ordinary values and NFTs have on the Bitcoin blockchain?
Ordinals will likely have long-term effects on the Bitcoin Ecosystem since they store, transact, and compute more data.
Charges Ordinals introduce scalability challenges. The Bitcoin network has limited transaction throughput and increased fees during peak demand. NFTs could make network transactions harder and more expensive. Ordinals currently occupy over 50% of block space, according to Glassnode.
One of the protocols that supported Ordinals Taproot has also seen a huge uptick:
Taproot use increases block size and transaction costs.
This could cause network congestion but also support more L2s with Ordinals-specific use cases. Dune info here.
Storage Needs The Bitcoin blockchain would need to store more data to store NFT data directly. Since ordinals were introduced, blocksize has tripled from 0.7mb to over 2.2mb, which could increase storage costs and make it harder for nodes to join the network.
Use Case Diversity On the other hand, NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain could broaden Bitcoin's use cases beyond storage and payment. This could expand Bitcoin's user base. This is two-sided. Bitcoin was designed to be trustless, decentralized, peer-to-peer money.
Chain to permanently store NFTs as ordinals will change everything.
Popularity rise This new use case will boost Bitcoin appeal, according to some. This argument fails since Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency. Popularity doesn't require a new use case. Cryptocurrency adoption boosts Bitcoin. It need not compete with Ethereum or provide extra benefits to crypto investors. If there was a need for another chain that supports NFTs (there isn't), why would anyone choose the slowest and most expensive network? It appears contradictory and unproductive.
Nonetheless, holding an NFT on the Bitcoin blockchain is more secure than any other blockchain, but this has little utility.
Bitcoin NFTs are undoubtedly controversial. NFTs are strange and perhaps harmful to Bitcoin's mission. If Bitcoin NFTs are here to stay, I hope a sidechain or rollup solution will take over and leave the base chain alone.
9 months ago
The survival and demise of Y Combinator startups
I've written a lot about Y Combinator's success, but as any startup founder or investor knows, many startups fail.
Rebel Fund invests in the top 5-10% of new Y Combinator startups each year, so we focus on identifying and supporting the most promising technology startups in our ecosystem. Given the power law dynamic and asymmetric risk/return profile of venture capital, we worry more about our successes than our failures. Since the latter still counts, this essay will focus on the proportion of YC startups that fail.
Since YC's launch in 2005, the figure below shows the percentage of active, inactive, and public/acquired YC startups by batch.
As more startups finish, the blue bars (active) decrease significantly. By 12 years, 88% of startups have closed or exited. Only 7% of startups reach resolution each year.
YC startups by status after 12 years:
Half the startups have failed, over one-third have exited, and the rest are still operating.
In venture investing, it's said that failed investments show up before successful ones. This is true for YC startups, but only in their early years.
Below, we only present resolved companies from the first chart. Some companies fail soon after establishment, but after a few years, the inactive vs. public/acquired ratio stabilizes around 55:45. After a few years, a YC firm is roughly as likely to quit as fail, which is better than I imagined.
I prepared this post because Rebel investors regularly question me about YC startup failure rates and how long it takes for them to exit or shut down.
Early-stage venture investors can overlook it because 100x investments matter more than 0x investments.
YC founders can ignore it because it shouldn't matter if many of their peers succeed or fail ;)
1 year ago
2 NFT-based blockchain games that could soar in 2022
NFTs look ready to rule 2022, and the recent pivot toward NFT utility in P2E gaming could make blockchain gaming this year’s sector darling.
After the popularity of decentralized finance (DeFi) came the rise of nonfungible tokens (NFTs), and to the surprise of many, NFTs took the spotlight and now remain front and center with the highest volume in sales occurring at the start of January 2022.
Nearly 50% of active cryptocurrency wallets connected to decentralized applications in November were for playing games. The percentage of wallets linked to decentralized finance, or DeFi, dapps fell to 45% during the same period, after months of being the leading dapp use case.
Blockchain play-to-earn (P2E) game Axie infinity skyrocketed and kicked off a gaming craze that is expected to continue all throughout 2022. Crypto pundits and gaming advocates have high expectations for P2E blockchain-based games and there’s bound to be a few sleeping giants that will dominate the sector.
Let’s take a look at five blockchain games that could make waves in 2022.
The inspiration for DeFi Kingdoms came from simple beginnings — a passion for investing that lured the developers to blockchain technology. DeFi Kingdoms was born as a visualization of liquidity pool investing where in-game ‘gardens’ represent literal and figurative token pairings and liquidity pool mining.
As shown in the game, investors have a portion of their LP share within a plot filled with blooming plants. By attaching the concept of growth to DeFi protocols within a play-and-earn model, DeFi Kingdoms puts a twist on “playing” a game.
Built on the Harmony Network, DeFi Kingdoms became the first project on the network to ever top the DappRadar charts. This could be attributed to an influx of individuals interested in both DeFi and blockchain games or it could be attributed to its recent in-game utility token JEWEL surging.
JEWEL is a utility token that allows users to purchase NFTs in-game buffs to increase a base-level stat. It is also used for liquidity mining to grant users the opportunity to make more JEWEL through staking.
JEWEL is also a governance token that gives holders a vote in the growth and evolution of the project. In the past four months, the token price surged from $1.23 to an all-time high of $22.52. At the time of writing, JEWEL is down by nearly 16%, trading at $19.51.
Surging approximately 1,487% from its humble start of $1.23 four months ago in September, JEWEL token price has increased roughly 165% this last month alone, according to data from CoinGecko.
Guild of Guardians
Guild of Guardians is one of the more anticipated blockchain games in 2022 and it is built on ImmutableX, the first layer-two solution built on Ethereum that focuses on NFTs. Aiming to provide more access, it will operate as a free-to-play mobile role-playing game, modeling the P2E mechanics.
Similar to blockchain games like Axie Infinity, Guild of Guardians in-game assets can be exchanged. The project seems to be of interest to many gamers and investors with its NFT founder sale and token launch generating nearly $10 million in volume.
Launching its in-game token in October of 2021, the Guild of Guardians (GOG) tokens are ERC-20 tokens known as ‘gems’ inside the game. Gems are what power key features in the game such as minting in-game NFTs and interacting with the marketplace, and are available to earn while playing.
For the last month, the Guild of Guardians token has performed rather steadily after spiking to its all-time high of $2.81 after its launch. Despite the token being down over 50% from its all-time high, at the time of writing, some members of the community are looking forward to the possibility of staking and liquidity pools, which are features that tend to help stabilize token prices.