What I Read This Week (25.08.19)

Stick to your investment process even in the hard times

The value investing strategy is having a hard time and here to defend it is Clifford Asness of AQR capital 

A huge part of our job is building a great investment process that will make money over the long term, but a fair amount of our job is sticking to it like grim death during the tougher times…value alone lost because a lot of expensive stocks actually turned out to be worth it.


WeWork is IPOing soon and there is a lot of talk about it. Here are two articles I have read about it:

“the WeWork bull case and bear case have more in common than it seems: both are the logical conclusion of effectively unlimited capital. The bull case is that WeWork has seized the opportunity presented by that capital to make a credible play to be the office of choice for companies all over the world, effectively intermediating and commoditizing traditional landlords. It is utterly audacious, and for that reason free of competition. The bear case, meanwhile, is that unlimited capital has resulted in a complete lack of accountability and a predictable litany of abuses, both in terms of corporate risk-taking and personal rent-seeking.”  


Changes in how companies advertise Jobs

Companies are changing how they advertise jobs so as to get to high-quality applicants who fit the role: 

“companies are revamping how they write job descriptions, adding a greater level of detail and tweaking language to entice a broader range of applicants, including more women. Some companies now outline specific salary ranges and describe what a week in the role is likely to include. A number explain the downsides of a job, such as required on-call hours or a high volume of emails”  

An example from Basecampadvert for a marketing job: 

“This is a role for someone who knows how to mix a wild idea with a practical pitch. Someone who’s eager (but not annoyingly so) to pick up the phone and negotiate a major partnership deal. Someone who has an eye for talent, a nose for bulls**t, ears close to the ground, and the creative mind of a conductor.”

Care about people

With around 30 years spent in leadership, Dan Greene, who’s worked at Twitter and Google, shares 30 lessons he has learnt on leadership:

“To lead your team, you need the trust of your team. To earn that trust you must show you care. So, to lead effectively, you must care. You can’t fake caring. They’ll know it. If they know you don’t care, they won’t trust you. If they don’t trust you, you can’t inspire them and if you can’t inspire, you cannot lead them. So if you don’t care, you can’t lead.” 

Continuous learning  

A rich interview at the Motley Fool where Shopify CEO Tobias Lutke shares his thinking and approach to business:

“I tend to learn a lot from reading biographies and these kinds of things. I usually try to find a time that was interesting. I can probably write a fairly good dissertation in one sitting about the Industrial Revolution at this point just because I like to find interesting events and just read as much about it, as there’s many different people [to learn from]. I think this is how you reconstruct, again, not what happened but what problem needed solving and why they solved it that way.So much of company building is that. It’s figuring out what a problem is and then improving your ability to make good choices.”

Don’t be worried if you’re not a natural at something: You can build competence

“How come it is the socially awkward who have managed to create social media companies? Could be that they have learnt to see opportunity in their social awkwardness and by practice learnt what it takes to overcome those challenges: practice is just the art of putting effort into making something look effortless. If you’re a natural public speaker and a good conversationalist, you’re probably already at the ceiling for your skills, but if you’re not a natural, you’ll consistently improve — you’re not just doing things, you’re trying things and seeing what works.”





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