#005: Poor Charlie's Almanack

The life and wisdom of mythical investor Charlie Munger. And also why investing in your learning is one of the best things you can do.

Hello there 👋. It has been some time since I've had the privilege to send you a new post.

A quick update below. (If you'd like to skip to the book review, go for it and scroll).

Since the last time, a few things happened:

  1. I've decided that this book newsletter should be about non-fiction books. I started originally this project because I wanted to read more and actually learn from the books I was reading. With fiction, creating summaries is pointless (unless you're hoping to pass an exam). It's one of those things that you have to experience by yourself. I still read fiction as I think it’s a great way to get to the bottom of the human experience. For example, right now I'm halfway through War and Peace (no easy feat as it's > 1700 pages long). Non-fiction, on the other hand, has a practical purpose and it will be more interesting for me to condense and for you to learn.

  1. I've started to buy physical books instead of just reading them in kindle. I'm taking pleasure in going to book stores and in searching for books that I've discovered to be good and then placing them in bookshelves. I've mounted a few, like the one below, as it gives me a particular type of joy when I look at these wonderful books. So +1 for dead tree format?

  2. I've started publishing a few articles on my web site: jfj.fyi. I'm wondering if any of the posts that I write there would be of your interest. Feel free to check them and let me know.

  3. I’m also curating a set of resources you can start using as readers of my posts. There’s a first big list of mental models you can use there (I’ll keep improving it over time)

This book (Poor Charlie’s Almanack) was the book that I read during the Q4 Portuguese COVID-19 lockdown. It took me some time to read it because it’s larger than the books I was reading before but also because I was reading two other books at the same time. I've tried to write it in a way that could be a future reference for myself. Buckle up because there's a few things to take in.

Enjoy!


Before we start:

I’m reading 100 books like this one and I’m sending, free of chargebook summaries so you can decide if you want to read it yourself.

By signing up, you’ll also have access to more resources (like checklists for example) which will help you on your weary journey 🧗‍♀️. (you can find the resources link in the confirmation email)

Given you’re sharing with me your email, it’s only fair that you also have mine: jaime.fjorge at gmail.com.


TLDR

  • Timeless? ⚠️ published in 2005 but will apply to life and business in decades to come

  • Comprehensive? ⚠️ These are Charlie's opinions and theses built through a life of methodic improvement.

  • Mental model? ✅✅ Double yes! The key point of the book is to have mental models

  • Return on investment of reading? ⚠️ It's rather large and you can find many of his talks online. If you're interested in his life, it's a great investment.

  • All in all: ⭐️⭐️⭐️(3/5)

  • Should you read it: Maybe, but definitely read his talks. Charlie Munger is a wise man. Wise men understand how the world works. His mental models are shared in the book. You get the mental models which makes you wiser. Particularly, he has a talk which is a wonderful collection of human tendencies that help you understand humans better.

The Book

Poor Charlie’s Almanack

From Charlie Munger

The book is an ode to Charlie's life and accomplishments, told by people who know him and based on his talks throughout the years.

It's a great table top book and one that I now keep in plain sight in my living room. You can't get a kindle version and when you buy a physical version you understand why. It's wonderfully filled with illustrations which give more color to Charlie's thoughts and talks.

It's less of a biography as it is an assorted collection of the most important aspects in Charlie's life. It guides us through his early life, his family, his investment practices and learnings and, ultimately, the 11 talks he gave.

Charlie is 96 years old at the time of writing this post, so it's worthwhile to celebrate his life while the world still has Charlie.

Key point: you should pursue wisdom through continuous learning of ideas from different fields

By far, the biggest advice Charlie Munger has to offer is the necessity of multidisciplinary wisdom from a set of big ideas. He believes people should look to different disciplines and create a latticework of connected wisdom, ideally in the form of checklists, that allows you to make better decisions and live a better life.

Whatever you do in life, regardless of the work/life balance, it's a mistake to not acquire worldly wisdom. It will make you better in every way.

To be wise (to develop worldly wisdom), develop a mind that jumps the multidisciplinary boundaries

It's clear that his quest to become wiser led him has made him a practitioner of learning and an avid reader. He advises to 'go to bed a little wiser than you were in the morning'. That better theory led him to live a better life.

For Charlie, the pursuit of structured and continuous learning was one of the points he feels stronger about. He looks up to airline pilots in this regard.

Pilots have training that is highly methodical and structured. This is because, without it, people die.

Charlies shows why becoming and being a pilot is interesting by showing the requirements of the profession:

  1. Learn everything useful in piloting

  2. They don't just pass exams. 'Good enough' doesn't make pilots. They need to be excellent.

  3. They think forward and reverse through situations.

  4. Checklists are mandatory.

  5. They're required regular use and training in aircraft simulator.

On investing

Charlie, being a world class investor, has a strong opinion about investment strategies. He's a value investor

Investing is like betting on horses. You should bet on the horse that has 50% of winning but pays 3 to 1. Value investing is understanding whether the gamble is mispriced. You should expect to profit heavily from few businesses over a long time. You should be patient in finding them and when you do invest heavily. A summary of his strategy:

  • Investing with total passivity

  • Very low management fees

  • Bet heavily in small amount of companies

Charlie follows extreme patience + extreme decisiveness. It's best to think long term, with patience and do actions that don't depend on luck.

Charlie believes that, unless you're choosing Index funds, diversification does not make sense. Index fund should be good for most people. If you're not doing that, then Charlie believes you should do the work and invest heavily in a few companies.

The trick to investment is finding great businesses.

  • Finding them small

  • Management matters

  • But business momentum is more important than management

Ultimately: a great business at a fair price is better than a fair business at a great price. Charlie developed a method that enables him to escape FOMO, to focus on the fundamentals, to find great moats and to pay what is fair. It's an exhaustive process but filters only great businesses. When he does decide to invest, he takes large positions. Since he does his homework, he develops high conviction.

When talking about their investment strategies, Charlie introduces the concept of Circle of competence:

"We don't leap seven foot fences"

A circle of competence is the boundary of which you can safely say you have mastery in operating. Operating within your circle of competence is highly beneficial since it allows you to make wiser faster decisions. Oppositely, operating outside one's circle of competence can sometimes lead to bad decisions. To understand your circle of competence, one should ask: what are topics that I don't feel comfortable answering tough questions? This is a practical heuristic to gauge mastery. If you wanted to be the best tennis player in the world, you'll find that it will be borderline impossible to do. However, if you wanted to be the best plumber in some remote village, you find that maybe that's not impossible.

This is one of the reasons why Berkshire Hathaway never invested in tech. This is also why this year's news of Berkshire Hathaway investing in Snowflake is so curious.

His critique of Psychology and Economics

Charlie believes that soft sciences, which we frequently singles out Psychology, should be more like Hard sciences. Psychology is wrongly taught and greatly deficient as a discipline. The psychological departments don't attract super minds to develop the field further.

He also suggests a few ideas on how to improve the teaching of elite soft sciences:

  1. More courses should be mandatory, which makes the course builders think carefully of the general knowledge students are getting

  2. More problem solution disciplines (like the structured and process driven job of the air-pilot)

  3. Increase the use of Periodicals

  4. Ideology out of the classroom

  5. Study, research and behave increasingly like Hard Sciences

Charlie was forced to learn psychology skills on his own which is where much of his frustration comes from.

Economics suffers from 5 major flaws:

  1. Fatal unconnectedness/too insular. This leads to The Man with only one Hammer tendency.

  2. Failure to follow the incremental full attribution ethos of Hard-science. Hard science is built on top of each work and through citations. This apparently is not as frequent in Economics (is it?)

  3. Physics Envy: The unattainable precision of physics is not going to happen in Economics as it's too complex. So this gets you in trouble: following false precision

  4. Too much focus on Macro and not on Micro. Macro is too complex. Micro allows you to understand problems better.

  5. Too little synthesis. To be able to induce rules out of ideas.

  6. Extreme and counterproductive psychological ignorance

  7. Little attention to second and higher order effects - Charlie gives an example of a textile mill that Warren declared to let it fail instead of investing in new equipment. It's easy to say with micro economics that a loan or investment will pay itself in X years. It's more difficult to understand that any investment in particular markets will result in gains transposed directly to the customer.

  8. No attention to Embezzlement - Febezzlement as Charlie calls it.

  9. No attention to virtue and vice effects - Being good or evil affects everything you touch.

Worldly business advice

Management

There is a trait of CEOs who are fanatic as Charlie Munger calls them. These are CEOs that are obsessed with winning and/or execution. To them, the company is their art form and they don't settle for less than perfection.

A few examples:

  • Tobias, CEO of Shopify, still writes code

  • Bill Gates was famously coding as a public company CEO and revising a lot of code he was unsatisfied with. There were rumors he was politely urged to stop it:

    "Ultimately he had to force himself to stop revising and perfecting his peers’ work. “I had to say to myself, ‘Ok, we’re going to ship code that I didn’t edit,’” he said. “And that was hard for me, but I kinda got over that.”"

  • Sam Walton created Wal-Mart late in his life and blew past Sears. He was a fanatic and he went from small-town to small-town beating the small stores.

Markets and competition

The more dynamic and competitive a market is, the more you should think of innovating and bring new products to market. A market that is constantly evolving, has a lot of Competitive Destruction which is the process by which old status quo ways of doing things get challenge and consequently destroyed by invention and adoption of technology or new products.

The company that needs a new machine tool, and hasn't bought it yet, is already paying for it Charlie Munger

An interesting thought: when you're investing in a new machine or product in order to be competitive or to reduce costs, you might be transposing that saving directly to the customer or making your supplier richer.

It’s like the old story about the little store with salt all over its walls. And a stranger comes in and says to the store owner, ‘You must sell a lot of salt.’ And he replies, ‘No, I don’t. But you should see the guy that sells me salt.’

The ultimate no-brainer: Raising prices:

There are actually people out there who don't price everything as high as the market will easily stand. And once you figure that out, it's like finding money in the street - if you have the courage of your convictions.

Like a surfer catching a wave, you might paddle too late and not get momentum to catch the wave or you might paddle too early and get tired. But if you get your momentum just right, you can surf a wave for a long time. And it's the same with businesses where companies can ride markets.

Great examples of companies that were able to ride waves for a long time:

  • Microsoft: has been able to reinvent itself for a long time, most recently with Satya Nadella focusing on open source/developers as a core growth strategy to make the rest of the business flourish.

  • Gillette: has been the staple of men's razor blades for decades through constant innovation.

On the economical concepts, Charlie tells the story of an hotel he owned which was in a bad neighborhood (so bad that people would steal copper from wiring). He put a sign to sell it. An acquirer appeared who wanted to buy it because of its location to the airport as he would fly seniors in. He'd only want a putting green and no parking lot, because they wouldn't drive and would lock completely from the outside.

  • This was like the Adam Smiths's Pin Factory because it was a great example of specialization for a particular segment of the market

  • This was like David Ricardo's Comparative advantage because the man had a lower cost of opportunity to sell this to his Seniors.

Assorted life advice

The iron rule of life is that only 20% of people get to be in the top fifth

The safest way to get what you want is to try to deserve what you want.

  • You want to deliver what you would buy

  • Acquiring wisdom is a moral duty which means you should be hooked in a lifetime of learning.

    • Warren for example spends half of his time awake reading. Then a big chunk of the rest of his time is talking to gifted people.

Self-pity leads to paranoia which is hard to counter. You should do your best to avoid self-pity as it will give you an advantage over everyone else. You should also expect self-pity in others and plan accordingly.

Charlie's advice (given in one annual Shareholder's meeting):

  • Don't do cocaine

  • Avoid AIDS situations

  • Don't race trains -> Don't compete with situations you can't compete with or that one is very unfavorable.

On knowledge, learning and 'earning your spurs':

  1. You can have Plank knowledge: built on aptitude, countless hours of honing your skills and testing yourself, going to the bottom of things

  2. Or you can have Chauffeur knowledge: big talk and no juice, shallow knowledge

Based of the story from Plank:

Charlie tells the apocryphal story of Max Planck and the chauffeur who drove him to the public lecture he gave throughout Germany. On one occasion the chauffeur, who by this time knew the lecture by heart, suggested that he and Planck switch places. At the conclusion of the chauffeur's flawless recitation of the lecture, a physicist stood up and posed a very difficult question. the chauffeur, ready for the situation, replied, ''I'm surprised that a citizen of an advanced city like Munich is asking so elementary question. So I'm going to ask my chauffeur To respond."

Making mistakes is an essential part of learning. The objective is not to stop making mistakes. When you stop making them, you stop evolving.

Charles Darwin was exceptional at questioning his work and search for the correct answer no matter how uncomfortable it was. ![[Confirmation Bias#^a6d991]]

Over time you can learn to make fewer mistakes and how to fix them. But never to stop making them.

There’s no way that you can live an adequate life without many mistakes.

Charlie's Iron Prescription: one must not have an opinion unless one can state the arguments against our opposition better than them. Other than this, staying quiet is always a good wise choice.

According to Charlie Munger, this is how you get rich:

  1. Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up

  2. Build discipline

  3. Slug it out one inch at a time, day by day

  4. If you live long enough, you get what you deserve

The psychology of human misjudgment

Okay, take a deep breadth. This should be both fascinating and extensive.

Charlie noticed throughout his life many cases of bad judgement. This made him think that, beyond the rational and fact driven decisions people made, there are underlying tendencies that affect our decision making and push us to make wrong (and right) decisions.

Charlies is not a psychologist, but he's willing to run the risk of making a fool out of himself to warn others of our natural tendencies to make mistakes. Ultimately, this is his largest contribution of his talks: 25 human tendencies that lead us to misjudge situations.

This is meant to be a checklist that you can use to triage human cognition errors.

Let’s go..

1. Incentive or Reward and Punishment superresponse tendency

We have a super response to incentives, positive or negative. This leads to incentive-caused bias which makes you be driven to certain behavior because of the incentives you are exposed to.

Example: Fedex workers were paid by the hour. As a consequence, they would stretch delivery times and parcels would take longer than expected to be delivered. Until one day someone proposed a fixed income and that workers could go home once they'd be done. Things got better.

BF Skinner was a psychologist and made a career working with positive reinforcement, which are positive incentives. His thought:

Repeat behavior that works

He also found that prompt rewards work better than delayed ones.

Antidotes to this tendency:

  • Don't reward for what is easily faked

  • Fear professional advice from people who can benefit from you taking said advice

    • Also: learn the basics of the advisor's trade

    • Also: double check, disbelieve and replace as much as necessary

Some quotes:

"Perhaps the most important rule in management is 'Get the incentives right'"

"Never ever think about something else when you should be thinking about incentives"

“If you would persuade, appeal to interest and not to reason”
Ben Franklin

2 Liking or loving Tendency

Liking or loving someone affects our judgment of people, products or actions associated with that someone. We're also likely to distort facts in order to facilitate love. Given that love is part of our genetic encoding, we're prone to be affected by it.

3. Disliking or hating tendency

Hating something or someone makes us:

  1. Ignore virtues

  2. Dislike people/products/actions associated with the object of our dislike

  3. Distort fact to facilitate hate

This is opposite to Liking or loving Tendency

4. Doubt Avoidance Tendency

We are designed to quickly eliminate doubt in situations. Charlie gives an interesting reason: because our ancestors who took a long time to decide between running or fighting a tiger would not live very long.

Examples: Judges are required to have "forced" deliberation time to counter this tendency (in order to create a mask of objectivity).

What creates doubt avoidance is a combination of Stress and Puzzlement in humans.

Areas that intersects highly with doubt avoiding tendency are religion and ideology.

Ideology pounds ideas in better than it convinces out

5 Inconsistency avoidance tendency

Humans have a natural need to be consistent with their decisions and habits. Humans have a tendency to keep their previous conclusions, loyalties, identities, roles in their brains. People accumulate mental positions with defined conclusions that are hard to displace and are not often reexamined. This happens also because humans are uncomfortable with change.

Charlies argues why we have this tendency:

  • Faster decision making

  • Better cooperation in groups

  • Evolution's best answer so far

This tendency is a cause for Confirmation Bias which is when we look for evidence that supports a previously held conclusion.

Antidotes:

  • Force groups to consider counter arguments

On a positive example, Ben Franklin would use this tendency and make influential people lend him books. After lending him books, they would trust Ben more because it’s more consistent with the trusting act of lending a book (otherwise, they’d be idiots to lend a book to someone they didn’t trust).

Keynes once said that some ideas are not accepted not because they are difficult but because they are inconsistent with old ideas in place.

Plank said that progress is only made by a new generation of scientists less 'brain blocked'.

6 Curiosity Tendency

Humans are naturally curious and it helps to prevent bad judgment. It's connected to Reason Respecting Tendency

7 Kantian Fairness Tendency

The golden rule. People naturally try to do good to others as they would like others to do on to them. Humans tend to follow a set of principles that allow them to live in society.

8 Envy or Jealousy Tendency

Humans develop jealous feelings which can evolve into hatred. It's very visible in compensation discussions, where people want to have the same treatment as others, or better if they see themselves as better.

It's not greed that drives the world but envy
Warren Buffet

This is also connected to the reason why survivor bias can lead to unhappiness.

8. Reciprocation Tendency

We give back the favors or disfavors we receive. Charlie states, looking at our history:

  • Intraspecies golden rule is not a predictor/booster of species survival

  • Abandoning the reciprocate-disfavor tendency for outsiders might be a bad thing

  • If indeed it is a bad thing, our genes seem to be against us. Our culture might need to be more supportive.

Hammurabi's Code: An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.

The antidote is defer reaction:

You can always tell the man off tomorrow, if it is such a good idea
Tom Murphy

9 Influence-from-mere-association Tendency

We create mental relationships between things and this affects our decision making.

This is problematic when we use previous successes/wins as basis for making future decisions. An example is Hitler and Napoleon when invading Russia, being influenced by their previous successes.

Marketing and Sales pricing uses this technique a lot. It may be that we buy products with beautiful families or women thinking that will apply to us.

Another example: when choosing a product, the most expensive with have higher perceived value.

Misjudgment comes from associating a person or event to a decision. There's another consequence for decision making called Persian Messenger Syndrome: Persians would kill messengers that brought bad news. In another example of this: Chairman of CBS, Bill Paley, was hostile to anyone giving him bad news. As a consequence he lived in a cocoon and made bad deal after bad deal because he didn't have the information. As an antidote: we should welcome bad news first and make it a habit

10 Denial Tendency

Not believing/refusing to believe in something despite reality.

Example: chemical additions where on is driven by vice and is not able to see their real status.

Example: Gregor in Metamorphosis trying to focus on his job instead of assuming his transformation into an insect

11 Excessive Self-Regard Tendecy

Man thinks highly of himself. People that have high consideration for themselves are more prone to choosing people like themselves, leading to myopic decisions. This tendency also makes people to consider their own opinions better or more important.

Because of this tendency, humans also tend to overestimate things they own which is called the Endowment effect: once something is owned, that something becomes more valuable to humans. An experiment showed that lost wallets with pictures are more frequently returned when the owner looks like the person who found the wallet.

Excessive self-regard also reduces the accuracy of people's ability to measure their own talent. Like 90% of Swedish drivers that think they are above average.

While too much self-regard leads to mistakes in cognition, it can also cause weird successes:

Never underestimate a man who overestimates himself

12 Over-optimism Tendency

People overestimate circumstances specially when things are going well.

Humans are naturally optimistic and sometimes it gets in the way of reason. Humans apply it to circumstances where estimation is required. Look at software and the ever-constant delays come from people being overly-optimistic

Study conducted on students estimating their time to deliver a paper found that they were always optimistic and that, in reality, it took much longer than they planned.

What a man wishes, that also will he believe
Demosthenes

13 Deprival Superreaction Tendency

Also called loss aversion. The pleasure from a dollar gain is less than the displeasure from a dollar loss.

Loss aversion causes misframing of problems. Example: for a man with $10m in a bank account, losing $100 out of his wallet will still feel terrible.

This can also cause sunk cost fallacies. According to Kahneman and Tversky, this is called Prospect Theory.

14 Social Proof Tendency

Humans tend to automatically think and do like other fellow humans, specially ones they respect or admire. Man tends to follow group think in order to de-risk decisions.

Judith Rich Harries showed that teens will tend to want to achieve more respect from their peers as compared to their parents. This is ingrained in our genes. This pushes parents to want to control a child's friends.

Social proof will be more easily triggered when puzzlement and stress are in place.

Example: in SaaS, it's important to have testimonials to increase social proof which increases trust in buying a solution.

Antidote: learn to ignore the examples of others when they are wrong.

15 Contrast misreaction tendency

Man is more comfortable thinking in relative terms as opposed to absolute terms.

This is highly connected to Loss of Perspective Tendency. You don't have all the knowledge present in your mind at all times, so it's much easier to remember the last available fact or event. This makes humans suffer because they cannot get perspective on events. Traders, for example, suffer from "You're only as good as your last trade"

This is connected to anchoring as a negotiation technique where people lose sight of overall price and just compare to either discount or first price mentioned. Example: people will buy overpriced leather seats because it's low compared to a $65k car.

A small leak will sink a great ship
Ben Franklin

16 Stress-influence tendency

Heavy stress changes how we operate and can cause depression.

Pavlov discovered that his dogs, under peak stress, did not show any of the previously introduced behavior. In a way he 'broke' them by creating highly stressful situations. He further found that he could:

  1. Break any dog

  2. Dogs hardest to break were hardest to recover

  3. In order to recover a dog, he had to re-introduce stress again.

17 Availability heuristic bias or Availability-misweighing tendency

We're influenced by what's more available to us. If you are only given certain options, that can influence you. We also estimate information and probability based on how easy it is to retrieve this information.

Example: People find an earthquake in California more likely than an earthquake in US.

It's worth remembering that an idea or a fact is not worth more because it's easily available.

Antidote: checklists

When I'm not with the girl I love, I love the girl I'm near

18 Use-or-lose-it tendency

Skills decay over time. If you don't practice, you will lose them.

This is why pilots are required simulation training. A wise man must then train their skills to be better. Skills of very high order require daily practice.

19 Drug influence tendency

Drugs affect our reasoning, pretty self explanatory.

20 Senescence-misinfluence tendency

The natural decay of one's mental abilities as we get older

Antidote: continuous learning and practicing - Use-or-lose-it tendency

21 Authority Misinfluence Tendency

Man is programmed to follow leaders. So the natural structure in human-made organizations sees hierarchy. This becomes a problem when leaders are a problem.

This connects with The Milgram Experiment. This experiment explored obedience and wanted to understand how people could be complicit in Nazi Germany, i.e. killing millions of people. They found that human are able and willing to torture if there is an authority figure validating and pushing them to do so.

22 Twaddle tendency

People like to talk and sometimes they don't say anything.

Charlie describes an experiment with bees. Bees do a little dance when they find nectar as to communicate to others the location of the nectar. So someone put nectar straight up relative to the beehive (very unusual position and rarely happens). The bee that found the nectar had no way to explain the position but it still did a very weird dance.

23 Reason Respecting Tendency

Humans tend to agree or learn better when reasons are explained well to them. Humans are rational therefore want to understand why they are doing things. 'Why' is the rosetta stone that opens the potentiality of mental life.

Carl Braun only rule was:

You had to tell Who was to do What, Where, When and Why. And if you left out the Why, you could be fired.

24 The Lollapalooza Effect

When a number of biases or forces join together to create an outcome, like a unstoppable train. The compound effect of multiple factors or biases working in tandem.

This is particularly difficult for humans to understand because of non-linear dynamics are hard to conceptualize and take in.

Review thoughts throughout the book.

  • So much of this book is wisdom shared with other thinkers like Nassim Taleb, which reinforces these ideas.

  • It's not clear to Charlie that Buffet and him would be good operators/CEOs.

  • From all Charlie's mentioned biases, The Man with One Hammer is definitely his favorite one and the one that he fought hard to counter in his life.

  • Charlie doesn't like formal projections as he doesn't believe much in them.

  • An important and required aspect of making Berkshire Hathaway successful is that Warren Buffer had to be a continuous learning machine.

  • All talks have images except for the last one. As I'm wondering why, a few reasons come to mind

    1. The book was large enough and couldn't be expanded further

    2. Charlie took time to review his final talk (as it was mentioned in the book) missing some deadline required to create the illustrations

    • Although unlikely, I'll choose to believe the 2nd because it gives me comfort that there is actually something human about Charlie.

Memorable quotes

The iron rule of life is that only 20% of people get to be in the top fifth

When Warren lectures at business schools, he says, “I could improve your ultimate financial welfare by giving you a ticket with only 20 slots in it so that you had 20 punches—representing all the investments that you got to make in a lifetime. And once you’d punched through the card, you couldn’t make any more investments at all.”

I think you have to just endure the world as complicated as it is

The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them
Mark Twain

If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been due more to patient attention, than to any other talent
Isaac Newton

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.
Richard Feynman

There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit
Robert Woodruff, President of Coca-cola

Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything
John Kenneth Galbraith

Better roughly right than precisely wrong
Keynes

He was favored by the gods because he became wise
Epitectus

“The thoughts of others Were light and fleeting, Of lovers' meeting Or luck or fame. Mine were of trouble, And mine were steady; So I was ready When trouble came." A.E. Housman

Of what use is a philosopher who never offends anybody?
Diogenes

People and Books mentioned

  • Henry E Singleton - notable CEO

  • Deep simplicity

  • Models of my life - Simon

  • Simon Marker - remarkable manager

  • Sam Walton

  • Adam Smith - formed the basis of economic thought

  • Steven Pinker

  • James Cook

  • Andy Grove - Only the paranoid survive

  • Ben Graham - The intelligent investor

  • Bernard Shaw

  • Richard Feynman - Surely you're joking Mr Feynman

  • When Genius Failed

  • Peter Drucker

  • Principles of Microeconomics - Markin

  • David Ricardo - On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (1817)

  • The moral consequences of economic growth - Benjamin Friedman

  • Pilgrim's progress - valiant-for-truth

  • Influence by Cialdini