This Week I Learned #20

“Go to bed smarter than when you woke up”
— Charlie Munger


  • Wise: So podcasts or content-related companies like OMD Ventures have what's called "Evergreen" assets, content that is created once and it continues to have value regardless of when it is. The opposite of this would be news content where only the recent matter. What I did not consider with this business model I had was that I've produced a lot of content thus far and when I share them on the social media network only about 5% of my network will see that. MeetEdgar is a company that provides the service of recycling content on various social media accounts. The founder used to make excel-based spreadsheets to help them keep track of what they were recycling and I think I can build that myself with the current content I have. Did not think about this before but continuously recycling the content throughout the week and even multiple times a day may help with attracting more folks to the site. Learning from podcast interview with the Founder of MeetEdgar on Indie Hackers podcast.


  • Wealthy: "Do not use following your dreams as an excuse not to work hard. Don't use following your dreams as an excuse not to work hard". Brandon Stanton, the founder of Humans of New York (HoNY) was a bond trader who got fired and learned the money he earned meant so little to the life he wanted to lead. Then through immense hard work he created HoNY. He had no back ground in photography, no friends in new york and no blue print for what HoNY would become. He slept in a mattress on the floor, felt the wrath of the New Yorkers when he stopped them to take a picture and talk with them and just repeated the process 1000s of times. Work Hard.


  • Wise: Listened to the "Dating Ring" series on the Start Up Podcast. About 10-12 episodes at 20mins each. Takes you through the full life cycle of the company from inception to Y-combinator and the growth phase afterwards. My learning was on really understanding why you would choose to go to Y Combinator. It's like wanting to go to Harvard for a MBA with no clue of what you want to do with your life. You'll have no clue at the end, just a fuck ton of debt and insecurity on your financial stance so you'll become a consultant or business person in big tech. Same thing for YC. It only makes sense if you are trying to become a billion dollar company in the fastest time possible. For me, no thanks.


  • Wealthy: "Do the stuff only you can do. Make good art." Commencement speech by famed author Neil Gaiman. In a world continuing to automate algorithmic tasks human value will ever so increasingly be in heuristic tasks. These tasks I believe are all considered "art". Watch this. It will apply to your longevity.


  • Wealthy: Whilst interviewing Natalie, the Co-founder of Boro for the podcast (stay tuned for the future episode readers!) I learned about opportunities to bootstrap the business (bootstrap means no VC funding). Boro utilized government grants for startups and small businesses to get excess of $50,000 in funding. With so many great services available to create businesses at such low costs, $50,000 is a lot that could be used to help grow OMD Ventures further. Natalie explained how government grants though are more accessible if the startup is part of an incubator like Ryerson's DMZ. What I also learned is that Ryerson has a Social Venture Zone that might be fitting for OMD Ventures to become a part of as it may align more with my mission for the company. 


  • Healthy: A wonderful Ted Talk by Atul Gawande, the author of the checklist manifesto, on why everyone needs a coach. Atul describes his experience with getting a coach himself, despite being an accomplished surgeon already. It's a fundamental misconception in modern society where we believe a "professional" or "expert" is someone who has reached some "level" where they would not benefit from coaching from someone else. Regardless of whether you are a top violinist like Izak Perlman or surgeon or athlete everyone needs a coach. The common adage of "no one achieves greatness by himself" is true. A coach isn't only necessary to get from 0 to 80 but also from 80 to 99.99. The coach is the external eyes and ears that can paint a version of a reality you are not aware of because of your own biases and this can help you build on your strengths and address the weaknesses. A belief that you are too good to have a coach or that you are "above" someone is the indication of a fixed mindset, not a growth mindset. Humility and curiosity is what matters.


  • Wealthy: An interview with Mark Yusko on Real Vision. Mark is a fund of fund investor trained under Swenson at Yale and I've been an avid reader of his letters for his fund, Morgan Creek Capital. This hour-long interview talks about the evolution of the hedge fund industry from the 1940s to current day where the strategy has evolved from macro-based leveraged longs to current day event-driven/quant. Though what's evident is that human propensity to flock to the next hot thing that works until it reaches an excess point and implodes is contagious and likely to repeat to the future. Mark brings up a great point about Japan's economy and some companies there being robust, maybe even antifragile, after having survived a decade long recession. Contrast this with companies part of a stable economy that are spoiled and allowed to get fat. I also loved his bit on "numbers are symptoms." That assessing fund managers by historics is not an accurate way to know how good they are because numbers are just a reflection of the past and they alone don't tell a story at all, yet most in the industry have gotten lazy and now blindly roll with numbers.


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Daniel LeeOMD VenturesTWIL