Top articles of the week | May 23

May 23, 2020

Every week, we put together a list of our top 5 articles of the past week. Happy reading!

The Three Sides of Risk Morgan Hounsel, Collaborative Fund (reading time: 15 minutes)

This is gripping tale of three young college students that would ski together. It’s a story about friends, skiing, good times and unfortunately risk. Morgan Hounsel uses this story to explain risk and how it relates to investing.

The 5-95 Rule Marty Abbott (reading time: 4 minutes)

This short quick read resonated with the work we do. Planning is a great exercise but what really matters is execution. There is too much uncertainty in today’s world to try to predict everything with a whiteboard. Doing the work is what matters. 5% of your time should be spent planning and 95% on execution.

Scale and Loyalty are more important online than offline Gavin Baker (reading time: 9 minutes)

Cost of customer acquisition is the new rent; i.e. paying to acquire customers on Google and Facebook is the online equivalent of paying rent. This investor explains why it is important to bypass the hamster wheel of paid ads in order for a company to be successful. He also eloquently explains the winner take all dynamics of the internet economy. This is a slightly technical article but highly recommend if you want to better understand the underlying dynamics.

How the Passion Economy will disrupt media, education, and countless other industries Li Jin (reading time: 13 minutes)

I’ve been following Li Jin’s writing for a little while. I still refer to her seminal post on the passion economy from last year. In this article, she provides an update on how disruption theory relates to the passion economy. This is a fascinating subject. The advent of new platforms have enabled the un-bundling of creators from traditional gatekeepers. This trend is impacting so many sectors of the economy. I can probably add a rant on why the government should pursue a more free market approach and enabling new players to emerge but that’s a topic for another day.

Begin with Trust Harvard Business Review (reading time: 17 minutes)

One of the lessons I’ve learned during the pandemic is the importance of trust. I’m not often impressed by articles in HBR. This post does a great job of explaining why and how leaders need to build trust with their team. It uses the example of Uber to describe the point and how the company started rebuilding trust and empathy throughout the entire organization.


Elon Musk Is the Hero America Deserves Ashlee Vance, Bloomberg (reading time: 15 minutes)

This isn’t a strategy article per se but hey, it’s Elon Musk. I definitely fall in the camp of Elon can do no wrong. Ashlee Vance who wrote Elon’s unofficial biography gives an updated portrait of the man with his many flaws – and world changing inventions.