A Few Things....

December 23, 2019

A. What were the most important things you learnt this year & decade ?

How is the “You” going into 2020 different from the one going into 2019 ?

And how is the “You” going into this decade different from the one who entered the 2010’s ?

This was a big decade from me. 10 years ago I had just moved to London at age 32, was early into my 2nd marriage and working at Goldman. It feels like a blink of an eye ago.

As I look back, I think I changed as a function of experiences I have had, the ideas I picked up and the people I met.

I wanted to thank all of you who have contributed with your ideas and thoughts. Thank you for shaping my experiences.

I have enjoyed our interactions.

What do you want the next decade to be about ?

What needs to happen in the next ten years for you to look back in 2029 with a smile ?

And how can I help you ?


B. The one book that probably had the biggest overall impact on me this year was Matthew Walker's: Why We Sleep. This should be mandatory reading for everyone. 

Even Bill Gates said it was one of the most important things he read.

I’ve been surprised to meet so many people with sleep difficulties - I would say anecdotally it’s been 1 out of 5 people.

We are going to look back and realize that sleep was more important than food and has a bigger impact on our health than tobacco or alcohol…..If you are into longevity, then sleep is one of the big ones to get right.

I highly recommend you read it.

The lack of sleep is literally a killer, its been shown to:

- cause disease

- cause unhappiness / depression 

- cause you to look less attractive (seriously)

- cause to have reproductive issues

- cause you to gain weight

That's just for starters.....

So what should one do ?

Here's what the book recommended:

1. Stick to a sleep schedule

2. Don’t exercise too late in the day

3. Avoid caffeine & nicotine

4. Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed

5. Avoid large meals and beverages late at night

6. Where possible, avoid medicines that delay or disrupt your sleep

7. Don’t nap after 3pm

8. Make sure to leave time to relax before bed

9. Take a hot bath before bed

10. Have a dark, cool (in temperature), gadget free bedroom

11. Get the right sunlight exposure

12. Don’t stay in bed if you (really) can’t sleep

Here's to eight hours every night !


C. A Few Things Worth Checking Out:

1. Why Your Brain Needs Exercise (Scientific American, January 1, 2020) - The evolutionary biologist and the psychiatrist explain why the evolutionary history of humans dictates that physical activity is important for brain health.

It is by now well established that exercise has positive effects on the brain (especially as we age) and proven that cognitively challenging exercise may benefit the brain more than physical activity that makes fewer cognitive demand.

2. My old boss at Goldman Sachs, Alan Brazil (head of hedge fund strategies) shared his views on why the Phase 1 Trade Agreement and UK elections are a stimulus for growth.

3. I really enjoyed hearing where the legendary Stan Druckenmiller is seeing opportunities today. He’s very long…..

4. The team at Atlas Ventures biotech shared their views on what’s happening in biotech today and 2019 in review.

5. A few weeks ago we discussed the impact online dating is having on society. Almost 70% of new relationships are starting on line. The author of that report was on the Bloomberg Odd Lots podcast.

6. Ben Savage of Clocktower Ventures was on the Invest Like The Best podcast discussing the latest in Fintech.

7. Samsung researchers have released a model that can generate faces in new poses from just a single image/frame (for each of face, pose). Funny !!


Quotes I’m Thinking About:

As a new decade and new year begins, remember what writer Laurie Buchanan said on the behaviors and life we don’t choose:

"Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing."

Speak to you next year !