Social Studies is a newsletter with three components:
🐦 Tech Twitter News
Weekly and monthly summaries of the most interesting discussions, debates and advice on Tech Twitter.
🧠 Frameworks & Mental Models
Reviews of the most valuable concepts in the social sciences with case studies relating them to tech.
Roundups of the best tweets and exclusive Q&As with leaders in tech, business and social science.
Go ahead and ✨smash that subscribe button✨ but if you need coercing, read on…
🧠 Even Zuck was a Psych major
For a long time, I was ashamed to admit that I was a Psych major. The tech industry values technical prowess above all else. The gilded (Stanford) CS degree opens more doors on Sandhill Road than any other.
Don’t get me wrong. Being able to code is a superpower. But understanding how people tick… that is a superpower.
It is telling that Naval, one of the most esteemed gurus on the tech industry includes five Social Sciences in his list of seven of the most (if not only) important subjects to study.
Fundamentally, we build tech products for humans. That’s why Mark Zuckerberg was a Psych major or why Peter Theil cites philosopher Rene Girard more than any business framework.
Every product I’ve worked on, from an AR camera app to a B2B business data API, required an intimate understanding of how humans think to execute successfully.
🥚 The Social Science renaissance has begun
There is an incredible wealth of research in the Social Sciences that can be applied directly to solving challenges in technology today. Individuals like BJ Fogg, Nir Eyal, and countless others have built careers on this, but this is only the beginning of the renaissance.
One of the biggest success stories in tech lately has been Tik Tok. In an interview in 2016, founder Alex Zhu shared the company’s user acquisition philosophy. It included references to concepts in Game Theory and Psychology.
A few years later, Eugene Wei wrote his seminal piece “Status as a Service” which outlines a holy grail of frameworks for building social media products - all built on Social Scientific theory.
I believe Alex Zhu and Eugene Wei are emblematic of more of what’s to come.
🌎 Social Studies is the treasure map
The mission of this newsletter is to bring about the renaissance in applied Social Science. The idea is to give readers a tasting menu of different theories and case studies supporting them. My focus will be on driving actionable insights in concise, entertaining writing.
Here are some topics I’m thinking about covering.
Social Studies also covers news from Tech Twitter:
🐦 Tech Twitter News - Weekly and monthly summaries of the most interesting discussions, debates and advice on Tech Twitter.
🤔 Profiles - Roundups of the best tweets and exclusive Q&As with leaders in tech, business and social science.
🤯 Things could get even crazier from here
The bubble in higher education is driving a massive movement towards unbundling. Twitter-native influencers are launching online schools for specific subject areas.
While I’m no influencer yet, you don’t have to have a galaxy brain to follow this thread.
Psychology is one of the most popular majors in the United States. If you look at just the top tier institutions, Social Sciences in general outnumber Engineering, Business and all other categories by a long shot.
As traditional university education becomes unbundled over the next decade, Social Studies could become the modern, digital-native school for applied Social Science - think LambdaSchool, On Deck, or Write of Passage, but for Social Science.
But today, Social Studies is just a newsletter. Subscribe and see where it goes ✨