Category Archives: Reis Release

The Reis Release #4

What I’m reading…

The Dip – A short book by Seth Godin

The below picture sums up the premise of the book. Every new project (or job, or hobby, or company) starts out fun…then gets really hard, and not much fun at all. You might be in a Dip—a temporary setback that will get better if you keep pushing. The book argues that winners are actually quitters. “Quit the wrong stuff. Stick with the right stuff. Have the guts to do one or the other.” I think you can apply this logic to a lot of things besides a career/work. For example, my book reading strategy: if the book doesn’t jump at me after the first few chapters, I’ll move onto another book that excites me. There are too many good books out there to waste time on books that you don’t find compelling.

What I’m listening to…

Yuval Noah Harari: 21 Lessons for The 21st Century (on the James Altucher podcast. Yuval was also featured on Rich Roll’s podcast, which is another podcast I really like, but I preferred the former interview)

Yuval, the author of two of the most discussed books in the last few years (Sapiens and Homo Deus), released a new book, 21 Lessons for the 21stCentury. In fact, Bill Gates loved the prior two so much, he put out a NYTimes review on the new one and said “Harari is such a stimulating writer that even when I disagreed, I wanted to keep reading and thinking.” Sapiens was about human history/evolution, Homo Deus was about his predictions on the future of humans, and the latest book provides a philosophical and historical perspective on the present (e.g. “What are today’s greatest challenges and most important changes? What should we pay attention to? What should we teach our kids?”).

What I’m pondering…

How can I not waste time finding a good/vetted product or service? Sometimes I find myself searching blogs, asking friends, and getting stuck in the Amazon review blackhole. I recently came across JetBlack, a startup backed by Walmart and led by the former founder of Rent the Runway. It’s essentially a personal shopping/concierge service but over text/mobile.

Quote I enjoyed…

“If you think you’re too small to be effective, you have never been in the dark with a mosquito.” – Mentioned in this Jason Fried interview. He is the author of the book Rework, founder of a web-based collaboration tool, and Ted Speaker.

Please feel free to give me feedback and have a wonderful weekend!

The Reis Release #3

What I’m reading…

Cheesy Dad” Reading and Reflections from Broyhill Asset Management.

I take offense to that title but anyway, this is a compilation of reading recommendations from the CIO of Broyhill Asset Management referencing one of my favorite reads: The Tail End from Waitbutwhy (if you haven’t heard of this blog, you must check it out).

What I’m listening to…

Mick Ebeling: On Why Nothing Is Impossible (featured on Cal Fussman’s new podcast)

Firstly, Fussman is a well-respected writer with many cover stories in Esquire magazine featuring his interviews with the likes of Muhammad Ali, Mikhail Gorbachev, you name it. He has a great interview voice and is known as one of the best question askers out there. This episode of the podcast features the founder of Not Impossible Labs, an incubator for building technology for the sake of humanity. One of their motto’s is, “commit and then figure it out.” The founder discusses an innovation to enhance the way the deaf listen to music and a graffiti artist with ALS who can now make art through his eyes. This also led me to their Not Impossible Podcast which features more of their work.

What I’m pondering…

Recent studies show apes can be generous and this generosity has existed for millions of years in our closest relatives, which suggests it’s in our DNA too. How can I be more generous at work? Here’s a task for next week (for myself too): go out of the way (i.e. be over generous) in compliments, thanks, and help and see what happens.

Quote I enjoyed…

“The most responsible thing you can do with buying clothes is, number one, buy used clothes. The damage has been done in making them. That’s the most responsible thing.” – Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia. As you may know, I am a huge Patagonia fan and part of the reason is for all their innovation (they make nice looking clothes too). They began their sustainability efforts changing the way people rock climb (i.e. realizing that leaving pitons in the walls of Yosemite was damaging the park, Yvon began producing removable pitons for his friends), creating clothing from recycled polyester from plastic soda bottles in 1993, being one of the first companies to offer on-site childcare (since 1983), and more recently with their Worn Wear Shop. They’ve helped pave the way for trends that are more common place today such as the circular economy, zero waste, closed loop, sustainable clothing methods, or whatever you want to call it.

Please feel free to give me feedback and have a wonderful weekend!

 

 

 

The Reis Release #2

What I’m doing…

An innovation in Central Park? No way! Yes, it is possible. A secret nature sanctuary that was previously closed for years was restored recently and is now open to the public. I went yesterday and was awed. It feels like you are in upstate New York, yet you are only a block away from the busyness, noise of NYC, and towering skyscrapers. When you step in, instead of hearing taxis honking, you hear a chorus of birds chirping and wind blowing through the leaves. Hallett Nature Sanctuary is one of three woodlands in Central Park (The Ramble and The North Woods are the others). Propose to your significant other, meditate, or disconnect and ruminate about your next trade here. It really is a sanctuary.

A Secret Section of Central Park Reopens (featured in the NYTimes, albeit I read this over a year ago)

Preview: “Since the days when Fiorello H. La Guardia was mayor and Franklin D. Roosevelt was president, it has been a well-kept secret of New York City — to people, if not to migrating birds, the occasional wandering coyote and annoying, invasive plants like wisteria: a four-acre peninsula in Central Park that the groundskeepers did not bother with and that was off limits to the public.”

What I’m listening to…

Becoming the Best Version of You (on the Tim Ferris podcast, available on iTunes)

One of my favorite listens featuring 1) Josh Waitzkin (childhood chess prodigy who the film Searching for Bobby Fischer is based on, martial arts world champ, and author of The Art of Learning) 2) Adam Robinson (founder of The Princeton Review turned global macro hedge fund advisor) and 3) Ramit Sethi (personal finance guru). Two tidbits from the episode 1) Waitskin prefers martial arts training against the dirtiest competitors out there so that during a real match he’s able to adapt to anything and 2) Robinson’s view on the keys to success are a) enthusiasm in everything you do b) the importance of connecting with people and c) expecting magic in every encounter; if you do, you will find it.

What I’m pondering…

In a book I read called Joy on Demand by a former software engineer who brought mindfulness meditation broadly to Google (employee #107!), studies are cited that show, “People who won a lot of money in the lottery, or who were paralyzed in accidents, eventually returned to their average levels of happiness”. This begs the question; how can you be happier? One obvious option, move to Norway. Checkout a World Happiness dataset from Kaggle.

Quote I enjoyed…

“The rabbit runs faster than the fox, because the rabbit is running for his life while the fox is only running for his dinner.” ― Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene. Can you apply the “rabbit running for its life” mindset to your work, personal goals, or athletics? Evolution is the ultimate technology.

Please feel free to give me feedback and have a wonderful weekend!

Reis Release #1

What I’m listening to…

Silly Things Investors Do (AQR’s new podcast called the Curious Investor)

This episode features Nobel Prize winner Richard Thaler and a succinct review of behavioral finance concepts. One thing I didn’t know is that Thaler has his own asset management firm that employs behavioral finance strategies. If you liked this episode, check out a longer interview with Daniel Kahneman on Hidden Brain (an NPR podcast I enjoy that uses science and storytelling to reveal the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, shape our choices, and our relationships).

What I’m reading…

I just downloaded Nassim Taleb’s 2018 book, Skin in the Game, which Naval Ravikant said is his favorite book of the year. The book starts saying, “Don’t tell me what you “think,” just tell me what’s in your portfolio.” I’ve heard him explain in the past the skin in the game concept: for example, in ancient Rome, architects, before allowing public use of a bridge he/she built, must sleep under the bridge the night prior. This is certainly a way to ensure there are no loose screws. I’m only 2% into the book according to my Kindle and here is a preview of my first kindle highlight: “The knowledge we get by tinkering, via trial and error, experience, and the workings of time, in other words, contact with the earth, is vastly superior to that obtained through reasoning, something self-serving institutions have been very busy hiding from us.”

What I’m pondering…

Should I open a 529 plan for my daughter? First, I’ve been saying for a while the cost of college education is unsustainable and additionally I don’t think college will exist in its current form in 17 years. Now with support from Larry Fink and others, NYU Medical School is offering free tuition…can this become a trend? Education is being democratized with podcasts, online courses like Coursera (and other MOOCs: I love the sound of that acronym, which stands for Massive Open Online Courses), and even VR (check out Labster which is a VR science lab.) For more on EdTech, check out EdSurge.

Quote I enjoyed…

“The curious thing was the dog did not bark”- Sherlock Holmes. I like this because it hones the point that there is great information in the fact that something did not happen.