My views on the market, tech, and everything else


Lessons from Annie Duke (Author of “Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts”) 

Annie Duke received an NSF Fellowship to attend graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania to study cognitive psychology. Because she missed the job market one year due to a stomach ailment that put her in the hospital, she decided to try to make some money by playing poker until the next academic hiring season. This detour resulted in her acquiring 20 years of experience in the real-world behavioral laboratory […]

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Lessons from Howard Marks’ New Book: “Mastering the Market Cycle – Getting the Odds on Your Side”

Howard Marks is co-chairman and co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management, an investment manager with more than $120 billion in assets under management. How smart is Marks and how sound is his judgement? Charlie Munger once said:  “I probably know Howard Marks as well as I know anybody and he is a very smart man….[For example] you have to believe in the tooth fairy to believe [Bernie Madoff] was having those figures […]

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Lessons from Scott Belsky’s Book “The Messy Middle”

Scott Belsky is Adobe’s Chief Product Officer and Executive Vice President, Creative Cloud. He co-founded Behance in 2006 and served as CEO until it was acquired by Adobe in 2012. He is the author of Making Ideas Happen and his new book is The Messy Middle. “We love talking about starts and finishes, even though the middle stretch is the most important and often the most ignored and misunderstood. We don’t […]

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Business and Investing Lessons from Caddyshack

  There are certainly some people who don’t know that Caddyshack is a 1980 comedy movie directed by Harold Ramis and written by Brian Doyle-Murray, Douglas Kenney and the director Ramis. These people also may not know that the four biggest stars in the movie are Bill Murray (Carl Spackler), Chevy Chase (TyWebb), Rodney Dangerfield (Al Czervik) and Ted Knight (Judge Smails). Carl Spackler:  This crowd has gone deadly silent, […]

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Risk, Uncertainty and Ignorance in Investing and Business – Lessons from Richard Zeckhauser  

  Richard Zeckhauser is an American economist and a Professor of Political Economy at the Kennedy School at Harvard University. Charlie Munger has said about him: “The right way to think is the way [Harvard Professor Richard] Zeckhauser plays bridge. It’s just that simple.” “Smart people make these terrible boners. …Well maybe a great bridge player like Zeckhauser [doesn’t], but that’s a trained response. The list of his published work […]

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Lessons from Chance the Rapper (Value Chains and Profit Pools)

  “Chancelor Jonathan Bennett, known professionally as Chance the Rapper, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, record producer, and philanthropist from the West Chatham neighborhood of Chicago” is a sentence from the Wikipedia biography. I will explain more about Chance in the post below. “There’s no reason to [sign with a label]. It’s a dead industry.”  “A&Rs like, ‘Chano you ain’t playin’ fair!’”  The music industry has been transformed […]

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(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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