Mike's Notes

Mike's Notes

thewaiterspad.com
Trying to be smarter.
RRW
Oct 5 • 16 min
Notes: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HL5xe_oUzThcpZLYiiTVqRjaXRs4w8DMnTkUU1m4pZw/edit?usp=sharing
The effects of cities - or any system
Sep 24 • 23 min
We all exist within a system and each system nudges (or shoves) us certain ways. Whether it’s women in tech, people on bikes, or neighborhoods with more roads than sidewalks. Inspiration from http://amzn.to/2xBVGj6 Notes:…
Does architecture make you happy?
Aug 11 • 12 min
Inspiration: http://amzn.to/2vpYJJK
Tea And Platforms
Jul 12 • 27 min
For All the Tea in China http://amzn.to/2u9Mam1 is a wonderful book. It covers the 1800 East India Company, Robert Fortune (and his forgotten wife!), and how to succeed in England without even dying. We’ll touch on only a few parts of Fortune’s story.…
Talking to Dead Companies Walking
Jul 7 • 9 min
Inspiration: http://amzn.to/2ti2tKk Any business person needs to get out of the office and talk to her suppliers, customers, and competitors. “Get up and go outside, you’ll learn more in five minutes of talking to somebody at a company than you will in a…
3 ERE ideas
Jun 29 • 9 min
Early Retirement Extreme by Jacob Fisker http://amzn.to/2tnUNJ1 1. Reframe where you are. 2. The more you know the less you need. 3. A robust modular life.
OODA WHAT?
Jun 12 • 8 min
OODA WHAT? by MIKE
Jun082017
Jun 8 • 24 min
OQ/ http://amzn.to/2rQ59hC 1/ The Startup, http://amzn.to/2rftD5h. Failed startups, http://amzn.to/1nztynB 2/ Breaking apart problems (multiplication, Legos) 3/ Beanie Babies post, http://thewaiterspad.com/2017/06/07/beanie-babies/beanie-babies 4/ Culture…
Jun012017
Jun 1 • 22 min
OQ: http://amzn.to/2rftD5h 1/ Star Wars convexity 2/ Checklists are fun! 3/ Base rates on motorcycles 4/ The stories we tell ourselves Support: https://gumroad.com/l/mikesnotes
May252017
May 25 • 30 min
OQ: http://amzn.to/2pBTq6T 5:50 don’t shoot the dog 11:30 walking the idea maze 17:30 boring businesses 23:30 the David Swenson checklist Support: https://gumroad.com/l/mikesnotes
May182017
May 18 • 23 min
OQ: Dan Carlin on the History on Fire podcast 1/ What job does this service/product do? What job are YOU hired for? 2/ Good decision makers put their thoughts down on paper. One way to do that is with checklists. 3/ To learn, find relevance not…
May042017
May 4 • 21 min
OQ: http://amzn.to/2pBTq6T #1 What to do when ‘that’s interesting.’ #2 Technology is not the MIT for technology startups, instead it’s luck, persistence, and elbow grease. #3 When starting, copy structures, formulas, or philosophy. When advancing be more…
Apr272017
Apr 27 • 20 min
One subject; http://amzn.to/2lWGK79
Apr202017
Apr 20 • 26 min
Intro: the metaphor of tracking (Boyd Varty on Invest Like the Best). 1/ Thinking Small, http://amzn.to/2oNLFKF. 2/ Multiple compound yields and the triangle of mediocrity. 3/ Patrick Collison on starting a startup 4/ Me on Ryan Holiday on reading
Apr062017
Apr 6 • 28 min
Greek heroes, getting better, building your toolbox, and arguing well. Mike’s Notes - https://thewaiterspad.com/mikes-notes/
Clip: Danny Kahneman “Slow Down”
Apr 3 • 0 min
From Santa Fe Institute: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSCbnS1yCzI
Mar302017
Mar 30 • 19 min
Intro: Tools of Titans, but for classical education 1/ 20 year technology cycles 2/ Using the 51% solution at Soulcycle 3/ Reading advice from president Obama’s Chief of Staff
Mar232017
Mar 23 • 18 min
Feedback: https://thewaiterspad.com/podcast-feedback/ Monthly subscription: https://gumroad.com/l/mikesnotes
Mar162017
Mar 16 • 22 min
How to learn algebra. What does flipping burgers and “plain vanilla stock picking” have in common? Can you get paid more for the work you love? (Sisyphus) A couple lessons from Danny Meyer.
Mar092017
Mar 9 • 22 min
All NBA edition, mostly based on Daryl Morey’s interview with Zach Lowe at MIT Sloan. Questions? 559-464-5393 or @mikedariano
Mar022017
Mar 2 • 21 min
Introduction quote: http://www.safalniveshak.com/investing-simple-not-easy/ Taleb’s MOOC: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8uY6yLP9BS4BUc9BSc0Jww Prisoners of Geography: http://amzn.to/2lWGK79 a16z podcast:…
Feb232017
Feb 23 • 22 min
Opening quote: www.cnbc.com/amp/2017/02/16/entrepreneur-takes-wednesdays-and-it-has-made-him-millions.html 1/ 1:30 Malcolm Gladwell solves the endowment effect. 2/ 5:05 Setting The Table by Danny Meyer. http://amzn.to/2kGVzO0 3/ 10:45 What does retirement…
Feb0162017
Feb 16 • 22 min
Intro quote from: http://amzn.to/2kJDfzz Russ Roberts explains hindsight bias (02:00) When listening, aim for understanding not necessarily agreement (07:05) Backstops for life (09:55) Context matters, NBA edition with Bill Simons (15:40) Public…
Feb092017
Feb 9 • 26 min
A new format for the podcast as I tinker. For now expect weekly summaries - released on Thursdays - of things I learned. (00:39) Judd Apatow explains loss aversion via Super Bowl bets. (03:45) The importance of work relationships - something I lack.…
Judd Apatow explains Loss Aversion on The Adam Carolla Show
Feb 7 • 0 min
Judd Apatow explains Loss Aversion on The Adam Carolla Show by MIKE
Reading physical books
Feb 7 • 10 min
Inspired by this post: https://thewaiterspad.com/2017/02/06/read-more-books-part-deux/
Bill Belichick argues well, provides top-down support, and seeks counterfactuals,
Feb 3 • 24 min
Audio of posts at http://thewaiterspad.com Print version of this http://amzn.to/2kYSrMR Contact me: http://twitter.com/mikedariano or mikedariano@gmail.com
First level thinking; LeBron James and the Atlanta Falcons
Jan 31 • 7 min
First level thinking; LeBron James and the Atlanta Falcons by MIKE
Lessons from the Greek Peak
Jan 17 • 18 min
In Misbehaving (http://amzn.to/2jUVWQ9) Richard Thaler writes about his experience advising the owners of the struggling ski slope, The Greek Peak. We’ll look at what he suggested and how your own business can apply the lessons of transaction utility…
Experts? Smexperts! (maybe)
Jan 14 • 24 min
An audio version of this blog post: https://thewaiterspad.com/2017/01/13/howard-markss-expert-opinion/ Five big ideas. 1/ (Social) Media is more entertainment than information. 2/Be there to learn more. 3/ Experts on TV/in magazines are not good…
Thining about opposites, not absenses.
Jan 10 • 17 min
An audio verion of this blog post. https://thewaiterspad.com/2017/01/09/chris-cole/
Books: TFS pages 1-50
Jan 6 • 16 min
Five ideas from the first fifty pages of http://amzn.to/2g9C26r 1/ Most of the time our intuitions are right. 2/ Never forget to account for luck. 3/ System 1 is “automatic and effortless.” 4/ System 2 can ONLY run consecutive tasks. 5/ Guarding against…
Podcasts and restaurants, a framework
Jan 4 • 16 min
An audio version of this post: http://thewaiterspad.com/2017/01/04/moats-profitability-and-podcasts Inspired by this post: https://25iq.com/2016/11/18/why-moats-are-essential-for-profitability-restaurant-edition/
Leaders should be there
Jan 3 • 17 min
Why should leaders go to the front lines? 1/ It gives them details they don’t see from their office. 2/ It gives trust and authority with insiders (your team) and outsiders (your critics and fans). 3/ It allows better alignment between strategy and…
049 “Dear Chairman” book review
Dec 9, 2016 • 9 min
049 “Dear Chairman” book review by MIKE
048 Thinking about inversion
Nov 17, 2016 • 8 min
048 Thinking about inversion by MIKE
047 What happened to Nasty Gal?
Nov 14, 2016 • 9 min
047 What happened to Nasty Gal? by MIKE
046 Chesterton fences on submarines
Nov 10, 2016 • 9 min
046 Chesterton fences on submarines by MIKE
045 The Harry’s Model
Nov 8, 2016 • 9 min
045 The Harry’s Model by MIKE
044 Bezos and Amazon
Nov 1, 2016 • 30 min
A few (more) things I learned from http://amzn.to/2evaRPp This episode does not cover disruption theory. Intro: BenSound.com Outro: Topher Mohr
043 Amazon & Disruption
Oct 22, 2016 • 22 min
Inspiriation: http://amzn.to/2evaRPp Looking at 4 things in the framework of Amazon. 1/ Christensen’s Disruption Theory. 2/ How many Harvard MBAs does it take to screw in a lightbulb? 3/ The roll of luck and skill in Amazon’s early days. 4/ Maniacs.…
042 The Two Jar Model
Oct 17, 2016 • 22 min
Inspiriation: http://amzn.to/2ecUWVU Blog: http://thewaiterspad.com Intro: http://bensound.com Outro: Topher Mohr & Alex Elena
041 The Outsiders
Oct 14, 2016 • 20 min
A podcast version of this post: https://medium.com/mikes-notes/advice-from-the-outsiders-3cf9eb9827c7#.ehnyua55z Based on this book: http://amzn.to/2dsO7A5 - 1/ Be different and find truths. 2/ Keep an (inner) scorecard. 3/ Decentralize. 4/ Forecasting…
040 Belichick’s Pattern Recognition
Oct 12, 2016 • 15 min
Part of this book: http://amzn.to/2e555b7 Intro by Ben Sound. Outro by K-391
039 What is the Most Important Thing?
Oct 8, 2016 • 33 min
A few ideas from Howard Marks book The Most Important Thing 1/ It’s not easy. 2/ Mapping and cycles as models. 3/ Margin for errror. 4/ The future is unknowable. 5/ Live to fight another day. Intro by BenSound.com Outro by Tophor Mohr and Alex Elena.
038 Why does a startup fail? #1 Customers
Oct 2, 2016 • 22 min
The first section of my book, 28 Lessons from Startups That Failed, http://amzn.to/1nztynB There were five ways founders made the customer mistake: 1/ There were no customers to begin with. 2/ The customers were part of a bureaucracy 3/ The customers…
037 Six things Instagram did right.
Sep 25, 2016 • 45 min
Six things I noted about Instagram’s success. 1/ Imitation is a place to start, but not finish. 2/ A lower overhead is a longer survival. 3/ Luck matters. 4/ Win on third down. 5/ Good timing helps a lot. 6/ Everything is a trial by fire. Intro music from…
036 Pattern Recognition
Sep 17, 2016 • 22 min
Stories of pattern recognition and ideas about how to do it better.
035 The Education of Bill Belichick
Sep 10, 2016 • 33 min
Inspiration: http://amzn.to/2bnwdxU In what ways can we take Belichick’s football decision making skills and apply them to our own lives? 1/ Red teaming (cutting Bernie Kosar). 2/ Relentlessness (Tom Brady too). 3/ Being a secret finder (fitness, film).…
034 NFL bets/ making good forecasts
Sep 3, 2016 • 36 min
Does Bill Simmons make super forecasts? Let’s look at his NFL podcast preview and see. We’ll look at: 1/ Finding good value and not obvious winners. 2/ Stay away when things are too hard. 3/ Mean reversion when randomness abounds. 4/ SITG. 5/ Invert…
033 Failure is Not an Option
Aug 30, 2016 • 29 min
Life lessons from (just the early part) of http://amzn.to/2bYAKGb, by Gene Kranz, flight director for the NASA Apollo missions. What does Kranz have to teach us? 1/ you will never be ready 2/ the value of role play 3/ pattern recognition 4/ don’t just do…
032 Ideas from Michael Mauboussin
Aug 24, 2016 • 47 min
An investigation of things Michael Mauboussin told Barry Ritholtz in their Bloomberg podcast. The big ideas: 1/ Know the pot and the payout. 2/ Incentives matter. 3/ The inside and outside views. 4/ Wonderful storytelling machines. Intro: BenSound.com…
031 Notes from Andy Grove’s ‘Only the Paranoid Survive’
Aug 18, 2016 • 36 min
From a person who walked the walk and talked the talk. Four ideas from Grove. 1/ Be there to know what’s going on. 2/ Have a Devil’s advocate. 3/ Decentralized command is a powerful tool. 4/ People are involved and people have emotions. Intro:…
030 Coaching lessons for life, from Anson Dorrance
Aug 15, 2016 • 30 min
What does the best American college coach have to teach us? 1/ The value of hustle and the grind. 2/ Want success? Increase the denominator. 3/ You’ll need some luck. 4/ Imitate to start. 5/ Focus on your most important things. Intro: BenSound.com Outro:…
029 The beginning of UNC women’s soccer
Aug 9, 2016 • 21 min
1/ Scratch your own itch. Laura Brockington just wanted to play soccer. She was motivated and invested. 2/ Easier now than ever. New things will always be hard. Outcomes will always be unclear. But it’s never been easier to try. 3/ Make it easy for…
028 Yahoo!(?)
Aug 2, 2016 • 24 min
What happened to Yahoo? Taking notes from Kara Swisher and Eric Jackson, there were five things I noticed: 1/ Beware of executives that succeed because of rising tides and tailwinds. 2/ Don’t forget about the MIT 3/ Built up experiences (or read books for…
027 Plan B, Tailwinds, Fat Pitches
Jul 28, 2016 • 23 min
Inspiration from Jack Schwager’s podcast with Barry Ritholtz. Here we talk about: 1/ Plan B (Kahneman and Fast & Furious) 2/ Rising tides and Buffett’s ducks 3/ Patience for fat pitches. What Louis CK hit but Mark Zuckerberg missed. Intro: BenSound.com…
026 Early Buffett
Jul 20, 2016 • 31 min
Another Warren Buffett episode. This one focuses on his early (pre-1976) writings. We’ll examine: 1/ How Buffett used red flags to tell people when to switch investments. 2/ How Buffett focused like a flashlight. 3/ Buffett’s advice for “turning over a…
025 Neville Isdell, former Coca Cola CEO
Jul 14, 2016 • 32 min
Neville Isdell was the former chairman and CEO of Coca Cola. I found his book on accident, happily. Isdell’s story isn’t well known - or at least to me - and so his ‘off the beaten track’ experiences are extra valuable. What helped a kid born in Ireland,…
024 Warren Buffett
Jul 9, 2016 • 16 min
Nothing new here, just a reminder — which we all need. Buffett isn’t brilliant because he’s rich. Fellow billionaire Seymour Schulich wrote, “The word ‘billionaire’ is a very crude and inaccurate measure of how well I have played the game of life.”…
023 Wesley Gray explains stakeholders and culture
Jul 4, 2016 • 10 min
Two ideas today; stakeholders and culture. Stakeholders are the people you answer to; investors, advertisers, internet providers, and spouses. Culture is the spirit of a place. It’s something “you have to see to believe.” This podcast was inspired by:…
022 Hershey’s Strategy
Jun 30, 2016 • 17 min
Even though he lived (and thrived) 100+ years ago, Milton Hershey succeeded in business using techniques people still suggest today. In this episode we’ll look at seven of them. 1/ Hershey was a relentless tinkerer. 2/ Hershey had a deep understanding 3/…
021 Three lessons from parodies
Jun 27, 2016 • 15 min
Advertising parodies are funny but prove serious things. In this podcast episode we look at three: 1/ How stakeholders influence range of motion. 2/ Gray areas, and lines not to cross. 3/ Why good comedians are deep learners. Inspiration from…
020 Sunk Costs
Jun 23, 2016 • 9 min
One way we “fool ourselves” (Feynman) is the sunk cost bias. Dr. John Cooke saw it in his academic research, Mohnish Pabrai saw Charlie Munger avoid it, and Richard Thaler saw it but didn’t know it. What are sunk costs, and how can we avoid them? After…
019 Bussiness Advice from Phil Knight and Peter Thiel
Jun 21, 2016 • 12 min
Though the founding times were 40 years apart, both Knight (http://amzn.to/1YehxD3) and Thiel (http://amzn.to/1UkFFTc) have similar thoughts about starting businesses. This episode looks at five: 1/ Why to look for secrets. 1:05 2/ Where to look for…
018 Chicago Black Sox
Jun 16, 2016 • 23 min
Inspiration: Eight Men Out by Eliot Asinof http://amzn.to/22xPejF Lessons. 1/ We get emotionally invested in the thing we do. 2/ Home field advantage helps; from sports to law to war. 3/ Dominos can fall in unexpected directions. 4/ In strengths are…
#017 Three lesssons from the life of Charles Ponzi
Jun 13, 2016 • 21 min
Inspiration: http://amzn.to/1TOa0ba Big ideas: 1/ History isn’t always rosy, with quotes from Charlie Munger and Marc Andreessen. 2/ Two paths diverged in a woods…and Ponzi went with the devil on his shoulder. 3/ Incentives matter. Part of the reason…
#016 Six takeaways from SebastianJunger’s podcast with Tim Ferriss
Jun 8, 2016 • 33 min
#016 Six takeaways from SebastianJunger’s podcast with Tim Ferriss by MIKE
#015 Five things I learned from Jeff deGraff
Jun 6, 2016 • 12 min
From being your best customer to knowing the pot odds and ante, deGraff shared a few good ideas.
014 Mental Scripts
Mar 25, 2016 • 11 min
We all have default choices for things (like how you take your coffee). Some of these defaults - we’ll also call them scripts - can be like levers, where only a small amount of effort has dramatic results. The most damaging are the negative mental scripts…
013 Good Things Take Time
Mar 18, 2016 • 11 min
Good things take time. This podcast uses stories from Gary Vaynerchuk, Steven Pressfield, and Felicia Day to encourage people who haven’t made a destination yet. Good things are also fractal, that is, no matter what level you’re at there are rewards and…
012 Constraints Help
Mar 11, 2016 • 11 min
Our three characters: Austin Kleon, Mark Webster, Maria Popova. Sometimes we think that the things we don’t have access to are the things that we need. “If only I had more time/money/freedom/connections.” Maybe that’s not what we need. Maybe it’s exactly…
011FinishLineFallacy
Mar 4, 2016 • 10 min
Our three characters to explain the finish line fallacy; Warren Buffett, Tadas Viskanta, and Josh Williams. Also, what I think about when I run on the treadmill, and why it’s harder each year I get older.
010Lowoverhead
Feb 28, 2016 • 12 min
One way to have optionality (episodes #001, #002) is to have low overhead. In this episode we look at how commedians, failed startups, and Sophia Amoruso approached this idea and why.
009 Survivorship Bias
Feb 16, 2016 • 14 min
Survivorship bias explained with World War 2 airplanes, basketball players from New York City, and mutual funds. This episode is part of the https://medium.com/survivorship-bias project.
008 The Gear Dosn’t Matter
Feb 11, 2016 • 12 min
The gear you use doesn’t matter. It’s not about the best mic or software or camera. It’s about doing the work. We’ll use the examples of Casey Neistat, B.J. Novak, and Gina Trapani to see how.
007 The X-MBA
Feb 5, 2016 • 14 min
What if instead of paying someone for an MBA you did it yourself? What if you took that money and invested it, or bought books, or built a car wash? What would that look like? Let’s find out how 3 people did just that.
006 Danger in Safety
Jan 28, 2016 • 14 min
006 Danger in Safety by MIKE
005 How to solve black box problmes
Jan 22, 2016 • 12 min
With examples from Google, Stephen Gould’s cancer diagnosis, and how many games the Cleveland Cavaliers might win.
004 Listening to Systems
Dec 18, 2015 • 20 min
Systems are everywhere around us. They’re as simple as Lego bricks and as complicated as the stock market. If we can learn to listen to systems we can hear the signals more clearly. We’ll know when it’s bad to climb down mountains, when football plays…
003 How to solve “hard things.”
Dec 8, 2015 • 6 min
Inspired by the book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, there are ways to think about difficult problems that help us solve them.
002 Jerry Seinfeld’s Optionality
Nov 9, 2015 • 3 min
How Jerry Seinfeld described his optionality in 1983.
001 Optionality with Nassim Taleb, Donald Trump, Sherman.
Nov 4, 2015 • 15 min
What is optionality, why is it important, and who has used it?