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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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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 | 5 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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