☝️ Interesting Things #3 - January 23, 2021
Saturday Night Edition™
Books Read By highlights books interesting people are reading
Copy.ai uses AI to write your marketing copy
Daily is a real-time video API that powers Tandem
Tandem is a simpler way to do audio and video chat for remote teams
Ezra Klein with an excellent piece of political analysis and recommendations on how Democrats ought to govern.
Noah Smith with a quick 5 min read on on why a $15 minimum wage is probably a good thing, despite the legacy economic research. FWIW, this piece did a lot to soften my position on it (I’ve been pretty adamant against a national $15 min wage until now).
WONK ALERT. Revisiting speculative hyperinflations in monetary models by Rogoff and Obstfeld
Open source is eating SaaS from Posthog. Related: last week’s SUPER DEEP 🕳 discussion
Bloomberg Odd Lots interviews a quant manager on lessons from 2020. There’s a lot of useful info here, and almost none of if it is about “quant” per-se. A few particularly insightful bits:
1. Flows vs prose. Price action increasingly becoming a function of momentum (fund flows) vs fundamentals and/or narrative.
2. On the reflexivity between institutional money managers with required rates of return (e.g. pension fund managers) and central bank zero interest rate policy, and how it effectively drives cash-based savings into equities.
Village Global with Morgan Housel. This is a particularly insightful section of the conversation on Warren Buffet and Berkshire Hathaway’s investing success: access to permanent capital. Housel notes that Berkshire has a completely different set of incentives than most professional investors because he doesn’t have to keep his investors happy and/or worry about redemptions. Berkshire is a holding company, not a hedge fund. Thus, Berkshire can afford to do nothing; most fund managers cannot.
This reflexivity between incentives and the ability to do nothing — or, more generally, the right thing per your own calculus — is something I’ll be noodling on for a while.
🔌🔌🔌 Last week on SUPER DEEP 🕳 episode 2 @heyzk and I talked with Jon Morehouse about the SaaS privacy revolution that’s driving the adoption of on-cloud solutions, and the rise and challenges of open source businesses.