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Warren Buffet on investing their “endless gusher of cash.”

"Our flexibility in capital allocation – our willingness to invest large sums passively in non-controlled businesses – gives us a significant advantage over companies that limit themselves to acquisitions they can operate.

Woody Allen stated the general idea when he said: “The advantage of being bi-sexual is that it doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night.”

Similarly, our appetite for either operating businesses
or passive investments doubles our chances of finding sensible uses for our endless gusher of cash.” - http://berkshirehathaway.com/letters/2013ltr.pdf

"47% of today’s jobs could be automated in the next two decades."

I particularly enjoyed this article from the economist. 

Technology’s impact will feel like a tornado, hitting the rich world first, but eventually sweeping through poorer countries too. ” — Watch out USA and Canada. We need to act now.

From driverless cars to clever household gadgets (see article), innovations that already exist could destroy swathes of jobs that have hitherto been untouched. The public sector is one obvious target: it has proved singularly resistant to tech-driven reinvention. ”

The challenge in the migration of wickets to websites is that those managing the wickets will work hard to create barriers to technology adoption because their incentives are misaligned with the taxpayer. We need to think about changing our compensation and reward structures in government to reward improvements in efficiency. Some will argue “what about the jobs” but this is the inevitable churn the article speaks of. We owe it to these displaced workers to provide education and retraining to ensure their transition is an upwards one towards more fulfilling work rather than a downward one through frustration. 

"Instagram, a popular photo-sharing site, was sold to Facebook for about $1 billion in 2012, it had 30m customers and employed 13 people. Kodak, which filed for bankruptcy a few months earlier, employed 145,000 people in its heyday."

The freedom to raise taxes on the rich to punitive levels will be similarly constrained by the mobility of capital and highly skilled labour.”

The Author’s point I would like to highlight the most is the need for education reform. “Now those schools themselves need to be changed, to foster the creativity that humans will need to set them apart from computers. There should be less rote-learning and more critical thinking. ” We must redirect the effort in recalling dates in History class to students learning about history because of a genuine interest in the lessons contained in humanity’s historical success and failure.

Teaching software development in an increasingly electronic world needs to become the leading priority in our schools. Not because we all need to be programmers, but, because without the understanding of what is happening inside the machine it is but a black box.

"The definition of “a state education” may also change. Far more money should be spent on pre-schooling, since the cognitive abilities and social skills that children learn in their first few years define much of their future potential. And adults will need continuous education. State education may well involve a year of study to be taken later in life, perhaps in stages.”

We need to shift our capital resources from treating the symptoms of the problem “healthcare” to preventative investments. I would argue that improvements in our education system stand to yield a more positive longitudinal impact on our society than improvements in our sickness system. I wonder what impact a university degree has on the health of a person once we correct for socio-economic factors?

Very thought provoking article. 

Peter Thiel on Investing

"We look for founders who are good at co-ordinating large teams and convincing them that something that seems impossible is doable.”

Each great company is geared to capitalize on a particular moment in history.”

It’s incredibly hard to get people to adopt new tech solutions, and you only get adoption of something if it’s 10 times as good as the next best thing. Amazon had 10 times as many books. PayPal was at least 10 times as fast as cashing a cheque.”

"Found a single question to be predictive of a start-up’s success: What is the CEO’s salary? If it’s less than $120,000, with equity a big component of the compensation, there’s alignment between the CEO and the investors. If it’s $150,000 or more, it almost never works.”

what does the endgame look like, not how they will do in the next month.”

"We’ve been looking at Canada very carefully—a scene that is shockingly underfunded."

Thank you Davide for sharing the article that is the source of these quotes

Credit to: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-magazine/invest-like-a-legend/article16555294/#Thiel

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