Til I Hear It From You
w.182 | Debt Ceiling, Knowledgement, Book Reviews, Art of Spending Money
I’m not going to feature the new SBF Substack and am not going to talk about the fraud at Frank. It is what it is, and I’m already bored. It’s much more fun to think about what’s next in the world than gawk and grant them any more time and attention, both yours and mine.
Good Reads: Sensible Investing
Weekly Wrap: Knowledgement
Book Reviews: Zero to One, How to Get Rich, When Breath Becomes Air
Song of the Week: Til I Hear It From You
Good Reads: Sensible Investing
If Earnings Are Good, Then Why Did Bank Stocks Go Down This Week? Provision for Credit Losses. Genevieve Roch Decter explains: JP Morgan and Bank of America expect a lot more defaults in their credit portfolios in the coming months.
Inflation came in with expectations at 6.4%, which is lower than 8% but still not good.
U.S. to Hit Debt Limit Much Sooner Than Expected, Thrusting Congress Into Showdown. This seems to happen with increasing frequency, and each time the dysfunction of the U.S. government becomes more apparent. We have no ability to control spending and seemingly little ability to forecast the debt ceiling accurately.
The Art and Science of Spending Money by Morgan Housel. Nice list of 13 observations. Many of which I’d consider obvious but worth considering comprehensively.
Most forms of spending have two purposes: To bring some sort of utility to the owner and to signal something to other people.
Founders Fund’s Brian Singerman on 20vc. It’s a video from October but full of insight in a short period. Interesting tidbits:
‘I only play games that I can win at’ - Obvious but wise.
His biggest worry? Sourcing. - As such an early-stage VC with a small fund, I find this an interesting dance because the bigger firms are so desperate to see what you see but completely unwilling to cut a fair economic deal for the product.
‘I was terrible at this job during covid. I have to meet founders in person.’ I tend to agree. Meeting people in-person for long-term investor relationships is important. These are increasingly partnerships, not party rounds.
Gaming Industry Report - Q4 2022 from Konvoy VC.
Weekly Wrap: Knowledgement plus AR and AI.
Book Reviews: Three Good Reads for Different Reasons.
I polished off these three books over the holidays. I recommend all three for differing reasons. The great thing is each is easy to read and roughly a four- to six-hour investment.
How to Get Rich: One of the World's Greatest Entrepreneurs Shares His Secrets.
Review: Despite its odd cover and aggressive title, it’s an honest and insightful read. Plus, it’s written in a rare conversational tone, a tell-all book you can only write from first-hand experience and in retirement.
How did I find it? Well, it’s how I get obsessed with most things. I saw a passing reference to the book on Twitter by someone who said it was their favorite book, and they just did a re-read. And I thought ‘how peculiar that I haven’t heard of this business book. How could that be? That must make this book extra interesting.’
What was insightful about this read? Below are a few key quotes so you get an idea.
“Fortunately, this is not a “self-improvement” book. I do not believe anyone can be “improved” by buying and reading a book. They can only be “improved,” if that is the word, by their own actions.”
“Technology changes. Tools change. The social landscape changes. Human nature does not change.”
“Hire winners or people you believe will become winners. Fire whiners and moaners swiftly. That’s contagious, too. You are trying to create an environment where making money is on everyone’s mind most of the time”
“Ownership is not the most important thing. It’s the only thing that counts.”
“You must identify talent. Then you must move heaven and earth to hire it. You must nurture it, reward it properly, and protect it from being poached.
“Never retreat. Never explain. Get it done and let them howl.”
“I’m an entrepreneur and I go with my gut. After that, managers and bean-counters and financial advisors take over. But only afterward.
“Nobody ever got poor listening. Also, use silence as a weapon. Silences are disconcerting. People tend to fill silences with jabber, often weakening their bargaining position as they do.”
Zero to One: Notes on Startups or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters. An excellent read for everyone investing in the innovation economy. So much of the wisdom holds up in the eight years since publication. It’s interesting to consider the chapter about the failure of cleantech with the rise of climate tech today. Are venture people falling prey to the same false assumptions as the last go around, or are things different this time?
Every monopoly is unique, but they usually have a combination of proprietary technology, network effects, economies of scale, and branding
Here are some book notes with direct quotes.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. This was one of the ‘it’ books of 2015 when it was published. I thought a meditation on living and dying from someone who faced death at roughly my age was a good way to start the year. It’s tough to read but worthwhile.
Selfie and Song of the Week: Til I Hear It From You
Here on YouTube.
Fun, classic 90s song with the familiar refrain that you should get information straight from the source and not make assumptions.
“Til I Hear It From You” by Gin Blossoms
Well baby, I don't want to take advice from fools
I'll just figure everything is cool
Until I hear it from you
No selfie this week :)
Thanks for reading, friends. Please always be in touch.