The Profile: The Apple CEO going all in on VR & the trans kids transitioning back
This edition of The Profile features Tim Cook, Ben Armstrong, and others.
Good morning, friends!
When my friend Ana Lorena Fabrega (you may remember her from our interview) sent me a manuscript of her book, The Learning Game, I was so excited to dig in. It’s a book all about rethinking the current education model and offering strategies to help kids think for themselves.
I learned so much from it, but there is one sentence that I haven’t forgotten since the day that I read it. In the acknowledgements section, Ana thanks her husband Fernando, and writes, “And, most of all, [thank you to] my husband Fernando, whose shining intellect and editing has elevated my work, and whose faith gives me hope that I might one day become the person he is convinced I have always been.”
That line — ”I might one day become the person he is convinced I have always been” — stopped me in my tracks. When you actually think about it, it’s such a beautiful sentiment. Fernando sees her as the best version of herself, even if she doesn’t always see it the same way.
Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I wanted to share this with you because it doesn’t just apply to romantic partnerships. It applies to any relationship.
If you surround yourself with people who see you as the best, most complete version of yourself, you can then spend your time proving them right and living up to that aspirational self on a daily basis. If you spend your time with people who are constantly criticizing you and putting you down, then you get further and further away from that ideal self.
And like Ana said, we don’t always believe we are that higher version. For instance, I don’t feel like “myself” on days where I am overwhelmed, haven’t had enough sleep, or didn’t make time to exercise. And that’s OK.
But here’s the beautiful part: On the days when I feel subpar, my husband gently reminds me of who I really am (when I’ve had enough sleep), and he doesn’t judge me on my worst days.
And by the way, it’s easy to start identifying with your dark side: the one who nitpicks, gets angry, acts irritated. But you need someone in your life who reminds you of who you really are and moves you toward that version instead.
As one Profile reader told me, “Challenge each other to be better mentally, physically, and spiritually. If you are slacking in any of those areas, then your other half has a duty to tell you — and you shouldn't defensively shut it down.”
If you’re in a supportive partnership, one of your main goals should be to help the other person grow into the best version of themselves. And they should aim to do the same for you.
— The Apple CEO going all in on VR [**HIGHLY RECOMMEND**]
— The crypto influencer who lost it all
— The trans kids transitioning back
— The ‘meme-lord’ who revealed his true identity
— The TV network cashing in on love
— The company that made a cup go viral
PEOPLE TO KNOW.
The Apple CEO going all in on VR: Inside Apple Park, Apple CEO Tim Cook talks about the genesis of a “mind-blowing” new device that could change the way we live and work. “My experience was religious,” says legendary director James Cameron. But the question remains — Will your average iPhone user drop $3,500 on a headset? (Vanity Fair; if you can’t access the article, try this link.)
“I’ve known for years we would get here. I didn’t know when, but I knew that we would arrive here.”
The crypto influencer who lost it all: Ben Armstrong, better known as BitBoy, was once the most popular cryptocurrency YouTuber in the world. He filmed a livestream five days a week in which he lectured his hundreds of thousands of listeners on the virtues of experimental coins with names like Polkadot or XRP. Two years later,Armstrong, 41, has lost his production company and much of his wealth. His friends have turned on him, and his wife has filed for divorce. (The New York Times; if you can’t access this article, try this link.)
“Ben lost track of the person he used to be.”
The trans kids transitioning back: Transgender activists have pressed for a treatment orthodoxy that has faced increased scrutiny in recent years. Under that model of care, clinicians are expected to affirm a young person’s assertion of gender identity and even provide medical treatment before, or even without, exploring other possible sources of distress. Meet the de-transitioners. (The New York Times; if you can’t access this article, try this link.)
“In front of my son, the therapist said, ‘Do you want a dead son or a live daughter?’”
The ‘meme-lord’ who revealed his true identity: For several years, Hank Medina has been posting under the Instagram meme account “litquidity.” Medina is soft-spoken and polite — the opposite of his Patrick Bateman-meets-enthusiastic junior analyst alter-ego. Here’s how he grew his brand from biting memes on the internet into a profitable portfolio of businesses and investments. (The Financial Times; if you can’t access this article, try this link.)
“I don’t think you’d ever know that it was him behind Litquidity, even if you met him or he told you point blank.”
COMPANIES TO WATCH.
The TV network cashing in on love: Since 2015 (when Hallmark started its own production arm), the Hallmark Channel has been filling a slot that used to hold date-night and slumber-party films like “The Bridges of Madison County” (1995), “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” (1998), “Bend It Like Beckham” (2002) and “The Notebook” (2004). Here’s how the Hallmark Channel “leaned into” Christmas and Valentine’s Day — and cashed in. (The New York Times; if you can’t access this article, try this link.)
“When more people are watching the Hallmark Channel than CNN, you know we’ve reached a new level of interpersonal isolation.”
The company that made a cup go viral: In the spring of 2020, Terence Reilly left his position as the chief marketing officer of Crocs, the footwear brand, and became the president of the beverage-container manufacturer Stanley. In his short tenure at Stanley, Reilly flipped an established brand into a digital-content machine that made a cup into a viral sensation. (The New Yorker; if you can’t access this article, try this link.)
“We were the seventy-million-dollar sleepy little brand known for the hammertone green bottle.”
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