An irony of studying history is that we often know exactly how a story ends, but have no idea where it began.
The most important lessons from history are the takeaways that are so broad they can apply to other fields, other eras, and other people. That’s where lessons have leverage and are most likely to apply to your own life.
Richard Held and Alan Hein raised 20 kittens in pitch black darkness. Which is the kind of thing you should only do if it’s necessary to prove a point critical to understanding how the world works. Thankfully they did just that.
Greed and fear control everything in investing.
This is a short story about what happened to the U.S. economy since the end of World War II.
Let me tell you the story of two investors, neither of whom knew each other, but whose paths crossed in an interesting way.
Capitalism’s success is built on a belief – a story – that, given the right incentives, people can work together to solve problems. It’s worked magnificently. It’s the greatest story ever told.
The number of public companies has been cut in half over the last 20 years, as the amount of capital in private equity and venture funds has increased more than 12-fold.
Where do we start?
Few things transformed the 20th century like the car and the airplane.
Both set the stage for the modern world, completely changing family life, politics, war, culture, business, leisure time, and communication.
But we only know how important the car and the plane are with hindsight. We had no idea how big they’d become when they made their first appearance.
Innovation is always changing, but psychology is timeless, so understanding how we reacted to the arrival of the car and the plane sheds light how we’re likely to respond to breakthroughs today and tomorrow.
This report digs through turn-of-the-century newspapers to show how Americans responded to the early days of the car and the airplane.
It aims to show two things:
- Nothing is obvious when it’s first invented.