What Amazon’s Bezos Told Us In 1997

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”

12 Great New Podcasts I Discovered In 2017


     

     

I love podcasts. They’re one of my favourite ways of learning. They’re also incredibly efficient as you can listen to them while you’re walking or on the subway. I have my favourites, but I’m still scouring the world for new podcasts. This year has been great in that regard, and while there have many duds, these 12 are excellent: Continue reading “12 Great New Podcasts I Discovered In 2017”

3 Things You’re Not Supposed To Talk About (8 min read)

The Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, or TALOS will be made of liquid armor that can solidify on command.

I recently gave a speech at my bank’s Megatrends conference in Madrid. This is what I said:

1. The US Military

(Who’s the biggest of them all?)
Let me start by asking you:

“What is the largest organization in the world by revenue?” Continue reading “3 Things You’re Not Supposed To Talk About (8 min read)”

My 6 Best Travel Purchases Of 2017 (so far)


I’m on the move a lot whether the commute to work or flights to other countries, so I’m constantly looking for ways to “upgrade” my travel experience. Here are 6 purchases this year that have made a difference: Continue reading “My 6 Best Travel Purchases Of 2017 (so far)”

My Advice For Twenty-Somethings

I recently gave a speech to new graduates joining my bank. Rather than given a dull speech on the economic outlook, I thought I’d talk about transitions they are facing in the world, in banking and in their lives. The excerpt below is the part on their transition from being students to becoming workers. It could apply to twenty-somethings in any industry. Oh, and if you want the full speech, let me know and I’ll email it over. Continue reading “My Advice For Twenty-Somethings”

My Smartphone Was Resurrected!

There I was thinking whether I should buy a new smartphone or stay with my ancient Nokia when the repair shop called to say my I-Phone was fixed! I had mixed feelings. As my recent blog showed, I was quite enjoying a smartphone detox. But there are some things I really do need a smartphone for.

One is checking train times and Continue reading “My Smartphone Was Resurrected!”

What Creatives Can Teach Us At Work (5 min read)

I’m always intrigued by how one succeeds in industries outside of finance. Take the creative sector, it is filled with photographers, designers, artists and directors, surely they need a different ethos to us desk-bound numbers-obsessed financiers. It turns out the fundamentals could be more similar than one would think. I came across a set interviews of “creatives” in a publication produced by “Lecture in Progress”. These interviews were aimed at giving advice to other creatives, but they could just easily work for any industry: Continue reading “What Creatives Can Teach Us At Work (5 min read)”

Learn To Lead…Navy SEALS Style!

Many political leaders like to surround themselves with military men, but what is it about military men that can help political leadership. Well, I came across an impressive character called Jocko Willink. He spent 20 years in the US Navy and commanded SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser, the most highly decorated special ops unit from the Iraq War. He later ran the training of the West Coast SEAL teams. He’s now retired from the Navy and runs a leadership consultancy, Echelon FrontContinue reading “Learn To Lead…Navy SEALS Style!”

My Reading List For Success At Work (Part 2)

money-pile

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)”

My Reading List For Success At Work (Part 1)

shelf-of-books

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)”