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Common Plots of Economic History

Complicated stuff can stem from a handful of common roots. Understanding those common roots can be more important than trying to wrap your head around complexity.

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Founders, VCs and Values – Thoughts on a Critical Moment

What happens when a founder’s interests are not aligned with those of the company and its shareholders?

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Risk-Based Care

There are few things as hard to move as the US healthcare system. It’s a $3T+ giant held at rest by a broken business model: fee for service.

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The Spectrum of Wealth

Chris Rock joked that Bill Gates would jump out the window if he woke up with Oprah’s money. Like most comedy, it’s funny because it contains a nugget of truth.

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Adding Work As A Category

People work, and they usually work a lot. The average American spends 90,000 hours working over the course of their life. That’s ~1/3 of your life.

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Useful Biases

There was a time when psychology was all about helping people get from bad to normal.

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Second Layer Solutions and the Next Wave of Innovation

Necessity is the mother of invention. In 1991, a group of researchers in the computer laboratory at the University of Cambridge shared a single coffee pot. The problem is that the coffee didn’t last long once brewed, and there was no way to know if there was coffee to be had before making the trek to the machine. A simple solution was to point a camera at the pot and broadcast the frame grabber to all the researchers’ desktop computers through their internal network. Information asymmetry solved.

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Why New Technology Is A Hard Sell

Let me tell you about the only time in history a new technology has been adopted by almost everyone virtually overnight.

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Three Big Things: The Most Important Forces Shaping the World

An irony of studying history is that we often know exactly how a story ends, but have no idea where it began.

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WeWork Lessons That Apply To Lots of Stuff

No company or investment strategy is proven until it’s survived a calamity. Things that can thrive while the wind is at their back outnumber those that can endure the complete wrath of the real world 100 to 1, at least. Something that’s only viable when everything’s moving in the right direction can – for a while – look the most impressive, because growth during boom times is often amplified by leverage, luck, and obliviousness that can be mistaken for optimism and vision. But markets survive on a steady diet of fragile ignorance, chewing it up and spitting it out whenever it’s exposed. Save your biggest applause for stuff that’s made it through at least one feast.

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