The Oldest Book Ever Written On Trading Stocks (It’s 330 years old!)

In the 1600s, the world’s first stock exchange was established in Amsterdam. In 1688, a trader by the name of Josef de la Vega wrote “Confusion Of Confusions” – the world’s oldest surviving account of trading stocks. The book is an amazing record of the business. Yet despite being written over 300 years ago, it sounds eerily familiar to our markets today. Continue reading “The Oldest Book Ever Written On Trading Stocks (It’s 330 years old!)”

Life Advice From the Best Sports Coach Of All-Time (7 min read)


It was a sad day last weekend when I discovered that my local second-hand book shop, Copperfields, was closing down (see picture). The only silver lining was that all books were selling for incredibly low prices and I ended up buying books I would not normally buy. One that stood out was called “The Essential Vince Lombardi” – it cost £2! I had vaguely heard of Lombardi with his saying “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”. Continue reading “Life Advice From the Best Sports Coach Of All-Time (7 min read)”

Why Business Plans Are a Waste Of Time (5 min read)

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I was clearing my stuff recently and I came across some business plans from previous years. They were all well written with nice flow charts, action points and promises of better performance. Of course, what we did over the following quarters and years had no connection to the business plan. I doubt I’m alone in this experience. In fact, I imagine most management deep down think that business plans are a waste of time. Continue reading “Why Business Plans Are a Waste Of Time (5 min read)”

Best Of the Web: Nightmarish AI Pictures, Hipster Goats and Low-Carb Diets

Here’s my latest batch of great articles I’ve come across on the web. Enjoy!

Tech World (7)

Who Wants To Be A YouTube Billionaire? Great article describing the landscape of YouTube stars. Worth reading with this piece which argues that the old system of endorsements from big studios, TV shows or other “authorities” no longer holds for artists – the field is wide open, and you need to stand out, and also this piece, which argues that the education system needs to teach people the art of iteration. Continue reading “Best Of the Web: Nightmarish AI Pictures, Hipster Goats and Low-Carb Diets”

How Well Do You Know the Good Or Bad State Of the World?

The late Hans Rosling found fame through his TED talks on visualising facts about the world. His last book,“Factfulness”, was published this year, and is a great read.

The thrust of the book is that we lazily make assumptions about the world, which are not based on facts, and then go on to formulate big world views. To make his point, he starts his book with 13 questions on the state of the world. I was surprised by many of the answers. Here are the questions (and the answers). See if you get them right!

13 Questions About the World

1. In all low-income countries across the world today, how many girls finish primary school? Continue reading “How Well Do You Know the Good Or Bad State Of the World?”

Best Of the Web: Talking To Children, Belly Fat, Uber For Snitching and more…

I come across so many great articles on the web, so I thought I’d try to regularly share the best ones. Let me know if you like the selection or if you like more (or less) of certain types.

Personality and Self-Help (6)

How Emotional Intelligence Boosts Your Endurance
A new paper has found that those who were better at recognizing and regulating their emotions ran faster races. Runners who agreed with statements like “Expressing my emotions with words is not a problem for me” or “I often pause and think about my feelings.” turned out to be Continue reading “Best Of the Web: Talking To Children, Belly Fat, Uber For Snitching and more…”

7 Shows I Love on Netflix

With the sweltering heat, I’ve had more time indoors, which only means one thing: Netflix:

Stand-up comedy

Hannah Gadsby: Nanette – perhaps the most original stand-up comedy routine in years. Gadsby starts with a standard routine throwing out a joke a minute, but soon it gets meta. She starts talking about the structure of jokes and gives her earlier jokes as examples. She then gets serious Continue reading “7 Shows I Love on Netflix”

The Internet’s Transition From Nomadism To Feudalism

Sometimes you come across an insight that’s so thought-provoking you have to share it verbatim. This is from product designer Alexander Singh on the evolution of the web:

“Over the past 25 years, the web appears to have transitioned from a primarily nomadic culture to a mostly agrarian one, mirroring the Neolithic Revolution 10,000 years ago. Continue reading “The Internet’s Transition From Nomadism To Feudalism”

Don’t Take Politicians So Seriously!

Private Eye

In the current climate of taking political debate over social media so seriously, it’s worth deflating our pompousness by hearing politicians over the ages mocking their profession*:

The Nature of politics

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it wrongly and applying unsuitable remedies. (Ernest Benn)

‘Politics’ is made up of two words: ‘poli’, which is Greek for ‘many’, and ‘tics’, which are bloodsucking insects. (Gore Vidal) Continue reading “Don’t Take Politicians So Seriously!”

What People Initially Thought Of Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings (novel)

I recently came across a review of Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings books when they were first published in 1954. Of course, today the books are regarded as some of the best fiction ever written and have spawned oscar-winning movies. But this review from 1954 featured in a British magazine, The New Statesman, was scathing: Continue reading “What People Initially Thought Of Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings (novel)”