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HOW CAN ONE PERSON BE HUGELY MORE VALUABLE THAN ANOTHER?

Posted by on Jan 9, 2018 in Blog | 0 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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HOW WALT DISNEY FUNDED HIS DREAM

Posted by on Dec 19, 2017 in Blog | 3 comments

HOW WALT DISNEY FUNDED HIS DREAM

This week we’ve been reminded about the formidable financial power of the empire founded on Donald Duck.  But when Walt Disney had the idea for Disneyland, he had to dig deep into his own pocket to get the idea going.  You see, his brother Roy started out by thinking it was a crazy idea, and he got the board of The Disney Company to oppose the idea.  In the end, Disneyland was the creation of just one person, not of a giant corporation; and it was a really risky bet. The financing of Disneyland was venture capital 1950s-style; and it has...

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WE NEED A NEW WALT DISNEY

Posted by on Dec 5, 2017 in Blog | 1 comment

WE NEED A NEW WALT DISNEY

“In the end, Disneyland was neither just a park nor even an experience.  It was also a repository of values.”  So writes Neal Gabler is his landmark biography of Walt Disney.  Reading about Disneyland this week set me thinking about the state of America today, about the importance of widely-shared myths of identity, and about the power of imagination to distort and to simplify constructively. A New Creation There had never been anything like it.  Originally Walt Disney thought about creating a different and better amusement park.  But...

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A HOBBY IS GOOD FOR YOUR LIFE & CAREER

Posted by on Nov 21, 2017 in Blog | 1 comment

A HOBBY IS GOOD FOR YOUR LIFE & CAREER

Every year in November, four people who are friends and also business partners gather in rural Portugal to discuss – whatever we want. We go on walks in pretty countryside and chat as we walk, discussing a topic, and, most importantly, accompanied by one or two dogs. This year Greg surprised us by announcing he wanted to talk about hobbies.  Hobbies?  What, I thought to myself, is the point of discussing hobbies?  At least I would enjoy the walk. But it turned out I was wrong – the talk was lively and productive. ‘When I need to be at...

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FIND YOUR PLACE IN THE 80/20 FUTURE

Posted by on Nov 7, 2017 in Blog | 4 comments

FIND YOUR PLACE IN THE 80/20 FUTURE

1: ONLY WORK IN NETWORKS The future belongs to networks.  Therefore only work in a network business or a not-for-profit network. Networks thrive on positive feedback – the famous get more famous, the rich get richer, leading companies become virtual monopolies, and the skilled specialist goes further and further ahead of her less experienced rivals. Networks exhibit galloping 80/20.  Network business comprise a small proportion of total businesses; yet they generate most of the money to be had in business.  If you work exclusively in...

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WHICH TYPE OF CAREER WILL MAKE YOU HAPPIEST?

Posted by on Oct 24, 2017 in Blog | 1 comment

WHICH TYPE OF CAREER WILL MAKE YOU HAPPIEST?

You should certainly be clear about what you enjoy doing, and whether you can incorporate this into your career.  But ‘what’ you do is only one element in the equation.  Consider also the work context within which you operate and the importance or relative unimportance to you of high professional achievement. These may be more important than the ‘what’ in leading to happiness at work. Where do you stand on two dimensions: Do you have a high drive for achievement and career success? Most people would automatically say ‘Yes’, but...

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YOU CAN ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT

Posted by on Oct 10, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

YOU CAN ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT

Work out what you want from life.  In the 1980s phrase, aim to ‘have it all’.  Everything you want should be yours – the type of work you want; the relationships you need; the social, mental and aesthetic stimulation that will make you happy and fulfilled; the money you require for the lifestyle that is appropriate to you; and any requirements that you may (or may not) have for achievement or service to other people. If you don’t aim for it all, you’ll never get it all. To aim for it requires that you know what you want. Yet most...

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IS SUCCESS LUCK OR SKILL?

Posted by on Sep 26, 2017 in Blog | 6 comments

IS SUCCESS LUCK OR SKILL?

People who’ve been successful generally believe their skill was paramount, though they may qualify it with a joke, as with Jeff Bezos’ comment on Amazon’s success – “half luck, half good timing, and the rest brains”.  Most other people believe there’s a lot of luck involved. Who is right? The Case Against Luck Serial Entrepreneurs. Peter Thiel co-founded PayPal and Palantir, as well as funding Facebook, SpaceX, and LinkedIn. Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, and Steve Jobs created several companies worth billions.  More modestly, I...

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ARE EMOTIONS US?

Posted by on Sep 12, 2017 in Blog | 2 comments

ARE EMOTIONS US?

The psychiatrist Prof Steve Peters – as he calls himself, with a nice blend of authority and informality – has suggested that our emotions are not really “us”.  In his excellent bestseller, The Chimp Paradox, he presents a simplified model of the human mind, which “has two independent thinking machines” – the human and the “chimp”.  “The human,” he says, “is you, and lives in your frontal lobe”.  But “The Chimp is your emotional machine, given to you at birth, and it lives in your limbic system.”  He says...

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BEING FREE

Posted by on Aug 29, 2017 in Blog | 2 comments

BEING FREE

THE 80/20 PRINCIPLE, like the truth, can make you free.  You can work less.  At the same time, you can earn and enjoy more.  The only snag is that you need to do some serious 80/20 Thinking.  This will yield a few insights that, if you act on them, could change your life. The catch is that you must do the thinking.  You must edit and elaborate what is written here for your own purposes.  But this shouldn’t be too hard. The insights from 80/20 Thinking are few in number but very powerful.  Not all of them will apply to you so if one...

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