Tidbits #51 – Kabul…, The Future of Work, Concerts in the Cloud + More

Hello, hello! 👋🏻👋🏻

Welcome back to another edition of Tidbits covering all the recent things worth talking about in business, media, and technology.

A Non-Linear World

One of the most important concepts I’ve come to learn about over the years is the non-linearity of the world we live in.

For financial types, you can see this when things compound. If something is growing at a consistent rate, the outcome is non-linear.… Read the rest “Tidbits #51 – Kabul…, The Future of Work, Concerts in the Cloud + More”

“Buy Now, Pay Later” and the Coming “Closed Loop”

This is part of an on-going series exploring the “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) space.

Part 1 “Buy Now Pay Later” and What Might Be Coming Next discusses why BNPL adoption is likely to surprise to the upside…and why BNPL must ultimately merge with commerce to survive.

This is Part 2.

Part 2 “Buy Now, Pay Later” and the Coming “Closed Loop” discusses Square’s acquisition of Afterpay…and why BNPL is a credible threat to the current payment network landscape.Read the rest ““Buy Now, Pay Later” and the Coming “Closed Loop””

Tidbits #50 – Chips, Data, “Spiritual Opium” + More

Hello, hello! 👋🏻👋🏻

Welcome back to another edition of Tidbits covering all the recent things worth talking about in business, media, and technology.


🗺 Geopolitics

#1 U.K. Considers Blocking Nvidia Takeover of Arm Over Security

The U.K. is considering blocking a takeover of Arm Ltd. by Nvidia Corp. due to potential risks to national security, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Read the rest “Tidbits #50 – Chips, Data, “Spiritual Opium” + More”

Paper Portfolio – August 2021 Update

The end of July marks the 2 year anniversary of the Paper Portfolio. During the last two years, the Paper Portfolio has returned 150.42% vs the S&P500’s 52.60%.

While the Paper Portfolio has performed well over the last two years, it has occasionally been defined by periods of excess volatility. This includes the first six months after launch in which many of the high quality stocks in the Paper Portfolio were impacted by fear around WeWork collapse.… Read the rest “Paper Portfolio – August 2021 Update”

Tidbits #49 – China, China, China…Battle for the Metaverse, BTS, Japanese Toilets, and More

Hello, hello! 👋🏻👋🏻

Welcome back to another edition of Tidbits covering all the recent things worth talking about in business, media, and technology.


China Policy Direction and Impact on Capital Markets

In recent months, Chinese domestic policy actions have accelerated and seem to embed a sense of urgency.

While the Chinese government and regulators have taken actions in the past (e.g.… Read the rest “Tidbits #49 – China, China, China…Battle for the Metaverse, BTS, Japanese Toilets, and More”

Tidbits #48 – A New Thing Called Fiat, Netflix Becoming the Metaverse, Softbank’s Comeback + More

Hello, hello! 👋🏻👋🏻

Welcome back to another edition of Tidbits covering all the recent things worth talking about in business, media, and technology.


🤑 Economics + Markets

#1 Ethereum Co-Founder Says Safety Concern Has Him Quitting Crypto

Anthony Di Iorio

“It’s got a risk profile that I am not too enthused about,” said Di Iorio, who declined to disclose his cryptocurrency holdings or net worth.

Read the rest “Tidbits #48 – A New Thing Called Fiat, Netflix Becoming the Metaverse, Softbank’s Comeback + More”

Tidbits #47 – Didi Gets Pulled Over, Tech vs Govts, But All We Want to Do is…Shop!

Hello, hello! 👋🏻👋🏻 Welcome back to another edition of Tidbits covering all the recent things worth talking about in business, media, and technology.

This is a double issue due to the July 4th holiday last weekend.


🗺 Geopolitics

#1 130 countries sign on to global minimum tax plan, creating momentum for Biden push

The Biden administration claimed an important victory on Thursday in its drive for a global minimum corporate tax with an announcement from Paris that 130 countries had signed on to the plan.

Read the rest “Tidbits #47 – Didi Gets Pulled Over, Tech vs Govts, But All We Want to Do is…Shop!”

What Crypto Can Learn From MMT

Over the past decade, crypto has gone on a lot of adventures.

It was originally imagined to be a currency.

But now it’s a lot of things. Sometimes it’s a distributed computing platform. Sometimes it’s digital art. Sometimes it’s just a fun asset to scratch that FOMO YOLO urge. Sometimes it’s just for giggles. Sometimes its for drugs…

While it seems to be gaining some momentum as an asset or computing platform, it’s safe to say crypto has fallen very, very short of being a currency.… Read the rest “What Crypto Can Learn From MMT”

Paper Portfolio – July 2021 Update

The Paper Portfolio performed well during June. The Paper Portfolio returned 14.87% vs the S&P500’s 2.25%. While the performance for the month was strong, the Paper Portfolio still needs to make up some lost ground in order to match the S&P500’s strong performance year-to-date. The Paper Portfolio has returned 11.90% YTD vs the S&P500’s 15.25%.

This has not been an easy year for quality / growth / secular winners since many investors seem inclined to rotate into beaten down value stocks or companies that were negatively impacted during the pandemic (and hence likely to benefit from a reopening).… Read the rest “Paper Portfolio – July 2021 Update”

Tidbits #46 – Laws in a Digital World, Sneaky Fronts, Digital Reality + More

Hello, hello! 👋🏻👋🏻

Summer is officially upon us. And we’re almost halfway through the year. Moving fast!

As always, thanks for reading. Hopefully this doesn’t take too much time away from the summer festivities. 🍋🍹🏖😎


Laws in a Digital World

Before diving into our usual fare, let’s talk about Law.

One of the most under-discussed topics when it comes to technology and its impact and intersection with society is the implementation of laws.… Read the rest “Tidbits #46 – Laws in a Digital World, Sneaky Fronts, Digital Reality + More”

Why Tech Needs Low / No-Code

Yesterday I suggested capitalism and the need for growth would eventually lead tech to healthcare.

Tech companies already command a greater share of wallet / economy than probably any single industry has ever commanded in history.

In order to keep growing, the only options are:

1/ Keep finding new customers (which at this point is mostly international or very young or very old consumers),

2/ Get existing customers to buy existing products and services more frequently,

3/ Expand into new products and services,

4/ Raise prices.

Read the rest “Why Tech Needs Low / No-Code”

Tech, Healthcare, and Alignment of Interests

At a fundamental level, business and capitalism are pretty straightforward: You have a product or service that someone wants, and someone else has something you want. Trading products and services makes both of you better off.

Of course, you could just barter the products and services directly, but it’s easier to have a common form of accounting to smooth things over in the form of a currency.… Read the rest “Tech, Healthcare, and Alignment of Interests”

Tidbits #45 – Proxies, Titans, Games Games Everywhere + More

Hello, hello!

Have some stuff going on around the house today. Will keep it short and just dive right in.


🗺 Geopolitics

#1 Hackers Thrive in Putin’s Russia as U.S. Seeks New Strategy

Early in his rise to the pinnacle of Russian cybercrime, Maksim Yakubets, leader of one of the most successful hacking syndicates in the world, was asked if he was worried about being arrested.

Read the rest “Tidbits #45 – Proxies, Titans, Games Games Everywhere + More”

Gaming and Online Advertising

The online advertising market increasingly looks like it is ripe for disruption.

While a big part of this can be attributed to Apple’s recent aggressive actions to limit data-gathering, a lot of it also seems to simply reflect changing consumer behaviors.

The disruption that is coming for advertising is particularly remarkable because, for the longest time, online advertising almost appeared destined to be the “cockroach” of the Internet – Entirely undesirable yet indestructible and possibly able to survive nuclear Holocaust.… Read the rest “Gaming and Online Advertising”

Tidbits #44 – The Empire Strikes Back + Metaverse, Mobility, and More

Hello, hello! 👋🏻👋🏻

Yikes, this one is long…And this is after I cut out a bunch of other clippings I saved already!

In any case, hope it is enjoyable, and thanks for reading.


The Empire Strikes Back

Before jumping into our regular programming, one thing I think worth diving deeper into is what happens when the Empire strikes back.

We talk a lot about disruptive technology and market evolution around here.… Read the rest “Tidbits #44 – The Empire Strikes Back + Metaverse, Mobility, and More”

Proof of Work…Proof of Stake…Proof of Space…Is Crypto Reinventing the Wheel?

I have a fascination with everything new.

And so…I have had an ongoing fascination with crypto! For years, it always seemed to be just more of an interesting little corner of the digital world, but increasingly it is touching more and more of the mainstream world and sometimes transforming it in the process. For example, the rising interest in digital currencies is causing at least a few governments to seriously think about whether they need to issue digital currencies of their own.… Read the rest “Proof of Work…Proof of Stake…Proof of Space…Is Crypto Reinventing the Wheel?”

Tidbits #43 – Not “Arming the Rebels”, But “Spawning the Rebels”? + Capital Politics, Gucci Gardens, Doge and More

Hello, hello! 👋🏻👋🏻

Hope everyone had an enjoyable Memorial Weekend last week.

Three day weekends are magical. We need more of them. In our modern, hyper-speed society, it’s very hard for me to keep up. Three day weekends always seem like those much-needed moments where I get to come up for air after holding my breath underwater for a while.

It’s also a great time to think.… Read the rest “Tidbits #43 – Not “Arming the Rebels”, But “Spawning the Rebels”? + Capital Politics, Gucci Gardens, Doge and More”

Paper Portfolio – June 2021 Update

For everyone in the US, happy Memorial weekend! This is likely the first holiday weekend where a large portion of the population is finally vaccinated and ready to experience the world once again.

Hope everyone has a happy and healthy weekend!

During the month of May, the markets remained choppy. High-growth / high-multiple stocks reversed some of the gains experienced in April, while more reasonably valued large-cap growth stocks and reopening / value plays benefited.… Read the rest “Paper Portfolio – June 2021 Update”

Tidbits #42 – A Globalized E-Commerce Market + More

Hello friends! Welcome to another edition of Tidbits.

Summer is almost upon us. Life is starting to return to normal. And the world is healing. All is right with the world!

While businesses and communities are starting to reopen, I can’t help but feel that a lot that has changed will remain changed.

One of the biggest changes is how we shop.… Read the rest “Tidbits #42 – A Globalized E-Commerce Market + More”

Tidbits #41 – “Everything is Everything” + More

Hello friends! 👋🏻👋🏻

Hope everyone is doing well. Markets are volatile, but hopefully your personal life is starting to return to some semblance of normal.

I’m pretty excited about this edition of Tidbits and to discuss how “everything is becoming everything”. I’ve written a lot over the last few years about mostly convergence in almost all areas I can think about.… Read the rest “Tidbits #41 – “Everything is Everything” + More”

The Only Two Business Models That Matter?

This is Part 1.

In Part 1, I discuss why rents vs tolls is an increasingly relevant and powerful descriptor of business models (from a revenue generation perspective) and why it matters.

In Part 2, I discuss the conditions that allow for the rise of rents, why technology is becoming the new “landlord”, and why you want to own it anyway as a hedge.Read the rest “The Only Two Business Models That Matter?”

Tidbits #40 – China’s Third Large Ecosystem + More

Hello, hello! 👋🏻👋🏻

I’ve been thinking about how to evolve this format to make it even better. The first few issues of Tidbits were all organized around themes (e.g. E-commerce, retail, etc). In a way, Tidbits began as a low hurdle way of grouping together a bunch of ideas around a common theme when I didn’t feel like I had enough material for a longer post.… Read the rest “Tidbits #40 – China’s Third Large Ecosystem + More”

Paper Portfolio – May 2021 Update

Following the challenging month of March, April turned out to be a nice reprieve.

Our decision to lean into the March weakness for last month’s Paper Portfolio update also helped support performance.

During the month of April, the Paper Portfolio returned 7.44% against the S&P500’s 5.29%. This returns the Paper Portfolio to positive YTD performance, coming in at 3.74%. However, this remains below the S&P500’s YTD performance of 11.98%.… Read the rest “Paper Portfolio – May 2021 Update”

The Future of Identity?

What’s amazing about the last 20 years is how many (mostly tech) companies have pursued utterly ambitious visions…bordering on the impossible…and succeeded!

Apple with their vision of technology made for humans.

Tesla + SpaceX with their visions for saving the world through electrification of cars and reusable rockets (and off-Earth colonies…though this last part is still a work in progress).… Read the rest “The Future of Identity?”

Gaming is Eating the World and How Gaming Can Can Restore Trust in Society

Almost exactly a decade ago, Marc Andreessen famously proclaimed:

Software is eating the world.

Source: A16Z

With hindsight, it’s clear Marc Andreessen was not just right, he was absolutely right.

Even before considering the proliferation of software in 2020 in a COVID-driven world, software was already well on its way to dominating most aspects of our lives by 2019.

And what makes that proclamation even more incredible was how out of consensus that view was when it was written in 2011.Read the rest “Gaming is Eating the World and How Gaming Can Can Restore Trust in Society”

Tidbits #39

Hello, hello!

Here’s what I found interesting recently.

Thanks for reading.


🗺 Geopolitics

#1 Peter Thiel- “I do wonder whether at this point Bitcoin should also be thought in part of as a Chinese financial weapon against the U.S.”

Peter Thiel: Well, you know, I think there’s sort of a lot of different things that fall under digital currency, presumably one that’s electronic form that China envisions is one that can be monitored even more granularly the way they’re being monitored currently.

Read the rest “Tidbits #39”

Reshuffling the Geopolitical Deck / How Technology Resets the World

This post is part of a series.

Part 1 – “The Coming Economic (R)Evolution” discusses the rise of technology and the creation of digital businesses that no longer need labor or capital…and why understanding their impact on the economy is necessary to navigate the shifting investment landscape in the coming decades.

Part 2 – “Empire(s) of the 21st Century” discusses how technology has eclipsed geography as the most important factor in geopolitics…and why this could potentially shift geopolitical competition from “country vs country” to “country vs tech”.Read the rest “Reshuffling the Geopolitical Deck / How Technology Resets the World”

Tidbits #38 – The Pastry AI That Can Detect Cancer

Hello, friends!

There’s a lot to talk about. A lot that is interesting.

A common theme that I think is becoming increasingly prevalent is the fungibility of technology. Not just software, but all of tech, including biotech, across all industries and aspects of life. What I mean is that technology is increasingly not its own confined domain, but something that is becoming foundational to everything that we do, to our future, and to our world.… Read the rest “Tidbits #38 – The Pastry AI That Can Detect Cancer”