Is this thing still on?
Fully one year has passed since the last blog post.
Do people even read blogs anymore? Continue reading “Favorite Books of 2019”
I set myself two book-related goals this year: first, I established a target of reading 50 (non-children’s) books. I missed it by some distance. Continue reading “Favorite Books of 2018”
Two years ago, I quit my job and founded Portico.
At the time, I questioned the prudence of launching a business catering to an industry in cyclical — and perhaps structural — decline, and markets where fewer and fewer investors seem keen to tread. I mean, all the books say that you’re supposed to ride the wave of a growing industry, or at least choose one in which the customer base isn’t shrinking.
But, the thing about journeys is they start where you’re standing. So, I took the first step with a disregard for the macro and industry cycles.
Two years later, those founding doubts persist. Continue reading “Some Reflections on Entrepreneurship and Life”
Who’s wealthier, a Maasai elder or your average American?
A few years ago, my wife and I enjoyed a marvelous hike through the bush of Tanzania while on safari. After camping in the village of Nainokanoka, we set off early with Moloton, our Maasai guide, and we walked amongst the buffalo, gazelles, wildebeest, and zebra on our way to a campsite at Empakaai, a gorgeous crater lake that legions of flamingos call home.
It was positively Edenic … I still can’t believe my wife did it while pregnant …
Anyway, as we walked through some of the villages, I noticed an abundance of domesticated animals grazing around the boma— cattle, goats, sheep, chickens.
Since this was a long hike, I had lots of time to get lost in thought. And I kept pondering the question at the top of this page. Continue reading “The Wealth of Nations”
About four years ago, I wrote a post called “The Reckoning.” In it, I put forward the idea that unsustainable economic trends in the United States would lead to the emergence of populist politics and demagogues.
In the conclusion, I suggested that this incipient “reckoning” was symptomatic of a cleavage between different generations’ perceptions of the world. Basically, (1) that the generation that grew up in the post-World War II era — which by definition is responsible for the state of the union — would be incapable of adapting to a world without American primacy; and, (2) that the generation coming of age in a period of entropy and uncertainty would be willing to take on the shibboleths that have impeded political progress.
I closed with the following: Continue reading “A Reason for Optimism”
I’ve been digging through some historical tax receipts data (#NerdAlert) to determine whether investment income — defined as net income from taxable interest, dividends, capital gains, and rent — has been rising as a share of gross income. To my surprise, it has been fairly flat at around 10% in recent years (see Exhibit 1). Continue reading “Intangible Assets”
In The Inevitable, Kevin Kelly says that at least 27 new podcasts launch each day. That’s nearly 10,000 per year! And I bet that number has grown since his book was published.
I haven’t looked very hard for a solution, but one of my biggest headaches with podcasts is discovery: finding a new voice / perspective to which I want to listen. Since most podcasts target a niche, then by definition, to each listener, most podcasts are shit. Continue reading “Favorite Podcast Episodes (2017)”
Recreational reading took a back seat to building my company and enjoying time with my family this year. So, I am limiting this year’s selection to my favorite six books. Continue reading “Favorite Books of 2017”
The Republican tax plan is an odious hand-out to large corporations and a big 🖕 to most citizens and small businesses. Until I read this summary of the House Bill, I generally thought people who called Republicans corporatist bootlickers were being unfair. But here we are.
With free time scarce, I find that shorter books make for better books. And lecture series can make for the best books of all.
At 32 (small) pages, Sir Herbert Butterfield’s The Discontinuities between the Generations in History: Their Effect on the Transmission of Political Experience—delivered in 1971 as part of the Rede Lecture series—is a superb way to spend half an hour. Continue reading “The Discontinuities between the Generations in History”