August 13, 2019

Boris Wertz of Version One recently put the returns of his investment portfolio up for every one to see.

In the comments, there’s a discussion of the risk profiles of Venture Capitalists and Company Founders.

Wertz says: “I personally think that being a founder is the mu...

July 8, 2019

Once upon a time, there was only one way to be rich: Be powerful.

If you were powerful, you could take from others. Through force, you could take from others the fruits of their labor. And even if you got rich by luck or skill, such as through a bumper crop or skilled a...

July 2, 2019

When you take a risk, you feel it.

You feel the anxiety. You feel the fear. You know something could go bad. 


But you take the risk because it could go well. Which means you feel something more than fear and anxiety: You feel hope. You hope the bad thing doesn’t happen...

June 20, 2019

To know what risks to manage, you start with the risks that are possible.

Past data is great for telling you what’s possible. History gives you an idea of what could happen in the future.

In the history of espionage, a lot of things have happened. Some good, a lot bad. S...

June 16, 2019

Before I joined, the CIA’s Head of Recruitment recommended I watch Ronin to learn something about the life of a spy. It’s a story set in the years between the Cold War and 9/11, when spies were using old skills to do new things. 


The new things in Ronin inclu...

April 5, 2019

The 24th Name, Part II is being released today.

Chapter One of the new book has spoilers for Part I (if you haven't read The 24th Name, Part I it's a free download today, so you can start there).

So instead of Chapter One of The 24th Name, Part II, here's Chapter Two: 

--...

March 18, 2019

When you’re a spy, you meet a lot of experts. You meet area experts, scientific and technical experts, and experts on economics, politics, and diplomacy. But experts are everywhere.

If you’re in business, you might want an expert in marketing to help you. Or an expert i...

March 8, 2019

For most of baseball history, major league scouts were looking for “Five-Tool Players.”

To be a Five-Tool Player, you need to be better than most other players in five different categories: Batting average, hitting for power (extra bases), speed, throwing, and fielding.

...

January 10, 2019

In his 2008 bestseller Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell famously highlighted the 10,000 hour “rule.” The “rule” is that it usually takes 10,000 hours of practice to be an expert at something.

One of his examples is the Beatles. Over a four-year period, they played over 1,200...

December 11, 2018

In televised poker, there’s a bad moment after a player gets knocked out. 

The losing player gets up and shakes hands with whoever just took all their chips. They walk away from the table, and a TV guy puts a microphone in their face. 

The TV guy...

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