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This year has seeing Lyft, Uber and WeWork either go IPO or attempt to go. These are all companies at the head of the cohort that represent the new modern digital era. Another company that falls into this realm is Compass, the real estate company. These are all companies that are pioneering digital first solutions to solve previous models. All of these companies rely on a mix of bits (software) and atoms (people and machines) to deliver a service to market. These companies aren’t tech companies, but they also aren’t pure operation companies either. The result is that the market…


EU Football transfer market offers a great learning ground for understanding M&A

Intro

I am updating a previous post I wrote in the summer of 2017 based on the results in the 2018–19 campaign.

The summer of 2017 was the pinnacle of spending on transfers in the EPL with the EPL clubs spending 2.8B pounds (vs. 1.3bn in 2016 and 1.8bn in 2018). The summer of 2017 was full of dramatic transfers between some of the richest clubs in Europe. 22 of the top 100 most expensive transfers occurred that summer, with the top two combining for over $400M by the…


Applying lessons from William Nordhaus

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Intro

Climate change is changing the way we live in the world. I have spent significant time researching and working on the topic over the past decade plus. In my quest to learn more I recently read Nobel Laureate William Nordhaus’s book “The Climate Casino”. This post summarizes the key findings from his research on how best to use economics to solve climate change. I also couple this analysis with a behavioral economics insight.

For my post I want to focus the topic on a summary of the book. The start of this would be to…


It takes persistence and willingness to give up control to win

Intro

I have recently left a great experience working for a growth stage startup. I also have a son who loves playing Chutes and Ladders. During one of our recent games, it dawned on me that Chutes and Ladders is great preparation for a startup. At its core, the game requires persistence to overcome a series of moves that move you forward and sometimes backward. You can come from behind to win in Chutes and Ladders even when you seem well behind your competition.

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Proving the Metaphor

There are a number of elements…


My response to the Apple TV announcement

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Most of my posts are about business practices. This one is different. This is a business idea that I’d love someone to act upon. The recent Apple TV announcement had me question the future of streaming video and whether there was a better solution. Here is my response.

The Why

We are currently in the midst of a shift from the central TV bundle to decentralized streaming services. This change provides a lot of options, but many people are paying as much or more to get access to this wide assortment. In addition, it is…


How ‘skin in the game’ helps describe the outcomes of behavioral economics

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Intro

I was listening to Nassim Taleb’s book “Skin in the Game” and following along great until the book it hit upon a nerve. That nerve was when Nassim Taleb called out the “IYI” — intellectual yet idiot persona. He has very strong opinions against research professionals, like economists, and the lack of skin in the game they have. He was also pointing to behavioral economists work on irrational behavior that it wasn’t actually true. This sort of antagonist view is great. It challenged my thinking on both sides…


We place too much value on keeping options available

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Intro

I have seen through my experiences that many leaders put more value on maintaining optionality than they likely should. I recently finished Dan Ariely’s book “Predictably Irrational.” One of the key concepts I took from the book was based on his research that evaluated the costs of optionality. While I had intuitively assumed there were costs, it was great to read about his findings. It helped me to internalize the challenges I have seen where companies would make investments that didn’t play out and continue to maintain the cost vs. shut…


How to leverage science on the predictably irrational behavior of customers

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Intro

I recently completed Dan Ariely’s book “Predictably Irrational”. One of the concepts that stood out to me from his work was on providing decoys in product positioning.

Much of the work that Dan Ariely has led is built upon the paper “ The Framing of Decisions and the Psychology of Choice” by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. Below is the abstract for the paper and I have linked to the paper in the Reference section below.

The psychological principles that govern the perception of decision problems and the evaluation…


Lessons to build your market from Nobel Laureate Alvin Roth

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Overview

I spend a lot of my time on marketplace design. I took a couple of markets courses in business school. This post is a summary of the work and my perspectives from Alvin Roth on Marketplace Design based on his book “Who Gets What — and Why”. There is a lot from this book that can be applied to building great products, especially marketplace products.

There are a few key factors to market design:

  1. Increase the volume of transactions in the market to attract lots of buyers and sellers
  2. Overcome…


Apply choice architecture to developing products customers want

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Intro

Last week I covered my summary from Tversky/Kahneman. This week follows the research of Richard Thaler. There is some overlap between the posts given that Thaler worked with the Israeli geniuses early in his career.

One of the key areas of similarity is that Thaler likes to think of the world in terms of Humans vs. Econs. An Econ is a rational actor that perfectly evaluates the probabilities of a decision. Humans are the rest of us that are often times predictably irrational.

Humans are predictably biased. This statement is essentially what…

Kyle Sandburg

Like to play at the intersection of Sustainability, Technology, Product Design. Tweets represent my own opinions.

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