In my post Public Equities: 2022 Outlook, I wrote: Time is Money. Don’t Wait. I got a lot of flak for that. How could I recommend investing when I don't know what the future brings?! Wouldn't that really depend on the risk target of an investor? True. That's why I wrote about what I am … Continue reading Followup: Don’t Sit on the Sidelines!
War in Ukraine: The Long-Term Impact
For some reason, just because I'm German, everyone seems to think that I know the impact of the war in Ukraine onto capital markets. I don't. Well, I didn't. Here we go: Bifurcation of economies; return of regional networks and economies; strong US dollar; bifurcation of energy markets; increased military investments
Wallet-Share, Time-Share, People-Share
I had a consulting career more than a decade ago and thought the typical project triangle was well known (google it). That has an implication for startups, and it is an important reason why VCs often ask about the "10x-factor": Can you do something 10x faster? Can you do it 10x cheaper? Can you create … Continue reading Wallet-Share, Time-Share, People-Share
How to think about risk in Blockchain, Private Equity, Public Markets
Last night a dinner discussion turned again to private equity markets, blockchain, stablecoins, and money. The argument went that public markets had less risk because they have stricter audits, governance. In private equity, you also have to find a buyer and negotiate a price and terms of your private equity stake. Stocks that are traded … Continue reading How to think about risk in Blockchain, Private Equity, Public Markets
$125M Evergreen Fund
When I came out of my own startup in 2002, I decided to focus my efforts on public land preservation and low-income housing. I signed a bunch of different (financial) products, and quite frankly didn't know much about US products, closed-end funds, and tax implications. When I had to restructure our family trust, I had … Continue reading $125M Evergreen Fund
Public Equities: 2022 Outlook
A family trust and family investment fund comes with many products I am not as familiar with as I would like to be. Of course, I know the basics of the financial instruments -- public equities, hedge funds, commodity trading, REITs, farmland, etc. ... but that is like saying "I understand what a Preferred Series … Continue reading Public Equities: 2022 Outlook
Startup Culture Observations
A regular question of my students at UC Berkeley is "How do I select my first/next job? How do I know the culture is right for me?" Paraphrasing Jordan B. Peterson When a society is corrupt, then the powerful rule. When a society isn't corrupt, then the great have authority. What is greatness? When the … Continue reading Startup Culture Observations
Data is only keeping our perceptual best guesses in check.
I often listen to the talks from The Royal Institute, sometimes while driving, like a podcast. A recent one in my playlist was a re-discovered talk by Anil Seth, "Is Reality a Controlled Hallucination?" - I remember his talk at TED four or five years back. We think perception is a process of reading out … Continue reading Data is only keeping our perceptual best guesses in check.
Almost All Ideas are Wrong.
There is a fundamental truth: Almost all ideas are wrong. It doesn't matter if they are your ideas or someone else's ideas. They are probably wrong. And even if they strike you with the force of brilliance, your job is to assume, first of all, that they're probably wrong, and then to assault them with … Continue reading Almost All Ideas are Wrong.
Venture Capital is a Financial Product
When we due diligence emerging managers, not presenting an investible financial product is the fastest way to come to a "no". It's true that you have to make "good investments" (whatever that means), but unless you are only investing your own money, you need to offer a financial product that attracts LPs. HNIs and family … Continue reading Venture Capital is a Financial Product