Category: Investment & Business Models

Joys of Ice Cream, Apple Pie, and Recurring Revenue

Charlie Munger, Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, once told a friend of mine that if Charlie were a young man, he would be “trying to find online recurring revenue businesses” — like many that are being built and growing today. The combination of recurring revenue… Continue reading

New Twist on Venture Capital with Better Risk-Adjusted Investment Returns

A higher return investment can have a broad distribution of potential outcomes, as conveyed by this graph from Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management (the graph is from his book The Most Important Things Illuminated). This graph is a more helpful way to understand risk… Continue reading

Built to Last or Built to Flip?

Is your business built to last or built to flip?  No question influences your business strategy more than this one.  There is no right answer — either strategy is fine.  However, making sure that you have alignment throughout your organization on this question is very… Continue reading

Investment Wisdom Convergence from Clayton Christensen and Charlie Munger

When two great thinkers come to a similar idea from different starting points and careers, I pay attention.  For business and investment wisdom, Clayton Christensen of the Harvard Business School teaches his students a collection of “theories and frameworks” to help them understand and deal… Continue reading

Investment Returns of Venture Capital vs Greybull Stewardship

Investment returns in venture capital as an asset class have not been good for a long time.  To me, that result is somewhat predictable.  Great investment returns are not going to come from anything where you have to swing for the fences with every investment… Continue reading

You Are What You Eat (or Where You Get Your Investment)

“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are,” said French lawyer and epicure Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.  Similarly, tell me where you got the investment for your business and I will tell you what is in store for your business. Each… Continue reading

Optimal Owner for a School — Not Private Equity or Wall Street

The School Business Finding a perfect match between a business and an owner is not easy.  This hit home to me last week at a gathering for private post-secondary schools in California where I heard an owner of a private, post-secondary school describe an epiphany… Continue reading

Buying a Business: Raise Money for the Search or Not?

Search Funds Last week I had a nice conversation with a mid-career person looking to buy a business.  He was contemplating using the “search fund” model to find and buy a business.  As a brief background, a search fund is a model where an entrepreneur… Continue reading

Chart of Most Profitable Industries — Increase Your Odds of Business Success

Profitability Differences Building a business is a lot of work.  Thus, it makes sense to build your business in an industry where the fundamental dynamics are a little more in your favor.  Or, evolve your business to improve its fundamental characteristics by studying the best.… Continue reading

“Strategy Follows Structure” — John Bogle on Investment Funds

Investment Fund Structures “You are what you eat” is the common phrase about nutrition.  With investing, I think a corollary should be “you are where & how you get your capital”.  This is particularly true with any type of investment fund as John Bogle, the… Continue reading