Lessons From The Past Fortnight

Apr 14, 2021 3:57 pm

Hey there,

Thanks for joining me. A month ago, I mentioned that I was pondering the startup question while weighing my options. I'm happy to say that I've decided to take the small step of joining a program that teaches the fundamentals of what it's like to build a startup. It's not much of a decision since the risk was pretty small, but it's one of the few times in my life where I've actively made a decision that would take me down a rather unconventional path (another time being starting this blog and newsletter).

If you've done something similar to this, I'd love to hear from you. Otherwise, here's some of the best things I've read the past fortnight.

Articles I've Read

When Wealth Isn't Real: How much of what you own is real? There's a good chance it's less than you think. Here's an example from Nick Maggiulli:

"For example, Elon Musk currently owns over $100 billion worth of Tesla stock. If he decided to liquidate all of it, how much of that $100 billion do you think he could actually realize? I have no clue, but I doubt he gets away with more than $50 billion of it. In the process of selling his shares, Tesla’s stock price would go into free fall. Not only would there not be enough buyers to support the price, but once investors found out that Musk was selling, many of them would lose confidence in the stock as well. Of course, Musk would never do such a ridiculous thing, but it illustrates how large sums of wealth are illusionary in the first place."

Big Lessons of the Last Year: 2020 was challenging for a lot of people, but in the grand scheme of things, I don't think there's really any new lessons that we can learn. Here's Morgan Housel:

"Daniel Kahneman says that when you experience a surprise the correct takeaway is not to assume that event will happen again; it’s to accept that the world is surprising. The big lesson is to realize that you will again be hit by things you didn’t see coming, that no one was talking about, and that will move the needle more than all the things you expected to happen combined."

When Identity Is Used Against Us: This fortnight's newsletter would not be complete without some pithy wisdom from Seth Godin. I've been thinking about identity for a long time now, and I'm convinced that figuring out one for yourself is probably the most important things you can do. I'll probably write an essay about this another day, but this is enough for now.

Building a marketplace: What do Uber, Airbnb and Etsy have in common? They're all marketplaces. If you're in the tech space, you'll no doubt be familiar with Lenny Rachitsky's newsletter and how these companies were built. But otherwise, I promise this is an interesting dive into how these businesses operate and were grown.


As usual, let me know what you think.

Talk soon,