Poison Envy

It’s one of the seven deadly sins and in some traditions it’s thought to be the   root of all evil. Aristotle defined it as feeling pain at the good fortune of others. Immanuel Kant extended the definition to include aiming at destroying others’ good fortune. Contemporary society, however, rarely talks about envy, perhaps because consumerism is fuelled by it. This is all the more reason to shine a light on it.  Continue reading “Poison Envy”

What I Learnt From An Unexpected US Mid-West Adventure (3 min read)

Mongolia. Bolivia. Pine Ridge (South Dakota, US). What do these 3 places have in common? Well, the average income per person is around $3,500 per year. Yes, you read that correct – there are places in the US with the same income levels as a Third World country. I learnt that during a recent holiday in the US, where I first visited Las Vegas to see some family that live there. While Las Vegas has its own unique sense of aesthetics that seem to pop up in deserts, I did feel the need to have a time-out from Vegas. So I worked out which part of the US is the poorest, and decided to visit it. It turns out to be the aforementioned Pine Ridge in South Dakota. Continue reading “What I Learnt From An Unexpected US Mid-West Adventure (3 min read)”

My 5 Best Purchases Of the Year So Far

I’m not a big shopper, but I do occasionally stumble across something that makes a genuine difference to my day-to-day life. Here are five from this year:

1) Netgear RBK50 Mesh Wifi System (£289)

I have a house with thick walls, so there is no chance the WiFi network from my router can span the whole house. In the past, I used an adapter that plugged into the electric sockets to extend the network.  The problem  was each plug created its own wifi zone, so I ended up with 5 zones in the house. This prevented me from connecting all my devices via wifi, which was a pain. Continue reading “My 5 Best Purchases Of the Year So Far”

The Subversive Origin Of the Monopoly Board Game (3 min read)

We’ve all played Monopoly. You go around the board, try to accumulate sets of properties (ideally the green and dark blue ones), build hotels and then drive everyone else into bankruptcy. It can often drag on and on, but it’s worth the wait if it means you defeat your siblings. But did you know that this celebration of monopolistic capitalism was actually based on a game that was meant to show the evils of monopolies?! Continue reading “The Subversive Origin Of the Monopoly Board Game (3 min read)”

The Joy Of Communal Singing (3 min read)

I can’t sing. I can’t play a instrument. And if I have choice between listening to music or a podcast, I pick the latter. Yet, I know that being too “heady” is not healthy. So I’m always trying to find activities that are physical (like running ) or artistic (like painting) as an offset. But my latest activity has to be my bravest yet – attending a singing workshop! Continue reading “The Joy Of Communal Singing (3 min read)”

How To Create An Enduring Bestseller (6 min read)

Do you remember the films “The Flintstones” starring John Goodman or  “The Santa Clause” starring Tim Allen? How about “I Love Trouble” with Julia Roberts or “The Shadow” with Alec Baldwin? Well, they all came out in 1994 and they all made more money than a certain Continue reading “How To Create An Enduring Bestseller (6 min read)”

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)


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)”