Trung Phan Profile picture
Smart threads. Dumb memes. Creating with @workweekinc. Co-host @niapodcast. Bloomberg Opinion. Sign up for my very free newsletter:
Tough Trader Profile picture Matthew 𝕊t◎tts 🇺🇸☀️ Profile picture Cameron Priest Profile picture Dr Bob Profile picture Kirtan Patel Profile picture 102 added to My Authors
Jun 29 16 tweets 7 min read
You’ve prob seen a viral clip of 2 shirtless men building an underground mud swimming pool with hands and primitive tools.

It’s a whole YouTube genre and there are a number of similar channels based in Southeast Asia w/ 5B+ views.

Who are these creators?

It’s a weird story🧵 Here’s an excerpt of the clip. It’s set in the Cambodian jungle and comes from a YouTube channel called “Mr. Heang Update”.

In a 20-minute time-lapsed video, 2 men turn a patch of mud into a glorious underground hut and pool.

There’s isn’t much talking (some grunts).
Jun 24 20 tweets 9 min read
In 1998, Marvel offered Sony the film rights to all of its characters for $25m.

Sony only wanted Spider-Man and cut a deal for $10m.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has since grossed $30B+. And Sony’s desire to build its own universe is how we got Morbius.

Here’s the story🧵 In 1962, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko make Spider-Man for Marvel’s “Amazing Fantasy # 15” comic.

Spidey is among 300+ characters that Lee creates.

By the mid-1980s, Marvel IP licensing takes off. In 1986, a film studio (New World Pictures) acquires the entire Marvel biz for $48m.
Jun 22 4 tweets 2 min read
🤯🤯🤯 Image Explainer reddit.com/r/interestinga… ImageImage
Jun 15 13 tweets 7 min read
Rainbolt is a pro Google Maps player.

He can guess the location of a Google Street View after seeing it for 0.1 seconds. You may have seen his ridiculous skills in viral TikTok videos.

Here's how he does it🧵 Image For the uninitiated, here is @georainbolt working his geo-locating magic (it's insane).

So, what's the strategy?
Jun 10 21 tweets 8 min read
In 2013, Steph Curry had a breakout season while his 1st contract as a Nike athlete was up for renewal.

He left for Under Armour and since won 2 MVPs and 3 NBA titles.

Why did he leave? In part because Nike gave one of the worst business pitch meetings ever.

Here’s the story🧵 Let’s start the story in 2009.

The Golden State Warriors select Curry with the 7th pick in the NBA Draft. Curry just wrapped up a 3-year career at Davidson College, where he wore Nike shoes.

He also had a family connection to the company: his Godfather worked at Nike.
Jun 4 23 tweets 9 min read
Fred Franzia created Trader Joe's $2 wine (“Two Buck Chuck”).

He comes from a wine family but hated the pretentious industry. Comparing an $80 bottle to his $2 brand, he asked, "Do you get 40x the pleasure?”

It’s now sold 1B+ bottles and makes >$100m/year.

Here's the story🧵 For the uninitiated, Two Buck Chuck wine is stacked to the skies across Trader Joe's 500+ stores in the US.

The partnership started in 2002 and has crushed it:
◻️ 5m cases sold a year ($100m+)
◻️ 6k bottles per day in some stores
◻️ 12% of California's wine market by volume
Jun 2 4 tweets 2 min read
never forget that time Guy Fieri signed a Lean Cuisine frozen dinner and threw it into a crowd Don’t care what the haters say, @GuyFieri is the GOAT
May 28 22 tweets 11 min read
Flooding is an existential threat for Venice.

In the mid-1980s, the government initiated a plan to create a mobile dam to save the city.

After nearly 4 decades and $8B, the dam system — an engineering marvel called MOSE — is active and working (so far).

Here’s the story🧵 Image What is MOSE?

It’s a system of 78 metal barriers (20-30m long x 20m wide) built to block high tides from the shallow Venetian lagoon, which has an avg. depth of 1m (~3ft).

The English translation for MOSE (which alludes to Moses+Red Sea) is Experimental Electromechanical Model. ImageImageImageImage
May 27 5 tweets 3 min read
Love this clip of a pre-famous 26-year old Gordon Ramsay listening, taking orders and learning from a more experienced chef.

Paying his dues: Here’s Ramsay a few years later serving the same dish he learned (lobster ravioli) to Anthony Bourdain at his restaurant
May 23 4 tweets 2 min read
In November 2012, Mark Zuckerberg sent a cold email (below) to Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel.

Not long after, Facebook offered to buy Snap for $3B. Spiegel turned it down and — today — Snap is worth $25B+.

LESSON: Never accept offers from strangers on the internet. Image For more hard-hitting business history, check out my Saturday email: trungtphan.com/subscribe/

(Side note: Spiegel may be reconsidering that Zuck offer after Snap’s 30% after hours drop today) Image
May 21 18 tweets 8 min read
Citicorp Center was built in 1977.

Located in NY, it was the world's 7th tallest building but had a big structural flaw: a very strong storm wind could knock it over.

The expert architects had no idea, until an anonymous Princeton undergrad cold called them.

Here’s the story🧵 Today, the 59-story structure is called 601 Lexington Avenue.

The tower was originally built to house Citibank's headquarters and construction ran from 1974 to 1977 (it cost $175m and was later called Citigroup Center).

The 45-degree roof is a stand out in Manhattan's skyline.
May 18 4 tweets 2 min read
we will never financially recover from this Image Blame @JohnWRichKid for this. Either way, its incredible how much money this hot dog vendor makes:
May 4 17 tweets 7 min read
You've def heard of "The Hero's Journey", the narrative structure dating back to Homer's Odyssey in 7th ce BC.

A great way to learn the framework is comparing scene-by-scene images from 2 classic films of the story type: Star Wars + The Matrix. #MayThe4th

Here's a breakdown🧵 Image 0/ The "Hero's Journey" was coined by Joseph Campbell, an American literary prof.

He studied ancient myths and found many shared a similar character arc (AKA the "monomyth").

It follows 12 stages, with a hero venturing from an "ordinary world" to a "special world" and back. Image
May 3 6 tweets 2 min read
of course they wood Home Depot VC really nailed the first few investments pymnts.com/news/retail/20…
May 1 21 tweets 8 min read
In 2013, Dell Inc was a struggling PC and hardware firm. CEO Michael Dell took it private in a $25B buyout and turned it into an IT infrastructure + cloud giant (re-listing as Dell Technologies in 2018)

The $4B that Dell put up in the deal is now worth $40B.

Here's the story🧵 Image We start in 1984, when @MichaelDell was a freshman pre-med student at University of Texas.

He was not a typical student: The 19yo launched a company called PC's Limited with $1k, selling computers (assembled from stock parts) from his dorm room. It was soon making $80k a month. Image
Apr 29 5 tweets 2 min read
Amazon market cap fell $200B to $1.3T.

AWS itself is worth $1T.

This means the market is valuing Prime, 3rd-Party Seller, Fulfilment Centres, One-Click Checkout, 2-Day Shipping, Logistics, Ads, Marketplace, MGM, James Bond, The Hobbit and Hot Tub Time Machine at only $300B.🤯 Amazon's Ad Business has a $31B+ run rate and is already the 3rd biggest digital advertise in the world (behind Google/FB and passing MSFT a few years ago)

trungphan.substack.com/p/amazons-31b-…
Apr 29 6 tweets 2 min read
On Hacker News: Amazon employee w/ less than 3 years experience making $300k a year working 2 hours a week. Image I now need to find out if this is the same person as “I have 10 fully remote engineering jobs Hacker News guy”.

Sub to my newsletter for updates lol: trungtphan.com/subscribe/ Image
Apr 27 19 tweets 8 min read
Through the 2010s, investor Bill Hwang (via his hedge fund Archegos Capital) quietly built one of America's largest fortunes.

In March 2021, Archegos imploded and Hwang lost $20B in 2 days. Today, Feds charged him with fraud (manipulating markets).

Here's the insane story🧵 Image Born Sung Kook Hwang, Hwang moved from South Korea to America as a child. He grew up in a religious household (father = pastor, mother = missionary) and to very modest means.

He taught himself English working night shifts at McDonald's. Image
Apr 26 4 tweets 2 min read
Parag bagging $39m for 5 months of work. 10D Chess. Absolutely wild that the changeover was only in November!! trungphan.substack.com/p/jack-leaves-…
Apr 21 5 tweets 2 min read
CNN+ launched on March 29. It’s shutting down on April 30.

The company spent $300m on it.

That’s $9,375,000 a day. 😳 Image On a per day of existence, CNN+ burnt much more money than Quibi.

Writing more on this for my Saturday newsletter: trungtphan.com/subscribe/ Image
Apr 18 17 tweets 5 min read
WSJ reports that PE firm Apollo is participating in a bid for Twitter and that the social network is “in play”.

If true, this means Twitter is for sale and the Board’s duty narrows to one responsibility: maximize shareholder value (AKA get highest price).

Here’s a breakdown🧵 Quick refresher:

◻️ On Thurs, Elon offered to buy all of Twitter for $43B (he owns 9.1%)
◻️ On Sat, Twitter’s Board adopted a poison pill (if Elon owns 15%, existing shareholders get issued stock at a big discount and Elon’s stake gets diluted)