Rian van der Merwe

Product manager • Designer • Speaker

The world of Amazon’s liquidation pallets for returned items is super weird:

On Amazon’s website, sophisticated sorting algorithms relentlessly rank and organize these products before they go out into the world, but once the goods return to the warehouse, they shake free of the database and become random objects thrown together into a box by fate. Most likely, never will this precise box of shit ever exist again in the world. On liquidation.com, each pallet’s manifest comes with suggested prices for each product in a pristine state. If you add them up, the “value” of the box might be $4,000, while the auction price might only come to $200.

If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I wonder what would happen if I made a lunch wrap out of yesterday’s breakfast sausage,” the answer is this:

Some solid travel tips from Khoi Vinh here. Especially this one:

Having status at an airline or hotel is nice, but ultimately the personal, intangible cost is much higher than the benefit. I’d much rather be at home with my family than flying business class to the other side of the world.

The title of this essay doesn’t do it justice. I’m a Little Too Fat, a Little Too Giving. I Think I Know Why. is a beautiful, heartbreaking, hopeful story that everyone should read.

When you give the best you have to someone in need, it translates into something much deeper to the receiver. It means that they are worthy.

Our neighborhood bar does this great thing called the “Socialist Bartender Program.” The owner goes out and buys a ridiculously expensive bottle of whisk{e}y every week, and then they sell 1.5 Oz pours to customers at cost price. It gives us an opportunity to try out whisk{e}ys that we would never be able to afford to buy for ourselves. Last night my wife and I shared a pour of this amazing 26-year old Islay Scotch.

I hope more neighborhood bars start doing this. It’s such a cool idea.

📍 Vintage Cocktail Lounge, Portland, OR

Some solid advice for founders and managers in Sam Altman’s How To Be Successful:

If everyone else is starting meme companies, and you want to start a gene-editing company, then do that and don’t second guess it.

Follow your curiosity. Things that seem exciting to you will often seem exciting to other people too.

The Process by Jen Meyers is the pep talk I need as I struggle with my own personal version of writer’s block:

The truth is that there is no Golden Idea. There are just ideas, and the work it takes to make them real.

🎵 Happy anniversary to Moanin’, one of the greatest jazz albums of all time:

“This is powerful stuff,” wrote the anonymous reviewer, correctly assessing one of Blakey’s most enduring recordings. “It all swings and it can move.”

Rachel Thomas in Tech’s long hours are discriminatory & counter-productive:

The tech industry’s obsession with ridiculously long hours is not only inaccessible to many disabled people and harmful to everyone’s health & relationships, but it is also contrary to research on productivity.

And this is why we do 4-day work weeks at Wildbit.

Coffee and reading.

📍Good Coffee, Portland, OR.