Another month, another SPAC!

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You probably saw the WSJ article just a few hours ago:

Renewable Storage Firm Energy Vault Reaches $1.6 Billion SPAC Deal to Go Public

It is getting out of hand. Rich people getting richer. (Yes, I am a LP in the VC firm that was an early investor here.) Just a couple months ago, we had a $2 Billion SPAC. 

It is getting embarrassing.

I was waiting for the weekend for my next post –  not to over burden y’all with these dispatches, pushing on your patience – on the documentary film Vax Wars that I am supporting (an Executive Producer), as today (September 8th), in Sacramento, was this, from the producer, Laura:

We’re just leaving the protest.  A couple thousand people waving flags at what amounts to a probable super spreader event. The casual racism of many there is mind boggling. A guy walked past us smiling pleasantly and said it was good to see so many white people gathered together. Many young women in Lululemon and Freedom Fighter shirts. Only people in masks besides me, Tjardus and a few reporters were the Proud Boys who were in wraparound sunglasses, brimmed hats and gators to obscure their identities although they’re not that hard to spot with the prison tattoos.

And here is this email I got as I finished my PhD class on Foundations of OM, an update from my course two years ago that I wrote about in Inventory Models in Service of Practice, from ClimateAi, a Stanford startup that I mentioned earlier where we are an early investor as well:

Hi Sridhar,

Hope you are doing well. I really enjoyed talking to you last time. You might have seen already: we announced our Series-A a few weeks ago and got some great coverage by WSJBusiness InsiderAxios, and a few other publications. We are seeing some exciting growth and hoping to grow 4X in 2021 as compared to 2020. The coverage in WSJ talks about the ROI that we have created for our customers.

That said, you might remember our last discussion where we discussed some of the use cases in the supply chains outside of food & agriculture. It seems we are now ready to explore the other use cases and move into one new supply chain. Would love to get your advice and guidance and explore a formal relationship as an adviser if that works for you.

Happy to discuss further on a call.

Best, Himanshu Gupta, CEO| ClimateAi

Can my evening get better? Yes, it can (from my good friend Dennis):


I would like to introduce you to Anthony from Sewickley. Anthony is a partner in an approved tax credit filming location in PA, where Amazon TV is currently filming. He is also working on developing the first PA purpose-built movie production facility.

This was followed by:

Dennis thank you for the connection. Sridhar it is a pleasure to meet you. I would love to connect soon. Regards, Anthony

SPAC. Future SPAC. Movies. And, yeah, I did this zoom webinar this morning:

Dear QCTalks participant,

We are back for the third series of the QCTalks.

This is to let you know that the first talk in the third series of the QCTalks (please bear with us while we update the website with more info on the talks), which is taking place this Wednesday, September 8, 2021 @ 17:30CET (16:30 Lisbon time). This week we will have a talk by Sridhar Tayur from CMU, USA:

Speaker: Sridhar Tayur
Affiliation: CMU, USA
Title: Quantum Integer Programming (QuIP): An Introduction
Abstract: Many applications in Operations Management, Finance and Cancer Genomics (and other areas) can be modeled as non-linear (and non-convex) integer programs. Quantum computing, in particular Ising models, provide an alternative way to  tackle these hard problems. In this talk, I will provide an introduction to this new area of Quantum Integer Programming, based on the recent course that I taught at CMU (and was taught at IIT-Madras) last fall, in collaboration with NASA/USRA and Amazon.

What I really wanted to write about is:

That Man from Rio (French: L’Homme de Rio) is a 1964 adventure film starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Françoise DorléacThis fast-moving spoof of James Bond-type films was nominated for the Oscar for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay.The story was inspired by The Adventures of Tintin, and was one of the main inspirations for Raiders of the Lost Ark.

What struck me while watching the movie, beyond the ending which was clearly the inspiration for Steven Spielberg, is the really cute red convertible that Françoise was driving in Paris. Wonder if that model is available for purchase, the 1960s ancestor of my (also really cute) red convertible McLaren?

Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 action-adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. It stars Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, a globe-trotting archaeologist, became the highest-grossing film of 1981 with box office revenues of $390 million (on a budget of $20 million), and won five Academy Awards.

This was the first movie I saw as a freshman at IIT-Madras (in 1982) with my new classmates, many now in Silicon Valley (seven of them at Google, I think). This was the era when movies released in India a year or more later than when they were released in the US, unlike today, where there is often simultaneous release world-wide, or even, in some cases, movies are released earlier outside the US, if they are opening in theaters at all and not just being streamed.








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