My views on the market, tech, and everything else

Author Archives


(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction and Negative Churn

My grandfather said to me once: “Two negatives can create a positive in English, but what is the point of that?” He continued by saying: “It is clever dialogue when Bert says to Mary Poppins ‘If you don’t want to go nowhere…,’ but that phrasing was intended as humor, rather than to improve clarity.” He was referring to the lyric “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” in a song by the Rolling […]

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Lessons for Business Founders from Tupac Shakur

There are many biographies of Tupac, all of which have aspects that someone probably will take issue with, so I won’t create my own version in this blog post.  I will instead quote one sentence from Wikipedia: “Tupac Amaru Shakur, also known as 2Pac and Makaveli, was an American rapper and actor.” As you probably know, in September of 1996 Tupac was shot and killed in Las Vegas, in what […]

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How Subscription Business Models are Changing Business and Investing (the Microeconomics of Subscriptions)

A subscription is at its core an arrangement with a customer that creates a periodic contractual commitment. Netflix is an example of a subscription-based business. The default in a subscription relationship is that the customer will make an additional purchase at some time in the future unless they take some action like sending a cancellation notice or not paying a renewal fee when the subscription ends. The other method used […]

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Lessons from Michael Batnick (Big Mistakes)

Michael Batnick is the Director of Research at Ritholtz Wealth Management. He is also the author of a new book Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments “which explores the ways in which the biggest names have failed, and reveals the lessons learned that shaped more successful strategies going forward.” “A book that influenced my thinking was Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t by Steven Pressfield. This quote is […]

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Lessons from Elad Gil and High Growth Handbook

Elad Gil was a co-founder of Mixer Labs and Color Genomics. After Mixer Labs was acquired by Twitter, he was a VP at Twitter. He also previously worked at Google where he started their mobile team and worked on AdSense. Gil is an investor in and advisor to companies like: Airbnb, Coinbase, Instacart, Stripe, OpenDoor, Square, Pinterest, Stripe, Gusto, Wish and Zenefits. Gil is the author of a new book […]

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Lessons from Jim O’Shaughnessy

Jim O’Shaughnessy is the Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of O’Shaughnessy Asset Management (OSAM). He was a pioneer in quantitative equity research, part of an early group of explorers who combed through data to find factors which predicted future stock returns. O’Shaughnessy is the author of four books on investing. “Mandelbrot basically demonstrates that markets are not log normal but chaotic normal. They have much more of a peak and […]

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Business Lessons from Rob Hayes (First Round Capital)

  Rob Hayes has been a partner at First Round Capital since 2006. I wrote about First Round previously in the chapter on John Kopelman in my newest book A Dozen Lessons for Entrepreneurs which is a fund raiser for the charity “No Kid Hungry.” Before joining First Round, Hayes was a venture investor at Omidyar Network and prior to that he worked at Palm. Among the investments Hayes has made […]

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Lessons from Josh Wolfe (Lux Capital)

Wolfe is the co-founder of Lux Capital, a venture capital firm which invests in emerging science and technology ventures. The firm manages $1.4 billion in assets across five funds. Before founding Lux, Wolfe worked in investment banking. He grew up in Brooklyn (Wolfe has many interesting stories to tell about his childhood in Coney Island) and graduated from Cornell with a B.S. in Economics and Finance. 1.“Edge is a key element […]

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Lessons from Cliff Asness

  A full biography on Cliff Asness would be a couple of pages long since he is so accomplished, but here is my shortened version in the event you do not know his background already: Cliff is a Founder, Managing Principal and Chief Investment Officer at AQR Capital Management. Prior to co-founding AQR, he was a Managing Director and Director of Quantitative Research for the Asset Management Division of Goldman, […]

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Lessons from Sonali de Rycker (Accel)

Sonali de Rycker is a general partner at the venture capital firm Accel. De Rycker focuses on investments in consumer, software and financial services businesses. She was born in Mumbai and is a graduate of Bryn Mawr and Harvard Business School. De Rycker began her professional career as an analyst at Goldman and went on to join Atlas Ventures in 2000. 1. “We advise breaking down the [process of building a […]

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