103 pieces of advice 

Kevin Kelly, founder of Wired magazine and perennial techno-optimist, is typically known for his longform essays on the future of business, technology, culture, and more. (One of my favorites, from last summer, explored the next phase of exponential growth, and its potential for a wildly positive impact on society.) This week, on the occasion of Kevin’s 70th birthday, he took a welcome detour from essays to offer “103 bits of wisdom” that he’s picked up along the last seven decades. The piece is also, I might add, a refreshingly light read after a month of global chaos and dramatic market swings. 

“We tend to overestimate what we can do in a day, and underestimate what we can achieve in a decade. Miraculous things can be accomplished if you give it ten years. A long game will compound small gains to overcome even big mistakes.”


Finding perennial patterns to make sense of the world—a conversation with Tom Morgan

I had the chance to speak with Tom Morgan for a Nightcrawler podcast recently — we hit on a range of themes and subjects, from the work of Iain McGilchrist, winner-take-all industrial dynamics, narratives vs. truth, radical hope, curiosity, and much more. Tom is one of my favorite finance writers who, frankly, doesn’t really write about finance or investing at all. For the uninitiated, Tom is the author of the “The Attention Span,” an excellent weekly newsletter published by The KCP Group – Stifel.

As Tom put it recently, “I write about business and investing in a broader wisdom context.” I think that’s an apt, if not humble, description; Tom has the admirable ability to contextualize global news and events in a way that doesn’t feel reductive or prescriptive or remotely transactional (e.g. “9 reasons to add gold to your portfolio!”). He’s also able to connect the dots between history, culture, philosophy, economics and art to help others become better investors and thinkers. Here’s a snippet on that subject from a recent newsletter Tom wrote:  

“This kind of ‘connecting the dots’ is the single most important action that takes you from abstract back to real. This is what Aristotle means by being able to see ‘similarity in dissimilars.’ The real world is infinitely more complex than advocates of ‘mental models’ commonly think it is. And it’s constantly in motion. So it needs to be approached from as many different angles as possible. If pattern recognition is the greatest skill, you demonstrate you can do it by correctly applying the right pattern to something else. A resonant metaphor is the proof you’ve managed it. Then if you constantly see the same pattern across many different fields, you know it’s more likely to be true than something that just sounds incredibly smart. And the real world always beats abstractions in the end.”


“Tesla: Unlocking the Age of Abundance”

Antonio Linares, a young analyst based in Madrid, has written consistently solid deep-dives on a range of companies, from Palantir to Spotify. This week, he published a thoughtful and in-depth profile of Tesla, with a particular focus on Tesla’s agile methodologies, its battery technologies, its approach to computer vision, and its lead in  manufacturing capabilities. Highly recommend this read for those interested in the company.

“Why are we magnetically drawn to technological innovations as consumers? Why do we want the latest of the latest, even at prices worth weeks or months of hard work? Because this game gradually frees us from the default state of existential impotence humanity finds itself in. Through technological innovation, our level of agency in the universe increases and we feel more at home, so we naturally crave more of it.”

A few more links I enjoyed: 

“The reduction in shipping costs brought about by containerization resulted in winners and losers in different parts of the globe. The biggest immediate losers, of course, were businesses tied up with the incumbent industries. The containerization revolution thus illustrates in stark terms how disruption tends to turn conventional economic expectations of winners and losers upside down. What were once massive advantages for incumbent industries become their greatest liabilities, and the very cause of their collapse in the face of the disruption.”
“I think the most important thing is, you really want to try to ascertain somebody’s psychology coming in. It’s difficult to do, and you can’t always have huge conviction at it up front. Sometimes you can, if you spend enough time with the person, if you have a reference from other people internally. But certainly over time as they’re with you for years, you certainly get a pretty good sense of somebody’s psychology. And you want people who are really looking to build a business within a business, and are really looking to have a long term career, and have the right psychology aligned with that. So this is a very difficult job, mentally.”

This information should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. It should not be assumed that any of the investments or strategies referenced were or will be profitable, or that investment recommendations or decisions we make in the future will be profitable. This article contains links to 3rd party websites and is used for informational purposes only. This does not constitute as an endorsement of any kind. While Nightview uses sources it considers to be reliable, no guarantee is made regarding the accuracy of information or data provided by third-party sources. Nightview Capital Management, LLC (Nightview Capital) is an independent investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about Nightview Capital including our investment strategies and objectives can be found in our ADV Part 2, which is available upon request.