Who this Guide is For:
This is my first attempt at a very long post. The topic warrants it and I also can use a place to put all these themes, learnings, thoughts I’ve compiled over the years. My personal goal is to be as comprehensive as possible and while it’s mainly for me, I do hope that it can be a source of inspiration for you whether you’re a person that works in tech or invests in it, or both.
My Personal Guide to Tech Investing will always be a work-in-progress and I’ll keep adding it to in perpetuity. I’ll also add a table of connects / anchors as it grows in size, so feel free to navigate it — there’s no sequential order to these topics. In fact, I’ll try to link topics that may be connected. A latticework is what I’m attempting here, as Charlie Munger would say.
With that said, let’s begin.
What This Guide is:
- First and foremost, this guide is nothing original from directly from me. I think that I’m better at compiling information and figuring out which pieces and from whom to listen to. So it’ll be coming from the people I read most often and that I think are best to speak on the topic.
- This is a guide about tech investing, which spans anything software, information technology-related or hardware even.
- While it is a guide to tech investing, its primarily contents are not necessarily on tech, or on investment topics per se. I’ve (always) found multidisciplinary applications to be much more fun and also frankly, much more applicable. So this guide will include my thoughts on relevant subjects spanning psychology to architecture.
- Lastly, this guide is an essay for me, primarily. I don’t attempt to convince anyone of anything. This is simply a very long blog post about all the topics that I’ve come across as relevant for tech investing.
- I’d also like to keep this in mind, as Ben Thompson says: “This point cannot be emphasized enough: the Internet is the single most disruptive force of our lifetimes because it does not evolve existing ways of doing things, but completely smashes the assumptions underlying them — assumptions we often didn’t even realize existed.”
What This Guide is Not:
- While we might talk about company metrics and key performance indicators, this is a not a guide for one to value a company or value the prospects of business initiatives.
Recurring / Subscription Model
Secrets (Peter Thiel)
longest running companies
Mark Leonard (Constellation Software)
preparation by doing nothing
user centred design
tailwinds and headwinds
barriers to entry
Redundancy in Design
Survival of the Fittest
Chicken or the Egg Problems
Levels of Friction in Design
Open versus Closed Systems
An economic franchise arises from a product or service that:
(1) is needed or desired (i.e. loved),
(2) is thought by its customers to have no close substitute,
(3) is not subject to price regulation.
The existence of all three conditions will be demonstrated by a company’s ability to regularly price its product or service aggressively and thereby to earn high rates of return on capital. Moreover, franchises can tolerate mismanagement. Inept managers may diminish a franchise’s profitability, but they cannot inflict mortal damage.
Margin of Safety
Analogy versus First Principles
Groves versus Solo-plant
The Invisible Hand
Medium is the Message
Behaviours from Incentives
Compounding in Technology Companies
Surprises in Design
Cycles of Innovation
Book: The Fourth Turning
Software-Enabled Businesses versus Software Businesses
Software is eating the world.