Money Buys Happiness
Tings Newsletter #9
Who am I? I’m Michael Karnjanaprakorn. I was previously the founder of Skillshare and Otis. Now taking some time off before the next thing. Every month, I send out a newsletter about life, money, and random tings. Subscribe here.
Money Buys Happiness. We’ve been told that happiness doesn’t increase above $75,000. But, there’s new research that shows that “well-being rises with income (and doesn’t plateau)."
We need to shake the stigma that money is a bad thing. I’m not saying that money solves all our problems. But used correctly, it can provide freedom & optionality up the chain. (And a life of less stress).
It's not about buying a new Rolex or going on Instagram-worthy vacations. Having money allows you to become financially independent, which gives you ultimate freedom on how to spend your time. The ability to do what you want, when you want, is one of the biggest factors to being happy.
So, what’s the right amount? According to Jason Calacanis: “a) couple of million, you’re good; b) $10M, FU MONEY, and c) $25M+ you’re dangerous AF. Anything above that, who cares…”
I would tweak this to a) <$5M if you live in a small town; b) $10M if you live in a medium-sized town like Phoenix and c) $20M+ if you live in a major city like NYC. If you earn ~5% on $5M, that’s $250K in passive income.
But money usually has diminishing returns after a certain amount. IMO, the goal shouldn't be to make as much money as possible. But to make enough to have an awesome life doing whatever you want to do that makes you happy! You still have to do the hard work to figure out what makes you happy to reach self-actualization.
Or, reworded by Mark Manson: “Money doesn’t buy happiness, it buys away unhappiness.”
We just launched our best Youtube episode yet. We break down how Sean O’Malley (UFC fighter) can create his version of Conor McGregor's Proper 12 Irish Whiskey (acquired for $600 million) by putting people to sleep.
Speaking of Youtube, the new Descript is a magical experience. This is the future of video editing and it’s one of the best products I’ve ever used. You can edit the transcript to edit the video. Remove “uhms” automagically. And use AI to generate audio in your own voice! 🤯
“AI has been overpowering humans in adversarial games, like Chess or Go, for a while. Now it is successfully outperforming humans at Diplomacy, as well as strategic lying. What’s next?” This is cray. (h/t Medhi Yacoubi)
I finally got my Youtube home studio setup! Here’s what I went with: Sony ZV-E10 (camera with 16-50mm lens), Rode Podcaster Pro (microphone), Amaran 200x (lights) with Aputure Light Dome SE (softbox), Elgato Wave XLR (mixer), and Rode NTH-100 (headphones).
Startup studios are making a comeback and they’re working. Fractal is on pace to launch 100 companies in less than two years. I can see this model becoming more and more successful over time.
Most companies follow a typical lifecycle. After they peak, it’s a slow descent to death unless they continue to reinvent themselves. This is much harder than it sounds and the secret to why some companies last decades, instead of years.
I just turned 40. My goal is for my biological age to be that of a healthy 30-year-old. And my mental age to have the wisdom of a 50-year-old.
Looks like Bryan Johnson is doing this. In 2021, he reduced his age by 5.1 years in 7 months (world record). If you are curious about your epigenetic age, you can get it tested through TruAge.
Here is a thorough list of the common types of defense mechanisms. This stuck out to me: “the high cost of using a defense mechanism is a corresponding decrease in self-awareness and emotional intelligence.”
I’m a big fan of Yung Pueblo. I would describe him as a modern-day philosopher. His new book *Lighter* debuted at #1 on the NYT bestseller list. Great read on self-healing, creating healthy relationships, and really understanding yourself.
Barbarian is a great horror film. Had me on the edge of my seat. Lots of twists and turns. This is an interview about the creative process with the writer and director.
"Golden Hour” is the song of the year for me. If Alicia Keys met Frank Ocean… that's JVKE. This song will send chills down your spine.
This story was touching to me. We've also been fostering a Pit Bull Terrier over the Holidays. I get it now!
That's a wrap for this issue.
Have a great Holidays ☃️