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Thursday, 16 January 2020

Weekend Reading

Reading across disciplines is one of the best ways to improve our investment acumen. Here is a summary of some of the best articles I read this week.

A peek into biohacking - trying to extend human lifespan to beyond 100 years
Silicon Valley pros see a century of human life as a 20th-century limitation. If we went from a TRS-80 to an iPhone in 30 years, we can surely double human life using big data and self-quantification. What is the body if not another piece of hardware waiting to be hacked? Isn’t it time that death got disrupted?


Renting clothes - the next big disruption!! ;-)
Rental is going strong, with Rent the Runway, the pioneer in this area, now 10 years old and profitable. The global online clothing rental market is expected to grow annually by over 10% for the next four years, according to MarketWatch. And the fashion resale market has been expanding a breathtaking 21 times faster than traditional retail over the past three years, Fortune reports. Millennials and Gen Zers, in particular, enjoy frequenting thrift and consignment stores, shredding the last remnants of social embarrassment about such places and remaking their image into trendy shopping destinations.
Rent the Runway, an online service that rents out designer clothes and accessories, was a major leap toward bringing the sharing economy into the fashion business. Today, the company’s subscription base has crossed 11 million members.


How Technology is Hijacking Your Mind — from a Magician and Google Design Ethicist
Magicians start by looking for blind spots, edges, vulnerabilities and limits of people’s perception, so they can influence what people do without them even realizing it. And this is exactly what product designers do to your mind. They play your psychological vulnerabilities (consciously and unconsciously) against you in the race to grab your attention.


Here is another reason for trying to be wealthy ;-)
According to a new study, wealthy men and women don’t only live longer, they also get eight to nine more healthy years after 50 than the poorest individuals in the United States and in England. Though education level and social class had some effect, neither was found to be nearly as significant as wealth. Additional study is required to understand why wealth in particular is such a strong indicator of how long someone lives unimpaired, but it was most likely a function of having access to funds when you have ill health. Additionally, poverty has been linked to higher stress levels, which has implications for health.


How to lose a monopoly? Learn from Microsoft and IBM
A big rich company, a company that dominates the market for its product, and a company that dominates the broader tech industry are three quite different things. Market cap isn’t power.
IBM ruled mainframes and Microsoft ruled PCs, and when those things were the centre of tech, that gave them dominance of the broader tech industry. When the focus of tech moved away from mainframes and then PCs, IBM and then Microsoft lost that dominance, but that didn’t mean they stopped being big companies. We just stopped being scared of them.
For both IBM and Microsoft, market power in one generation of tech didn’t give them market power in the next, and anti-trust intervention didn’t have much to do with it. It doesn’t matter how big your castle is if the trade routes move somewhere else.


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