What We’re Reading

A few good pieces the Collaborative team came across this week …

IRR:

On graduating Gross hopped on a train to Las Vegas and turned $200 into a tidy $10,000 in five months. But he later calculated that it only worked out to be $5 an hour. “It was hard work. I never went to the movies, I never had a friend, I didn’t have a car and there were no hookers or any of that shit,” he says. “It was just 16 hours a day of blackjack.”

Luck/Skill:

I think I’ve been the luckiest person on the planet … I read a piece that quoted some Silicon Valley guy who says, “Success is never accidental. You make your own luck.” And I don’t agree. I think luck is a real thing and it’s important and it’s inherently unfair, but that’s life.

Meritocracy:

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Demand:

By creating unlimited shelf space and reducing information asymmetries, power in the internet age is shifting from suppliers to customers. The world is increasingly demand driven. Customers have more choices than ever before. They can buy anything, at any time. Through the internet, brands can serve a long-tail of unmet consumer needs, which weren’t served by big box retailers. Small direct-to-consumer brands are popping up left and right. Their products go beyond their utilitarian purposes and reflect the identities of people who buy them. From dairy-free yogurt, to anti-razor bump grooming products, to the assortment of milks (oat, almond, skim, soy, coconut, rice, hemp, plant, cashew, macadamia, hazelnut, pea, flax, peanut, walnut) so large that you need a rolodex to keep track of them all, the products themselves differentiate these upstart brands from incumbents.

More equity than debt:

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Powerful facts:

Dow earnings were cut in half in 1908. The index gained 46%.

U.S. one-month treasury bills went 68 years with a negative real return.

At the bottom in 2009, long-term U.S. government bonds outperformed the stock market over the previous 40 years.

Have a good weekend.


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