The Deadwight Loss of Thanksgiving Dinner Potlucks

I’m not one of these people who complains about the deadweight loss of Christmas. If you want to get all homo economicus, presents are a valuable signal: finding out how well someone really knows you is hard (expensive), whereas buying a book or even a TV is easy (cheap). Potlucks, on the other hand, bug me to no end.

Cooking has obvious economies of scale: cooking ten times as much of a dish takes perhaps twice as long; and cooking ten times as many dishes has about the same overhead, because so much can be done in parallel (and the relative overhead is even lower, if you consider cleanup time). Having each person prepare a single dish is the most inefficient possible way to go about it. Furthermore, not everyone has the same aptitude for cooking: division of labor, people! Worse yet, each person inevitably brings at least one dish or dessert that’s large enough to feed five or ten people (and oftentimes more than one), so there’s an order of magnitude food than necessary, much of which goes to waste (leftovers aren’t as good as freshly made food, so this is lossy even if the food gets eaten).

P.S. If you’re in Austin, and want some leftover pie (apple, pecan, or pumpkin), cake (chocolate), side dishes (green bean casserole, stuffing, or gravy), meat (turkey or chicken), or meat substitute (seitan or tofu) let me know.

The Deadwight Loss of Thanksgiving Dinner Potlucks

Y Combinator Application: Spamr

Last Thursday, reported that Alexey Tolstokozhev, the spammer responsible for a third of all viagra and penis enlargement spam was killed; he made about $2 million dollars a year.

My first thought was: what a great business opportunity! A third of the market is ripe for the picking. This is the second Russian spammer to be killed in two years. All we have to do is hire security and live in a country where people are rarely assassinated, and we’ll clean up.¬†Unfortunately, it was a hoax; so much for our application.

What’s new about what you’re¬†doing?

We plan to hire bodyguards. Also, we might try to generate natural language output that can avoid Bayesian filters. But mostly, we’ll concentrate on avoiding assassination.

What do you understand about your business that other companies in it just don’t get?

Being assassinated is bad.

How will you make money?

1. Spam

2. ???

3. Profit

Continue reading “Y Combinator Application: Spamr”

Y Combinator Application: Spamr