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jerryking : orders-of-magnitude   4

Invest like a legend: Peter Thiel
Jan. 30 2014 | The Globe and Mail | Alec Scott.Special to The Globe and Mail.

Is tech investing different from other sorts of investing?

It’s incredibly hard to get people to adopt new tech solutions, and you only get adoption of something if it’s 10 times as good as the next best thing. Amazon had 10 times as many books. PayPal was at least 10 times as fast as cashing a cheque....How do your years of competitive chess-playing help you invest?

Chess champion José Raúl Capablanca said, “In order to improve your game, you must study the endgame before everything else.” Successful businesses have a very long arc. In 2001, we concluded that three-quarters of PayPal’s value would come from 2011 and beyond. The same thing applies to all the big tech companies currently—LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. Most of their value comes from the 2020s, 2030s and beyond. And so one of the critical questions is, what does the endgame look like, not how they will do in the next month.
Peter_Thiel  endgame  chess  Palantir  start_ups  long-term  market_risk  strategic_thinking  customer_adoption  personal_finance  orders-of-magnitude  Big_Tech  10x 
february 2014 by jerryking
The Weekend Interview With Ben Nelson: The Man Who Would Overthrow Harvard -
August 9, 2013 | WSJ | By MATTHEW KAMINSKI.

Minerva a "reimagined university." Sure, there will be majors and semesters. Admission requirements will be "extraordinarily high," he says, as at the Ivies. Students will live together and attend classes. And one day, an alumni network will grease job and social opportunities.

But Minerva will have no hallowed halls, manicured lawns or campus. No fraternities or sports teams. Students will spend their first year in San Francisco, living together in a residence hall. If they need to borrow books, says Mr. Nelson, the city has a great public library. Who needs a student center with all of the coffee shops around?

Each of the next six semesters students will move, in cohorts of about 150, from one city to another. Residences and high-tech classrooms will be set up in the likes of São Paulo, London or Singapore—details to come. Professors get flexible, short-term contracts, but no tenure. Minerva is for-profit.

The business buzzword here is the "unbundling" of higher education, or disaggregation. Since the founding of Oxford in the 12th century, universities, as the word implies, have tried to offer everything in one package and one place. In the world of the Web and Google, physical barriers are disappearing.

Mr. Nelson wants to bring this technological disruption to the top end of the educational food chain, and at first look Minerva's sticker price stands out. Freed of the costs of athletics, the band and other pricey campus amenities, a degree will cost less than half the average top-end private education, which is now over $50,000 a year with room and board...."My first six months, what did the consulting firm teach me? They didn't teach me the basics of how they do business. They taught me how to think. I didn't know how to check my work. I didn't think about order of magnitude. I didn't have habits of mind that a liberal arts education was supposed to have given me. And not only did I not have it, none of my other colleagues had it—people who had graduated from Princeton and Harvard and Yale."
howto  thinking  Harvard  disruption  Colleges_&_Universities  Ivy_League  elitism  MOOCs  Minerva  Jason_Isaacs  unbundling  disaggregation  imagination  check_your_work  orders-of-magnitude 
august 2013 by jerryking
The Acceleration of Tranquility
October 4, 1999 | Forbes ASAP | by Mark Helprin, a senior fellow of the Hudson Institute and contributing editor for the Wall Street Journal, served in the Israeli infantry and Air Force. His best-known novels are Winter's Tale and A Soldier of the Great War.

The comparison between an old way of life and the futurist possible way of life of 2016 had a strong significance. First, the reader realizes how fast the world has involved and changed in one century. Even though most of us are aware of that, I thought this comparison was very powerful. It emphasized the fact that in today’s world and even more in tomorrow’s one, everything goes/will go so fast that we don’t even have time to disconnect from other people and from our daily activities; not even a day or an hour. We are prisoners from our own creation. Of course, productivity has dramatically increased between the statesman of 1906 and the business man from 2016. In fact it is even essential to be effective today that to have instantaneous and unlimited access to all the technology related to the business world. What I liked was when the author emphasized the fact that even though we had less technology the other century, we certainly had more “freedom”, more quality time where we could think, read, learn and where we could enjoy more the little things we had access to. A sentence that had a strong influence on me was “the lack of certain things when you want them makes your desire keener and you better rewarded when eventually you get them”. I think this is what bad the technology and constant innovation has brought to us. Nowadays, we expect to have everything we want and we want it fast; we accept less and less the frustration we face.

Questions Raised by Helprin’s Article
1. Which view is more appealing? Why?
2. In referring to the ‘016 view, Helprin writes “life is lived with the kind of excitement that your forebears knew only in battle”. What is he saying?
3. Helprin writes: “When expanding one’s powers, as we are now in the midst of now doing by many orders of magnitude in the mastery of information, we must always be aware of our natural limitations, moral requirements, and humane preferences”. Do you agree? Why or why not?
4. What does Helprin mean when he says that “potential has always been the overlord of will”?
5. Do you agree with Helprin’s argument that the “genie is out of the bottle”? Why or why not? Are there alternatives to “racing with the genie”?
6. Do you agree that “the heart of Western civilization is not the abdication of powers but rather meeting the challenge of their use”? Explain.
7. What is the difference between information and knowledge? What clues does Helprin give to answer this question?
8. Was the age of “brick and iron” friendlier to mankind”? Explain.
9. Do you agree that what we need are “discipline, values, and clarity of vision”? Explain.
10. Helprin writes: “the founders laid down principles that have served to prevent the transformation of individual to manipulable quantity. It does not matter what convenience is sacrificed in pursuit of this”. Do you agree? Explain.
history  future  Mark_Helprin  questions  critical_thinking  orders-of-magnitude  proclivities 
november 2012 by jerryking
War Without End -
October 10, 2001| WSJ | this is an e-mail exchange that occurred Sept. 19 between a senior cadet at West Point and one of his professors, retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey.

Cadet: Could you describe what you think the United States should consider as an "endstate" on the matter of dealing with terrorists? Eradication, containment, or some other option? And what would the United States consider the literal and figurative center of gravity?

Gen. McCaffrey: Great issue to consider . . . we have too liberally borrowed from the language of science to deal with the imperfections of political and security analysis.

There will be no endstate . . . we will, if successful, manage this chronic threat to our survival, economy, and self-confidence by dramatically lowering the risk. We will build a series of defensive programs that will make a multiple order of magnitude increase in our day-to-day security. Second, we will form a coalition based on common danger. Much of the globe will join us to leverage foreign intelligence services and security forces to fight these FTO's forward in the battle area. Finally, we will at last take the gloves off and use integrated military power to find, fix, and destroy these organizations.
Barry_McCaffrey  military_academies  9/11  security_&_intelligence  terrorism  endgame  orders-of-magnitude  imperfections  West_Point 
july 2012 by jerryking

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