Venture Capital returns (in general) are less than 2x

Venture capital funds often tout cash-on-cash returns of 2x-3x over 10 years. That is the supposed “norm” for successful funds. But despite the industry being tracked investment by investment in detail, the industry as a whole is notoriously opaque when it comes to the returns of the funds. Thank you to Dan Gray (@credistick) who tweeted the following table, with data from 1981...

The Rise (and Fall) of the US Dollar

The Visual Capitalist comes though again with an animated tale of the last 120 years of world reserve currencies. Some screen shots and commentary below: The start of the 20th Century is the end of the British Empire. The USD is a minor currency. The British Pound is by far the world’s most popular reserve currency and the world’s international trade settled in London, not New York...

Where does the food (we grow) go?

The flow of food

The world grows enough food to feed over 10 billion people. How much do we make of each category of food and where in the world does that food get consumed?

That is just the top of the amazing infographic over at Information is Beautiful.

Africa’s public markets are in the noise

Africa's public markets

Before spinning Africa Eats out of Fledge last year, I spent a lot of time digging into the public stock markets of Africa, understanding what it means to be public on an exchange in an emerging market country. I’ve been buying and selling shares on public stock markets since the 1980s but only companies listed on the NYSE and NASDAQ. This week I can across this infographic, showing the...

The scale of agriculture

The scale of agriculture

If you took all the maize (corn) farms in the world and put them together, they’d not fit on the British Islands. Neither would rice or wheat. This fun YouTube video shows just how much space each crop takes up:

Visualizing (Global) Wealth Inequality

Why do I spend my free time trying to understand wealth inequality? 0.7% of the global population (a.k.a. 52 million people) own 50% of everything there is to own. The other 7.5 BILLION people split the other half. 8.5% of the global population (a.k.a. 600 million) own 85% of everything there is to own. The other 7 BILLION people split the other 15%. 70% of the global population (a.k.a. 5.2...

The World’s Population (in one chart)

These days it seems everyone knows China and India each have over 1 billion citizens, but ask an audience to name the third most populous country, and very few seem to know. Ask to list the top five, and its just the rare few who love the intersection of global geography, demographics, and statistics who can answer the question. I stumbled on the above chart, and its interactive website, and it...

Off in the Corner

Speaking of Seattle, living here often feels like being in a forgotten room in a house, or off in a corner of an otherwise busy meeting room.  Seattle is a city that many people have heard of, but it’s the 15th largest city in the U.S. and (counting the metropolitan area) around the 50th most populous city in the world. But in terms of geography, it is literally off in the corner of the...

How many entrepreneurs are there in the world?

Walk around with a hammer, and many things look like nails.  Live your life as an entrepreneur (or startup investor) and it seems like entrepreneurs are everywhere.
Just how many entrepreneurs are there?  According to the editors at, just 400 million globally.  That is around 5% of the total population.  Everywhere… but uncommon.


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