Lessons From the First Year Of Our Start-Up.

One year ago, we set up Macro Hive. It came into existence as we sent out our first email. It contained two notes from me – one on climate change, another on the euro-area – a selection of handpicked macro blogs and academic papers, and a curation of podcasts. It felt a bit like sending your child off to school for the first time. An extension of you is venturing into the wild, and you hope for acceptance rather than rejection. A year on, Macro Hive is thriving: we’ve built a great community, developed multiple business lines and built a nice culture. And here are five lessons we’ve learned along the way:

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Whose Lives Matter?

Pink people. Yellow people. Red people. Black people. Brown people. White people. In theory, we believe everyone’s lives matter equally. In practice, we know that’s not true. I like to think in terms of the philosopher John Rawls veil of ignorance. How would you want society to be structured if you didn’t know who you would end being in that society? So, if suddenly your skin turned black, would you be confident that you would get a fair shot in life. Or if the police stopped you – what skin colour would you prefer – white or black?

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Napoleon As Management Guru?!

Napolean

I recently re-read a book on Napoleon by British Historian Andrew Roberts. Napoleon of course is known to some as one of great military commanders in history. But I looked for Napoleon’s broader leadership style and character. This is what I took away from the book: Continue reading “Napoleon As Management Guru?!”

What Michael Bloomberg Taught Me About Business

Michael Bloomberg is the billionaire founder of the financial services data and media company, Bloomberg. He was also the 108th Mayor of New York. He’s confident, outspoken and has strong views on how to start and run a business. I learnt about them in his autobiography. Here are the highlights:

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Secrets On the Exercise Of Power

动力

“As for preserving justice, this means keeping intact with humanity and justice, and searching out what lies within hearts, in order to mesh with them.

Searching hearts means finding out what rules them, by way of external you control the internal. If matters have complicated twists and turns, you go along with them accordingly. Continue reading “Secrets On the Exercise Of Power”

Could You Fly To Mars?

Celestia_mars

The challenge for a manned mission to Mars is neither cost nor technology, but coping with solitude. Imagine being stuck with the same people for two or three years in a confined space with minimal food, entertainment, and contact with Earth. Jason Stuster, a NASA research consultant, who studied the diaries of explorers to remote regions on earth such as the Antarctic found that many would fall into depression or suffer psychoses (think Tarkovsky’s movie “Solaris”)[1]. Continue reading “Could You Fly To Mars?”

Negotiate Like A Top FBI Hostage Negotiator

“Who has control in a conversation, the guy listening or the guy talking?

The listener, of course.

That’s because the talker is revealing information while the listener, if he’s trained well, is directing the conversation toward his own goals. He’s harnessing the talker’s energy for his own ends.”

Chris Voss

That’s what Chis Voss, formerly the FBI’s lead international hostage negotiator, writes in his excellent “Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It”. His insights shatter the idea that good negotiators engage in a battle of wills against their counterpart. If there is a guiding principle in the FBI’s elite negotiating team it’s that you have to remove yourself from the equation.

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The Perfect Time For Transformational Change

I’m in the process of re-thinking my work situation. Naturally, change, especially when the next step is not fully known, can feel a bit unsettling, but that’s the upfront emotional payment for greater future growth – no pain, no gain as they say. Importantly, the timing couldn’t be better for a big positive transformational change.

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Does Going To a Top University Make a Difference?

Helicopter parenting your kids to Harvard

Parents will know that as soon as the their child is born, they subconsciously plan their child’s path to Harvard, MIT, Oxford, Cambridge or one of the other top universities. The thinking goes that by attending a top university, a world of opportunities will open up especially in the jobs market.

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