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THE 80/20 WAY TO READ A NON-FICTION BOOK

Posted by on May 15, 2018 in Blog | 7 comments

THE 80/20 WAY TO READ A NON-FICTION BOOK

My tutor at Oxford used to set me weekly essays and give a long reading list of books and articles.  My first reaction was “how can I read all this in a week?”  His reply was smooth and fluent: “Read the Conclusion first, then the Introduction, then the End again, then flick through for interesting arguments or examples.  For goodness sake, Richard, don’t read the whole bloody thing, except for enjoyment.” That’s an important caveat.  If you’re reading for pleasure, read away.  But if you main purpose is to learn something,...

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A NEW WAY TO GET RICH

Posted by on May 1, 2018 in Blog | 4 comments

A NEW WAY TO GET RICH

Rarely it is true that there is a reliable new way to get rich.  Perhaps once in a hundred or two hundred years.  But I’m doing it and it seems to be true.  There are excellent intellectual reasons too.  So I’ll tease you with a romp through history – fascinating to me and I hope to you – before getting to the point. Networks have been great benefactors of humanity – but not investors Historian Niall Fergusson has recently reminded us that networks are not new, but to my way of thinking he doesn’t go back far enough.  For if...

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THE TRIUMPH OF THE STRATEGY PARADIGM

Posted by on Apr 17, 2018 in Blog | 3 comments

THE TRIUMPH OF THE STRATEGY PARADIGM

I’ve just finished reading The Lords of Strategy by Walter Kiechel and it is terrific.  It is 333 pages long and I read it in one day – if you overlook staying up until the early morning to finish it. If you are at all interested in business, read it. But I can summarize in one sentence its main message:     The difference between business today and as it was in the 1960s is immense and the difference is the strategy paradigm. Or if you give me one more sentence: The difference was due to one man and one firm, started in...

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BUSINESS = IDEAS IN MOTION

Posted by on Apr 3, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

BUSINESS = IDEAS IN MOTION

“People like to think that businesses are built of numbers (“the bottom line”) or forces (“market forces”) or things (“the product”) or flesh and blood (“our people”).  But this is wrong.  Businesses are made of ideas – ideas expressed as words.” So says James Champy.  He is exaggerating.  Enterprises have all these attributes at once – they are numbers, forces, products and services, people, ideas, and ways of combining inputs to produce something better or cheaper than before; and having something left over for...

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WHERE WILL YOU BE HAPPIEST?

Posted by on Mar 20, 2018 in Blog | 4 comments

WHERE WILL YOU BE HAPPIEST?

One of the greatest things about life today – as compared, let us say, to that in the nineteenth century and all history before that – is that it is relatively easy to move to somewhere far away from where we grew up.  Probably hundreds of millions of people take advantage of that possibility during their lifetime, though a much smaller number move to a different country.  Like life in general, a dramatic move is, most often, a default decision – circumstances, such as a job posting to a different city or country, getting married to a...

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THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES

Posted by on Mar 6, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES

A Modern Version – with apologies to Hans Christian Andersen Once upon a time there was an emperor who was so vain, he spent all his subjects’ money on new clothes from abroad. So he was delighted when he was visited by two smooth-talking Italians.  They had the finest cloth imaginable with fantastic colors and patterns.  But what made them truly unique was that they were invisible to all but the smartest of people. Captains of internet giants and West Coast venture capitalists were clamoring for the cloth, they said, but the emperor...

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THE CASINO, THE INDIVIDUAL, & SOCIETY

Posted by on Feb 20, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

THE CASINO, THE INDIVIDUAL, & SOCIETY

“The relations between the individual and society are like a roulette table.  Society is the banker.  Individuals sometimes win and sometimes lose; but the banker wins always.”  This was writer Somerset Maugham’s provocative take on life. I came across the quote this week and it made me think.  What?  Well, Maugham was half right, and wholly wrong. Two Reasons Why Maugham was Right First, society does benefit from individuals.  There is no other way society can progress.  Arts and sciences, politics and medicine, literature and...

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ENLIST EINSTEIN

Posted by on Feb 6, 2018 in Blog | 4 comments

ENLIST EINSTEIN

“For tribal man, space was the uncontrollable mystery,” wrote Marshall McLuhan.  “For technological man it is time that occupies the same role.” In 1916, Einstein, in his general theory of relativity, argued that time is not independent of space.  Rather, he said, instead of there being three dimensions – of space – there are four, time being the fourth. The theory of relativity changed our ideas of ‘space’ and ‘time’. Neither of these, Einstein said, were real, but a simple psychological effect, a product of the material...

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HOW TO BECOME THOUSANDS OF TIMES MORE VALUABLE

Posted by on Jan 23, 2018 in Blog | 3 comments

HOW TO BECOME THOUSANDS OF TIMES MORE VALUABLE

INVENT YOUR OWN WEALTH CREATION MULTIPLE My last post explored the paradox that while individuals are not even two or three times as intelligent as other normal people, they can be thousands or millions of times more valuable, as measured by money and the capital markets.  We arrived at the formula that: Wealth = (Talent) x (Wealth Creation Multiple). We also saw that logically Talent is much less important than the Wealth Creation Multiple. I then left you, dear readers, dangling – I asked what the Wealth Creation Multiple was, but...

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HOW CAN ONE PERSON BE HUGELY MORE VALUABLE THAN ANOTHER?

Posted by on Jan 9, 2018 in Blog | 9 comments

HOW CAN ONE PERSON BE HUGELY MORE VALUABLE THAN ANOTHER?

Every venture capitalist knows there is nothing more important in a new business than its people, and that the people can make a difference of thousands of times to its future value.  That’s all very well in practice, but how does it work in theory? Nobody has really explained the paradox that individuals can’t be many times as intelligent as one another, and yet that in business at least they can add thousands of times difference to results. I’m going to try to explain how and why. Just how valuable are truly great people? How much...

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