Range

We’re often told that in order to be successful in business or sports, the key is specialization at a young age. The story of Tiger Woods and his path to becoming one of (if not the) greatest golfers of all time, confirms that beginning at a young age and specializing with a narrow focus is…

Seeing Around Corners

Inflection points for a business or industry often appear as if they happen overnight and without warning. While these massive shifts seem to be random, Rita McGrath in her book “Seeing Around Corners” contends that there are a number of different ways that businesses can spot these inflection points and guard against becoming the next…

Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

Making predictions and forecasting the future are integral parts of everyday life, yet it’s unlikely individuals realize the amount of predictions one makes in a day. The use of heuristics or “rules of thumb” are ingrained in human psychology and help people quickly determine courses of action with limited information at their disposal. Deciding what…

Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny

In Robert Wright’s first book, “The Moral Animal,” Wright examines how evolutionary forces influence the behaviour of individuals, and the impact this has on the human psyche. Though not necessarily billed as a follow-up to ”The Moral Animal,” in “Nonzero,” Wright explores whether there could be a scientific reason to believe that history is directional,…

Bad Blood

Theranos was once considered the darling of Silicon Valley (for an overview, see our past insight here). As a private technology company founded by Elizabeth Holmes in 2003, Theranos purported to have revolutionized blood testing by requiring only a fraction of the blood needed in traditional tests. The company was able to raise more than…

The Man Who Solved the Market

Until recently, stories about the investment management firm Renaissance Technologies and its flagship Medallion fund were relegated to hedge fund mythology and investor folklore. Unverifiable anecdotes around performance numbers trouncing the S&P 500 left many wondering if the team at Renaissance had managed to “crack” financial markets and whether the rumors were too good to…

Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets

For anyone that is familiar with the commonly used finance phrase “Black Swan”, you can thank Nassim Taleb, who popularized the term in 2001 with his book “Fooled By Randomness”. The main theme of the book is that the scientific methods utilized in financial theory tend to lean towards empirical observation, while deductive reasoning is…

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

For entrepreneurs trying to build their own businesses, Shoe Dog by Phil Knight should be on the top of their reading list. The co-founder of Nike Inc., Knight gives the reader an in-depth look at the grit and determination it took to launch the company back in its early years. He also details the trials…

The (Mis) Behaviour of Markets

As any investor will know, there are no defined set of rules in financial markets; investment management is a far cry from a hard science where normal distributions and other statistical methods work well. While it’s common knowledge that many concepts in modern finance have massive shortcomings (e.g. Markowitz’s modern portfolio theory and the efficient…

The Joy of Missing Out

The aphorisms YOLO (you only live once) and FOMO (fear of missing out) have become broadly accepted phrases across many generations during the past decade, and are no longer relegated to just the vocabulary of Millennials or Generation Z. Traditionally associated with living in the moment and the pursuit of self-gratification, there has been a…