The Longform is a weekly newsletter that curates the best longform pieces from around the web, with a focus on business, technology, and innovation. If you haven't already, you can subscribe here.
📖 Top longform articles
Gods in the Machine (~10min): India went into lockdown in late March to attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. So what happens to the 1B+ religious citizens in the country when they are barred from visiting temples, mosques, churches, and other places of worship? Chris Newens at Rest of World walks us through the explosive growth of VR Devotee, a livestreaming / virtual reality platform that went from 15K visits/week to 5M visits/week when COVID-19 hit.
⭐In defense of the IPO, and how to improve it (~15min): From Google's Dutch auction in 2004 to Spotify's direct listing in 2018 and Virgin Galactic's SPAC in 2019, alternative mechanisms for taking companies public have become more popular than the traditional IPO. Alex Rampell and Scott Kupor at Andreessen Horowitz walk readers through the typical IPO process, how it compares to alternatives, and how it can be improved.
More: SPAC Man Begins
💻 Top new technology
⭐Logseq: Networked thought is all the rage - with the most notable frontrunner (Roam Research) reaching $1M in annual revenue less than a month after launching their paid plan. Logseq is an alternative that is surprisingly feature-rich for a project that's only a few months old. It uniquely hosts users' notes on their own personal Github accounts, uses open document standards (preventing vendor lock-in), and will be open sourced once it enters beta in a few months.
More: Networked thought is not easy to explain. Keep Productive's page on Roam has a great set of resources to learn what it's about and why it's cool.
👀 Other interesting content
Healthcare is Dumb: Healthcare in the US is confusing and expensive, and there's no simpler evidence of that than this website. It's a simple table of ~100 universities, their tuition costs, and their insurance plans. It is predicated on the fact that group plans for university students tend to be cheaper than personal insurance plans - so much cheaper than they more than offset the cost of university tuition itself.
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