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If I were in politics, I’d like to imagine my agenda would be:
1) how to make sure my country become home to tomorrow’s technology companies.
2) how to make sure the earth remains a suitable habitat for humans.
3) constantly question and improve the political system itself.

Some politicians and political parties really do care about no2, so I won’t talk about it in this post. Only few however ever mention no1 and one or two may talk about no3, but not more than that. Hence, here we go:

1. Technology will change the rules of the game

There seems to be an increased acceptance of the fact that the job market will not look the same in 5–10–20 years. Some (or many) jobs will be replaced by machines and new job opportunities will (probably) be created in the process. …


I spent 5 years studying mostly math at university (ok, I rushed it and really only spent three and a half). While I did learn a lot (that’s the purpose, right?), the learning pace was quite low to be fair and most (not all) was irrelevant. Below is an outline of four strong reasons to question whether further education is the right path forward or not.

University will not teach you how to do most jobs

You may have noticed there is no degree in sales, even though it’s one of the most common jobs in the world. There is also very few degrees in software development, despite this sector being massive (computer science doesn’t necessarily count as an hands-on developer degree).
My story: I ended my MSc with a couple of courses in financial mathematics. Armed with models and theory, off I went to an investment bank to find that almost none of the fancy models were used in practice. There were a few real-world challenges that the university had missed, one of the big ones being access to input to the models. …


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I started to think the other day on how to formalise one of my core beliefs and try to do so in this post. Basically, I believe that there is a mode that I can best describe as “non-innovative-mode”. Non-innovative-mode is when you either

  1. react to incoming requests, or
  2. doing things you already know you should do.

For example, your calendar (almost) only contains non-innovative-mode entries, even a meeting called “Brainstorm …” because if you’ve identified the need for a brainstorm, it’s likely the most creative part is already done (coming up with the fact that you need to brainstorm something). …


The meaning of life may not be parenthood

This is a bit odd reasoning behind why the purpose of life may not be parenthood. Bare with me from the weird starting point :)

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Years back i read an article on intelligence and fertility rate, i.e. number of children per person. It turns out that the higher the intelligence of person, the fewer children that person has. It also turn out that the more intelligent you are, the later in life you have kids. So, basically you have more kids and earlier the lower intelligence you have. …


I’ve never been a great fan of the daily stand-up meetings that’s a “mandatory” part of lean development. At Limina, as good agile practice I still decided to schedule such a meeting. But no-one really liked them. No matter how disciplined you get, they still a bit like a report card.

To be honest, we’re a startup, so no issue has ever been sitting around for as long as 24hours (time between meetings). Hence parts of the reason of stand-ups isn’t even applicable in our situation.

So I considered to cancel them and instead have our CTO walk around the office once a day to check-in with every member of our tech-team. But that would loose the knowledge-share of what everyone else is up to. I still had an idea that a well crafted stand-up could make the team tighter. If you know what everyone is working on and what everyone delivers, it makes you feel liable for your part in the project. It makes you truly become part of the team, not just a lone developer. …


Short answer: yes! and I can prove it…

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The sum of all active asset management will per definition increase in line with index minus costs. The average asset manager will in other words not beat index over time. Our experience and independent studies shows that there are asset managers that over time beats index.

To show this mathematically is actually a very simple task. There is a mathematical theorem called the “Central limit theorem” which says that independent identically distributed variables will be normally distributed.

Ok, you don’t have to get what that means. What this means is: a large set of returns of a stock or fund should be normally distributed if these returns were independent from each other.
But the returns are not normally distributed,
so the returns are not independent from each other.


Things you probably know you should do, but you don’t do them.

There are “magical fixes”, but they do not come at zero cost. The most important thing you need to increase productivity is

Discipline.

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Discipline as the most important key is often overlooked, which is unfortunate. It may be simple to increase productivity, but it’s not easy. In this post I present the 5 things I’ve found to have biggest impact on the quality and quantity of what I produce. But they sure are not the easiest to follow. Buckle up, here we go:

1. Sleep an absolute minimum 7.5 hours (for me the number is 8)

An interesting study by BBC Magazine showed a clear decrease in mental agility when comparing 6,5 hours with 7,5 hours of sleep. But what does that mean? Let’s put it into numbers. Assume mental performance decreases with 20% if you sleep one hour less than you should (in my opinion, a conservative estimate). That means if you work 4 hours in a day, you have already saved that one sleep-hour in productivity! If you work 12 hours you have now increased the number of hours available in the day to 26! By sleeping more. Talk about hacking life.
With a lower mental agility, you are of course also unable to even come up with some of the solutions that a well rested brain could. …


I often hear the phrase “startup culture” refer to things like pingpong, breakfast in the office, video games in the afternoon etc. This is not culture, these are perks. For example: pingpong is played in Sweden and in China, but we don’t have the same culture, right?

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What is culture?

Culture is not tangible, which is likely to be the basis for the confusion. When you ask someone to explain the meaning, you’re likely to end up more confused than before. For me, I don’t care if the explanation is 97% accurate or 100%, because the risk of confusion is larger than the 3% difference. …


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As a fund manager, portfolio manager, trader or COO at a fund, it may be easy to get lost when comparing software vendors. Especially when it comes to price. I’ll let you in on a few (secret) reasons to why the range is so wide and the average too high.

1. Design
A well architected system can be cost effective for the vendor itself. If the internal cost is low, chances are you will be charged less as well. Beware though — new does not equal effective! A good way to understand this is to ask the vendor if and how their system is designed for cost minimisation. …


Armed war and natural disasters (such as the tsunami that hit Japan in 2011) are sometimes argued to be good for the economy. Ok, let me get that straight, you’re telling me that destruction of things (or lives) can make things better? Bring in the tanks and save us all!

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The argument goes something like this: a lot of money is put into reconstruction and/or producing guns and bullets. That increases GDP which is the base measure of living standard. So:
war = higher GDP = life is now better for the citizens!

Ok, wait a minute, that can’t be true. We didn’t make life better for anyone, we probably made it worse by killing people, their friends and smashing their homes. …

About

Kristoffer Fürst

Things I dislike: manual processes and buzzwords. www.kfurst.com. CEO @Liminafinancial. former CTO @joinvint.

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