My views on the market, tech, and everything else

Why is Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) like a Belly Button?

Every business owner has customer acquisition cost (CAC). And a belly button. If that business owner does not know their CAC they are essentially the equivalent of a blindfolded poker player. Every shareholder is a partial owner of the business in which they own shares. If they want to make intelligent decisions about the value of that partial ownership interest in the business, they must understand CAC. CAC is a […]

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A Dozen Things I’ve Learned About Negotiation

Once upon a time I wrote a book on negotiation with my friend Russell Daggatt. The book is mostly a collection of real stories about our experiences working and living abroad. I lived in Seoul for four years and for a year in Sydney. Russell lived in Tokyo.  The book was published by Harper Collins, but few years after the paperback was on the market we bought back the copyright. […]

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A Dozen Things Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger Learned From See’s Candies

This is my 200th blog post. I thought it would be most fitting given the milestone to write about a topic related to Munger and Buffett. One of the most important decisions in the history of Berkshire was the acquisition of See’s Candies in 1972. Buffett has called See’s Candies “the prototype of a dream business.”  Berkshire’s purchase of a boxed candy business founded by the See family in California […]

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Why Moats are Essential for Profitability (Restaurant Edition)

  Investing is about owning a partial stake in a real business. You must understand whether the actual businesses in which you own stock earns a return on capital to be a successful investor. The more different types of businesses you understand in this way, the more skill you will acquire in understanding another new business. The point I am making explains why Warren Buffett says: “I am a better investor […]

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A Half Dozen Reasons Why Venture Capitalists Prefer Missionaries to Mercenaries

  1.Mark Cuban: “Don’t start a company unless it’s an obsession and something you love. If you have an exit strategy, it’s not an obsession.” No one should start a business if they are not obsessively committed to the mission of that business. Genuine obsession and passion are highly valuable since making the business a success will require overcoming significant obstacles. My most interesting experience with being obsessively committed to […]

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Why Investors Must Be Contrarians to Outperform The Market

Bill Gurley: “Being ‘right’ doesn’t lead to superior performance if the consensus forecast is also right.” Andy Rachleff elaborates on the point made by Gurley: “What most people don’t realize is if you’re right and consensus you don’t make money.” It is a bit strange that most people don’t realize this truth and yet it is common sense: you simply can’t be part of the crowd and at the same […]

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