A Few Things: Deep Work, The Future of TMT, Lessons from Years of Regret, JPM on Crypto, Rise of the Solo GP, The Power Law.....
February 12 2022
“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
- C.S. Lewis
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
- Søren Kierkegaard
“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”
- John Powell
A. A Few Things Worth Checking Out:
1. Cal Newport is one of the authors that has helped me the most, specifically his book Deep Work.
He was on the Tim Ferriss show recently, talking about the pursuit of deep work and craftsmanship, slow productivity, and Newport’s challenge to take up 30 days of digital minimalism. It filled with lots of practical, everyday solutions to the problems that technology might have wrought upon your world. Worth a listen.
2. Aryeh Bourkoff is the Founder and CEO of LionTree, which is part Investment Bank and part Merchant Bank, and deeply embedded in the TMT sectors. They have advised companies such as: Altice Telecom, Liberty Global, Amazon, Apollo and Snap.
They had a good year end letter discussing some of the big trends they are seeing.
I found the following ideas interesting:
a. The transformation and digitisation across sectors:
b. The evolution of the internet from Web 1.0 to 3.0 and how that changes where the profits go.
3. My friend Marko Papic of Clocktower Group shared some of his recent work, these chart really stood out:
Disclosure: I am investor in CTV’s Venture funds.
4. TED Talk: What regret can teach you about living a good life by Daniel Pink.
This reminded me of Bronnie Ware’s timeless book: Top 5 Regrets of the Dying.
5. When was the last time you called your grandparents?
6. Michael Lewis’ book Liar’s Poker was one of the 1st books I read when I joined Wall Street in 1999. It’s a timeless story of what Wall Street was like in the 80’s and probably the most entertaining books I’ve ever read.
You might have read some of his other books: The Big Short, Money Ball, Flash Boys, The Blind Side, Boomerang.
Michael Lewis discussed what makes the book so timeless on his podcast: Other People’s Money.
He’s also creating an audiobook for Liar’s Poker.
7. Tinder Swindler on Netflix is such a crazy story that I can’t even believe it happened.
B. The Tech and Crypto Section:
1. Michael Cembalest of the the J.P. Morgan Private Bank had a detailed report on cryptocurrencies:
2. The Generalist had a great report on the rise of solo GP’s in Venture Capital and why they are winning. I have been seeing more clients allocate to solo GPs too.
3. Azeem Azhar sat down with Sebastian Mallaby, a journalist and author who’s spent five years researching and writing a book on venture capital, The Power Law, to discuss How Venture Capital Made the Modern World.
Sebastian’s prior books include: More Money Than God (about the HF industry) and The Man Who Knew (about Alan Greenspan).
Sebastian got unprecedented access to the world’s top firms, including trigger-pulling partners at Tiger Global and Sequoia.
4. It’s very important to keep an open mind and not get caught in your own filter bubble. I especially worry about this as I get older when so much of what is new just seems trivial or nonsensical.
Remember this video from 1995:
So I found this Bankless podcast titled: Why Everything is Weird with Kyla Scanlon with ~100k twitter followers but only 3 years out of university helpful. Helpful because you get to see the world through the eyes of a smart 20-something who we would normally never speak to in real life.
The next generation is much smarter than we give them credit for and has a different narrative and understanding of the world they want to create.
5. I am interviewing Emil Woods of Liberty City Ventures, one of the best Blockchain Infrastructure investors on February 15th for Pi Capital, please email for the private invite. If you are curious about what blockchains can enable, then LCV is one of the best.
LCV most recently led a $5bn round into Animoca Brands. They were early backers of Paxos and Lukka.
Disclosure: I am investor in LCV current blockchain fund.
6. Happy Birthday Bitcoin.
C. What Is Life?
Erwin Schrodinger wrote the book What Is Life in 1944. It discussed how life violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics and foresaw the discovery of DNA.
Our understanding of life has evolved since then but many questions still remain.
I have been reading some of Nick Lane’s books. Nick is a British biochemist and professor of biochemistry at University College London.
While it’s hard to summarise the two books, and it’s likely because I don’t understand the subject matter well enough, the main thoughts the two books left me with are:
Where did multi-cellular life come from? How did life go from single cell to multi-cell? Multi-cellular life was a tremendous way to create complexity and reverse entropy in the universe. Was it a single event, or happen in many places at the same time? What was required for multi-cellular life to occur?
The shift from single cell to multi-cellular life was a phase change for all life on earth and made everything around us possible. Why did this happen when it did?
This was a great graphic of the tree life.
It’s just amazing how critical ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) is as energy source for all organic life! All cells across animals and plants work the same way.
How do our cells actually get and store energy? ATP is key.
A great video on how ATP works inside our mitochondria to drive all life.
So what is Life? Maybe it’s as simple as a group of cells learn how to harness energy and then using it to do things.
If you want to go deeper here, here is a 20-min discussion with Prof. Nick Lane on how complex life evolved: