Top articles of the week | October 31

October 31, 2020

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

An Evolutionary Approach to Problem Framing and Strategy The Strategy Bridge (reading time: 26 minutes)

I love reading about military history and strategy. This lengthy post describes the evolution of how military strategists are incorporating elements of biology in their thinking. The notion that I found the most useful is the one related to adaptability.

Resiliency and adaptability are related ideas essential to the description of not only the ability of an organism to generate or adopt new traits, but also the speed at which an organism can change its fitness to accommodate new environmental conditions.

Taking Back Our Privacy New Yorker (reading time: 45 minutes)

This is an article covering the founder of Signal, an encrypted messaging app. Moxie Marlinspike is a pseudo-anarchist focused on privacy. His messaging app Signal is used by millions of people. The article deftly dives into important issues around encryption, user privacy and security. The protagonist of the article Moxie is a fascinating character with many different interests – and how he hasn’t taken the classic VC route. He seems very focused on his values which is rare.

Software is Eating the Markets Packy McCormick (reading time: 34 minutes)

Software is eating the markets. Flush with cash and empowered by new tech platforms that blur the lines between investment, experience, entertainment, and digital assets, a segment of consumer investors are shifting money from consumption to investment.

This is a terrific post by Packy McCormick. Software is disrupting the investment industry as it has many others and the second order effects are tantalizing. For instance, the low cost and low barrier to use platforms like Robinhood has allowed many more retail investors to enter the market. This caused an increase in prices which isn’t necessarily rational. Packy also highlights many of these interesting companies and investment vehicles enabling this transformation.

Resetting Online Commerce Benedict Evans (reading time: 7 minutes)

In typical Ben Evans fashion, there are more questions than answers in this article – which is why it’s interesting. What happens to office districts in a remote working world? How many retailers can handle a 20% drop in footfall? He raises some good points on what the future of retail and advertising will look like.

These Young Investors Betting Big on Crypto Forbes (reading time: 12 minutes)

We’re still in the early days of crypto and it’s fun to see all the different investors & startups emerge. This piece in Forbes highlights the investment firm Paradigm and their work in the space. Traditional investment firms are slowly starting to dip their toe in the water while specialist firms like Paradigm are gaining a lot of traction.