Ben's List

Ben Costantini
Ben Costantini
Ben's List

10 articles, books and podcasts to become more productive, grow your community and understand the latest fashion trends in China.

Ok, the US election provided plenty of distractions, which got me to thinking about improving our focus with Selected by Sesamers. I guess it's quite normal to try many different ideas when you're launching a new product but it comes at the expense of performance. We're a small team and we always need to be cautious about the time we spend on new ideas and offerings.

A key aspect of our work is to keep engaging with our audience further. It's hard to build a community and it doesn't scale well. At least in the beginning. While we have over 20,000 active subscribers on Startup Sesame's newsletter, our community - and if you're reading this you're probably one of its members - is around 200 people - so 1% of our total audience. David Spinks and The Most Famous Artist tell us more the business of communities.

This week's reading list covers several resources:

  • That will help you build a better content business
  • How to lead your team to a distraction-free environment and ensure everyone remains productive when working from home is the norm.
  • What's hot in Climate Tech and
  • How to become a better moderator.

There also a few fashion and science gems that I just too good to not share. Did you know Cyberpunk fashion has become BIG among the Chinese Gen Zers?


With a systematic approach, author Steph Smith walks you through her best practices on how to set up, create, and scale content on the interwebs.

If you're reading this, clearly, some of them are working.

Standing Out in 2020: Doing Content Right
Currently sold: 1749 copiesThe Internet has created an age of infinite leverage. Anyone can reach thousands (if not millions) of people in a matter of months. But with easy access comes competition. So the question becomes: how do you build a successful blog in a world where millions of other people…


In this podcast, NFX General Partner James Currier sits down with Nir Eyal, author of Hooked and Indistractable to analyze what high performing teams are doing right in a world full of distractions.

The Psychology of Focus: How Great Teams Find Traction Amid Distraction

Working from home used to be the dream. Now that we're 9+ months into it, it's pluses and minuses are starting to become quite apparent. How do you best keep your teams focused and on track with the distractions of home life?

How to Build a High-Performing Remote Team During a Pandemic
For many of us in tech, we’re going 9+ months strong working from home. We miss seeing colleagues in person, there may be distractions galore in a home office, and there’s no clear end in sight. How can leaders keep employees engaged and effective during these challenging times?

Venture Capital

If the U.S. Presidential election showed us nothing else, Climate Change is now back on the agenda at The White House. It's on The Valley's list too.‌

Why investors are betting on Silicon Valley’s second climate boom
Silicon Valley stands on the brink of another potential renewable energy boom, but investors are nervous about the next big bust.


“Authenticity consists in having a true and lucid consciousness of the situation, in assuming the responsibilities and risks that it involves, in accepting it in pride or humiliation, sometimes in horror and hate.” — Jean Paul Sartre

This says it all.

The Building in Public How-To Guide
At Chapter One, we like to say we invest in cults. But what does that really mean? Here are a few examples from our portfolio: Cults, excellent marketing, or simply a strong brand community — call it…


"The only way to scale community is to distribute control; it’s empowering others to take on roles of leadership in order to grow." - David Spinks.‌

David Spinks: Building Community with Business (and Belonging) in Mind
This is your Community, Daily.

Niche. It's a thing. Matt lays out a road to a $1M ARR in 12 months.

How to Build a Niche Community to $1,128,306 ARR in 12 Months.
Yesterday the TMFA Community made $3,091.25 in 24 hours. In theory, 12 months from now, my community will generate $1,128,306.25 in annual reoccurring revenue, and I will be free to do and make whatever the fuck I want. Amen.

Much like a number of you, I'm always looking for ways to be a better communicator and especially, a moderator. Preparing for my session with Dr. Jen Schradie for the Selected Salon, I picked up some great tips from Matt Abrahams.


A self fulfilling prophecy? China's Gen Z is embracing the Cyberpunk aesthetic, and turned the original cynical cultural expression into a symbol of social progress and techno glamor. And brands are jumping on board

Why Is Post-COVID China Embracing A Cyberpunk Aesthetic?


Holographic models for the very early Universe are compared against cosmological observations and found to be in line with the standard cold dark matter model with a cosmological constant of cosmology.

In other words, we MIGHT be living in a hologram. 🤯

From Planck Data to Planck Era: Observational Tests of Holographic Cosmology
We test a class of holographic models for the very early Universe against cosmological observations and find that they are competitive to the standard cold dark matter model with a cosmological constant ($\mathrm{\ensuremath{\Lambda}}\mathrm{CDM}$) of cosmology. These models are based on three-dimen…

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