Investor psychology in times of crisis | Lessons learned

“Fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” – Warren Buffet

The last week has been an interesting view on my own psychology, on how all the best-made plans aren’t worth anything if you don’t have conviction and resolve. Fintwit talked about keeping a trading diary and here is my attempt to keep myself intellectually honest!

I am not a trader. I strongly believe that on a really long term horizon stocks will outperform every asset class. I also believe that the best opportunity to purchase assets is when everyone else is scared. In my lifetime I’ve seen two recessions – dotcom and GFC. I had just started my career during the dotcom boom and didn’t know anything and right before the GFC, we bought a house (great timing right :). So never had any cash to capitalize on the downswings in markets. I’d always thought that in the next downswing, I will be prepared and buy in-size!Read More »

Fear and loathing on Wall Street

Warning: Stream of consciousness follows! This week has been wild in the markets and I wanted to put my thoughts on paper and #timestamp my thinking. Standard disclaimer applies; none of this should be taken as investment advice!

RIP good times again?

Sequoia published version 2.0 of its RIP good times memo, catchily titled Coronavirus black swan of 2020. Taleb is furiously deadlifting somewhere right now 🙂 What was public stock performance since RIP good times? Looking back it looks like the S&P ripped up since its publication in October ’08. Is this the ultimate contrarian indicator? Are VC’s the last group to point at markets crashing? Is it all upside from here?Read More »

GM Chronicles Part 2: Does a product background give you an edge?

So you are a product person turned GM. What advantages do you bring to the table? What’s your edge in this role? Some of my thoughts below

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Credit: Scott Adams

Structured and systems-level thinking

Great product folks have a structured thinking approach to solving problems. Thinking in systems is a critical skill. This mode of thinking is immensely valuable and has broad applications in other areas like sales and marketing. As described in the last post, sales and marketing have a very quick rhythm, everything resets at the quota end period. This dynamic has a natural pull towards tactics that yield quick outcomes. You can easily slide into just executing on tactics without a reliable and predictable system of making Read More »

GM chronicles : A product guy learns about sales and marketing

So I’m a GM now :). Learning by writing is my thang so the next few posts will be about all things GM. Hopefully, fellow GMs and my core constituency of product folks will find this interesting and useful! The GM role in tech companies is a broad role that is accountable for a commercial (revenue and or profit) number. A GM has three levers of Product, Sales, and Marketing to achieve this outcome. Coming from a product and engineering background it was instructive to me to understand how sales and marketing differ from the product and engineering function. These are my observations/learnings from the few months on the job!

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Credit: Scott Adams

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Dear Tech CEOs, start learning about the history of finance | History repeats edition

A16z’s Angela Strange has a very correct take on where financial services are heading. In the future, every company will need to offer financial services in order to compete. Complete vertical integration from click to purchase reduces the most friction for the user, which leads to the best customer experience which leads to a competitive edge. For companies, this is a source of extra high margin that can offset their low margin core business. It also makes the users more sticky – why go anywhere else? I recommend watching the entire presentation in full, very spot on where fintech is headed!

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Strategy vs tactics – why do we get it wrong most of the time?

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The difference between strategy and tactics is the most misunderstood phenomenon. 90% of the time the two are conflated. I recently read (twice, its that good!) the book 7 Powers: The foundation of business strategy by Hamilton Helmer. I highly recommend getting the paper copy of the book to make notes on and see the visuals. I plan to write some posts applying some of the concepts to industries I’m familiar with, but for today I’d like to talk about a basic framework, two sentences that illuminate the difference between strategy and tacticsRead More »

Lessons learned in SMB fintech

In the last post, I highlighted that SMB’s are mostly a long tail business with a majority of the market at the smaller end of the spectrum. An insight that I did not appreciate going into this market is the amount of sensitivity to price. The statement that “There are three things that are most important in SMB, price, price and price” is 100% true! With most small businesses being small and not really in it to grow this price sensitivity makes a ton of sense. So if you are a startup in this space you come across an interesting squeeze.Read More »