Charlie Munger lurks the internet trying to make me pick fights with myself. As you might expect from any other 97-year-old investment and business zen master, he’s got quotes circulating the world just waiting to sneak up and punch you in the gut. Broken ribs have never been so much fun. This one might even … Continue reading Charlie Munger On Making Improvements And Accepting Change
In investing, we talk a lot about margin of safety. It usually represents what is left over after we adjust for bad luck. Anywhere we make choices - in business or in life - thinking about “what will I be left with if this doesn’t work out,” in advance is a helpful thought experiment. In … Continue reading What’s The Margin Of Safety?
David Abbott wrote some of the best copy/headlines for The Economist (h/t Cole Schafer). This is one of my favorites, and it’s particularly thought-provoking: In real life, the tortoise loses. The tortoise and hare parable is important and useful on its own, but like so many metaphors, it’s not universally true. Anytime you can find … Continue reading In Real Life, The Tortoise Loses
The Warren Buffett of the next generation will be very different from the Warren Buffett of today.* Sort of. It’s hard to guess if they’ll love Coke or McDonalds. They probably won’t know much Ben Graham. They will have figured out how to buy or own something at an amazing price, and it will only … Continue reading The Next Warren Buffett
If nobody thinks it’s worth anything, it’s worthless. If somebody thinks it’s worth something, it at least can fetch a low price. The more people believe, the more it potentially can be worth it. Whatever product we are making, whatever service we are providing, whatever business we are assessing, it’s how disinterested or excited people … Continue reading Quality And The Opportunities In Pessimism
What’s the difference between having an opinion, making a living, and dedicating one’s life to something? What about saying one baseball team is better than another at the water cooler, betting on a game with a disagreeing friend, and elaborately cataloging every match in a rivalry over the years? The difference is having no skin … Continue reading From Skin In The Game To Soul In The Game
Legendary investor Chuck Akre told Patrick O’Shaughnessy that “imagination is more important than knowledge.” From his perspective, a person can be brilliant and still fail IF they lack the curiosity (“imagination”) to stick with a challenging problem long enough to really solve it. Imagination, curiosity, creatively - these can’t be taught, they can only be cultivated. … Continue reading Chuck Akre: “Imagination is More Important that Knowledge”
The moat. Like the trench of alligator-filled waters around a castle, businesses have different types of protective moats around their profits, brands, and even cultures. Whether we are studying the largest companies in the world or thinking about our own businesses, moat maintenance matters. In order to survive and thrive for the long term, we need to … Continue reading Why You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Moat
Lisa Bodell plays a sick and twisted game with the companies that hire her as a consultant. She gathers a group of forward-thinking people from across the hierarchy, tells them to imagine they’ve just been hired by a new competitor, and asks them to use everything they know to kill their old company off. She … Continue reading Kill the Company: Invention Brings Success, Reinvention Keeps it.
Blueface was relatively unknown in early 2018. By early 2019 he had a top ten song on Billboard and was seemingly everywhere. What makes him most interesting is how his musical fame is only modestly tied to music, or about “25%” by his own estimate. The rest? “Marketing, promotion, being yourself.” This isn’t just a … Continue reading What Can Blueface’s Rise To Fame Teach Us About Marketing? A Lot.