Top Tech Trends, The Future of Real Estate, Approaching Net Zero

July 14 2021

“Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man, and our politicians take advantage of this prejudice by pretending to be even more stupid than nature made them.”

- Bertrand Russell (N.B. made me think of our recent global leaders)

“He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.”

- Lao Tzu

“I’m sick of following my dreams, man. I’m just going to ask where they’re going and hook up with ’em later.”

- Mitch Hedberg (an American stand-up comedian)

“The secret to doing good research is always to be a little underemployed. You waste years by not being able to waste hours.”

- Amos Tversky

“Time is the school in which we learn,
Time is the fire in which we burn.”

-Delmore Schwartz


A. A Few Things Worth Checking Out

1. Mike Maples is one of my favourite venture capitalist. He is the co-founder of Floodgate and has been on the Forbes Midas List eight times in the last decade given his investments in: Twitter, Twitch, Lyft, Okta.

He was on the My First Million podcast discussing a ton of interesting ideas:

- The 4 inflections Mike is most excited about: blockchain/crypto, transition from office to cloud culture, America Next, the Metaverse

- A practical way to prepare for the future: think of the world as a network, and figure out how you as a node on that network can add the most value to the network.

- Startup investing mental models

Thank you to Matt Pennycard for flagging.

2. Great business breakdowns podcast, discussing Exxon Mobil, an ageing energy behemoth, with Arjun Murti, ex-GS head of energy research led us through the history, present and future of the energy industry.

3. McKinsey published a great report discussing the Top Tech Trends: Which technologies have the most momentum in an accelerating world? 

4. Kiril Sokoloff and team write 13D / What I Learned This Week, which is an amazing weekly newsletter that many many people on Wall Street read. He was on the Superinvestors and the Art of Worldly Wisdom Podcast discussing: On Seeking Truth In An Era Of Sophistry.

5. David Rubenstein of Carlyle spoke to Blackstone’s COO and President Jon Gray. Gray provides his views on a range of topics including where investors should be putting their money, why he likes existing properties and the future of office space in big cities.

6. The Atlantic had a great article discussing something I am starting to feel and can also see the burnout in clients faces: The Psychological Benefits of Commuting to Work.

7. Who’s spending money in 2021:

8. A thoughtful twitter thread looking at humanity.

9. Denise Shull (Founder at the Rethink Group and potentially the inspiration for the Wendy Rhoades character) was on the Infinite Loops podcast discussing: Making Intuition Work For You in Markets.

My key takeaway questions to ask when investing / trading:

- What am I feeling and why am I feeling it?

- What words am I using and how have I been programmed to behave?

- Where am I sabotaging myself?

10. The team at NZS Capital had a great piece on how to use Time Travel to Make Better Decisions.

Some things I took away:

What would it be like to start a conversation with myself that my future self would thank me for?

Focus on intentions, what is my intent to accomplish in life?

Questions to ask when starting a project: What will not change, what is constant? What questions are we failing to ask today?

11. It all started with a simple Twitter account. At first, Chinese foreign-ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian seemed to be entirely on his own, wielding Twitter as his personal cudgel while only a small number of other Chinese diplomats were even on the platform. But his influence in recent days has been immense. Zhao has managed to rapidly and completely transform how China communicates with its allies and adversaries. Here's how one bureaucrat transformed Beijing's diplomacy for a nationalistic era. (The New York Times)

"The call to be more assertive and to respond to criticism was coming from China’s top leaders."


B. Approaching Net Zero?

I’ve been trying to think more about the problems and challenges over the next 10-20 years to understand what the large investable themes could be.

There are probably 3 big ones humanity will want to deal with.

How to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions being one, and then getting AI/ML/Robotics right being the 2nd, and the Future Healthcare being the 3rd.

How do you categorise your super themes?

By now many of you might have read Bill Gates book, we did a summary here in March.

For others, I found this graphic helpful in understanding the journey and what needs to happen next and where technology needs to be developed.

To further breakdown some of these technologies, I found this graphic helpful so I can at least narrow down areas of work, and find areas of maximum leverage.

Where are you focused in the race to Net Zero?


C. The Crypto Section

1. Building a $500mm DeFi Fund with Arthur0x of DeFiance Capital out of Singapore.

2. 45% of young UK investors say their first investment was crypto

3. Goldman Sachs says ETH could unseat BTC from its throne


“The optimists and the pessimists: I have been studying them for the past twenty-five years. The defining characteristic of pessimists is that they tend to believe bad events will last a long time, will undermine everything they do, and are their own fault. The optimists, who are confronted with the same hard knocks of this world, think about misfortune in the opposite way. They tend to believe defeat is just a temporary setback, that its causes are confined to this one case. The optimists believe defeat is not their fault: Circumstances, bad luck, or other people brought it about. Such people are unfazed by defeat. Confronted by a bad situation, they perceive it as a challenge and try harder.”

― Martin E.P. Seligman, Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life