Grab Bag #2

Supported by Greenhaven Road Capital, finding value off the beaten path.

Bad news, this is the last grab bag post. Good news, grab bag is moving to email. If you’d like a weekly email in this style subscribe here.


Julia Galef on The Ezra Klein Show talked about how to change your mind. The short answer; it’s not easy. The long answer; but it is possible. Galef suggested to reduce your “identity footprint” and mentioned this post from Paul Graham where he wrote:

“I think what religion and politics have in common is that they become part of people’s identity, and people can never have a fruitful argument about something that’s part of their identity. By definition they’re partisan.”

Or to quote Bob Sutton, “strong opinions. weakly held.”

Sanjay Bakshi also liked this episode.

Rejection Proof on The Investors Podcast. To go along with decoupling our identity from a rejection, Stig and Preston talked about the book Rejection Proof.

Sam Dogen on Noah Kagan presents. Dogen and Kagan talk about investments but two non-asset ideas stuck out. First, there can be a lot of reasons to fail but one that’s always in your control is your efforts. That fits with our two-jar model. The second was to ask, ‘what am I working toward?’ Dogen recounts playing tennis with a friend who, while he had an order of magnitude more net worth, he could only play tennis at certain times.

Thomas Delong on Capital Allocators. How well do you know yourself? Do you have an inner scorecard or outer one? Three quotes that stuck with me.

“Talk to yourself about what’s going on inside yourself to try to settle yourself down so you don’t screw yourself over by creating pain for other people and yourself.”

“If you live a more curious life, you’re going to listen more, you’re going to be more interesting, you’re going to learn a lot more and you need to move your lives from certainty to curiosity and that would make a big leap.”

“I believe our need to cross things off our list is an addiction.”

Wharton Moneyball on 7/27/17. This episode was all about figuring out how current statistics predict future ones. For example; can Justin Speith continue to win twenty-five percent of his majors, can Kyrie Irving succeed without LeBron James, and can Aaron Judge continue his high BABIP even though that figure is mostly based on luck? These kinds of predictions are hard but not impossible. Important follow-up questions are; what’s the base rate, what’s the sample size, and how have things changed?

Under the Influence – Influencer Marketing. Terry O’Reilly’s podcast is one of the best per-minute shows. This one was about how companies are using influencers for marketing. One example was about Universal and J.K. Rowling reaching out to bloggers to open a new Harry Potter attraction.

Dave Rubin joined Tyler Cowen to talk political correctness and the duo concluded that the biggest problem isn’t being able to say too much, but too little. This episode reinforced my view that comedians understand deeply and that’s key for success. A deep understanding was central to Jason Calacanis’s advice.

Jocko Willink #86 & Alex Guarnaschelli on food on EconTalk. Both Willink and Guarnaschelli know that there are two parts to an outcome; native and creative skill. Willink said that stronger people can win in Jui Jitsu match to a point. A purple belt, Willink said, is tough for anyone to defeat no matter how strong you are. Guarnaschelli said that a cook shows their worth once they can use overly ripe produce. Of course, you and I can make delicious bacon, eggs, and toast but what about using the other parts?

Dan Schorr on Capital Allocators with Ted Seides. Schorr was like an unending storyteller and he could probably give you a brain freeze faster than his ice cream. What Schorr guessed was that ice cream was ready for a different company and he started Vice Cream.


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