Conspicuous Consumption And How It Applies To Our Jobs

Sociologist and economist Thorstein Veblen came up with the term “conspicuous consumption” to explain how people will spend exorbitant amounts of money on goods and services that signal their status (think: luxury goods). In economics, people have traditionally wanted to measure things priced against their usefulness, but Veblen observed that sometimes we do stuff just … Continue reading Conspicuous Consumption And How It Applies To Our Jobs


Communicating Connections

Not everybody knows astrophysics, but everybody knows Star Wars and Beyoncé. As professionals, we have an obligation to put things in terms people can understand. Not to obscure or mispresent the truth, but to create a “good enough” analogy that enables understanding and drives appropriate behavior.  When astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson recently spoke with James Altucher, they spent a … Continue reading Communicating Connections

Podcast of the Week: Neil deGrasse Tyson on Why Science Needs Beyoncé

It's always fun to hear Neil deGrasse Tyson talk to a humble nerd, which is why this interview with James Altucher is special. Highlights include the idea that people who want to communicate should seek to build a presence across multiple channels, i.e. both of them write books, blog, podcast, speak, etc., and that people … Continue reading Podcast of the Week: Neil deGrasse Tyson on Why Science Needs Beyoncé

How to Know When To Change Strategy

Tom Barton is an extremely successful short seller turned early stage investor. He recently sat down for a talk with Meb Faber and told stories about some of the incredible frauds he helped expose, including how he helped take down the Wolf of Wall Street. While his returns have been remarkable, his superpower has been his ability to … Continue reading How to Know When To Change Strategy

Who Depends On You / Who You Depend On

John Hennessy, current chairman of Alphabet (Google), said in a conversation with a16z that, “It’s not enough to understand how many people are depending on you, it’s just as important to realize how much you are depending on them.” It’s true of our teams, employees, managers, and most importantly - our clients. When stuff gets ugly, we … Continue reading Who Depends On You / Who You Depend On

Must. Delay. Gratification.

The idea of delayed gratification is nothing new. From planting a crop, to gestation periods, to retirement savings - we’ve well mythologized the concept. Before we hurry up and wait for something though - we should ask two questions: “Why wait,” and “compared to what?” For those of us who professionally give advice, we should … Continue reading Must. Delay. Gratification.

Banksy For Business People

Sometime around 2007-2008, I stumbled onto Banksy’s artwork. His street-art style pieces stood out amidst the volatile social and political backdrop of the time in the way that only great artwork can. I’ve (passively) followed his work ever since. When his “Girl with Balloon” painting went up for auction, I hadn’t paid much attention until it … Continue reading Banksy For Business People

A Networking Lesson From Venom’s Backstory

Venom, the latest comic book/Spider-Man movie, reportedly grossed over $125 million on its opening weekend. That’s good business if you can get it. So where did this Venom character actually came from? What do comic-scribing geniuses do to get these ideas? In this case, it all started with soliciting their biggest fans for input. There’s a lesson … Continue reading A Networking Lesson From Venom’s Backstory