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#136 - Reflections on 2020: Focus + Capacity


"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there." - Lewis Carroll


Reflections on 2020: Focus and Capacity

I always love the end of the year when things slow down and allow me time to reflect on the past year's successes, failures, and lessons learned. It is also a great time to look ahead at the year to come. I wanted to share two topics I've been reflecting on which are really two sides of the same coin.

To sum up my 2021 resolution: Focus relentlessly on my priorities by being extremely thoughtful about my time and capacity.

1. FOCUS. In 2021, I am reaffirming priorities to Focus on and purging distractions by creating spaces to do real, productive work - eliminating social media apps on my phone, placing my reading materials on top of my computer so that I have to 'go through them' before I log into my laptop, placing my laptop right next to my weights, and so on.

Every minute I am distracted is a minute that I don't get to build a relationship, love family and friends, build up my physical health, or make progress in some meaningful way.

My priorities, in order:

1. Faith - daily study and meditation / prayer.

2. Family + Friends - uninterrupted (no cell phone!) time with family daily and friends regularly.

3. Fitness - 30 minutes of lifting or running 5x per week.

4. Growing a business - working on something I'm not ready to share yet! Also working on streamlining my process with Circle of Competence.

5. Eliminate everything else.

2. CAPACITY. Manage my capacity, which means saying 'no' to a lot of great opportunities that will take time away from my priorities above.

I have a tendency to get excited about ideas and starting projects, and need to improve in my ability to think through an opportunity before saying 'yes'. Too many projects dilute effort and lead to lackluster results over the long run.

To quote my favorite poem by Rudyard Kipling, If:

"If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!"


This week's edition has a ton of great reads, especially the Buffett archives piece, Harvard's piece on SPACs, the Macklowe Properties case studies, and the commencement speech on the false promises of 'optionality'. Enjoy and here's to a banner 2021!



A sober look at SPACs (Harvard Law School School Forum on Corporate Governance)

Buffet's take on the market in 1999 (Fortune)

Tracy Graham - leveraging technology in the SMB space (Invest like the Best)

Amazon Buys Wondery as Podcasting Race Continues (Dealbook)

Mario Cibelli on deep due diligence (Invest like the best)

Seth Klarman speaks to Columbia students (Columbia)

Learning from Nicholas Sleep, Founder of the Nomad Investment Partnership (Masters Invest)

Small business optimism index (NFIB)

Real Estate

The Pandemic Presents an Opportunity to Live Anywhere – Where Are People Going? (Updater)

How Fort Capital performs due diligence, onboards new assets, and executes its business plan (Fort Podcast)

How to assemble and entitle urban land (Chris Powers, Fort Podcast)

Macklowe Properties' case study on the GM building repositioning (Macklowe Properties, H/T @pinkpoloshorts)

Macklowe Properties' case study on 340 Madison Ave (Macklowe Properties, H/T @pinkpoloshorts)


Remote Work & The Tech Enabled Exit: Where To Live & Why? (Doug Antin)

#147 – Dmitri Dolgov: Waymo and the Future of Self-Driving Cars (Lex Fridman)

Opportunities in education (Erik Torenberg)

McKinsey's 5G Connected World Study (McKinsey)

Index companies - companies that ride a technology wave (Elad Gil)

Billionaires Build (Paul Graham)

Earnestness (Paul Graham)


The trouble with optimizing your life for optionality (Mihir Desai)

How to become insanely well-connected (First Round Review, H/T Randy Moore)

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