Closer To Fine
w.201 | Capital Camp, Trillion Dollar Coin, Housel on Writing, David v Goliath
I hope you are enjoying Memorial Day weekend, for those in the States.
I’m in the suburbs of Detroit with family after spending most of the week in Columbia, Missouri, at Capital Camp (more on that later).
Most exciting, though, is that our family has a new addition. My brother just welcomed his second daughter! Speaking to him and hearing the contrast with when he came home with his first child roughly two years ago was a nice reminder of the value that experience can bring in all walks of life.
Good Reads: Sensible Investing
Capital Camp Learnings
Song of the Week: Closer To Fine
Good Reads: Sensible Investing
The Man Who Invented the Trillion-Dollar Coin. An Atlanta lawyer was just spit-balling on a financial blog. He didn’t expect Washington to listen.
The Problem with Big Businesses is that Outcomes are Primarily Macro Dependent. Small Businesses are the Real Bulwark of a Free Society and Capitalism.
A short essay by Sam Lessin about why small businesses are important for the feeling of a free society - because those inside them feel connected to the outcome and have agency.
Venture Capital IS a Regulated Industry—a Lawyer’s Guide To VC Regulation. The article is dense with insight and details if this is an area of interest to you.
Morgan Housel on Writing - A detailed podcast on his process, how he writes one sentence at a time, and which authors he looks up to. Pair it with The Freakishly Strong Base, a blog he wrote a few years ago about compounding in life and investing.
Start investing as young as you can. Encourage young people to do the same. Build a reputation through small, consistent acts. That’s where everything huge begins.
How David Beats Goliath. When underdogs break the rules. Yes, it’s old. But it’s also both good and timeless. A 2007 article by Malcolm Gladwell in The New Yorker.
In the Biblical story of David and Goliath, David initially put on a coat of mail and a brass helmet and girded himself with a sword: he prepared to wage a conventional battle of swords against Goliath. But then he stopped. “I cannot walk in these, for I am unused to it,” he said (in Robert Alter’s translation), and picked up those five smooth stones. What happened, Arreguín-Toft wondered, when the underdogs likewise acknowledged their weakness and chose an unconventional strategy? He went back and re-analyzed his data. In those cases, David’s winning percentage went from 28.5 to 63.6. When underdogs choose not to play by Goliath’s rules, they win, Arreguín-Toft concluded, “even when everything we think we know about power says they shouldn’t.”
Capital Camp Learnings
I ventured to the middle of America - or at least the spot between Kansas City and St. Louis - and participated in Capital Camp with a few hundred new friends in Columbia, Missouri. Nice town, good experience, glad I went.
A few reflections from my notebook:
There wasn’t much pessimism in any area of investing. People were focused on finding opportunities and building in their specific verticals.
“Search Funds are the New MicroVC Funds.” This sentiment reflects the increase in people with consulting and business school backgrounds looking to find businesses like truck cleaning and commercial laundromats to buy, grow, and sell. To the point on small business from above, these people tend to find a strong sense of purpose as proprietors, too.
Searchers running frontline businesses struggle the most with labor, e.g., retention, motivation, hiring, and skilling.
Most people were looking to do things differently or had recently broken out on their own. This included people were running platforms to develop and invest in new managers in verticals like Real Estate and Search Funds.
Several people from across the Midwest had built small businesses based on media channels - YouTube, TikTok, Twitter — and were looking for ways to scale and expand. But not all new media comes from the coasts.
Song of the Week: Closer to Fine
Video on YouTube.
Emily Saliers, the songwriter, describes the meaning of being ‘Closer To Fine’ below. It’s the perfect sentiment for me after several days in Missouri and now a weekend in Michigan.
“That song is about not beating yourself up too hard to get your answer from one place. There's no panacea, that in order to be balanced or feel closer to fine it's okay to draw from this or to draw from that, to draw from a bunch of different sources. So it's about being confused but looking for the answers, and in the end knowing that you're going to be fine. No seeking just one definitive answer."
“Closer to Fine” by Indigo Girls
And I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains
There's more than one answer to these questions
Pointing me in a crooked line
And the less I seek my source for some definitive
(The less I seek my source)
Closer I am to fine, yeah
Selfie of the Week
I was hanging out with one of my favorite people, Jules Miller, in Columbia, Missouri, at Capital Camp this week. Jules is a serial founder, corporate executive, and venture capitalist. She is pioneering a new way of building a venture capital firm through VC3 DAO. I admire Jules's persistence, positivity, and default to saying ‘yes.’
Jules is super smart and savvy, and I’m always happy to have a friend to navigate new ventures and venues :) Also, the paw paw margaritas in our hands are recommended highly; seasonal fruit that’s worth a try when you can find it!
Thanks for reading, friends. Please always be in touch.