GDP vs GNI vs GNI* Howdy folks, and welcome to the Monthly Blip for July 2023. Last week, I wrote about whether we are too negative on the UK –… Read More »Is Ireland more productive than the US?
The Monthly Blip: June 2023 SEMI-CONDUCTOR PICKS AND SHOVELS. It’s of strategic importance for countries to have access to cutting-edge semiconductors. Semiconductors and the software that runs on them are… Read More »Picks, Shovels, Guitars and Language Models
The Weekly Blip SPECIAL: May 5th This week, I’m taking a break from sharing three links, to instead share three lessons I have learned from investing in an AngelList Rolling… Read More »Three Obscure Lessons from AngelList Rolling Funds
Comments welcome The Irish government has opened a comment period – running until April 5th – on Irish personal taxes. Here is a draft of my submission. Any comments are… Read More »Irish Government Tax Consultation: March 2023
Reflections on the late 2022 European Court Ruling Summary: In November 2022, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled member states cannot be required to have a public register of… Read More »Privacy vs Transparency in Business Ownership
Why do we penalise Irish people for using index funds? Here’s a copy of an email I’ve sent to my local TDs in Ireland: ~~~ Hello , I’m Ronan –… Read More »Letter to Irish TDs on the tax treatment of index funds
Plus! Progressive Ireland, a Pyramid and Farmers In Summary Reasons for Housing Crises Why do we tax work? (And not land?) Reasons for and against taxing work Where did taxes… Read More »November 2022: Land Tax as a Solution to Housing
Plus! Lessons from the Danish Krone This month in the Blip: Norms: Bugs or Features? Lessons from the Danish Krone Content moderation lessons from a co-founder of Reddit This month… Read More »October 2022: Antibiotics, Bugs or Features
Plus! What I’m building in digital security and payments In Summary: Thought piece: Why Financial Privacy Matters DigitalChecklist.xyz: Getting control of your online accounts After building Sandymount (a hardware startup),… Read More »September 2022: The Passwords Problem
Highlights and reflections from Bunreacht na hÉireann You can buy a copy of the Irish constitution here or view a free copy here and read it in less than an… Read More »A Lay Reading of the Irish Constitution
Smoke and Mirrors Removing the Link Between the Price of Gas and the Price of Electricity On Monday, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said: “Currently, gas dominates the… Read More »August 2022: Unpacking the Rhetoric on European Energy Price Caps
Timestamps: 0:00 Intro 0:45 The case for 100% Renewables 12:50 Nature vs Nurture: An Intro to Twin Adoption Studies 29:28 Finding something better than Berkshire Hathaway Episode/Newsletter Notes: The case… Read More »July 2022: Twins, Renewables and a Better Berkshire
Iron-air batteries, thermal storage, deep geothermal, modular nuclear My current thinking on the power/energy future. While wind and solar adoption will increase over the next 10-20 years, their future role… Read More »Notes on Emerging Power Generation Technologies
Some articles, new and old Hi folks, I haven’t written in a bit, so here are some links to what I’ve been reading. Future of Ethereum One thing I care… Read More »Future of Ethereum: What I've been reading
Eurozone countries would be wise to have a backup plan for the Euro Summary: Why the Euro is fragile A brief and recent history of taxation and debt in the… Read More »A New Irish Currency: Time for another Punt?
Bad for employees and do little to help the business Summary A number of companies have announced layoff plans for 10% of employees Layoffs are painful for those fired and… Read More »10% Employee Layoffs Make Little Sense to Me
Plus! Insufficient one night stands, short-sightedness, and, XY or XX. Howdy folks, here’s the agenda for my May 2022 newsletter: 👓 We invented short-sightedness 🏩 Insufficient One-Night Stands 🧬 XY… Read More »The world is not turning into a ball of fire any time soon 🎇
Reflections on what affects the price of RAI Summary: RAI is a non-pegged stablecoin that is collateralised by ETH. I hypothesise that the price of RAI will follow that of… Read More »Price of RAI: A "Dominant Fiat" Hypothesis
Protocols are wasting money on how they incentivise liquidity. Background It is common for protocols to provide incentives to those who provide liquidity on their platforms. How liquidity incentives work… Read More »How to waste less money on liquidity incentives
Support for assets comes with reputational risk Background: There is a suggestion to support USDD on Stargate – at no cost (incentives) to Stargate. Arguments: Supporting USDD comes with reputational… Read More »A dissenting view on Stargate supporting USDD
USDC or USDP? Tether Tether is backed by a very wide range of securities, and isn’t subject to US regulations as it is domiciled abroad: You can read the latest… Read More »What is the safest dollar-backed stablecoin?
Don’t be Ethereum, Centralisation then decentralisation, Avoid one-coin-one vote A market crash focuses organisations to revisit their mission. The point of a blockchain is to offer an open platform that… Read More »L1 opportunities emerging from this crypto crash
A simpler version of DAI Summary: LUSD is a simpler version of DAI and can only be collateralised by Ether, not by USD or WBTC or anything else LUSD just… Read More »Stablecoin Spotlight on Liquity USD (LUSD)
And why? Summary Bitcoin is likely best today Arbitrum and Optimism are perhaps next Outlook Bitcoin is likely best today “Cheap” is relative, but with transaction fees of $10 and… Read More »Which blockchain is cheapest and safest?
Plus! An inside look at buying shares in a private company Disclaimer: Investment ideas or actions discussed are not advice or recommendations. Do your own research. Markets are wild right… Read More »Twitter Trade Episode 4: Game Theory and Fudge
A potential route to owning Twitter stock in the long run Episode Notes: You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and other platforms by searching for “The Blip by… Read More »Twitter Trade Episode 3: Allocation Secured!
Summary: In principle, inflation can reduce the size of a government’s debt relative to its economy. In principle, increasing interest rates tends to slow inflation. Governments/Central Banks may allow –… Read More »How to cut government debt and tame inflation
A worthwhile 100 pages on life in a concentration camp during WWII. A further 50 pages covering a practical guide to meaning and life. Points that stayed with me: Three… Read More »What I learned from Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning
Sponsored by Trelis.com – simple crypto payment links for merchants. Episode Notes: Michael Burry on Tesla: https://twitter.com/MichaelJBurry__/status/1460159421666017284?s=20&t=yWomfPW-GGk7BglRKmW-uA SEC filing listing X Holdings as the buyer of Twitter: https://www.sec.gov/ix?doc=/Archives/edgar/data/0001418091/000119312522120461/d310843d8k.htm Disclaimer: Investment… Read More »Twitter Trade Episode 2: Twitter Board accepts Elon's Offer
Sponsored by Trelis Pay – simple payment links for crypto. Learn more at Trelis.com . Episode Links: Musk’s Tweet with SEC link on offer to buy Twitter for $54.20: https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1514564966564651008?s=20&t=hkJrepMfgzaJ__43iPTo0g… Read More »Twitter Trade Episode 1: Trading Elon's Twitter acquisition offer
Background I love reading from Sam Altman. He has long argued how labour is being automated away and capital will become increasingly important. He recently posted this article and further… Read More »Thoughts on Altman's Moore's Law and Corporate Wealth Tax
Summary: Blockstream and Block (formerly Square) and Tesla have partnered to build a Bitcoin mining facility powered solely by solar plus batteries. Bitcoin miners compete based on their energy costs,… Read More »Blockstream's Solar Bitcoin Project seems Uneconomic
Show Notes: Sponsored by Trelis.com Stargate Website: www.Stargate.Finance Centralised exchange for Stargate token: FTX.com Alameda Research (buyers of all of auction phase 1): Alameda-Research.com Decentralised exchange for Stargate token: curve.fi/factory-crypto/37… Read More »My First Crypto Auction: Best of Stargate
sponsored by Trelis.com Show Links: Community Auction Page: https://stargate.finance/community-auction FTX Price for STG: https://ftx.com/eu/trade/STG/USD Curve Finance Price for STG: https://curve.fi/factory-crypto/37 Follow me @RonanKMcGovern and @Pinotio_DeFi
sponsored by Trelis.com – simple payment links for crypto Show Notes: Alameda Research (buyers of all of auction phase 1): Alameda-Research.com Stargate Website: www.Stargate.Finance Centralised exchange for Stargate token: FTX.com… Read More »Stargate Episode 5: Community Auction
A recap of the Stargate March 2022 auction – what went right and wrong. For more: Twitter: @Pinotio_DeFi Newsletter/website: Pinotio.com Links: Twitter Stargatefinance Retrospective: https://twitter.com/StargateFinance/status/1504568944551673856 Stargate bonding: https://stargate.finance/bonding Curve.fi exchange:… Read More »Stargate Episode 4: Retrospective
The auction goes live! and, if you wait for it, bonding too! Follow me @Pinotio_DeFi on Twitter Find out whether I got in on the action and did well or… Read More »Stargate Episode 3: The Auction Goes Live
A provocative title, but a question that deserves more consideration than it receives – for reasons I will outline. By “renewables”, I specifically mean solar power and wind. The thesis… Read More »All-in on Renewables: A Mistake for Humanity?
Summary: The price of a currency is determined by its circulating volume and velocity. The lower the velocity (higher the holding period) the higher the price. The more people see… Read More »Valuing Bitcoin and Ether based on Censorship Resistant Record-Keeping
Summary: Never miss a leap year Recognising talent on the dance floor The virtues of cash O Canada The future Leap Years It’s well known that every four years is… Read More »January 2022 Newsletter: Spotting talent on the dance floor.
Trust networks as a basis for payment networks, an interesting project by a subsidiary of Block (formerly Square). tbDEX. A case for Bitcoin: https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/is-bitcoin-anarchy-or-civilization . A case against Bitcoin. https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/the-case-against-bitcoin… Read More »Weekend links – Jan 28th 2022
I’ve recently being exploring the potential for mining Bitcoin for the owner of a 100 MW+ wind farm. I looked at two strategies: Continuously mining Bitcoin = difficult because wind… Read More »Does the Renewable Energy Argument for Bitcoin make any sense?
People that are both quick thinkers but also doing something abnormal. You also need to know enough of them to see a pattern, but not so many that they are just following a crowd.
Summary: Helium rewards rate is down, but price is up! How Bitcoin lightning works My take on the Uniswap Flipside debacle Helium rewards tank but but price is up Those… Read More »Pinotio's Weekly Recap – August 25th 2021
Plus Surplus Buffers, Preventing Governance Attacks, and Vitalik Challenges How DAOs vote Grant Debacles on Uniswap Blockchain protocols often reserve a portion of their governance tokens for community grants to… Read More »DeFi Governance Weekly. Grant Debacles on Uniswap
Summary: Crypto Index Investing. Ethereum 2.0 vs Polygon vs Celo. Decentralisation versus Transaction Speed. Crypto Index Investing Just as there is the S&P500 index for stocks, indices are emerging in… Read More »Pinotio's Weekly Recap – August 18th 2021
Summary Reading this book served as a reminder to me to create more blocks of focused timed with a clear purpose. Even if the book hadn’t been good, it would… Read More »Don't blame your phone for being distracted: A Review of "Indistractable" by Nir Eyal
Nir Eyal makes a somewhat contrarian point that mobile phones aren’t to blame for distraction. His view is that “you can’t call something a distraction unless you know what it’s distracting you from”.
Summary: Celo protocol delays decision on how to pull token emissions back on target. Comparing Celo vs Ethereum 2.0 in how they set staking rewards. Celo delays decision on how… Read More »DeFi Governance Weekly – August 13th 2021. Proof of Stake – Celo vs Ethereum 2.0
Summary: What is Bitcoin lightning and should I set up a node? Understanding the Celo blockchain. Bitcoin Lightning At the time of writing, Bitcoin transactions can take over ten minutes… Read More »Pinotio's Weekly Recap – August 11th 2021
Summary: This week, I’ll focus on the Celo platform’s token economics and governance token emissions. First, in other news: Gary Gensler gives a speech indicating his initial approach to US… Read More »DeFi Governance Weekly – Aug 6th 2021 – A Focus on Celo
Summary: If you own a Helium hotspot, the rewards you earn are typically taxable. Tax is commonly based on the fiat value of the tokens at the time of receipt.… Read More »How do I calculate taxes on Helium Hotspot rewards?
Subscribe at Pinotio.com to get a weekly briefing on DeFi opportunities and governance. Summary: Celo is a proof of stake blockchain with low gas fees (often $0.001 per transaction) Celo… Read More »How to automatically invest in 50% in BTC, 50% in ETH?
Get weekly governance updates by subscribing at Pinotio.com Summary: Celo governance considers adding MCO2 carbon credits to its reserve. MakerDAO forum gets philosophical on the meaning of a DAO Uniswap… Read More »DeFi Governance Weekly: Celo considers Carbon Credits
You can find an up to date version of this article here. Summary: By hosting a Helium hotspot you can earn HNT tokens for providing network coverage. Token earnings depend… Read More »Helium Hotspots: Make Money While you Relax?
I thought I would start this blog by coining a new word – philentropy – a hybrid of philanthropy and entropy. I decided not to because it made the blog look disorderly.
May 21st 2021 An updated version of this article can be found here. Summary: -24% return on initial funds to date, and -14% for the week. Ouch! Rewards earned were… Read More »How fast can I grow $1,000 in DeFi: Week 5. Crypto Crash!
Decentralised systems today are inefficient, but that may change. Just as computers went from factories to phones, technology may take us to a point where factors other than efficiency result in the decentralisation of information.
May 14th 2021 An updated version of this article can be found here. Summary: -11% return on initial funds to date, and -4% for the week Rewards earned were about… Read More »How fast can I grow $1,000 in DeFi: Week 4. A boring but perhaps wise thesis.
May 7th 2021 An updated version of this article can be found here. Summary: -5% return on initial funds to date. Earning about 2% in rewards per week. Removed borrowing… Read More »How fast can I grow $1,000 in DeFi: Week 3 – I need to simplify
I am concerned about Berkshire post-Buffett. Greg Abel as future CEO stands a chance of preserving the Berkshire culture of operating its businesses independently. However, it will become increasingly difficult without Buffet’s large vote, and, with the rise of index investing to resist short term pressures index investment groups. For now, I will continue to hold 30% of my liquid net worth in Berkshire and sleep well.
April 30th 2021 An updated version of this article can be found here. Summary: 2.5% return for week 1, expect more volatility in future weeks. Added a second farming pool… Read More »How fast can I grow $1,000 in DeFi: Week 2
April 22nd 2021 It’s day 1 and I’m starting off with $1,000 ($1,117.18 to be precise) to invest in Harvest.Finance. My initial rules are as follows: Invest 50% of my… Read More »How fast can I grow $1,000 in DeFi? – Week 1.
Summary: Uniswap v3 is going live on May 5th. A summary of how non-defi exchanges work How Uniswap v1 was radically different Why Uniswap v3 should allow Uniswap to outperform… Read More »Uniswap v3 is a Big Deal – and not just for crypto
Balaji proposes seven models for establishing a new state. I contribute two further models that provide useful comparisons for what 1929.com is trying to achieve: 8) Big Tech as independent… Read More »Review of 1729.com's "How to Start a New Country"
Some might fault a fixed monetary supply for the deflationary nature of prices in such a system. With prices falling some might argue that people will be reluctant to spend.… Read More »The deflationary aspect of a fixed monetary supply is neither a feature nor a bug
Jens Parsson documents hyperinflation in the German Weimar Republic in his book The Dying of Money. At that time, the German government: had a lot of debt (from the Versailles… Read More »Bitcoin, Weimar Germany and the value of a fixed monetary supply
A common argument against the value of cryptocurrencies goes as follows (quotation my own): For an asset to have value, there must be an underlying physical commodity (e.g. gold) or… Read More »The analogy between Bitcoin and Roman currency in the dark ages
The US stock market index has not progressed since 1971 if you denominate the index in ounces of gold rather than dollars. This is true but neglects the role of dividends in driving stock market returns. Including dividends, the total stock market return is close to 4X that of gold.
Deutsch raises the question: “What is the basis for sustainability?” Should sustainability be based upon living standards of the 1800s or the 1900s or the 2000s? Or is sustainability the wrong approach? For Deutsch, the answer is not sustainability, it is infinite progress.
Summary I think that the risk of a major cybersecurity threat – of similar economic magnitude to COVID – is under-appreciated. My friend recently got hacked and this highlighted how… Read More »Now is a good time to prepare for your phone and computer getting hacked
Summary: The friction between crypto and nation states is fundamentally about tax. Tax compliance issues with earning, exchanging and selling crypto are under-appreciated by crypto protocols, crypto users and governments.… Read More »Crypto v Nation States: A Battle about Tax
Summary: Berkshire Hathaway’s 2020 Annual Report was released on March 1st 2021. Buffett did not make any big sales or acquisitions in 2020, so the business is little changed from… Read More »Berkshire's largest investment in 2020 was itself
Summary With 10-year treasury rates rising there are increased concerns about inflation. While hyperinflation is far from guaranteed, rising rates serve as a good prompt for considering how crypto would… Read More »Crypto Performance During Hyperinflation
Summary: Lending platforms tend to disproportionately lend stable coins and collateralise with volatile cryptos like BTC or ETH. This makes depositors on DeFi lending platforms long BTC/ETH, not market neutral.… Read More »Are DeFi Lending Platforms like Compound and Aave market neutral?
This post is kept up to date here. Summary: We are in the growth stage of DeFi where new protocols are showering participants, and themselves, with governance tokens. Rewards from… Read More »FARMers losing sight of selling shovels
Before You Get Started on Part 5. This was last updated on Feb 10th 2021, the latest version is always kept here. Unlike the previous four parts of the course,… Read More »DeFi Mini-Course Part 5: Stablecoins & Celo
How to cheaply and legally offer COVID testing within your company or organisation. #rapidtesting #antigen #covid19 @rapidtests @donnellystephen
Helium provides a communication network using hotspots that people install in their homes.
As a hotspot owner you earn helium tokens – a cryptocurrency – for providing coverage.
There are now about 5,000 hotspots in the world, providing full coverage in most major US cities.
So far, the Helium network has been used for tagging/tracking devices and also smart water meters, among other applications.
This is a learn-by-doing mini-course in decentralised finance (DeFi). The idea is to let you explore how decentralised finance works and how to make (or lose!) money in decentralised finance.
Isolation based on COVID symptoms is helpful and important, but far from perfect.
Contagion can happen before symptoms or without symptoms.
An inaccurate test (say, 30% false negatives) is likely more accurate than isolating based on symptoms.
Cheap quick (15 min) antigen tests accurately detect contagiousness (often 95%+).
Governments should make emergency allowance for antigen tests that are authorised for clinical use to be used at home. They’re easy to use.
Alfa Laval Acquires Sandymount Technologies. https://www.alfalaval.com/media/news/investors/2021/alfa-laval-acquires-unique-technology-to-strengthen-its-position-in-sustainable-beer-production/
Summary Whether you think Twitter/Facebook should ban users or not, the crux of the matter is that Facebook/Twitter have a lot of influence. Mastodon.online provides a more decentralised version of… Read More »What alternatives to Facebook and Twitter?
Cheap COVID antigen tests are available with high specificity and sensitivity
They are easy to use and give results in 15 mins
In the EU, they are only approved for clinical use.
Government could greatly expand testing simply by allowing people to test at home.
Humble words and increased preparations are signs that the enemy is about to advance. Violent language and driving forward as if to the attack are signs that he will retreat.
Summary: Vaccines are welcome, but viruses can mutate. Quick and cheap home COVID tests should be a priority for individuals and governments as a complement to vaccines. COVID likely spreads… Read More »COVID Notes: Ventilation & Anyone know where to buy home test strips?
It’s good that vaccines are progressing. However, we should remain cautious because it is possible COVID will mutate, and the vaccine will become less effective. While the vaccine is rolling out, the higher number of infections, the easier for the vaccine to mutate.
Affiliate marketing allows you to get paid a commission when you link products from your website or social media accounts.
Many companies have an affiliate program, including Amazon, that is easy to sign up for.
I set up an Amazon affiliate account and made videos for two products I like to see how it works. Here is what I learned.
It is entirely possible that advertising works, but digital advertising is in a bubble. My direct experience with paid advertising, and my reading of the references above, have brought this to light for me, although I am far from the first.
Bitcoin provokes strong reactions – positive and negative. Warren Buffett thinks Bitcoin is a bubble (“rat poison squared”). Meanwhile, large public companies are starting to get on board with Bitcoin – Square recently bought $50M worth and Paypal are planning to add Bitcoin to Venmo in 2021.
Overview: Around the anniversary of Emancipation Day earlier this year, I was wondering what it was like to live as a slave in the USA at that time. I went… Read More »Quotes from "Up from Slavery" by Booker T. Washington
The US economy was quite resilient to the COVID-19 pandemic on aggregate, but the effects on specific sectors – notably services – was severe.
Over the three-month period, the business was involved in producing over 1.2M bottles of hand sanitizer… with $500,000 donated as of the end of August, split between five charities: Fathers Uplift Inc.; Y2Y Network; Fresno Barrios Unidos; My Stuff Bags Foundation; and Urban Revival Inc.
Mr. Buffett has thought through the matter of donating his shares carefully and, I believe, largely mitigated associated risks by i) spreading out the donation of shares over time and ii) gradually reducing the amount of shares donated each year so that the dollar value of shares entering the market via share sales by foundations is somewhat stabilised.
Over the weekend, I set up a new website for Point 5 non-alcoholic beer using Shopify. Previously, I had been using wordpress/woocommerce in a way that was taking a lot… Read More »How hard is it to create an eCommerce store?
Thanks to Trond Undheim for inviting me on his podcast earlier this week to talk about the future of beverages. Link here: https://www.futurized.co/e/future_beverages/ .
Hi folks, to better serve businesses, we are now selling half gallon jugs on ShopRespond.com – they come in four packs with one pump, so you basically have one pump… Read More »Selling half gallon sanitizer jugs with pumps
Over the last few months, the Point 5 team has been selling on a third party online store. As of today, Point 5 is now also selling directly on our… Read More »Making it easier for you to try non-alcoholic beer
When the COVID-19 Response team (Anton, Ad, Dana, Gina, John, Barry) got together, one of the issues in getting hand sanitizer production started was finding the money to pay for… Read More »A brief story about selling hand sanitizer online.
By now, many of us are wearing masks when outdoors. I’ve found it tricky to get a comfortable fabric mask, and I’ve been lucky that my housemate’s girlfriend made me… Read More »Your ideas for making a lot of simple fabric masks
Warren Buffett is likely the world’s most famous living investor. Each year, his company (Berkshire) holds a meeting with over 40,000 people where he takes questions for about six hours.… Read More »Ronan's Live Pre-Stream to the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting (Warren Buffett's Company)
Warren Buffett is likely the world’s most famous living investor. Each year, his company (Berkshire) holds a meeting with over 40,000 people where he takes questions for about six hours.… Read More »Ronan’s Live Pre-Stream to the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting (Warren Buffett’s Company)
It’s a thought that dawned on me when chatting with my mother today. I feel that people are so focused on figuring out when the economy will reopen that we… Read More »Has your business got PPE for when the economy reopens?
Hi folks, Covid-19 Response LLC is taking orders for order sizes of 200,000 to 1,200,000 bottles of 8oz hand sanitizer. The next available batch will ship on Friday May 8th.… Read More »Taking large orders for 8oz hand sanitizer
Point 5 has started to do some online ads for our non-alcoholic beer. Ping me if you have bought some online and would be willing to shoot a very short… Read More »Can you help me with a short video on Point 5?
Introduction. Price matters to me when I am investing. The lower the price the more I invest. To get the best return, I don’t want to be too diversified. I… Read More »Some ideas I use for investing. Part 3.
Introduction: I pick stocks using rules that select for companies that have a low levels of debt, that have a trusted CEO and are priced at a level that is… Read More »Some ideas that I use for investing. Part 2.
Introduction A simple way to invest is to split my money 50-50 between stocks and bonds – that is what I do with my 401k (retirement plan). For my other… Read More »Some ideas that I use for investing. Part 1.
Howdy folks, about time for me to knock the cobwebs off of this blog. Here are a few things I’ve been working on lately that you may be interested in.… Read More »Some things I'm working on – Monday April 13th 2020
Howdy folks, about time for me to knock the cobwebs off of this blog. Here are a few things I’ve been working on lately that you may be interested in.… Read More »Some things I’m working on – Monday April 13th 2020
The cover of Harari’s book reads “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind”. In fact, the book is more a philosophical meditation on the past, present and future of humans than… Read More »Sapiens: My review of a book about humans
1. Debt: The First 5,000 Years, By David Graeber. Great book because it gets us out of our very modern and restricted understanding of how money and debt work. Perhaps,… Read More »Pure Decent Books About How the World Works – May 2016
Based on what I know today today, I estimate that entrepreneurship is one third talent, one third luck and one third wisdom. Talent is not teachable and, at present, is… Read More »Part 9: Entrepreneurship = Luck + Talent + Wisdom
Sell when your company has achieved its mission. Sell when you have run out of ideas. Sell when the buyer offers a price that you feel reflects the company’s full… Read More »Can you teach entrepreneurship? Part 8: When to sell?
Success in a startup requires skill in big sales. It is not widely known or accepted but big sales (e.g. which include hiring employees, getting investors and selling expensive products), require a… Read More »Can you teach entrepreneurship? Part 7: Be a master of big sales
A startup’s market size must be big enough to justify any upfront investment. Applying this logic suggests $5 million is a very minimum empirical market size for software startups. The same… Read More »Can you teach entrepreneurship – Part 6: Mastering Market Size
Over the last while, I’ve frequently heard that serial entrepreneurs have a higher probability of success. Mistakenly, though, I’ve taken this statement to mean that entrepreneurs improve by learning from past… Read More »Part 4: Prior startup experience may not help much
Have you ever tried to make a decision by writing down, weighting and then rating a few different factors you felt were important? Maybe it was while picking a job,… Read More »Can you teach entrepreneurship? Part 3: How to make better decisions
In this part, I’m going to combine some rules of thumb to predict the success of a startup. The model will be based on three of the four characteristics that Peter Thiel feels are… Read More »Part 2: Check-boxes for startup success (inspired by Peter Thiel)
Based on taste tests, it turns out that experts are very bad at predicting the future price of fine Bordeaux wines – so realised Orley Ashenfelter, a Priceton economist. As… Read More »Part 1: Entrepreneurship is like evaluating a fancy bottle of wine
Giving advice on startups is really hard and I think this difficulty is frequently overlooked. It’s hard to advise on startups because, in the startup environment, you rarely see the same thing much more… Read More »Can you teach entrepreneurship, part 0: The importance of seeing things much more than once
The short version Plausibly yes. It does seem plausible that Mr. Trump could be richer today if he had invested his inheritance in a broad range of stocks and left it there… Read More »Could Donald Trump have made more money sitting on his hands?
It’s not technology! it’s not finance! Advertising, or perhaps more correctly, marketing is the solution to our water problems and here is why. There is a great solution out there to improving… Read More »Marketing is the solution to our world's water problems
It’s not technology! it’s not finance! Advertising, or perhaps more correctly, marketing is the solution to our water problems and here is why. There is a great solution out there to improving… Read More »Marketing is the solution to our world’s water problems
I often like to ask myself whether I was arguing because there really wasn’t enough at stake. Many times I find this to be true and I’d like to try to… Read More »The most important consideration in an argument
The strategy of investing in hundreds of early stage startups per year appears, at least in one case, to allow a return of more than 80% year on year. This… Read More »The best way to make a fortune investing in startups
In a recently published paper in the Journal of Membrane Science, Prof. Syed Zubair, Prof. Lienhard and I reported on how the cost of achieving high purity water with electrodialysis, an electrically driven… Read More »The benefits of hybridising electrodialysis with reverse osmosis
This blog is based upon “The cost effectiveness of electrodialysis for diverse salinity applications” by Ronan K. McGovern, Syed M. Zubair and John H. Lienhard, published in Desalination. For researchers… Read More »Desalination: Is it better to remove the water or the salt?
by Ronan K. McGovern This decade may be remembered for a debate between two similarly named desalination technologies, perhaps to be known as the “reverse osmosis vs forward osmosis (RO vs FO) debacle”.… Read More »Perspective: A new future for desalination?
Next Wednesday, April 23rd 2014, I will present the research I have conducted over the past two and a half years. This presentation, the details of which follow, is open to… Read More »Doctoral Defense: Future Desalination Processes and Applications
Hannah Arendt is a the most complex and masterful of films that I, in my short years, have seen. The film, so fraught with subtlety and infused with dilemmas, can… Read More »Hannah Arendt, The Film – A Masterpiece
“If your parents didn’t have children, the chances are you won’t have children either”. One of my uncle’s favourite jokes reminds us, at a deeper level, that the present wouldn’t… Read More »As an engineer, great rewards and great responsibilities lie in wait
March 16th marks the date where, amongst other changes, the US patent system, will assign priority to patents based upon their date of filing rather than the date of invention*. Until… Read More »US Patents: Being first is about to change
Ah yeah, Miroslav the Serbian tour guide, what a creation. “My name is Miroslav, but people call me Mike, which is kind of like Mickey or Mickey mouse….”. Talking isn’t… Read More »Miroslav… it means I’m slavic but I won’t kill you
We’ve all seen that person wearing a green leprechaun hat in the middle of July, who orders half a pint of Guinness and then pays a 20% tip. This, in… Read More »When it’s all too obvious you’re a tourist
Apparently there are 6,309 spoken languages in the world, as catalogued and described in the book “Languages of the World”, according to the Wikipedia. So it turns out that to… Read More »5 Crucial Words to Learn in Every Language
I was thinking of telling ye the word for what I study, but it doesn’t really explain anything, so I’ll settle for explaining that my work involves studying work. Now… Read More »And that was when I decided I'd tell you what I've been studying all these years…
I was thinking of telling ye the word for what I study, but it doesn’t really explain anything, so I’ll settle for explaining that my work involves studying work. Now… Read More »And that was when I decided I’d tell you what I’ve been studying all these years…
Winnin’ the Irish lotto, Z’not nearly as good as fudge, You’ll be hassled for ransoms, And pints for the lads, And you’ll never get out of the woods. Myself, here… Read More »Even Better than Winning the Lotto… Eating Fudge
Backdated to Friday 8th January 2011. The Koran’s in under the telly and the fridge’s beer is non-alcoholic. Welcome to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the land of well, from… Read More »Into the Kingdom – Where Oil's Abundant but Water Scarce
Backdated to Friday 8th January 2011. The Koran’s in under the telly and the fridge’s beer is non-alcoholic. Welcome to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the land of well, from… Read More »Into the Kingdom – Where Oil’s Abundant but Water Scarce
This article appeared in MIT’s “The Tech” on Friday 19th November 2010 and is available at the following location: http://tech.mit.edu/V130/N55/mcgovern.html Who are those late night orators, keeping real and YouTube crowds… Read More »The Value of Being Seriously Funny
Low Fat Granola, ’tis a sweet death Ah yeah, death is never sweet, unless of course you overdose on well sweetened US Granola, or indeed a pile of sugar. They… Read More »Overdosing on Low Fat Granola – It's a Sweet Death
Low Fat Granola, ’tis a sweet death Ah yeah, death is never sweet, unless of course you overdose on well sweetened US Granola, or indeed a pile of sugar. They… Read More »Overdosing on Low Fat Granola – It’s a Sweet Death
This article appeared in MIT’s “The Tech” newspaper on Tuesday 19th October 2010 and is available at the following link: http://tech.mit.edu/V130/N46/mcgovern.html What were they, those three fundamental human requirements, now superseded… Read More »Opinion: Taste requires quality; nutrition is more about quantity
This article appeared in MIT’s “The Tech” newspaper on Tuesday 12th October 2010 and is available at the following link: http://tech.mit.edu/V130/N44/mcgovern.html I’ve now spent two months seeing gas priced per… Read More »The world’s imperceptible slide towards standardization
Three eighteen inch pizzas, plus one slice, in ten minutes and two seconds. 16.27 seconds per slice if you prefer the SI units! Joey Chestnut, he’s your man, a world… Read More »Eating Your Way to 37 Pizza Slices in Ten Minutes