Simulations, SAFEs, and China beats America in AI patents

Editor’s Note

The most consistent feedback we have gotten from Extra Crunch members is that I write too much, and the Daily emails are too long for mortals (and apparently my mother) to read.

This is great feedback: a huge focus for Extra Crunch is to create signal from noise. To that end, we are experimenting with a new format of the Daily starting today that’s focused on keeping you up-to-date on Extra Crunch, as well as broadening your perspective outside the Silicon Valley bubble.

Have questions, concerns, feedback, anything? Reply to me here, or email me at

From Extra Crunch

  • Are we living in a simulation? Twenty years after The Matrix opened our eyes (okay, sort of), the question is more relevant than ever. Rizwan Virk, the head of Play Labs @ MIT, gives us a deep look at this question from his new book The Simulation Hypothesis. This is a heady and deep form essay, so save it and savor it.
  • SAFEs are getting complicated. Now there are pre- and post-money varieties, and all that means more challengers for founders. Here’s a guide on how to parse the pros and cons.
  • We will have a second conference call this week on Friday with Lucas Matney and Eric Peckham talking about the trends coming out of the Game Developers Conference. Stay tuned for specific times and dial-in numbers.

Wide Angle

Stories from outside the 280/101 corridor

Photo by Hiroshi Watanabe via Getty Images

  • China just beat the US in AI patent filings. Quality not quantity, blah blah blah, but competition in this category is absolutely keen.
  • Russia is cracking down on the internet. Despite American impressions, the Russian internet has been fairly free compared to other mass media, but that is now changing with this new “fake news” law.
  • Great media deep dive into Wired. Paywalls, native apps, email newsletter performance, events — good insights and numbers here.