Exits, Dataism and Thinking Better
Your weekly newsletter from the mind of Miles Lasater
Happy Saturday! Here is your weekly dose of the world of Miles, learning, techno-optimism, business thoughts and ways to improve the world.
Exits. Thank you Chris for recommending Finish Big, a thoughtful book about exiting a business. Every founder will exit their business. Obviously you say? Still important to remember. You may sell it or shut it down or exit feet first but you won’t run it forever. Like human mortality, too many push off thinking about it until too late. In fact, I had a VC tell me recently that he doesn’t like founders to talk about exit in the initial meetings! But of course he expects them to create liquidity in 5 to 7 years anyway. You can exit early ala Early Exits, or you can buy and hold. Here is a step-by-step guide to Selling Your Startup. Have you ever thought about an exit to employees or to the community? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’m learning more.
Dataism. Read the book Don’t Trust Your Gut which offers data-driven advice about how to make everyday personal decisions about love, kids and work. It is by the same author as Everybody Lies who used search data to show what people really think. Some of the points he covers in the book:
What you should look for in a mate
How to improve your online dating success
The parenting decisions that matter (hint: check out the Opportunity Atlas)
Which sport helps in college admissions (hint data from Scholarship Stats)
How to get rich (choosing career and industry)
What activities to do to be happy
A more actionable book in the same general genre is Algorithms to Live By. And if you feel like all this talk of data or algorithms running our life is dangerous, check out Homo Deus to explore the downside of Dataism. If humans are no longer the best decisionmakers, then who should choose in politics and markets? (I’ve started Democracy for Realists which catalogs evidence that voters haven’t made great decisions for some time. More to come.)
Thinking Better. Want to overcome human limitations by thinking better? An entry point might be Untools. If you want more, try Clearer Thinking or Farnam Street. To embrace Bayesianism, absorb LessWrong. But apparently knowing the list of cognitive biases won’t help you much.
Until next week,
PS: With all the headlines about stock market and the economy, I wanted to share more perspectives:
the “so much innovation already happening” bull case,
the “reversion to the mean” meh case, and