CategoryBooks

Money, a true page turner

What is money? It’s a simple question to ask but the answer is complicated. I know, as I’ve read and blogged about Wealth, Capital, Debt, Lords, Americana, and America’s Bank, amongst a lot of far dryer, far more challenging economic history books. Then along came Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing by former Planet Money host Jacob Goldstein, and wow, what a difference...

The Long 20th Century

The Long Twentieth Century is more than its name describes, a very long and detailed economic history of not just the 20th Century but global Western capital of four eras: Venice/Genoa, Dutch Empire, British Empire, United States. TL;DR, with an emphasis on the don’t read… the interesting part of this book isn’t the 20th Century nor the Long 18th Century either, as both of those...

Creating a simple, compelling pitch deck

I wrote a whole book walking entrepreneurs through the process of creating a simple, compelling pitch deck. Apparently most entrepreneurs don’t like to read any more than investors. To provide an alternative, The Next Step: Podcast is running a series of episodes, one slide at a time. Below is the playlist for that series and below that, the slide deck I was referring to, along with as few...

The New Lombard Street

Back to understanding money and economics, I started reading The New Lombard Street soon after serendipitously discovering the wonderful online class, Economics of Money and Banking by Professor Perry Merhling (@PMerhling). After two or three years buried under other books on my nightstand, prodded a bit by a discussion group popping up on Reddit talking about the class, I finally finished...

Factfulness

If you’ve never seen Hans Rosling speak, scroll down, click play, and be amazed. Before Hans passed away, he wrote down his big learnings in Factfulness. This is one one those books everyone should be read. It’s a easy read, and insightful and hopeful, and at the same time, frightening. The key lesson is that almost no one really knows what is going on in the world. Population growh...

Boatbuilding

For years I’ve been so busy with global travel and family that I’ve not had time for any real hobby. Instead I’ve been vicariously enjoying other people practicing their hobbies via YouTube. Keith Appleton, Keith Rucker, Scott Manley, Cody’s Lab, TechMoan, and Curious Marc, plus the explainers of 3Blue1Brown, Alec Steele, CGP Grey, Clickspring, Half as Interesting, Half...

Am I Being Too Subtle?

Many months ago, someone suggested I read “Am I Being too Subtle?“, Sam Zell’s memoir. It’s a good read. Clearly written by Sam itself, as Sam is a go-getting entrepreneur, a true self-made billionaire, but one that didn’t simply have one success, but a whole series of successes in a multitude of industries. The biggest teaching moments of the book come at the end...

Creative Capital

Back in 1992, at age 22, I started my first company. Before cellphones. Before the Web. Before broadband. Before everyone had an email address. Before the Lean Startup. But what I (and others) took for granted was a system of Angel investors and venture capitalists. I didn’t think twice back then where that system came from. I didn’t consider whether the same system funded Edison...

Bernanke: The Courage to Act

Here in the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic and attached economic crisis, it seemed a good time to read Ben Bernanke’s memoir of the Panic of 2007-2008. Like most of the economics history books I’ve read and posted about, the stories are interesting but the writing quite dry. Too many words devoted to unnecessary details. But ideas that are well worth remembering and learning from...

Americana: A 400 Year History of American Capitalism

Economic history books tend to be dry. Not so with Americana: A 400 Year History of American Capitalism. The author does a very good job of weaving threads of stories together to keep the narrative fast paced and interesting. The story spans from the Mayflower in the 1600s through the iPhone in 2007. I previously posted the Mayflower story, as I hadn’t before seen details on how the oft...

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