Julian Weisser

The Tinkerings of Robert Noyce (1983)

Tom Wolfe, author of The Right Stuff and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, focuses on Robert Noyce, co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel. It highlights the powerful combination of Midwest earnestness and Bay Area ambition.

The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved (1970)

The freakish outlier of my picks. This publication introduced gonzo journalism, a new writing style. I have a soft spot for Hunter S. Thompson. His extreme exaggeration of events somehow reaches a greater truth.

Levels: A Cultural Anomaly (2021)

I’ve seen over a thousand startups launch through ODF. Levels has a unique culture. Do you know another startup that records every internal meeting (including 1:1s) for all teammates to watch? How about a company that publishes all their year-old investor updates and weekly all hands sessions? The article delves into the company's operations. We recorded a podcast episode with co-founders Sam and Andrew (who met via ODF) about creating a new category — metabolic health. Listen in Matter to make audio highlights — I use this feature daily while running, it’s my favorite part of the app.

Silicon Valley Wants Dogs to Live Longer So Humans Can, Too (2021)

Ashlee Vance wrote the celebrated first biography of Elon. In this article for Wired, he examines Celine Halioua’s life extension efforts at her company Loyal. Celine is one of the most formidable founders I know. She’s a first-time founder in a highly-regulated field and overcoming frequently obstacles. Loyal recently received the FDA’s first-ever acceptance that a drug can be developed and approved to extend lifespan. This achievement has been described as “the most important milestone in the history of longevity biotech.” Here’s a bonus podcast we recorded with Celine.

The anti-VC success story: Chess.com (Podcast)

I don’t know what I like more about this podcast, the way Erik (Chess.com founder) shares his story of an earnest desire to build something that people love and do it his own way or the fact that Harry (VC) seems incredulous half the time during the interview. I expect we’ll see more successes like Chess.com in the years ahead and the world will benefit from founders carving alternative paths.

193 Arnold Schwarzenegger — Arnold’s First Autobiography — Founders Podcast (2020)

I’ve saved the best for last. This is perhaps the most consequential piece of media in my life. I listened to this at least once a week while on long runs for months during a challenging period in my life. Many impactful lessons and mental models. One relevant lesson is Arnold recounting how many at the gym looked like they hated being there and were whining about working out. His perspective was different: “all I would say is that I find joy in the gym because every rep and every set is getting me one step closer to my goal.”