The MBA and Venture Capital

Ran across a piece where the University of Wisconsin said they were starting to think about dropping their MBA program.  Big Education is in a tough spot.  It’s expensive to go to college these days.  You can find ways around it, but if you want to go to a top school the cost is not cheap.  There is an incentive to go because college grads generally do better than high school grads.

The University of Iowa stopped offering the MBA and so did Wake Forest.  There clearly is something going on.  The elite schools that are always at the top of the rankings still have demand.

Matriculating to graduate school is another issue.  If you thought college was expensive, graduate school is even more expensive.  There is not only the cost of school but the opportunity cost of not working.

I have Continue reading "The MBA and Venture Capital"

A Great Discussion on Churchill and Orwell

I thought this was a great discussion. Hope you enjoy it too.

Yesterday I was at a lunch and picked up a book on Winston Churchill called “No More Champagne”. Churchill saved western civilization almost singlehandedly.   The author David Lough said his mother was the largest influence on his life.  She was American.  Churchill was seen by the elites in Great Britain as what JK Rowling might call a “mudblood”.

A Great Discussion on Churchill and Orwell

I thought this was a great discussion. Hope you enjoy it too.

Yesterday I was at a lunch and picked up a book on Winston Churchill called “No More Champagne”. Churchill saved western civilization almost singlehandedly.   The author David Lough said his mother was the largest influence on his life.  She was American.  Churchill was seen by the elites in Great Britain as what JK Rowling might call a “mudblood”.

Is There A Problem With Short Term Trading?

One thing that is interesting to me is the diatribes against short-term trading in markets.  If a trade is made and exited in the blink of an eye, does it hurt the company or the market?  A lot of people think it does.  I don’t.

When I made trades, I often scalped the market for a tick here and a tick there.  In the old days, you could pull down a pretty good living doing that.  Today, computers do it.  What if they weren’t there?

The bid/ask spreads on stocks and commodities would be a lot wider increasing the all-in cost to trade.

This is sort of a thing that sticks in my craw for some reason and another reason I don’t like the premise behind the Long Term Stock Exchange.  There is no conflict between long-term and short-term holders of stock.  They both want appreciation Continue reading "Is There A Problem With Short Term Trading?"

Coase Rules

One concept that believers of centralized economies detest is the theory of Ronald Coase.  Coase Theorem is one of the most important economic theorems out there.  In fact, it’s what I would call a bedrock theory.  A lot of classical or Chicago School economics is built on top of it.

Even Professor Ron Burt’s theories and research on human networks have roots in Coase Theorem.  It permeates everything.  Coase is one reason that assigning property rights is so important.  Capitalistic free market systems cannot operate without clearly defined property rights and the rights of individuals to hold and decide what to do with private property over the rights of the State.

My friend Professor Michael Gibbs turned me on to this article out of the Annenberg Innovation Lab at USC.  It’s on cryptocurrency and blockchains.  Not surprisingly, Coase Theory looms large for Continue reading "Coase Rules"

The Tipping Top

One thing I have noticed in startups is if things start to spin out of control, they tend to stay out of control.  Like a top that gets off kilter, the startup rarely seems to recover.  It will be interesting to see if Uber can.  They have the money, the scale and the incentive to right the ship.  At earlier stages, it’s really really hard.

I am not saying that it is only bad things that cause startups to spin out of control. Sometimes it is just managing people.  Normal everyday things.  Sometimes it’s external forces beyond control that cause a wave to hit the startup boat.  For example, if you were selling into banks or insurance companies in 2008, you might have had an unexpected wave hit your boat.

Managing through that and getting the company righted in a hurry is key Continue reading "The Tipping Top"

You Must Tell A Story

Yesterday I had the good fortune to attend a lunch where Arthur Brooks was speaking.  I like his book, The Conservative Heart and recommend it to anyone.  Arthur is always provocative when he speaks. He speaks around 180 times a year, so he gets a lot of practice.  I always seem to glean something from his talks that are also applicable to other things.  Yesterday was no different so I thought I’d pass it along.

On my blog I have talked about “Selling the Why” by Simon Sinek.  It’s a powerful message to get people to think about how to find a way into decision-making processes inside humans.  I tell every entrepreneur to listen to that talk and think about what they are going to say.  It still is great advice, but Arthur caused me to think a bit more deeply about it.

Continue reading "You Must Tell A Story"