This Week I Learned #30

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


  • Wealthy: Every podcast starts out with a unique story of its own and the story of Radiolab as told by Jad Abumrad, Host + Creator, is one of continuous trial and error. When the show first started no one listened to it. Literally, no one. The show continued to try anything that popped into the team's mind and this continued for close to 2 years as the team continued to follow their gut. The more I do my podcast and hear stories of other successful podcasters, the more I feel a traditional business plan just isn't going to work for this.


  • Wealthy: Interview with Jeremy Grantham of GMO Capital. A great overview on the current market economics with references to the environment in the 1920s and 2000s as Grantham describes the 'frothiness' level of the various markets and how it relates to today's environment. Tech stock valuations are high to historics but what seems to be missing in this current environment is intense 'euphoria' for its been a rather pessimistic 9-year bull market with people screaming for a drop since 2011/12. Grantham brings up an interesting point of required factors being large increases in deal flow and IPOs. With Uber, Lyft and Instacart speaking of IPOs in the new year this seems timely but there has been a large decrease in public companies since the high so.. who knows. I loved how he finished off with a lecture note by Ben Graham, the father of value investing, where Graham practically says you will be wrong a lot and to even think about predicting the market is foolishness. Graham himself continued to evolve his investing strategy and I think that's what is required to be an intelligent investor, not saying you're specialized in one school of thought regardless of the market environment.


  • Wise: Apple Inc. used to be called Apple Computers. Makes sense since they started off selling computers. Then, Steve Jobs announced the name change because the company was no longer about computers and it became known for the iPod and now it's all about the iPhone. Like a person, a company needs to continuously reinvent itself. So, what you name a company now doesn't limit what it can be in the future. You can change your mind later. 


  • Wise: Learnings from a conversation with a friend who works at big tech in silicon valley. Many of the projects they decide to do because it's "rational" and backed with the most "data" have all turned out to be the wrong decisions. There is a common practice of tech folks shaming others who work in big tech like Facebook, Uber, Airbnb or Google with each other calling each other's company immoral. Unlike those who admire the many who work in big tech, the people who actually work in it don't go around broadcasting where they work like some pompous banker. They actually hide it because of an internal guilt they have for what tech is doing to the city and because it's not a point of pride for many of them but just a job that provides them a certain lifestyle. 


  • Wise: Sturgeon’s Law: “90% of everything is crap.” In a world obsessed with getting more information less is more. It’s knowing the 10% that matters and what you do with said information. 


  • Wealthy: Learned that real estate development projects in Toronto tend to have a 12% profit margin and projects in NY tend to get double that. Interesting to hear about two Americans make reference to potential real estate bubbles in Canada and they mentioned about how they think the Toronto bubble may be something of a development bubble given the boom in construction there. However, Toronto at least has a growing immigrant and economy supporting such development but Vancouver is slave to the whims of the Chinese government, which alone is on thin ice per what I've witnessed from my trip to Hong Kong and what my friends from Shanghai have said.


  • Wise: Interview with Ryan Hoover, Founder of Product Hunt. What clicked with me here was on the need to know what you need help with. It seems obvious but I actually think it's hard when you're in the moment of things to stop and turn off the desire of self-sufficiency and decide to look to someone else for help.


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Daniel LeeOMD VenturesTWIL