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The name "Pink Moon" comes from the bloom of ground phlox, a pink flower common in North America, according to The Old Farmer's Almanac. It has also been called the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon and the Fish Moon

April Full Moon 2020: 'Super Pink Moon,' the biggest of the year, rises Tuesday

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April Full Moon 2020: 'Super Pink Moon,' the biggest of the year, rises Tuesday
By Jesse Emspak 2 days ago

It will be the biggest "supermoon" of 2020.


The full moon of April, called the Pink Moon, occurs Tuesday, April 7. It will be the biggest supermoon of the year!


The full moon of April, called the Pink Moon, occurs Tuesday, April 7. It will be the biggest "supermoon" of the year!
(Image: © CC0 Public Domain)

The full moon of April, called the Pink Moon, will occur on Tuesday (April 7) at 10:35 p.m. EDT (0235 GMT on April 8), about 8 hours after reaching perigee, the nearest point from Earth in its orbit. This will create a "supermoon," a full moon that appears slightly larger than average.
The smaller distance between Earth and the full moon makes the supermoon appear about 7% larger than the average full moon and 14% larger than a full moon at apogee, or its farthest distance from Earth — also known as a "minimoon." A supermoon also appears up to 30% brighter than a full moon at apogee.
Skywatchers in the U.S. can see the "Super Pink Moon" rise into the evening sky as the sun sets on Tuesday. In New York City, for example, moonrise is at 7:05 p.m. local time on the evening of April 7, and moonset is the next morning at 7:05 a.m., according to timeanddate.com. The sun sets the evening of April 7 at 7:26 p.m.


Being in the constellation Virgo, the moon will be to the northeast of Spica, the brightest star in Virgo and the 16th-brightest star in the night sky. The moon will be in the constellation Virgo, and it have an angular diameter of 0.56 degrees, just slightly larger than its average of 0.52 degrees across, so the difference in size won't be noticeable to most people.
The moon reaches perigee, or its closest point to Earth, at 2:08 p.m. EDT (1808 GMT), according to NASA's SkyCal. The moon reaches perigee about once every 28 days, because its orbit isn't a perfect circle. However, we don't have a supermoon every month because the moon's perigee typically doesn't coincide with a full moon. During its perigee on April 7, the moon will be 221,905 miles (357,122 kilometers) from the Earth, versus an average distance of 240,000 miles (384,400 km).
When the full moon coincides with perigee, it is sometimes called a "supermoon" — but "supermoon" isn't an official term used by astronomers. Whether a full moon counts as "super" depends on how close to the official full moon the user of the word thinks perigee should be. Some astronomers define a "supermoon" as the one full moon in a calendar year that most closely coincides with the moon's perigee, while others use the term more loosely, calling any full moon that occurs within a day or so of perigee "super."


The full moon occurs when the moon is exactly on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun. Most of the time the moon is illuminated by the sun's light, but occasionally the moon's orbit carries it within the shadow of the Earth, resulting in a solar eclipse. The April full moon will "miss" the Earth's shadow, because the moon's orbit is inclined 5 degrees with respect to the plane of the Earth's orbit, and therefore the Earth won't be directly between the sun and the moon this time.

Through binoculars or a small telescope the full moon appears so bright it can be hard to see details, because there are no shadows to give any contrast. From a lunar observer's perspective the sun would be directly overhead — it would be noontime. Moon filters are available that can make some features stand out, but waiting a few days after the full moon or observing a few days before, shadows bring out more detail.


Planets on parade

On April 9, two days after the full moon, the planet Jupiter, which is prominent in the predawn sky, will be in conjunction with Pluto, meaning the two objects share the same celestial longitude and will make a close approach in the night sky.

The dwarf planet Pluto is beyond the reach of most amateur telescopes, as its visual magnitude is 15. (Magnitude is a scale astronomers use to denote an object's brightness, with smaller numbers indicating brighter objects. The dimmest objects visible with the naked eye are typically of magnitude 6.5.)



Pluto will be in conjunction with Jupiter on April 9 at 3:02 a.m. EDT (0702 GMT). This sky map shows where the planets will be in the predawn sky over New York City at 5 a.m. local time.



Pluto will be in conjunction with Jupiter on April 9 at 3:02 a.m. EDT (0702 GMT). This sky map shows where the planets will be in the predawn sky over New York City at 5 a.m. local time. (Image credit: SkySafari app)
A telescope with a 10-inch (25 centimeters) aperture or more is necessary to see Pluto, and the object itself doesn't look any different from stars through the eyepiece. But Jupiter is naked-eye visible and an easy "catch" for a telescope. The conjunction occurs at 3:02 a.m. EDT (0702 GMT), according to In-The-Sky.org. Both Jupiter and Pluto will be in the constellation Sagittarius.
Other planets visible on the night of April 7-8 are Mars and Saturn, which will be close to Jupiter in the early morning hours before sunrise. As the full moon is in the west on the morning of April 8 the three planets will be in a rough line in the east-southeastern sky. By 4:30 a.m. local time in mid-northern latitudes on April 8, Mars will be about 9 degrees above the horizon, with Saturn slightly higher to the right and Jupiter to the right of that (from the point of view of an observer). For reference, your clenched first held at arm's length measures about 10 degrees wide.
The Pink Moon isn't really pink.



The Pink Moon rises over Boston in this photo taken by Chris Cook on April 11, 2017. April's full moon isn't actually pink; it's named after the wild ground phlox, one of the first flowers to bloom in spring. However, the moon can appear red-orange due to the composition of Earth's atmosphere and the angle at which it is viewed.



The Pink Moon rises over Boston in this photo taken by Chris Cook on April 11, 2017. April's full moon isn't actually pink; it's named after the wild ground phlox, one of the first flowers to bloom in spring. However, the moon can appear red-orange due to the composition of Earth's atmosphere and the angle at which it is viewed. (Image credit: Chris Cook/www.cookphoto.com)
Despite its moniker, the Pink Moon isn't actually pink. The name "Pink Moon" comes from the bloom of ground phlox, a pink flower common in North America, according to The Old Farmer's Almanac. It has also been called the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon and the Fish Moon.

According to the Ontario Native Literacy Coalition, the Ojibwe peoples indigenous to North America called it the Sucker Moon after the common fish species known as suckerfish. This fish, also known as the remora, is one of the animals that the Ojibwe saw as a messenger between the spirit world and ours. In the same region, the Cree called April's full moon the Goose Moon, as April was the month when geese returned to the north after migrating south for the winter.
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The Tlingit of the Pacific Northwest call the April full moon "X'eigaa Kayaaní Dís," meaning "Budding moon of plants and shrubs," according to the Tlingit Moon and Tide Teaching Resource published by the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.

In New Zealand, the Māori people had much different traditions for their April full moons, because in the Southern Hemisphere, April arrives in autumn. The Māori called the April moon "Paenga-whāwhā," describing the month as a time when "all straw is now stacked at the borders of the plantations," according to The Encyclopedia of New Zealand.

For the Jewish people, April 9 marks the beginning of the holiday of Passover (the 15th day of the lunar month of Nisan), which celebrates the escape from Egypt and has been popularized by films such as "The Ten Commandments" and Disney's "The Prince of Egypt."


April Full Moon 2020: 'Super Pink Moon,' the biggest of the year, rises Tuesday
 

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SuperMoon 2020 LIVE Day 2 : The biggest Full Moon of the year #SuperPinkMoon
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Super Pink Moon, the biggest SuperMoon of 2020 occurred last tonight.
Day 2 of April Full moon live stream.

► Expedition 63 Crew Launch to the International Space Station SET REMINDER: https://youtu.be/paVV06VkE9Q ► NASA Radio: Earth from Space LIVE NOW : https://youtu.be/PFKKXz_Jh10 A SuperMoon takes place when a full moon is at its closest to the Earth. On Tuesday (April 7), the moon will arrive at its closest point to Earth in 2020: a distance of 221,772 miles (356,907 kilometers) away. The name Pink Moon comes from the pink wildflowers, Wild Ground Phlox, that bloom in the spring and are native to North America. #SuperMoon #SuperLuna #LunaLlena ► Copyright FREE music provided by: Calm - Silent Partner Song: "Sappheiros - Embrace [Chill]" is under a Creative Commons license (CC BY 3.0) Music promoted by BreakingCopyright: http://bit.ly/Sappheiros-Embrace Music: Ticker - Silent Partner "Scott Buckley - Titan [Epic]" is under a Creative Commons license (CC-BY) Music promoted by BreakingCopyright: https://youtu.be/8mdDft5-q28 "Escape by Sappheiros" is under a Creative Commons license (CC BY 3.0) Music promoted by BreakingCopyright: https://youtu.be/UMRL6ltNfPU Song: "Sappheiros - Falling (Ft. eSoreni) [Chill]" is under a Creative Commons license (CC-BY) Song: Day 7 - Sweet Sorrow Link: https://youtu.be/LZlh4sxptMw Music promoted by BreakingCopyright: http://bit.ly/Sappheiros-Falling Mariana Trench by Paul Keane // UNDERWATER SPACE GALAXY CHILL-OUT BACKGROUND Audio Junction - NoCopyrightSounds Song: "Sappheiros - Embrace [Chill]" is under a Creative Commons license (CC BY 3.0) Music promoted by BreakingCopyright: http://bit.ly/Sappheiros-Embrace

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What's Up: April 2020 Skywatching Tips from NASA
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What are some astronomy highlights in the sky in April 2020? This month, Venus visits the Pleiades; Mars, Jupiter and Saturn begin their breakup; and we ask, "What is the Moon illusion?" Additional information about topics covered in this episode of What's Up, along with still images from the video, and the video transcript, are available at https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/whats-up... Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
 

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Why riding to Everest Base Camp in Tibet is the ride of a lifetime

Rishad Saam Mehta
APRIL 08, 2020 17:52 IST

UPDATED: APRIL 08, 2020 17:52 IST

In Tibet, with the Cho Oyu mountain in the background


In Tibet, with the Cho Oyu mountain in the background | Photo Credit: Royal Enfield


Travelling to Everest Base Camp at Rongbuk in Tibet, from where British mountaineer George Mallory attempted to summit Everest, is the ride of a lifetime

There are demons in my room or so it seems because they assume the forms of animals, objects and people at a whim. I open my eyes and they are gone and I realise that I have been hallucinating. It is a result of exhaustion, a lack of oxygen and the bitter cold. The demons have gone but a soft rhythmic bellowing persists. It is real!
I pull open the drapes and outside my window is a yak that’s taken it upon itself to be my morning alarm. But beyond the boisterous bovine, its permanent snow shining in the early morning sun, stands Mount Everest. So close, so clear that I can see the pool-table-sized limestone summit that is the pinnacle of a mountaineer’s glory.
Goosebumps break out because once again the realisation hits that here on a freezing morning in Southern Tibet I am seeing the very view that George Mallory first saw in 1921 — the North face of the tallest mountain in the world.

I had heard about George Mallory, but ever since I read Jeffrey Archer’s Paths of Glory, this gifted mountaineer, who was so restricted by the rudimentary climbing equipment and gear of the 1920s, has fascinated me.

So when the opportunity to ride from Kathmandu to the Everest Base Camp in Tibet presented itself, for me, as much as the thrill doled out and the fortitude required to ride over passes at 18,500 feet and in temperatures going down to -6 degrees Celsius, the attraction was also to stand where Mallory stood before he climbed Mount Everest.
We had started off from Kathmandu, a disparate bunch of 11 riders, with five days to go. Nepal was preening green and pretty after its monsoon, but large sections of the road on our route were slushy and wet, with the consistency ranging from that of thick treacle syrup to viscous porridge. I was astride the Royal Enfield Himalayan developed for conditions like this and that saw me through without a single fall on the first two days and the entire trip.


Riding through Nepal’s Terai

Riding through Nepal’s Terai | Photo Credit: Royal Enfield


We were blessed because the monsoon had bid adieu, but the warmth and the humidity made me feel like I was in an open-air sauna as I cursed the heat-trapping capability of my riding gear. That is because we were still at terai altitude in the Nepal Himalayas and still below the tree line.
But two days later, when we started off from Gyirong, which is the first town across the border in Tibet, the cold was bone-chilling. We were now at 8,900 feet above sea level.
The roads in Tibet are Chinese-built, smooth and blemish-free. This meant we could hold high speeds on our motorcycles but it also meant that we ascended very quickly. Within three hours we were at the 17,200-foot pass that was the entrance to the Tibetan Plateau — quite correctly called ‘The Roof of the World’.

The riders with Mount Everest in the background

The riders with Mount Everest in the background | Photo Credit: Royal Enfield


For me, that was a test of fortitude. Not only was I battling temperatures that were hovering around freezing point, I was also tense with trepidation about whether Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) would envelop me in its deadly embrace. I knew that to battle it, I had to consume a lot of water and keep calm so my breathing would be relaxed and deep.
But I just couldn’t keep calm because I was riding through such spectacular scenery. In the horizon was the deep blue Lake Paiku and beyond that loomed the perennial snow-capped mountains, the Eight Thousanders, so called because their summits stood at over 8,000 metres high. Here at Lake Paiku, the most dominant one was the Shishapangma at 8,013 metres (26,290 feet).
Our destination for that day was Tingri that is at an altitude of 14,265 feet. By the time we rolled into Tingri, AMS was rampant amongst us. When the oximeter clipped over my finger showed 65% oxygen, I was disappointed because there was a chance I would have to stay back at Tingri, because Rongbuk was at 16,340 feet. To give you an estimation of how high that is — my last skydive — where I jumped out of a plane — was from 15,000 feet!
And, to get to Rongbuk, there was an 18,000-foot-high pass to be ridden across. But that evening, I took it easy, drank enough water to put a camel to shame, and the next morning, I was ready to ride. Unfortunately, two riders had to stay back in Tingri.

The writer with Mount Shishapangma and Lake Paiku in the background


The writer with Mount Shishapangma and Lake Paiku in the background | Photo Credit: Royal Enfield


That morning’s 140-kilometre ride was beyond spectacular, as we rode up to the pass where Mount Everest came into view. It was a beautiful blue-sky day and I remember marvelling at the view from the pass. The Everest at 8,848 metres (29,029 feet) stood taller than the Shishapangma, the Makalu, the Lhotse and the Cho Oyu that flanked it — all of them standing over 8,000 metres high.
The road down the pass was so splendid with its 108 hairpin bends that I had to really keep my mind in check and not get carried away with excitement that would make me breathe harder. It was not an easy task because I was rediscovering the joy of motorcycling in the Himalayas after 16 years.
That evening, as I stood at Rongbuk, watching the Everest go from white to golden with the last rays of the setting sun, I felt a sense of heady excitement just to be in its presence and I wasn’t even going to attempt to climb it.
Just imagine what George Mallory must have felt as he stood right there looking at this eternal mountain in 1921.


Why riding to Everest Base Camp in Tibet is the ride of a lifetime
 

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*Travel/Adventure/ Wildlife Related Documentaries*
*( Religious/Political)*

1. I Am Alive ( youtube )
2. Meru
3. Against the Wild (You tube)
4. Seven years in Tibet
5. Into the Wild
6. ALIVE (1993 )
7. The Kalka Shimla Railway (youtube)
8.BBC FOUR - Indian hill railways ( youtube )
9. The kangra valley railway ( youtube )
10. Alaska (You tube)
11. Where the hell is Matt (youtube)
12 K2 The killer Summit (YouTube)
13 Beyond the edge (YouTube)
 

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Reflecting on My Failure to Build a Billion-Dollar Company

Sahil Lavingia
Sahil Lavingia


Feb 7, 2019 · 14 min read





Credit: Zdenek Sasek/iStock/Getty Images Plus

In 2011, I left my job as the second employee at Pinterest — before I vested any of my stock — to work on what I thought would be my life’s work.


I thought Gumroad would become a billion-dollar company, with hundreds of employees. It would IPO, and I would work on it until I died. Something like that.
Needless to say, that didn’t happen.
Now, it may look like I am in an enviable position, running a profitable, growing, low-maintenance software business serving adoring customers. But for years, I considered myself a failure. At my lowest point, I had to lay off 75 percent of my company, including many of my best friends. I had failed.
It took me years to realize I was misguided from the outset. I no longer feel shame in the path I took to get to where I am today — but for a long time, I did. This is my journey, from the beginning.
Editor’s Note: Read a new interview with Sahil Lavingia about what he’s been up to since writing this piece about building Gumroad in early 2019.

A weekend project turned VC-backed startup
The idea behind Gumroad was simple: Creators and others should be able to sell their products directly to their audiences with quick, simple links. No need for a storefront.
I built Gumroad the weekend I thought up the idea, and launched it early Monday morning on Hacker News. The reaction exceeded my grandest aspirations. Over 52,000 people checked it out on the first day.
Later that year, I left my job as the second employee at Pinterest — before I vested any of my stock — to turn Gumroad into what I thought would become my life’s work.
Almost immediately, I raised $1.1M from an all-star cast of angel investors and venture capital firms, including Max Levchin, Chris Sacca, Ron Conway, Naval Ravikant, Collaborative Fund, Accel Partners, and First Round Capital. A few months later, in May 2012, we raised $7M more. Mike Abbott from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), a top-tier VC firm, led the round.
I was on top of the world. I was just 19, a solo founder, with over $8M in the bank and three employees. The world was starting to take note.
We grew the team. We stayed focused on our product. The monthly numbers started to climb. And then, at some point, they didn’t.
To keep the product alive, I laid off 75 percent of my company — including many of my best friends. It really sucked. But I told myself things would be fine: The product would continue to grow and no one far from the company would ever find out.
Then, TechCrunch got wind of the layoffs and published “Layoffs Hit Gumroad As The E-Commerce Startup Restructures.” All of a sudden, my failure was public. I spent the week ignoring my support network and answering our customers’ concerns, many of whom relied on us to power their businesses. They wanted to know if they should look for alternative products. Some of our favorite, most successful creators left. This hurt, but I don’t blame them for trying to minimize the risk in their own businesses.
So what exactly went wrong, and when?

Failing in style
Let’s start with the numbers. This is our monthly processed volume, until the layoffs:


Chart: Sahil Lavingia
It doesn’t look too bad, right? It’s going in the right direction: up.
But we were venture-funded, which was like playing a game of double-or-nothing. It’s euphoric when things are going your way — and suffocating when they’re not. And we weren’t doubling fast enough to raise the $15M+ Series B (the second major round of funding) we were looking for to grow the team.
For the type of business we were trying to build, every month of less than 20 percent growth should have been a red flag.
But at the time, I thought it was okay. We had money in the bank and product-market fit. We would continue to ship product and things would work out. The online creator movement was still nascent; the slow growth wasn’t our fault. It always looked like change was right around the corner.
But now, I realize: It doesn’t matter whose “fault” it is; we hit a peak in November 2014 and stalled. A lot of creators absolutely loved us, but there weren’t enough of them who needed our specific product offering. Product-market fit is great, but we needed to find a new, larger fit to justify raising more money (and then do it again and again, until acquisition or IPO).
For the type of business we were trying to build, every month of less than 20 percent growth should have been a red flag.
In January 2015, after our final double-or-nothing hail-mary, our bank balance dipped below 18 months of runway. I told my 20-person team the road ahead would be a tough one. We didn’t have the numbers to raise a Series B, and we would have to work really hard over the next nine months to get even close. To that end, we deprioritized everything except features that would directly move the needle. Many were not core to our business, but we needed to try everything we could to get our monthly processed volume to where it needed to be.
If we succeeded, we would raise money from a top-tier VC again, hire more people, and pick up the journey where we’d left off. If we didn’t, we would have to drastically downsize the company.
In those nine months, when the whole team knew we were fighting for our company’s life, not a single person left Gumroad. From “this is gonna be hard,” to “yep, turns out it was,” every single person worked harder than ever.
We launched a “Small Product Lab” to teach new creators how to grow and sell. We shipped a ton of features, including weekly payouts, payouts to debit cards, payouts to the U.K., Australia, and Canada, various additions to our email features, product recommendations and search, analytics to see how customers are reading/watching/downloading the products they’ve purchased, and add-to-cart functionality. And that was just between August and November.
Unfortunately, we didn’t hit the numbers we needed.

Slim down or shut down?
Looking back, I’m glad we didn’t hit those numbers. If we’d doubled down, raised more money, and appeared in the headlines again, there would have been a very real possibility of even more spectacular failure.
With that off the table, our options were:
  • Shut down the business, return the remaining money to investors, and try something new.
  • Continue with a slimmed-down version of the company to aim for sustainability.
  • Position the company for an acquihire.
Some of my investors wanted me to shut down the business. They tried to convince me that my time was worth more than trying to keep a small business like Gumroad afloat, and I should try to build another billion-dollar company armed with all of my learnings — and their money.
I tended to agree with them, to be honest. But I was accountable to our creators, our employees, and our investors — in that order. We helped thousands of creators get paid, every month. About $2,500,000 was going to go into the pockets of creators — for rent checks and mortgages, for student loans and kids’ college funds. And it was only growing! Could I really just turn that faucet off?
If I sold the company, it would be mostly for our stellar team — and I would no longer be able to control the destiny of the product. There were too many acquisition stories of companies promising exciting journeys and amazing synergies to come — and ending with a deprecated product a year later.
Selling was certainly tempting. I could say I sold my first company, raise more money, and do this all again with a new idea. But that didn’t sit right with me. We were responsible to our creators first. That’s what I told every new hire and every investor. I didn’t want to become a serial entrepreneur and risk disappointing yet another customer base.
We decided to become profitable at any cost. The next year was not fun: I shrunk the company from twenty employees to five. We struggled to find a new tenant for our $25,000/month office. We focused all of our remaining resources on launching a premium service.
In June 2015, a few months before our layoffs, our financials looked like this:
  • Revenue: $89,000 for the month
  • Gross profit: $17,000
  • Operating expenses: $364,000
  • Net profit: -$351,000
A year later, in June 2016, our monthly numbers looked like this:
  • Revenue: $176,000 for the month
  • Gross profit: $42,000
  • Operating expenses: $32,000
  • Net profit: +$10,000
It hurt, but it meant creators would keep getting paid. It also meant that we were in control of our own destiny.

From skeleton crew to lifestyle business
It got worse from there.
Gumroad was no longer the venture-funded, fast-growing startup our investors and employees signed up for. As everyone else found other opportunities, the skeleton crew fizzled from five to one.
I was basically alone. I didn’t have a team, nor an office. And San Francisco was full of startups raising gobs of money, building amazing teams, and shipping great products. Some of my friends became billionaires. Meanwhile, I was running a “measly” lifestyle business. It wasn’t what I wanted to do, but I had to keep the ship from sinking.
Now, I understand some people would dream to be in that position. But at the time, I just felt trapped. I couldn’t stop, but there was only so much I could do as an army of one.
For years, my only metric of success was building a billion-dollar company. Now, I realize that was a terrible goal.
I shut off the rest of the world. I didn’t tell my mom about the layoffs — she had to read the article and tweets herself to find out. My friends were worried, but I assured them I was neither depressed nor suicidal. I left San Francisco for long stretches at a time, thinking that some travel would give me adequate distance. It only made me more lonely.
Every day, I woke up and took care of all of Gumroad’s support queries. I tried to fix all of the bugs I could. Often, I had to ask for help from former Gumroad engineers. They were all employed by then, but they always found time to help. Once all things Gumroad were taken care of, I tried to go to the gym, and if I had the willpower, work on a side project (a fantasy novel). Most days, I failed.
To me, happiness is about an expectation of positive change. Every year before 2016, there was an improvement in my expectations — in the team, the product, or the company. This was the first time in my life when the present year felt worse than the last.
Living in San Francisco was already a struggle. When Trump won the election, I ended up leaving for good.

New beginnings
Then one day, everything changed. Again. I’m wary about sharing this part of the story, because I don’t know if there is anything to learn from it. But it happened, so here it is.
On November 27, 2017, I got this email from KPCB, our lead investor:
I am following up our conversation a few months ago. KP would like to sell our ownership back to Gumroad for $1. Can we discuss this week?
Mike had left KPCB to start a new company, and KPCB didn’t want the operational headache of appointing a new board member. Plus, it helped their taxes. In one fell swoop, our liquidation preferences (how much we would have to sell for before dollars started going to employees) went from about $16.5M to $2.5M. All of a sudden, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Small, dim, and far away, but present. There was a path to an independent business, not beholden to the go-big-or-go-home mentality I signed up for when I raised money.
One investor joined them. We’ve bought back a couple more, since then. I keep the rest of the investors up-to-date with a brief email every few months.
The future came into focus: I could grow a small team, slowly buy back our investors, and build Gumroad into a meaningful business focused on our creators. We would never become a billion-dollar company, and that started to feel okay. Certainly, the thousands of creators selling on Gumroad wouldn’t mind.

Finding new forms of impact
The eight years I worked on Gumroad were full of personal ups and downs. There were months where I worked 16 hours a day, but there were also some months where I worked four hours a week. Here’s one way to picture that time:



Chart: Sahil Lavingia
Can you tell which is which? I can’t. We had a sales team for a few years, then we didn’t. Can you tell when we made the switch? I can’t.
It doesn’t matter how amazing your product is, or how fast you ship features. The market you’re in will determine most of your growth. For better or worse, Gumroad grew at roughly the same rate almost every month because that’s how quickly the market determined we would grow.
Instead of pretending to be some sort of product visionary, trying to build a billion-dollar company, I’m just focused on making Gumroad better and better for our existing creators. Because they are the ones that have kept us alive.

Creating and capturing value
At a CEO Summit many years ago, my all-time hero, Bill Gates, took the stage. Someone asked him how he dealt with failing to capture so much value. Microsoft was huge, sure, but tiny compared to the total impact it has had on the world and on humanity.
Bill’s answer: “Sure, but that’s true with all companies, right? They create some value and succeed in capturing a very small percentage of it.”
I am now more focused on creating value than capturing it. I still want to have as large an impact as possible, but I don’t need to create it directly or capture it in the form of revenue and valuation.
Take Austen Allred, for example. He’s raised $48M for his startup Lambda School, and he got his start selling a book on Gumroad.

Startups have been founded by former Gumroad employees, and dozens more companies have been massively improved by recruiting our alumni. On top of that, our product ideas, like our credit card form and inline-checkout experience, have proliferated across the web, making it a better place for everyone — including those that have never used Gumroad.
While Gumroad, Inc. may be small, our impact is large. There is, of course, the $178,000,000 we have sent to creators. But then there’s the impact of the impact, the opportunities that those creators have taken to create new opportunities for others.

Opening up about our financials
I’ve found other ways to create value, too. After the layoffs, I didn’t talk to anyone about Gumroad. Not even my mom. And after moving away from San Francisco, I felt pretty disconnected from the startup community.
As a way to re-engage with the community, I thought about sharing our financials publicly. Founders starting their own companies could learn from our mistakes, utilizing our data to make better decisions.
It was scary: What if we don’t grow every month? It could scare off prospective customers. It’s something I would never expect a startup seeking venture capital to do. It makes sense to hold those cards as close to your chest for as long as possible when you must raise money, hire people, and compete for customers with other venture-seeking startups.
But, since we were not any of those things anymore, it was easier to share that information. We were profitable, and a no-growth month won’t change that. So in April 2018, I started to release our monthly financials publicly.

Ironically, more investors have reached out (we’re just interested in raising money from our customers for the moment, thanks!), more folks want to contribute to Gumroad, and our shift in focus has brought us closer to our creators.
And instead of freaking out about how “small” Gumroad actually is (like I thought they would), our creators have grown more loyal. It feels like we’re all in this together, trying to earn a living doing what we love.
Soon, we’re also planning to open-source the whole product, WordPress-style. Anyone will be able to deploy their own version of Gumroad, make the changes they want, and sell the content they want, without us being the middleman.
In 2018, we donated over $23,775 (eight percent of our profits) to different causes. We raised money for the hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico and the floods in Kerala. We helped fund the Presence-of-Blackness project in speculative fiction, and a Mexicanx publication.

Seeking the non-binary
For years, my only metric of success was building a billion-dollar company. Now, I realize that was a terrible goal. It’s completely arbitrary and doesn’t accurately reflect impact.
I’m not making an excuse or pretending that I didn’t fail. I’m not pretending that failure feels good. Everyone knows that the failure rate in startups — especially venture-funded ones — is super high, but it still sucks when you don’t reach your goals.
I failed, but I also succeeded at many other things. Gumroad turned $10 million of investor capital into $178 million (and counting) for creators. Without a fundraising goal coming up, we’re simply focused on building the best product we can for our customers. On top of all that, I’m happy creating value beyond our revenue-generating product (like these words you’re reading).

I consider myself “successful” now. Not exactly in the way I intended, though I think what I’m doing now counts.
Where did my singular focus on building a billion-dollar company come from in the first place? I think I inherited it from a society that worships wealth. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Bill Gates was my all-time hero and the world’s richest person. Ever since I can remember, I’ve equated “success” with net worth. If I heard someone say “that person’s really successful,” I didn’t assume they were improving the well-being of those around them, but that they’d found a way to make a ton of cash.
Wealth can be a measure of being able to improve the well-being of those around you, as seems to be the case for someone like Bill Gates, who has invested heavily in philanthropy. But it’s not the only way to measure success, nor is it the best one.
There’s nothing wrong with trying to build the next Microsoft. I personally don’t think billionaires are evil. And there’s a part of me that wishes I was still on that path.
But for better or worse, I’m on this one now. This has been my path to not building a billion-dollar company. There are many like it, but this one is mine.



Gumroad is a product of many people’s hard work, including our alumni: Leigh McCulloch, Sidharth Shanker, Anish Bhayani, Kathleen Warner, Heather Whiles, Benjamin Nguyen, Steve Kaye, Tuhin Srivastava, Avinash Ananth, Joel Packer, Katsuya Noguchi, Matan-Paul Shetrit, Amir Haghighat, Ian Atha, Emmiliese von Clemm, Kate Yu, Sri Raghavan, Ryan Delk, Al Hertz, Travis Nichols, Maxwell Elliott, Phil Howes, Ben Reynolds, Michael Klocker, Bryan English, Laura Biester, Jake Heimark, Aaron Relph, Ben Walsh, Greg Terrono, Donald Huang, Paul McKellar, Francisco Gutierrez, Kyle Doherty, and Jessica Jalsevac. Thank you.







Sahil Lavingia
WRITTEN BY
Sahil Lavingia

Founder and CEO, Gumroad


https://marker.medium.com/reflecting-on-my-failure-to-build-a-billion-dollar-company-b0c31d7db0e7
 

adsatinder

explorer
'Chair challenge' has couples in hysterics as women easily complete the task - but men can't do it
  • The bizarre challenge - involving a wall and a chair - gained notoriety on TikTok
  • Scientists have different thoughts on why women have success but men don't
  • One theory is men have bigger feet which makes them further away from wall
By JEMMA CARR FOR MAILONLINE

PUBLISHED: 12:34 BST, 29 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:55 BST, 29 November 2019


A viral ‘chair challenge’ – involving lifting up a chair from a bent-over position – is baffling scientists as it appears to defeat men, but women find it easy.
The challenge has gained notoriety on TikTok as couples post hilarious videos showing the unexpected results.
Each participant stands a few paces from the wall before bending over.
Only women can do this bizarre 'centre of gravity' chair challenge

'Chair challenge': Women complete it but men can't







A viral 'chair challenge' - involving picking up a chair from a bent-over position - has couples in hysterics as women can do it but men can't


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A female participant completes the challenge effortlessly


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A viral 'chair challenge' - involving picking up a chair from a bent-over position - has couples in hysterics as women can do it but men can't
With their heads pressed up against the wall, they grab a chair.

They must then lift the chair up to their chest and stand up.
Multiple people have tried it, but it seems as if only women are able to do it successfully.
Scientists have different thoughts on why this could be the case, one involving varying centres of gravity for the different genders.
The other theory is to do with men having larger feet - so further to walk away from the wall to reach the required paces.
In one clip a woman stands by a wall ready to take part in the challenge.
The clip shows a man trying to do the challenge


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Gavin wobbles as he tries to get up before toppling over to one side as laughter erupts from behind the lens


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The clip shows a man trying to do the challenge. Gavin wobbles as he tries to get up before toppling over to one side as laughter erupts from behind the lens
Someone from behind the camera says: 'So we saw a video that said women can do this because they have a lower centre of gravity and that men can't. So we're going to test it out.
'So you're going to put a foot against the molding and then the other foot directly behind. And then again.


'And then you line your feet up. Put your head against the molding of the wall.
'And then bring the chair underneath you, make sure you're low enough, and then pull the chair to your chest and stand up.'
The female participant completes the challenge effortlessly. The clip then cuts to show the male participant doing the same thing.
The camera operator says: 'Now Gavin is bigger than Hannah so he should be able to do this. So foot against the moulding and then behind, and then together.
A second video, posted to Twitter by Izzy Sam, shows another couple taking part in the challenge.


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The female participant gets into the correct position and effortlessly stands


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A second video, posted to Twitter by Izzy Sam, shows another couple taking part in the challenge. The female participant gets into the correct position and effortlessly stands
'Then put your head against the wall. Chair, pull up to your chest. And stand up.'
Gavin wobbles as he tries to get up before toppling over to one side as laughter erupts from behind the lens.
A second video, posted to Twitter by Izzy Sam, shows another couple taking part in the challenge.
A male voice from behind the camera says: 'Alright, TikTok chair challenge.'
The male participant tries to stand but is unable to


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His attempt is much to the amusement of the female participant who erupts in fits of laughter


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The male participant tries to stand but is unable to, much to the amusement of the female participant who erupts in fits of laughter
The female participant gets into the correct position and effortlessly stands.
The male participant tries to stand but is unable to, much to the amusement of the female participant who erupts in fits of laughter.
Another man then tries to stand, but is again unable to.
Talking about the science behind the challenge, scientist Jeremy Johnson told The Sun: 'The centre of mass for most girls is lower to the hips, while the centre of mass in boys is much higher.
Another male participant then tries to stand, but is again unable to


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Talking about the science behind the challenge, scientist Jeremy Johnson told The Sun : 'The centre of mass for most girls is lower to the hips, while the centre of mass in boys is much higher'


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Another male participant then tries to stand, but is again unable to. Talking about the science behind the challenge, scientist Jeremy Johnson told The Sun: 'The centre of mass for most girls is lower to the hips, while the centre of mass in boys is much higher'
'Therefore, for most girls, the centre of mass while bent over the chair is above their feet, while the centre of mass for most boys is above the chair.'
Cambridge Professor Brian Ford, on the other hand, argues that it is to do with shoe size.
Because men's feet are bigger, their three paces are larger so they end up being further from the wall when they reach their head forward.
This means that their legs slant backwards, away from the wall.
This makes women better suited to successfully complete the challenge unaided.




'Chair challenge': Women complete it but men can't
 

adsatinder

explorer
CHAIR CHALLENGE!!!! Women can do this / Men CAN'T
3,718 views
•Dec 6, 2019




11
2


Raizel Luna
130 subscribers


There's a whole chair challenge / experiment trend going on, and we, of course, HAD to try it. The catch is that women can do it & men can't. However, we had a different conclusion...

If you've tried this, comment below your results!

Follow me on Insta: @raazzzles

The actual science behind it from various sources online...
"The centre of mass for most girls is lower to the hips, while the centre of mass in boys is much higher. Therefore, for most girls, the centre of mass while bent over the chair is above their feet, while the centre of mass for most boys is above the chair." - US scientist Jeremy Johnson

"It is true that women have a lower centre of gravity than men, by several centimetres," he explained. "But that has no bearing on this crafty little trick.

"Men have longer feet than women. Two paces back for a man would be some 60cm, for a woman it's more like 50cm. So to begin with, the man is forced further away from the wall. The man's larger feet mean he is farther away from the wall than the woman, and is thus leaning forward. The woman's legs are closer to the wall, and are thus leaning back." - Professor Brian Ford at Cambridge University


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