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Friday 27 March 2020

Weekend Reading

I am personally tired of reading, watching and listening about the Coronavirus. So, this week there is nothing related to it or to its impact on the economy or anything like that. Stay indoors. Staf safe. We shall overcome.

Deep thinking works
Put bluntly, facts don’t exist. Versions of them do. Even if we could agree on facts, different versions of facts exist for each individual. And that’s a big reason many of us like to simplify this disparate view into numbers/financial statements, albeit losing perspective and nuance. In the world of big data, robots may arbitrage headlines, but they can’t (at least yet) ponder multiple subjective arguments like we can do. Counterintuitively, stretching investment horizons simplifies our job is in spite of additional possible outcomes. At least we are an order of magnitude right instead of precisely wrong.

Jay Leno always saved money from his second income
From the moment he entered the working world, “I always had two incomes. I’d bank one and I’d spend one.” Leno continued relying on this strategy even after he started hosting “The Tonight Show” in 1992, even though he reportedly earned as much as $30 million a year at the height of his career.
“When I got ‘The Tonight Show,’ I always made sure I did 150 [comedy show] gigs a year so I never had to touch the principal,” Leno says. “I’ve never touched a dime of my ‘Tonight Show’ money. Ever.”

The story of friendship amidst competitors
When one industry stalwart, B.K.Birla, invites two his biggest competitors in the tea industry, B.M Khaitan and G.P.Goenka, to the board and they stay on for 33 & 43 years!
There is nothing unusual in founder shareholders inviting other businessmen to join a company’s board to expand management bandwidth, but what Birla did was unique: he invited two key industrialists from Kolkata who were invested in the same business to join his company’s board.

10,000 Experiments Beat 10,000 Hours of practice
Following the 10,000-experiment rule means starting your day with not just a to-do list but a “to-test” list like Leonardo Da Vinci. According to Walter Isaacson, one of Da Vinci’s biographers, “Every morning his life hack was: make a list of what he wants to know. Why do people yawn? What does the tongue of a woodpecker look like?”
As you go through your day, following the 10,000-experiment rule means constantly looking for opportunities to collect data rather than just doing what you need to do. It means adding a deliberate reflection process based on reviewing data before the day ends.

Taking a break makes you stronger. Ask Federer.
Just three weeks before his 36th birthday, Roger Federer won his eighth Wimbledon and 19th career Grand Slam. Among all his other remarkable achievements, the two Grand Slams he has won in 2017 stands out – not because it proves how ridiculously talented he is but simply because they have come against the run of play. For a while now, sportsmen have been walking away from the sport they so obsessively love, taking a break and coming back even stronger.

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