Monopoly, but with “womb-lottery” capital

Imagine the game Monopoly, but instead of every player starting the game with $1,500, create a pile of $5s, $10s, $20s, $100s and $500s that add up to $5,000, shuffle the money, and deal it out one bill at a time to the players. Some will have start with more than $1,500 and some with far less. Or to be even more like the real world, all but one player starts with $100 and the last player gets...

Progress on the UN SDGs

You can’t work in impact without talking about the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For impact investors, the SDGs are our de-facto standard ontology to describe our interests. What isn’t often discussed is the progress of these goals toward the 2030 deadline the UN set. At this point, seven years away, that deadline, unfortunately, seems ridiculously short. It feels like most of...

Fireside chat: The Secret to Adaptation Investment

Sankalp Africa - The Secret to Adaptation Investment

At the 10th Sankalp Africa Summit in Nairobi, Kenya a panel of investors, adaptation & resilience businesses, and intermediary institutions curated by GIZ and DFC spoke at “The Secret to adaptation investment”. Panel Participants  Eric Onchoga (Irrihub) | Martin Kiilu (Growth Africa) | Rebecca Mincy (Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund) | Luni Libes (Africa Eats) | Peter Fry (Kua...

Kindergarteners Beat CEOs at This Engineering Challenge. The Reason Why

INC Magazine, Luni Libes, Kindergartenders beat CEOs

Imagine I gave you pasta, marshmallows, tape, and some string, and told you to build the tallest tower possible in 45 minutes. As a business leader, how would you do? Certainly better than a 5-year-old, right?  But when researchers actually tried this experiment, pitting kindergartners against CEOs, lawyers, and MBA students, it was the kids that came out on top, building towers averaging 26...

3 Days, 3 Cities, 3 Companies in Kenya

Site visit youtube videos

I’m back from 12 days in Kenya. That included two days speaking at Sankalp Africa, two days facilitating conversations with the bizi of Africa Eats, and three days driving across Kenya visiting a different company in a different city each day. I’ll save you the long drives, bumpy roads, odd hotel rooms, along with the very long flights and instead give you three highly edited video...

Hidden assumptions of nuclear power

Cooling towers

If you read this blog, you know I love to find hidden assumptions that people don’t even notice are assumptions. This time it is one of my own assumptions, and one that I suspect the vast majority of people share. TL;DR: nuclear power plants are NOT controlled nuclear bombs. When a nuclear power station is making power, the term used is that the reactor has gone “critical”...

Copying Berkshire Hathaway

Berkshire Hathaway letter

A few weeks ago I asked the internet why there are no copycats of Berkshire Hathaway, despite Warren Buffett telling the world exactly how he and Charlie do what they do. This week, Buffett’s annual letter to shareholders was published, and now that Africa Eats is copying parts of Berkshire Hathaway’s model, I found it more fascinating than usual to both learn as well as compare and...

Books, Cleverness, and the 1933 Securities Act

1929 stock market crash headline

Over the years I’ve asked many smart people why, after the historic public market crash of 1929 did the U.S. Government then pass the Securities Act of 1933, which disallows the sale of shares in private companies to every American? Not surprisingly, given the hows and whys of laws written before not only the Internet but also before radio are mostly lost to history. But now we have a new...

Why is there just one Berkshire Hathaway?

Why is there just one Berkshire Hathaway?

There a dozen automobile companies. Dozens of airlines. Over a thousands banks. Hundreds of venture capital funds and thousands of mutual funds. There are even two stock markets in the US, and the old rivalries of Coca Cola vs. Pepsi, Visa vs. Mastercard, and Mac vs. PC. But there is just one Berkshire Hathaway. Why? Why after sixty years of near-continuous success is there not just a distant...

Spot: A Jet Lag “Home” Game

Jet Lag: The Game -- EUR-It

Over the New Year’s break, I had a blast watching JetLag: The Game with my daughter. We binged all of Tag Across Europe as well as the Tom Scott Plus bonus video (UPDATE: and a week into the new year we subscribed to Nebula and watched the prototype season too, Crime Spree). Scroll down to watch on YouTube. While three days training across Europe looks like fun, it’s a bit much in...


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