What We’re Reading

Here are a few good articles the Collaborative Fund team came across this week.

Getting by

Jeff Bezos has recommendations for the newspaper industry:

When you’re writing, be riveting, be right and ask people to pay. They will pay … If you really wanted to build a business you could support with advertising alone, especially programmatic advertising, you’d have to be incredibly lean, you’d have to eliminate a lot of layers of editing, you would not do much original material, you would cleverly rewrite other people’s material, you would emphasize clever writing as opposed to original sourcing.

Cooperation

A wonderful thought on the value of teams:

Teams help companies win. Individuals may be able to pick stocks but I don’t believe they can pick winners at a Series A in any predictable way. If you don’t believe me then see how much Series A investor overlap exists amongst the top 5 or 10 public tech companies (meagre) and how that has trended (worse). Teams source investments. Teams make those investments work. Teams transition board seats when new blood or new skills are necessary. Teams. Teams. Teams.

Culture

A very important piece on how the changing culture of Wall Street impacts returns:

More to the point, the types of people who are increasingly being hired by the large funds aren’t flamboyant in the traditional Wall Street way in the presence of rising stock prices. They’re technical people, building strategies that are devoid of emotion. The analysts driving the returns at a shop like WorldQuant are nameless, faceless and dispersed around the globe, cranking away at their terminals. This is both deliberate and a function of what kind of people they are.

Transferring skills

Moving from seed to Series A investing:

When investing at the seed stage, I had to get conviction on new investment opportunities with relatively little information. Now, I look at companies that have troves of data and information to analyze. Being used to having to develop an investment thesis with little to no information to draw on was great training for the analysis I’m doing now.

Competition

Lyft has surged as Uber stumbles:

In the first three months of 2017, the number of Lyft rides hit 70.4 million, a 240% increase from the same period in 2016, according to the company. Lyft saw a 60% increase in passengers taking their first ride after #deleteuber trended earlier this year.

Shifts

I’ll never get over how crazy this would have sounded eight years ago:

The U.S. exported 1 million barrels of oil a day during some months so far this year—double the pace of 2016—and is on track to average that amount for all of 2017, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data from the U.S. Energy Department and the International Trade Commission.

Have a good weekend.


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