I thought Shane Parrish's podcast interview with Patrick CoIlison, co-founder of Stripe was a classic. It was not particularly focused on investment but his use of mental models and general approach was something I found really insightful and readily applicable to investing.

Tech payments company Stripe has been extraordinarily successful and I was not surprised after hearing the podcast. Now I wish I could invest, as I have just listened to Patrick's brother, John Collison, on Invest like the Best with Patrick O'Shaughnessey. This is really worth listening to, and I would highly recommend it.

My main take-aways, and really you must listen to this in full, were:

  • the 1950s were the start of computing and look at where we are today - this is now to think of the internet today. We are just at the beginning.
  • the 1999 tech bubble is knows as the dot.com boom, but it was really a TMT boom - the telecoms companies were just as overvalued (think Worldcom etc) - something that's easily forgotten. (I cannot forget because I recall discovering that one of my new analyst colleagues at acquirer Chase was then getting paid $1m pa to cover the telecom stocks).
  • Collison highlights how important it is in your career to be able to write well. This is a philosophy adopted at Stripe, just as at Amazon - communication through written memos cuts a lot of wasted time. Writing is a really important skill and it will only grow in significance, I suspect.
Collison also talks at length about the failure of accounting to cope with modern tech companies and I found this conversation fascinating, as it's one of my pet topics.

Listen to the podcast - it's really good.


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