Remember 1997? The year of Titanic, the first Harry Potter book and the best-selling Nokia 610. It was also the first year Jeff Bezos wrote a shareholder letter for his three-year old Amazon.com.
It makes fascinating reading. He talks about expanding staff from 158 to 614, having cash balances of $125mn and establishing strategic relationships with Yahoo, Netscape, GeoCities (I vaguely remember them), @Home (?) and Prodigy (?). He was especially proud of increasing sales from $16 million to $148 million. Continue reading “What Amazon’s Bezos Told Us In 1997”
You may not think that was the best way of describing Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial novel, Lolita, but that it was how he himself describes the book in its epilogue. I read it for the first time recently and I can see why. The language is mesmerising. In fact, it’s so mesmerising that forget the story is about a middle-aged man,a Humbert Humbert, pursuing a 12-year old girl. It is this dissonance that makes the novel shocking to this day.
In the book, Nabokov is able to describe the minutiae of American life in a way few authors have been able to match. He can also be very funny: Continue reading “A Love Affair With the English Language”
I love this beautifully produced book: 100 Years by Joshua Prager. Every age from 0 to 100 years is featured with a quote from a famous writer. Here’s a selection.
14 Even though I’m only fourteen, I know what I want, I know who’s right and who’s wrong, I have my own opinions, ideas, and principles… (Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank)
Continue reading “Every Age With a Famous Writer”
I had great fun reading a 1982 novel called A Very British Coup by a former UK politician Chris Mullin. It charts the stunning rise (and fall) of Harry Perkins, a left-wing anti-establishment leader of the Labour Party. It may not be the most well-written book and some bits are dated, but its plot seems remarkably prescient in a world where the UK’s Labour Party has Jeremy Corbyn as its leader and the US is led by Donald Trump.
Continue reading “How To Have a Coup In a Democracy (2 mins)”
The sun is out, vacation time is upon us and it’s time to think about what to do during your leisure time. Here’s my list to help you out: Continue reading “My Summer List For Trashy Music, Fun Movies and Good Reads”
It’s that time of the year. I’ve collated my list for each category (plus podcasts). There’s been some great stuff out this year, and I’m sure I’ve missed much, so let me know what you liked!
Continue reading “My Favourite Books/Movies/Music/Apps Of 2016, What’s Yours?”
Last week I provided my reading list for developing the right character for work that I give to new members of my team. This week, I’ll give my reading list for the knowledge base they need to have in the financial industry. Some of the books are easy to read cover to cover whichever industry you are in, others are worth dipping into and out of, while some are very technical. If I’ve missed any good books let me know: Continue reading “My Reading List For Success At Work (Part 2)”
I often get asked what the best books are to help one at work. As it turns out, I give reading lists to whoever works for me. One list is focused on developing good character and “soft skills” and is relevant for whichever line of work you are in. The other list is on more technical knowledge related to the finance industry. Below is the first list, I’ll post the second one next week: Continue reading “My Reading List For Success At Work (Part 1)”
With school holidays upon us, August nearing and hints of the sun, it’s time to think of what to read on holiday. I’ve read a ton of books this year, and here’s 9 that I’d recommend for a summer holiday:
- Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) by Christian Rudde. The writer has a treasure trove of data from his dating website, OKCupid. He uses it to draw out what we’re really like, especially looking at the gap between what we say and what we do. One observation from the book I have to share: a 20-yr old woman tends to find 23-yr old men look the best to them, a 30-yr woman finds 30-yr men look best, a 40-yr old woman finds 40-yr old men look best and a 50-yr old woman finds most 46-yr old men look best So women find men their own age look the best. How about men? Well, a 20-yr old man tends to find 20-yr old women look best to him, a 30-yr old man finds…20-yr old women look best, a 40-yr man finds…um…21-yr old women look best and a 50-yr man finds…yes, you guessed it…22-yr old women look best. A fun, revealing and surprisingly deep book.
Continue reading “My 9 Best Books For the Summer”