Top articles of the week | September 5

September 5, 2020

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

The Slow & Steady Unbundling (aka Democratization) of Venture Capital Hard Fork by Marvin Liao (reading time: 8 minutes)

There have been a lot of interesting developments in the venture capital world in a relatively short amount of time. Things like rolling funds, syndicates and SPACs have taking over the conversation. This post dives into the issue of widespread availability of capital and what it’s doing to early stage investing. It is having the effect of democratizing access to capital for founders.

The Inside Story Of Robinhood’s Billionaire Founders Forbes (reading time: 14 minutes)

The rise of Robinhood is fascinating. The company was started by two young Stanford students that were studying physics in 2012. It has since grown to epic proportions and forced Wall Street brokerage firms to eliminate commission fees. This article in Forbes covers the good & the bad of the company’s rise including how its system favors gamification; and how this relates to its core customer & profits center.

Tencent: The Ultimate Outsider Not Boring by Patty McCormick (reading time: 27 minutes)

Tencent is the world’s seventh most valuable company but few people understand how it works (at least I don’t). It’s both one of the most profitable operating businesses in the world and one of the most ambitious investment funds (and famously owns WeChat). This is fascinating deep dive into one of the biggest and arguably most important companies of the century.

Expiring vs. Permanent Skills Morgan Hounsel (reading time: 4 minutes)

This short and punchy post is a great reminder of what kinds of skills are important. Permanent skills are the ones that don’t change and will be just as useful in 100 years. This is a good lens to use when learning a new skill in business.

Coho Capital 2020 Q2 Letter Coho Capital (reading time: 28 minutes)

This is an investor letter from Coho Capital, a small US investment fund. This letter contains a superb analysis of one of their investments, Spotify. If you like case study type learning, you have to check out this letter. Even if the hypothesis proves to be wrong in the end, the analytical thinking here is spot on. The ability to harness discovery and new revenue streams with podcasting are a few of the great insights into the streaming giant’s competitive advantage.


All Wrapped In One Michael Batnick, The Irrelevant Investor (reading time: 6 minutes)

I’m a bit tired of all the analyses of the pandemic, potential shape of the recovery and all the ad nauseum opinions out there. This post combines all the contradictions we’re currently seeing and how it all doesn’t make any sense.