reading list

Highlights from my Reading List – Week 8


  1. A letter to the 80-year-old me
    Being 30 years old, I’m thinking more and more about how it will be to get older. Not like worrying thoughts, but I really want to experience aging, notice the small things and become older in a good way. I’m starting to think more about what character I want to build and what kind of person I want to be. I want to remind myself of those thoughts when I’m 80 years old.

  2. Facebook’s Story Problem — and Opportunity
    That’s the thing about Stories, though: while more people may use Instagram because of Stories, some significant number of people view Stories instead of the Instagram News Feed, or both in place of the Facebook News Feed. In the long run that is fine by Facebook — better to have users on your properties than not — but the very same user not viewing the News Feed, particularly the Facebook News Feed, may simply not be as valuable, at least for now.

  3. Nothing Into Something
    Imagine the weight you would place on your decisions if you thought about the impact they would have on you and your offspring over the next hundred years.  This applies to not only your investments, but all of your life choices.  Why?  Because these choices will compound through the decades and into the centuries.  They will show up in your family’s wealth, in your children’s behavior, and in how you will be remembered long after you are gone.

  4. What I learned from Flipkart
    This is one of the largest transactions in e-commerce and in the internet space globally, with Walmart deploying US$16 billion to obtain an approximate 77 percent shareholding at closing. As part of this transaction, my company, Naspers, exited fully, selling our 11.18 percent stake for $2.2 billion. 

    I was fortunate enough to have had a front-row seat at Flipkart for the past six years, leading our various investment rounds and being Naspers’ appointed board director. Here are some of the key lessons that I will remember moving forward.

  5. Reinventing Education
    Nevertheless, Bezos talks about Amazon like it’s a giddy startup that just closed its Series A. “For all practical purposes, the market size is unconstrained,” says Bezos.
    If Jeff Bezos is already the world’s most feared businessperson, the prospect of him “unconstrained” should sober every corporate leader. Yes, he’s ruthless and a master of the long game, but Bezos’ greatest strength, borne out over the past few years, has been his ability to shape-shift Amazon into adjacent businesses—some of which were adjacent only in retrospect—on a massive scale.

  6. Tech’s ultimate success: Software developers are now more valuable to companies than money
    A majority of companies say lack of access to software developers is a bigger threat to success than lack of access to capital.

  7. Pinterest Is a Unicorn. It Just Doesn’t Act Like One
    Pinterest, by Mr. Silbermann’s design, is the opposite: the web’s last bastion of quaint innocence. Having de-emphasized its social media elements years ago, Pinterest aims to be a safe and happy place for inspiration, self-improvement and salted caramel cookie recipes. It also rejects Silicon Valley’s typical unicorn formula of moving fast, breaking things, chasing growth at all costs and bragging about every victory.
  8. Making Private Public
    Private companies are eschewing public markets for longer, and growing larger than they have ever before.
    In a related but tangential matter, the number of publicly traded companies in the United States has been cut in half over the last twenty years. These two facts, and they are facts, have led to to a few arguments which are far too simplistic and warrant closer examination:
    1- There aren’t enough public companies (too few IPOs)
    2- Dollars are accruing to the venture capitalists who represent wealthy investors, and therefore…
    3- Mom and pop investors are being robbed of returns
  9. The Wired Guide to Quantum Computing
    Everything you ever wanted to know about qubits, superpositioning, and spooky action at a distance.
  10. I Thrive In Chaos, Says Edelweiss CEO Radhika Gupta
    Imagine leaving a career at Wall Street, at age 25, and moving to India to start a mutual funds business; and we’re talking about the early 2000s. That’s Radhika Gupta for you. Fifteen years ago, Radhika came to India with this dream. She is now the CEO of Edelweiss Asset Management Limited, one of country’s largest mutual funds company.




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