The central thesis of Snapshots is simple: if you look at anything with enough depth, it will be interesting. The essays here will usually cover technology companies, geopolitical strategy, and history (particularly post-World War US history).
Here are some pieces that I am particularly proud of:
Who Watches The Watchmen: What can a legal doctrine from the 80s teach us about the deep dynamism in a seemingly stagnant governmental system? Turn out, a lot. Read the more than 4000 words I wrote on the administrative state rather than go to therapy. You’ll learn about hidden pockets of political power, how interaction effects with various parts of the government can exacerbate a fundamental tension into a real problem, the lessons that you can learn about your own personal life from it, and more.
Crevices in the Rock: An exploration of why physical stores remain important in retail. The digital infrastructure available to an entrepreneur today enables anyone to get started with just an idea. Potential customers are jump a click away. But they are a click away for you, they are also a click away for your competitors. But long as companies need to grow up to become larger versions of themselves in search for the next best customer, physical storefronts will continue to be an attractive channel for acquiring those next best customers.
A two part series on The Power Broker by Robert Caro (part 1, part 2). Amongst the famous names associated with New York City, there is one name that is often forgotten in the popular imagination. A name which did as much, if not more, than names like Bloomberg, Trump, Vanderbilt, Kennedy and de Blasio to shape the modern city and state of New York. That name is Robert Moses. This two-parter tells his story.
Clear: A breakdown of Clear, the company responsible for those cute blue check-in kiosks at your local airport’s security checkpoint. Having linked identity and security in the one of the most regulated industries, Clear now wants to extend its reach into more mundane, but potentially larger and more lucrative ones. Hypothetically, the market could be anywhere where you have to stand in a line — a physical one or a digital one. That’s a broad expansion of the addressable market and underscores the ambition of the company.