Per My Last E-mail #6
Hi Friends 👋,
Happy Monday. This is the first Per My Last E-mail of official summer, and I hope you’ve all been able to take some time to unwind, relax and recharge.
This past weekend, a group of us went up to our friend’s place in Clinton’s Corner, NY, and we were so happy to be together in the woods that we were doing cartwheels.
Since I started writing this newsletter 6 weeks ago, I have been hunting for interesting and informative articles, podcasts, books and videos to share with all of you. It’s been really cool hearing your reactions, discussing ideas, and reading and listening to related content that you’ve sent me, but normally after a few days, we’re on to the next thing.
I have always had a pretty bad memory, and recently, the topic of what I can do to better retain and apply the information I’m consuming has fascinated me. Part of the issue as far as I can tell is that I read something once, think about it for a few minutes, hope part of it sticks somewhere in my brain, and then move on. A major reason that I started writing is that it forces me to engage more actively with the information I consume, knowing that I will have to try to apply it in novel, cohesive and insightful ways.
In an effort to engage with and organize content in a more lightweight way than, and as a supplement to, writing, I’m playing around with Live Threads on Twitter. The idea is to create threads on topics I’m exploring - from Natively Integrated Companies to Real Estate to Startup Strategy - that I can update as I discover new things and that others can contribute to with me. To learn more and follow along, you can check out the short post I wrote about it here.
Links and Listens
🏫 Better Schools Won’t Fix America by Nick Hanauer in The Atlantic
Hanauer, long a supporter of education as the path to equality, realizes that he has been getting it backwards for most of his life. He argues that better education alone won’t lead to shrinking income and opportunity gaps, and that it’s actually higher wages and more economic security that will lead to better educational outcomes.
👹 The Greatest Asset Bubble of All-Time by Nick Maggiulli of Of Dollars and Data
Of Dollars and Data is one of my favorite blogs, and this post is a good example of why that is. Maggiulli takes a structured approach to determining which is the greatest asset bubble of all time based on Market Cap, Price, and Recovery Time. He compares Tulip Mania, South Sea, The Great Crash, Japan, Dot Com, U.S. Housing and Bitcoin and picks a clear winner.
Without looking, can you guess which is the greatest asset bubble of all time?
♻️ Five Lessons of History by Morgan Housel of Collaborative Fund
Housel, one of the best thinkers online today, points out that most lessons people take from history are not broadly applicable, and are therefore almost useless. For example, looking back at the Great Depression, what is the average person supposed to learn?
“I’m not a banker or a regulator. So what can I do with a lesson like ‘don’t let the banks fail?’”
Housel goes on to lay out 5 lessons from history that anyone can apply to their lives. My favorite is: “Lesson #4: Progress happens too slowly for people to notice; setbacks happen too fast for people to ignore.” This is an idea that I keep seeing pop up, maybe because we’re in year 10 of a bull run, and one that I’m trying to figure out how to apply.
🎙 Bill Gurley on The Twenty Minute VC with Harry Stebbings
Bill Gurley is one of the best VCs alive and is most famous for his early investment in, and later power struggle with, Uber. In this podcast, Gurley shares some lessons and perspective he’s gained over twenty years in venture, but most interesting to me is a point he makes that echoes Housel’s Lesson #4:
“Over maybe a 5-year period, your VC firm has taken on a tremendous amount of risk, but every day you’ve just moved a little bit… when markets bust, risk aversion comes on immediately. Like boom.”
🕸 The Network Effects Manual by James Currier of NFX
“Network Effects” are one of the most talked about and least truly understood concepts in tech. Everyone claims to have network effects in their business, and for good reason: Currier points out that “Our three-year study, which we released recently, shows that nfx are responsible for 70% of the value created by tech companies since the Internet became a thing in 1994.” This breakdown of the 13 different types of network effects adds clarity and nuance to a conversation that has lacked both.
👮🏻 Drug Cop Worth $400 million After Bets on Brooklyn Real Estate by Sophie Alexander and Tom Maloney in Bloomberg
Nothing makes me wish that I had a time machine more than hearing about people buying New York properties ~30-50 years ago for a few thousand dollars. This one, though, is actually feel-good. Bloomberg covers Greg O’Connell, a former drug cop who started buying properties in Red Hook in 1967. O’Connell still lives in the neighborhood today, and he and his son run their portfolio with an eye towards preserving the community over maximizing profits.
😭 Stay in the Game by Drew Dickson of Albert Bridge Capital
I’m not going to give anything away, but this post by a dad about his son’s struggles and recovery is one of the best stories I’ve read this year, and the ending is a really nice surprise.
This week, I’m going to play with these Live Threads to see if they make sense as a way to share content. My early take is that it’s too messy to be followable, but I’ll let it go for a week and let you know what I’ve learned in the next newsletter.
Thanks for reading and have a great week,