Wednesday, August 2, 2017

- Random Thoughts

I'm waiting for a callback. It's expected too soon to get started on something else, but is taking too long to stare at the phone so I thought I'd throw out a few things that are on my mind.

First, I can't wait for Saturday because RadioDerb goes back on the air. This is that big post summer vacation Radio Derb that includes commentary from the Amren conference that all the blogs have been talking about. My interest is thoroughly piqued.

Second, why hasn't Apple figured out that they should release an Iphone mini? Something that has the battery life and speed of an iphone, but half the game functionality and half the size? The phones now are too large, and a market niche has clearly developed for grownups who are more interested in being able to work than being able to play games, watch netflix and do every other thing we can think of on a single device.

I'm an apple convert. I love my apple laptop. Great battery life, bulletproof design, and fantastic core operating system (unix). But the thing that I love the most about it is that it's so thin and light. Give me a phone that's as much smaller than your typical smart phone as my laptop is compared to most Windows laptops, and I'd beat a path to their door.

I've started running again. I'm not training for anything in particular, I'm just disinterested in looking my 'actual' age. But running on the street in Manhattan takes on a special significance when you, like me, were the survivor of a serious hit in run in your youth.

So if you're in the village and see a tall lean man running along in spectacularly embarrassing day glow colors, alongside a very cute little Michelle Malkin looking chinese girl who is dressed more normally, that's probably me. I get some very odd looks, many of them from the chinese girl. But I don't want to take any chances on some distracted driver claiming they couldn't see me. And if you knew how long I spent in the hospital my senior year of high school, I think you'd let the fashion choices slide.

I have a broad analogy that's on my mind lately. Traders are like doctors, and investment bankers are more like lawyers. The doctor and trader are interested in finding the truth external to themselves and are rewarded to the degree they get the external world right. They therefore pay attention carefully when you talk to them. They may not agree with you, but they're interested in hearing what you say.

The lawyers and investment bankers don't generally listen at all and just wait their turn to speak. That's because they tend to believe that the truth is whatever they can convince someone else of. So unless you say somehting in particular that touches on their preexisting biases (the truth they're selling today) they're just not that interested.

This occurred to me when a kid, about three years out of business school, implied that it was I (not he) who needed to spend some time learning how economic niches work, when I've spent the bulk of my adult life very successfully doing little else. It's an astounding thing to climb to the top of a very steep competency hierarchy, way out on the bleeding edge of technology and finance, only to be told you don't know what you're doing by someone who thinks the Bush Administration was ancient American history. I guess I'm finally getting old.

I've also figured out that Venture Capital is where you go if you think like an investment banker but are too insecure and vain to make in that world. There are exceptions of course. There are exceptions to everything. And I know several Investment Bankers who are lifelong friends of mine - and are the salt of the earth. But my new rule of thumb for the VC world is that I've never met a more arrogant and two faced bunch of people in my life. They make the worst DB's in the banking world look like modest Franciscan monks.

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