This is now the template for the career of a successful artist: a few incandescent years, a few decades, and then repetition, self-parody, irrelevance, death. But that’s what we admire about them. Their fight against their condition is our fight against our condition. They are trying to fix a vanishing edge in a material form. And that struggle against the mortality of the edge, which is the mortality of every minute, which is mortality, is affirming and heroic and generous.
If you work for the Art Collector, you can’t tell him you’re buying Hewlett-Packard shares because they seem cheap any more than you can sell him a nouveau Hudson River School landscape because of the nice hills and light.
Or: Startups as a Keynesian beauty contest
When executives think they’re being patient, they’re often just being obstinate.
Over the years, I’ve noticed that many investors only dissect downside return anomalies and completely ignore upside return anomalies. Buffett’s actions here show that it’s important to understand both directionally because a rogue variable that causes unexpected upside patterns could just as easily reverse course and lead to unexpected poor results.
This pattern exists in venture as well. In an especially pernicious form of confirmation bias, investors are quick to take credit when a portfolio company outperforms in unexpected ways (“Team! Team! Team!”), but rarely do they investigate the outperformance to examine what they missed. Meanwhile, downside surprises breed either honest introspection (“We could have minimized surprise had we done X”) or excused dismissal (“No one could have predicted Y”). The former is of course preferable to the latter, but the best process demands inspection of all surprises, positive and negative both.
In the long run, not knowing why your winning bets won is just as dangerous as not knowing why your losing bets lost.
The meter has allowed brands and journalists to remain part of the daily conversation, and to sell as much advertising as can be sold, while harvesting new money. Look for lots of tweaks — geographic, demographic, psychographic, and more — to the meter, as this business matures.
If brands are successful at assembling enough talent, they’ll succeed because they provide easy entry points for us consumers. That’s why HBO is still a winner and one reason that newspapers are succeeding with paywalls. Readers see continuing local news value — and in their case, are plunking down 10 times the amount magazines can get annually. Consequently, we’ll see that twinning of independence and brand alliance among news media people just as we do with the stand-ups.
FREE ENERGY - Girls Want Rock
The American system tolerates an information monopolist, at least until the the point at which it turns to evil. Legally this translates to the maxim that it is not a crime to be a monopolist; it is a crime to abuse your monopoly power.
Yes, Google had made decisions that its competitors didn’t like, but ultimately American law favors an improved product over the protection of failed competitors; that is the standard that the FTC is obliged to adhere to. And with some exceptions mentioned above, Google’s engineers generally produced products that beat its competitors on the merits. Ultimately, it is not the job of the Federal Government to try and convince people to use Bing.