Having dealt with anxiety & panic attacks for nearly 20 years, I find it refreshing to occasionally turn-the-tables and proactively, on my own terms, scare the crap out of myself.

“Hey Panic Attacks, you cowardly asshole. Pack your suitcase. We’re going bungee jumping in New Zealand!”

When experiencing a panic attack, it feels highly likely you’re going to die, lose your mind, and/or “freak out” in an embarrassing manner. No matter how overwhelming your thoughts & feelings may be, however, the worst-case scenario rarely (if ever) happens. Over the years, I’ve experienced too many anxiety-related incidents to count. …

Before the 1992 presidential election, CBS made a game-changing announcement: The network would no longer air sound bites less than 30 seconds.

The home of Edward R. Murrow & Walter Cronkite described its new policy as an “experiment.” Civic-minded executives cited research showing the length of TV sound bites had fallen from 43 seconds in the 1968 presidential election to just 9 seconds in 1988. With the new election heating up, President Bush, Bill Clinton & Ross Perot had important issues to discuss… and by golly, the American people needed to be informed!

If you’ve watched CBS recently (or any…

During the heart of TOMS’ End Gun Violence Campaign, I received an email from a 21-year-old entrepreneur named Kai Kloepfer.

Kai described his vision for Biofire — an early-stage startup incorporating biometric sensors into handguns. Unlike traditional handguns, which anyone can fire, “Smart Guns” eliminate the possibility of children or unwanted intruders operating an owner’s gun.

Did Biofire immediately strike me as a compelling investment opportunity? NOT exactly…

I’ve always had an aversion to guns: They strike me as dangerous & unnecessary. If a person wants to own a Thomas Jefferson-era musket, all the more power to them. In general…

In the summer before college, I spent two months backpacking in Europe. I meandered my way through Spain, Italy, France, and a half dozen other countries before arriving in the Czech Republic. After a grueling four years of high school, I felt totally free.

Then something really weird happened.

While in a train station in Prague, my heart started beating out-of-control. I felt an intense shortness of breath — like I had just run up a flight of stairs. My face was bright red. Muscles in my arms were bouncing up-and-down. My mind was racing a mile-a-minute. I was overwhelmed…

In some life professions, being wrong one time can get you fired, sued or even killed…

Take anesthesiology: When you’re responsible for sedating patients, a “success rate” of 95% is unlikely to yield a stellar Yelp Review. The same goes for airline pilots & bungee jump instructors. You’re one “bad day” away from making international news!

In other professions, you can be wrong a majority of the time, and still be an industry All-Star. Just look at Steph Curry. Widely considered the greatest shooter in NBA history, Steph Curry MISSES 56% of his 3-point shots. In one painful outing in…

On October 4th, Daryl Morey learned a painful lesson in Social Media Management.

As General Manager of the Houston Rockets, Morey is known for his bold decision-making & obsession with analytics. But Morey’s contentious tweet had nothing to do with basketball. Instead, Morey expressed solidarity with the Pro-Democracy Movement in Hong Kong:

Credit: Obvious Ventures

In The Purpose Revolution, John Izzo & Jeff Vanderwielen argue that a “revolution of expectation” is happening among employees, consumers and investors. In summary:

  • Employees want competitive salaries & great benefits (no surprise there!) — but ALSO, increasingly, want to feel that their work is making a meaningful difference in the world
  • As consumers, we gravitate towards mission-driven brands that minimize harm to the environment, and actively champion causes we care about
  • A “sea change” of capital is flowing into companies committed Environmental, Social & Corporate Governance (ESG). …

In the book Radical Honesty, Dr. Brad Blanton argues that lying creates a toxic sludge of anxiety, stress and depression. As humans, we constantly lie to ourselves and others. We default to insincere pleasantries (“chicken poop”); speak in meaningless generalizations (“bull poop”); and tell BIG, nasty lies that destroy relationships (“elephant poop”). According to Blanton, the only antidote to lying — and its resulting collateral damage — is to be 100% honest all the time.

For a good laugh, watch the following 7-minute segment of This American Life. In 2006, Brad Blanton ran for Congress in Virginia. …

In October 2013, President Obama learned a painful lesson in website design.

Healthcare.gov, the new online portal for the Affordable Care Act, was off to a disastrous start. On launch day, the site was so slow that only 6 people successfully registered for health insurance (Source). 6 people!

To put that in perspective:

  • Nearly 45M million Americans qualified for the Affordable Care Act in 2013 (Source)
  • In any given year, your chance of being struck-and-killed by lightning is 1/700,000 (Source)
  • On October 1st 2013, Uninsured Americans were MORE likely to be struck by lightning than successfully register on Healthcare.gov

Credit: Bitmoji

There’s something extremely satisfying about Venn Diagrams. They make a remarkably complicated world feel neat, orderly & downright approachable!

Consider the following:

Few things in life are as universally appreciated as Venn Diagrams:

  • At a time when 1) the polar ice caps are melting at planet destroying speed, AND 2) Climate Change is simultaneously being “debated,” few scientists question the importance of Venn Diagrams
  • Elementary schoolers draw Venn Diagrams with the precision of NASA engineers. Even visually-impaired grandparents love Venn Diagrams — whose bold lines & shaded intersections are practically visible from outer space
  • Since the dawn of Powerpoint, Venn…

Jake Strom

Professionally Curious Investor. Founding Member @TOMS. Travel + Epic Adventures + Lifelong Learner

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