CategoryInvesting

The Most Severely Misunderstood Markets in the World

I missed The Most Severely Misunderstood Markets in the World can Achieve Outsized Investor Returns:¬†Africa, posted a few months ago, but the story therein continues to ring true now. Read the whole thing but TL;DR in the author’s own words: Africa risk is much lower than you think. Africa is growing differently than you think. There are more $10B+ opportunities than you think. The talent...

Logistics ain’t sexy, like tech

It’s been over a decade since I was part of the venture-backed tech industry. The only thing I miss about it is the massive amount of attention it receives, and from that, the orders of magnitude more capital that flows to tech startups vs. any other sector. Meanwhile, there is nothing like a decade of decompression and deprogramming to get a better view of the realities of the whole tech...

Startups with Profits?

Venture capital and angel investing are realms filled with unspoken assumptions. One such assumption is that companies should burn through substantial capital before even considering profitability. This notion is misguided! Countless startups, often overlooked by these investors, are compelled to be profitable to survive. If these investors took a moment to recognize these startups, they would...

VCs and Capital Efficiency

Capital Efficiency

Hypothetically, if you could invest in any of the following three companies, which would you choose: ABCorp, which is raising $10 million, and with that promises they’ll have a new version of their product in the market, a bigger sales staff, plenty of marketing, 5x growth to $2 million of revenues, a loss of $1 million, and be ready for the next round of $45 million in fundraising. GHInc...

The SDGs require Capitalism

UN SDGs

Seven years ago I wrote and delivered a talk about how we leave the big problems of the worlds for the philanthropists to solve, but they just don’t have enough money to do that. The 2020 update to that talk is below. Short story shorter… the total amount of money in philanthropy is less than $1 trillion, less than the value of just Microsoft alone, a tiny fraction of the total...

Cisco and Sysco

Cisco vs Sysco

Cisco and Sysco are pronounced the same. They are both public companies. Both American companies. But that is about all they have in common. Cisco is one of the tech giants, famous for powering the invisible parts of the internet, the backbone routers that send the chunks of your email, videos, and cat pictures between Google servers, Netflix servers, and Snapchat servers to your internet...

Winner rarely takes all

Amex stock certificate

How long until the tech investors realize that winners rarely take it all? Winner takes all, Go big or go home, Move fast and break things, etc. doesn’t apply to 99.999% of startup opportunities. Memes like these harm more than they hurt. They don’t help fund great startups. They don’t help put capital to efficient use building financially sustainable companies. While tech...

Warren Buffett was still Retired in 1974

Warren Buffett retires

After 12 years of crushing Lehman Brothers, the Massachusetts Trust, and the Dow Industrial Average, Warren Buffett retired from investing in May 1969, and he was still telling people he was retired in 1974. If you missed my first blog post about Buffett’s retirement, best to start with that one, which left off at the cliffhanger asking how he got from there to Berkshire Hathaway. Halfway...

Warren Buffett Retired (in 1969)

Warren Buffett retires

After 12 years of crushing Lehman Brothers, the Massachusetts Trust, and the Dow Industrial Average, Warren Buffett retired from investing in May 1969, never to be heard from again. The first half is completely true. The second, true as of the end of 1969. Learning about both of those facts has dropped me down a fascinating rabbit hole of corporate history and Buffett lore that I’ll...

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...

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