80k supporter update (mid-bout review)

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Benjamin Todd

Nov 1, 2018, 1:07:26 AM11/1/18
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Hi everyone,

Here’s our update for the last 4 weeks ending 24th Oct. (See the last update.)

Summary metrics


All figures are approximate.

Cash reserves (end August 2018)


Costs last month (August 2018)


Cash reserves divided by costs last month


Months’ runway (rough estimate based on expansion budget, including commitments to donate, as of end August 2018)



# of salaried employees (FTE, excluding freelancers)



14 (2.6 FTE)

Morale (on a scale of 1-10, full-time staff average)


Primary growth metric

Change in total impact-adjusted significant plan changes

Monthly growth rate:

4 weeks on previous 4 weeks (ending 2018W42)


Annual growth rates:


Change in total IASPC

Growth in TTM compared to this period

Monthly compound rate

Last 12 months



















Monthly growth chart - increase in IASPC per month

Annual IASPC targets

Progress in 2 sentences

We’re mid-way through the final bout of the year, and on track to make our bout targets, and our new annual target (but not the old one).

How you can help

If you know anyone doing something high-impact who might have changed their plans due to 80k, please email bm at 80000hours.org. This helps us make our end of year targets.

-----------------------Full update -----------------------

Story of a plan change

Matthew recently took a job as Toby Ord’s research assistant after excelling in the application process. He will be working on Toby’s forthcoming book on existential risk.

Matthew first became involved in 2013, when he did an internship at GWWC. This led to him to become President of 80,000 Hours: Cambridge. After graduating top of his class in philosophy, he took a job in finance to earn to give – a decision he wrote about in a Cambridge student newspaper. Prior to engaging with 80k he had planned to work in either journalism or international development.

Around 2017, and largely due to our online content, he decided to switch out of earning to give, and towards civil service careers, with a view to doing direct work on existential risks in the mid-term. This switch was affirmed in 2018 when he received coaching from Niel, who also suggested he also apply to DeepMind and visit FHI. The visits to the FHI led to the RA position with Toby.

We’re very excited about this position and Matthew’s long-term plans.

Weekly targets

We’re ahead of our key lead metric targets:




Report in 80k updates

Advising: people coached, including initial follow up

🎯100 over the bout (stretch: 150)




Content: releases

🎯12 over the bout




Other key progress

Much of our effort has gone into advising and releasing content to make the targets above. Other progress includes the following:

  • Roman has started to take over web and tech projects

    • Roman has been leading on improvements to our coaching systems, and has been adding features to the website.

    • Since he decided to transition into engineering in Feb, he’s been heavily focused on learning to code. He picked it up really fast, so this is now starting to payoff, and we expect he’s going to be highly productive on the web & tech team going forward.

  • We continued a hiring process for a research position.

  • We continued to solidify the recruiting process & make progress with GPI

We started working with several organisations, with a special focus on filling the Head of Research Operations position at the Global Priorities Institute. As the most senior hire on the operations team, we think this an especially important position. We’re looking for someone entrepreneurial who’s spent a few years ‘getting things done’ and is interested in effective altruism and global priorities research (though they don’t need to have been involved). If you or someone you know could be a good fit, email Peter McIntyre on p...@80000hours.org.

  • We continued with the website redesign for top users.

    • We sketched out a redesign of the front page and replacement of the career guide. Initially we thought we would wait to finish the advanced series to replace the career guide, but now we think we can do it immediately with a prototype.

    • We also drafted several more advanced series articles, which is helping us better figure out our key advice.

  • We pushed the new office forward.

    • This involved getting quotes for refurbishments from contractors, continuing the lease negotiation and bringing on a project manager.

    • Unfortunately we haven’t yet signed a lease, and don’t anticipate being able to move until Jan at the earliest.

  • I attended a conference in the Bay run by the Stripe co-founders, and gave new talks on long-termism and economic growth.

Content released

The plan

This week, several of the team were at EAG, where we focused on advising and user interviews.

After that, we’ll focus on making our bout targets in the final 3 weeks. This means more advising, more content released, and hopefully some more updates to the website.

Have a great week,


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