The irrational exuberance in technology investing reaches a new high. Here’s a founder talking about his new pile of millions:
“We are not trying to generate return on that raised capital,” said Mr. Tolia of Nextdoor. Instead, he said, his company’s latest venture funds would be invested in money market accounts and left all but untouched.
And here’s the perspective from VCs:
For venture capitalists, allowing portfolio companies to take on more funding means their existing stakes can be diluted. But since these big rounds often lead to much higher valuations, many investors don’t mind.
Oh, I get it—tech company prices always go up. Just like house prices.
(Source: The New York Times)
Some things really rub me the wrong way, particularly when it involves ‘progressive’ and ‘open-minded’ thinkers who can’t see past their own biases.
Critics of Brendan Eich brand themselves as progressive and open-minded thinkers. Some of these critics are now asking for Eich to step down as CEO of Mozilla.
They’re doing this because their new leader has an opinion they don’t like.
Is that how we’re going to roll now? You’ve got to have progressive perspectives on social issues in order to be the CEO of a multinational company?
This entire discussion is taking society backward.
Bullying people into thinking what goes on in your head is superior is not progressive, regardless of the position and issue.
Theodore Roosevelt, Citizenship in a Republic
Robert A. Heinlein
I’ve become enamored with Will Durant’s series Story of Civilization.
Okay, I’m window-shopping at the moment, because I’m nowhere close to getting through the 10,000-page beast of a series that it is.
But I am 30 pages into the summary, The Lessons of History, written by Durant himself. It summarizes all that he learned in writing the incredible series. And the summary is actually starting to make me think that reading through 10,000 pages of history may actually be a goal I should set for myself.
Case-in point: the Table of Character Elements:
I won’t comment on this, but I think it’s worth gazing at it. Taking it in. Thinking about it. And then really being introspective.
Keep in mind that Durant was a very holistic, human historian. Most historians focus on a single domain like politics or economics, or a single time period like the Holocaust or the French Revolution. Durant went WAY past that: he intended to cover virtually all of recorded human history from all angles. He wrote eleven thousand-page volumes and passed away before making it very far into the 1800s.
That’s insane. Can you imagine ever even thinking that you might want to consider doing something so substantial? Durant himself calls any endeavor to holistically summarize a history of the world a ‘brave stupidity’ and even wrote an entire chapter called Hesitations that humbly explains that his work is probably not sufficient.
Yet, the sheer depth and breadth of his work is mind-boggling. The amount of exposure this man had to human nature is probably among the highest of any human being ever. It’s also worth noting that he had this exposure as a historian, so presumably he wasn’t expecting extraordinary profit or power from his observations.
It’s well worth considering what he has to say.
Will Durant, The Lessons of History
Leo Polovets, discussing a tour of SpaceX headquarters
Faisal Shahzad, Times Square bomber
(Source: The Huffington Post)
Hunter Lewis on the Mises blog, commenting on the skyrocketing cost of college:
Whenever government subsidizes demand without increasing supply, prices inevitably rise, and this was no exception.
Makes sense to me.
Sam Parker on Buzzfeed
Frank Schaeffler of the Finance Committee from the German parliament:
We should have competition in the production of money. I have long been a proponent of Friedrich August von Hayek scheme to denationalize money. Bitcoins are a first step in this direction.
And if a US politician said this, you better believe he’d be shot. Or, at least shunned from
the media politics forever.
Rich Hogan, wealth advisor, Merrill Lynch