Oil falls 30%, rise of clean energy?

Russia and Saudi Arabia are in an oil-price war, with oil falling to under $30/barrel earlier this week, dropping from highs of $80/barrel just a few years ago

Many people may view the drop in oil price as a win for oil and a loss for clean energy

However, in my view, the instability and volatility of oil and natural gas, in turn, shows that clean energy is the solution: clean, environmentally friendly, stable energy

This bump in oil markets is a win for clean energy.

Stop specializing: I am my own niche

For years I’ve thought that the way to truly be successful and influential in your field(s) was to specialize – experts would always best Jack of all trades, masters of none.

Yet I quickly realized I had so many interests, genuine passions, for so many different fields that didn’t necessarily coordinate well together.

In high school, I’d be deeply interested in chemistry and math classes and how the world worked, my favorite class still was acting, and yet I received the top English award.

After class, I’d balance basketball practice with musical theatre rehearsals and violin orchestra practice. I constantly wondered whether I was spreading myself too thin, and I also realized I was never truly able to be the best in any one field.

I ended up dropping the basketball team out of lack of dedication, I felt like an imposter leading my high school strings orchestra as concertmaster for 3-years, and when I played Scar in Lion King I couldn’t help but have a lingering feeling of regret that I sacrificed basketball to sing. Why couldn’t I be like Troy Bolton?

Now I am at another semi-crossroads.

Am I the magician?

The philosopher, daily blogger?

Will I work on Wall Street and run a hedge fund, trading stocks, and options?

Or will I dive into academic economic research and cure poverty – my all-time goal?

I don’t have the answer, but I think I’ve come up with a path: I am my own niche

Specialization worked in the days of Henry Ford assembly lines, and yes it still works today too

But there’s something to be said about the creativity of bringing in interdisciplinary skills and disciplines

The most recent book I’ve been reading dives deeper into this concept of Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World.

Steve Jobs famously cited his Chinese calligraphy class for giving him the inspiration for pioneering Apples typography and design

Roger Federer didn’t specialize in tennis until much later than his peers, and in fact, might have learned towards soccer at one point in his childhood

And Lindt chocolate brought together dark chocolate and spices to create something new, unique, and not necessarily specialized but surely special

There’s ultimately nothing wrong with specialization, and equally nothing wrong with having a broad range of skills.

I hope to find a balance between both practices so that I can further build bridges between philosophy and business.

Massive Group Suicide?

There is an old myth that lemmings, these rodents, will occasionally, in massive hoards, jump off cliffs into the water and their death. It’s quite a grim scene.

This scene of following the leader is often cited as an example in behavioral psychology as a danger in mass-conformity and herd-following.

There’s only one problem: lemmings don’t conduct group suicide.

Lemmings multiply fast and they need to migrate after a huge population boom every 3-4 years to find more space. Lemmings can swim, and may try to cross rivers or bodies of water in search of a new home. Inevitably, some will drown.

It would be quite curious if lemmings did commit mass suicide, still, this story is an irresistible metaphor for decision behavior and the dangers of conformity and mass-herd following. You never know who might be leading you off a cliff.

Tesla and Virgin Galactic

Yes, Tesla’s and Virgan Galactic’s recent stock price surges is all Wall Street can talk about right now.

But what’s even more exciting is the potential technological paradigm shifts that Elon Musk and Richard Branson is spearheading that will drive their values up even higher in the future.

1) Tesla is leading the EV industry by developing electric vehicles that are faster & stronger, more efficient, and better for the environment. Eventually they will launch completely autonomous vehicle taxi networks powered by their in-house AI chips, and  (current)14 billion driving miles data points.

2) Virgin Galactic is looking to be able to send people to space THIS year. (Sure, it’ll be ~$250k/ticket. But if I had the money I’d probably pay). Branson is going from air travel to space travel, and may be the first to offer commercial business. (Looking at you, Bezos and Musk).

If you believe in the long-term potential of innovative companies, then you won’t be too worried about short-term price movements as an investor.

#tesla #elonmusk #innovation #virgingalactic #richardbranson #technology

China Wuhan Virus

“These construction sites are a fine example of decisive Communist Party Action” reports the Economist.

China recently completed a 1000-bed hospital construction in just 10-days in response to the Wuhan virus. A second hospital is now being built. The timelapse of the construction is just insane

Chinese officials are getting criticism for apparently hiding the virus outbreak for weeks – maybe justified due lack of knowledge and  not knowing the insuing severity- yet “weeks” is a big improvement from when China’s government hid the SARS outbreak for 4 MONTHS in 2002.

Look, this outbreak is terrible and we don’t know how much worse it might get. But I honestly believe the criticism thrown at China is a little shortsighted. Obviously the people did not want this virus to occur. Not are they maliciously and intentionally spreading it to other countries.

Say what you will about China – but the government knows how to get things done and when to put it’s iron fist down. And with a population of 1.4 billion, I think they’ve done the best job any country could do trying to not cause massive chaos.

Sending prayers to China and my family.

#china #economics #wuhan #wuhancoronavirus

Apple’s dominance

How powerful is Apple?

It’s the most valuable and profitable public company in America / the world, worth ~$1.3 trillion dollars. With a T

They have $210B in cash

Straight Cash – readily deployable

To put that into perspective, Apple is one good quarter away from being able to completely acquire DISNEY

Disney is worth around $240 B

Netflix is $150 B

Still, there would be too much antitrust backlash for an acquisition, but still

I’m not a fan of iPhones and I don’t believe Apple’s innovation is on par – but betting against Apple is a tough bet