Welcome to Five Good Questions. I’m your host, Jake Taylor.
Fact: the average American watches 5 hours of television per day. What would the world be like if we dedicated one of those hours to reading books instead?
I don’t know, but I’d like to find out.
So to inspire others to read more, I ask five good questions of interesting authors and share the results with you every Friday. Let’s see if together, we can’t rescue some of those lost hours.
5GQ Eric Jorgenson - The Almanack of Naval Ravikant
In this week's Five Good Questions, we're interviewing Eric Jorgenson about the book The Almanack of Naval Ravikant.
Eric Jorgenson is a product strategist and writer. In 2011, he joined the founding team of Zaarly, a company dedicated to helping homeowners find home service providers they can trust. His business blog, Evergreen, educates and entertains more than one million readers. You can find all of his projects and other writing on EJorgenson.com.
Five Good Questions:
1. This is a very unusual book--how did this project come about?
2. What was your favorite section to work on?
3. What does Naval say about ego, identity, labels and habits?
4. What changes have you made in your own life since compiling this book?
5. What are some common ideas or themes that connect the various advice throughout the book?
5GQ Tim Koller - Valuation
In this week's Five Good Questions, we're interviewing Tim Koller about the 7th edition of Valuation.
Tim Koller is a core leader of the Corporate Finance Practice at McKinsey. During his more than 28 years of consulting, Tim has served clients globally on value creation, corporate strategy, capital-markets issues, and M&A transactions.
Tim is the lead author of Valuation: Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies. This book—now in its seventh edition—has sold more than 800,000 copies.
Before joining McKinsey, Tim was a vice president at Stern Stewart & Company, a leading value-based management-advisory firm, where he helped develop key financial-analytical tools and software. He has also lectured at business schools, such as the University of Chicago, Northwestern, Tuck, Yale, and INSEAD.
Five Good Questions:
1. Do the growth rates and ROICs of today’s market favorites that are implied by their prices seem justified to produce an attractive future TSR?
2. Will profit margins and returns on capital mean revert after a prolonged period above their historical norms? Are the higher P/Es of today justified?
3. When forecasting the impacts of digitization, how do we factor in competition and pricing with respect to cash flows? (What are the odds of “Winner Take All” vs. “Red Queen Effect” where most of the value flows through to consumer surplus?)
4. What’s the most pervasive and pernicious myth in finance that just won’t die?
5. What’s the most likely mistake a business analyst will make over the next decade?
5GQ Mike Michalowicz - Fix This Next
In this week's Five Good Questions, we're interviewing Mike Michalowicz about his book Fix This Next.
Mike Mi-KAL-o-wits is the author of Profit First, Clockwork, Surge, The Pumpkin Plan, and his newest release Fix This Next. By his 35th birthday, Mike had founded and sold two companies - one to private equity and another to a Fortune 500. Today he is running his third multi-million dollar venture, Profit First Professionals.
Mike is a former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal and the former business makeover specialist on MSNBC. Over the years, Mike has traveled the globe speaking with thousands of entrepreneurs, and is here today to share the best of what he has learned.
Five Good Questions:
1. When every problem in a small business feels existential, how do we prioritize what to fix first? What is the Business Hierarchy of Needs?
2. Many businesses, particularly in Silicon Valley, have grand visions of changing the world, yet their unit economics might not work. How does that violate your Business Hierarchy?
3. What can the Winchester Mystery House teach us about being an entrepreneur?
4. What is the biggest mistake you see that holds back the good from becoming the great?
5. What special advice do you have to small business owners who may be facing 50-100% drops in revenue?
5GQ Matt Ridley - How Innovation Works
In this week's Five Good Questions, we're interviewing Matt Ridley about his new book How Innovation Works. Matt Ridley's books have sold over a million copies, been translated into 31 languages and won several awards.
His TED talk "When Ideas Have Sex" has been viewed more than two million times. He writes a weekly column in The Times (London) and writes regularly for the Wall Street Journal.
As Viscount Ridley, he was elected to the House of Lords in February 2013. He also served on the science and technology select committee. With BA and DPhil degrees from Oxford University, Matt Ridley worked for the Economist for nine years as science editor, Washington correspondent and American editor, before becoming a self-employed writer and businessman.
Five Good Questions:
1. What was the single most important event in the history of humankind and why?
2. Campfire, dung, whale oil, kerosene, “Edison’s” light bulb, CFLs, and LEDs. What are the sweeping innovation lessons we can draw from how humans simply light their homes?
3. Does the use of debt allow us to pull innovation from the future, similar to overclocking a computer?
4. What do past responses to health epidemics teach us about dealing with COVID-19?
5. Has science gotten so complex, specialized, and expensive that accidental, tinkering, gentlemen scientists are no longer feasible? For instance, could I build a thorium reactor in my garage? Is centralized research by governments and big businesses the necessary answer?
5GQ Bogumil Baranowski - Money, Life, Family
In this week's Five Good Questions, we're interviewing Bogumil Baranowski about his book Money, Life, Family.
Bogumil K. Baranowski is a New York City-based investment professional with almost fifteen years of experience. He is a founding partner of Sicart Associates, a boutique investment firm catering to families and entrepreneurs on both sides of the Atlantic and the Pacific. He is the author of Outsmarting the Crowd and a TEDx Speaker ("The Great Investor in You"). Bogumil greatly enjoys speaking about investing and family wealth around the world. He likes to say that he was born Polish, grew up European only to become American later on. In his free time, he reads, writes, flies single-engine propeller planes, scuba dives around the globe, and sails.
Five Good Questions:
1. How have your early life experiences shaped you as an investor?
2. What are the three types of “remote” we need to live a good life and be a successful investor?
3. Warren Buffett has a quote that he’s a better businessman because he’s an investor and a better investor because he’s a businessman. What do you think of the idea that you’re a better investor because you’re a traveler, and a better traveler because you’re an investor?
4. What are some of your best tips for insulating against the noise of the news cycle and financial markets?
5. Most family wealth was built from a severe lack of diversification. How much diversification is necessary to maintain wealth?
The Hikecast 10
The Hikecast is a show where interesting people take me on their favorite hikes or walks and we talk about big ideas in an unconstrained format. No planned agendas, just deep conversations, recorded out in nature.
The idea is for you to put on The Hikecast and get outside to simulate taking a hike with us. I want you to feel like you're there with us out in nature.
Care to join us on a hike? :)
My guest for this episode is Bill Brewster. Bill is a research analyst at Sullimar Capital Group. After getting a degree in Finance and Accounting from Auburn University, he got a law degree from Loyola. Bill ran a flooring franchise from 2007-2009 and worked as a credit analyst for BMO Harris Bank.
We went for a brisk morning walk in Virginia. Please enjoy this hike cast with Bill Brewster.
Also, please check out my first literary effort: The Rebel Allocator
It’s a coming-of-age story of a young man who learns about business and life from an unlikely teacher. Imagine The Karate Kid meets Thorndike’s The Outsiders. You’re right, it’s probably not what you were expecting, but I have my fingers crossed that you’ll really enjoy it. It's available on amazon now in print, digital, and audiobook formats.