😷 Masks: so hot right now

CoFounder Weekly #87: April 5, 2020

CoFounder Weekly is a newsletter about startup trends.

😷 Masks: so hot right now

🍍 Food for thought

👩‍💻 Startup corner

😹 Funnies

😷 Masks, so hot right now

Face masks are in! And for good reason.

If we won’t have a vaccine until 2021, as some say, wearing face masks in public spaces could be the key to containing the spread and ultimately allowing us to re-enter daily life, waving good bye to our sweatpant wearing, sourdough making, back-to-back-to-back Zooming, toilet paper stockpiling quarantined existence.

While Asian countries has adopted face masks since the SARS outbreak in 2003, there’s a stigma against them in the United States. Our president can’t find the words to actually endorse them.

But slowly, then quickly, we’ll adopt face masks. The CDC recently advised Americans to voluntarily wear face coverings. Meanwhile, Tech Twitter has launched a #masks4all campaign, adding masks to profile photos to advocate for and de-stigmatize face masks.

Soon, I’m hopeful there will be a wide range of face masks available — as DIY makers step up on Etsy and corporations shift their factory production.

But for now, there’s a mask shortage as supply chains are hanging on by a thread, and citizens are left to create or procure their own protection in unconventional ways.

N95 masks are the caviar of face masks.

They have the highest filtration efficiency. As such, they’re prioritized for healthcare workers. Citizens have been asked to donate N95s to local hospitals (Which leaves me wondering: Will there be a stigma if you go to the grocery store and see your neighbor bagging their produce wearing an N95?)

Luckily, it seems that non-N95 mask materials are pretty functional as well:

Since masks will be necessary for a period of time, will they become the next fashion accessory? After all, Billie Eilish wore a Gucci face mask at the Grammy’s this year, before COVID swept through the US.

Or check out this mask design by textile artist Maisie Broome, who is creating and donating masks made out of fabric scraps to her local NYC community.

And there will be plenty of other options, inspired by the likes of Burning Man to Joe Exotic.

I’m ready to wear a mask. Are you? (Extra points if you send a selfie).

🍍 Food for thought

👩‍💻 Startup corner

😹 Funnies

Sent from quarantine,


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☀️ Good afternoon

CoFounder Weekly #86: March 29, 2020

This week, we take a break from the tweet madness.

Enjoy these cartoons by Ueli.

Greg here 👋. As I was sifting through the news this week, it dawned on me: no one knows where we’re heading.

So instead of including tweets this week, here’s 8 questions I’m thinking about:

  • Will the US be able to “flatten the curve” without a nationwide lockdown? Won’t COVID cases inevitably spread from state to state?

  • What long-term impact will COVID have on the sharing economy (i.e. AirBnB, scooters)?

  • How long until conferences bounce back? Is the pivot to virtual conferences for real?

  • What happens when employees at essential businesses get sick?

  • Will service workers flock to online job platforms like Fiverr and Upwork?

  • Will small businesses receive federal funding in time to turn the lights back on?

  • Who is the voice of small business in the US?

  • Will Amazon inevitably be the big “winner” from this mess?


I would sincerely love to hear any of your have thoughts to any of the above, so please share!


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WFH 4 life

C̶o̶F̶o̶u̶n̶d̶e̶r̶ Covidly Weekly #85: March 22, 2020

CoFounder Weekly is a newsletter about startups and temporarily about Coronavirus.

💖 Do you know someone who should subscribe to CoFounder Weekly? Subscribe them here.

☣️ Coronavirus: What people are tweeting about (week 4)

Another crazy week.

Or was has it been a year?

Uncertainty is high — medically, economically, and psychologically.

You probably know someone who is sick, or have been sick yourself, or have a doctor friend who is short on supplies, or perhaps have a friend whose business’ fate is uncertain.

If you’re feeling uneasy, you’re not alone.

It kind of feels like we had to go through the five stages of grief to fully accept the gravity of COVID’s impact (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance).

The situation sucks.

There will be good days and bad days. Here’s to making today a good one!

Lets try to decode where we’re at:

Quarantine & Test is the new Netflix and Chill.

But will the US be able to lock things down as effectively as China?

Countries are taking different approaches…which can be a good thing.

Small businesses are getting crushed. Will government support come soon enough?

But we’re also seeing lots of promising initiatives from big business…

…and startups…

Frank Denbow @FrankDenbow
1/ LAUNCH: COVID Solutions
covidsolutions.org A vetted list of actionable solutions for COVID-19 impact that you can engage with right now. Made with 💕 in 🗽during 🦠 but we’re 💪 so its 📈 soon via @inflectionUM6B0

…and nimble small businesses.

There will certainly be some winners…

Meanwhile, what’s a startup to do?

And now, some funnies. Time to pour up a drink (reply back with what you’re sippin’).


Greg & Wiz

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What a week

C̶o̶F̶o̶u̶n̶d̶e̶r̶ Covidly Weekly #84: March 15, 2020

CoFounder Weekly is a newsletter about startups and temporarily about Coronavirus.

“There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen - Vladimir Lenin.

In uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to stay level-headed. It’s hard to stay cool, given how quickly our reality is changing. So if you’re reading this, remember to take a deep breath. Re-center. Laugh. Stress hurts the immune system. Here’s last week’s roundup, and here is the week before that.

💖 Do you know someone who should subscribe to CoFounder Weekly? Subscribe them here.

☣️ Coronavirus: What people are tweeting about (week 3)

The US isn’t moving fast enough.

There isn’t a clear plan how to react.

Here’s the clearest explanation we’ve seen explaining where we’re at and where we’re heading (25 min read). The true number of infected people in the US could be 20x-30x that what is currently reported due to lack of testing and minimal social distancing thus far.

Therefore, now is the time to social distance.

Jason Calacanis’ podcast episode explores the 2nd and 3rd order economic consequences of COVID-19. Chamath Palihapitiya (VC, early Facebook exec) explains how the economic impact will be severe, since this virus creates a demand shock (less consumer spending) and a supply shock (decreased production/supply levels). Chamath predicts this first order effects of the disease in the US will last 8-12 weeks; we’ll hit an economic bottom in Q3/Q4 and the S&P will hit 2,000 or lower 😳.

OpenTable data shows how much restaurants are hurting already.

People are flocking to social media to offer support and ideas.

Americans are starting to self-quarantine.

Meanwhile in Italy…

Social norms are changing.

Birthdays are getting called off.

Wash your hands for 20 seconds.

Social distancing works!

And we’re adjusting to working from home.

There’s even an official WFH anthem.

Rest assured…we will survive!

💬 Join a CFW chat

We’d like to host intimate Zoom conversations (5 people per group) to discuss how Corona is affecting your business (and life). It will be a space to share how you’re feeling and get feedback on what you’re dealing with from a group of founders and thinkers. Would you like to participate in one? Sign up here.


Greg & Wiz

My, my, my Corona

CoFounder Weekly #83: March 8, 2020

CoFounder Weekly is a newsletter about startups, and Coronavirus apparently.

This week’s issue is another round up of tweets about Coronavirus. Here’s last week’s round up if you missed it. In the US, it kind of feels like we’re awaiting the arrival of the White Walkers. Best to WFH, read CFW, wash your hands, keep calm, and carry on.

💖 Do you know someone who should subscribe to CoFounder Weekly? Subscribe them here.

☣️ Coronavirus: What people are tweeting about (week 2)

PG explains how exponential growth works.

Timing your preparation is hard.

Seems like startup funding is about to dry up.

When this is all over…

Here’s a look how Corona could stress the US healthcare system.

Meanwhile, Florida is being Florida.

There’s an app that prevents you from touching your face.

Of course there’s a pop-up shop.

Face masks sold out? Gotchu:

Purell is sold out.

AirBnBs owners may be affected.

Enterprise sales will stall.

Conferences are going virtual.

Meanwhile, the White House is installing a tennis court! 🎾

Twitter and Instagram are parallel universes.

Etymology matters.

Sephora samples? Nope.

And here’s a future Oscar nominee for best Short Film.

We’ll return to our regular CFW programming next week…maybe,

Greg & Wiz

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