Weekly Learnings Week 42

Quote(s) of the week

Do your reps. – Arnold Schwarzenegger

Do your scales. – Anne Lamotte

Thoughts of the week

This week I thought a lot about the quotes above. I think they have a lot to do with progress and success in life.

We all have our routines and our process of the things we believe in. Eg. exercising regularly, reading, eating healthy,… Those routines are fairly easy to keep, when things go as intended. But the moment anything goes off track, those routines are in danger: We question ourselves, we get sloppy, we don‘t feel like sticking to them,…

And this is exactly what those quotes are about. Winners stick to they routines because they know exactly that those will lead to success. No matter what other people tell them, no matter what life throws at them, no matter if they are in a bad mood – they will stick to their habits. Discipline – also one of these invisible abilities – is critical to your own success.

Do more, practice more, learn more. Stick to your process. Do your reps.

What I learned this week

We over- and underestimate the impact of technology

5 years ago I bought my first stocks. One of them was Stratasys, one of the biggest names in 3D printing technology. Back then, everyone was into 3D printing. No one was questioning, that every household would have it’s own 3D printer and that the second industrial revolution was at the doorstep.

Basically 3D printing was just about to take over the world. 2.5 years later I sold the stock at a >50% loss – I needed to money to buy a new car. At that point, no one was talking about 3D printing anymore.

The same is true for the blockchain. Exactly one year ago, Bitcoin was experiencing it’s first bubble. Everyone was talking, how this new fancy technology (the blockchain) would take over the world. Today? No one is so sure anymore. For some applications it might be too slow and expensive. For others it’s just hard to make it really practicable. And for some, the time just has not come yet.

Nowadays, everyone is talking how AI & self-driving cars are taking over. Sometimes it feels, like we would be out of jobs within 10 years. It won’t happen that quickly for sure. Take self driving cars for an example. Under controlled conditions the technology already works pretty well. But imagine a winter mountain road that is slippery and narrow. Roundabouts are still a major challenge, as so much communication is going on between human drivers. We are not just there yet.

I think it’s fascinating, how we overestimate (and later underestimate) the impact of technology. Our tribal instincts act like a vicious circle and we all push ourselves into some artificial hysteria. At some point, all of those technologies will find their way into the industry but it will be a lot slower than we all expect.

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Bitcoin as the gold standard of crypto currency

A lot of people read Sapiens: A brief history of humankind and I encourage everyone to read it. It’s an amazing book. One section is about money and how currencies’s value is justified: Because people believe in it. Quickly summarizied: Currencies are just pieces of paper and metal. But we’ve all agreed on trading goods for it, so it is worth something. And therefore it’s actually one of the greatest inventions of humankind.

But what about gold? Think of it: currencies came and vanished, got devalued and got substituted. However, Gold was traded for 1000 of years and never vanished or lost it’s value. Why? Because it’s a scarce resource, it’s supply is heavily limited (we add max. ~1% of gold to the wold’s gold supply nowadays). It’s probably one of the safest investments ever.

Every time there is a war (which means there is great economic uncertainty and money gets devalued quickly), people buy gold and the gold price rises. Same goes for great economic uncertainty: as soon as the major stock indices tank, Gold apprecciates in value.

So, what about Bitcoin? You could easily make the point, that Bitcoin should underlie similar economic mechanics: It cannot be influenced by governments and it’s supply is stricktly limited. But it’s easier to trade Bitcoin than eg. Gold: You don’t need to trade it at a local bank and you can easily accept bitcoin as a method of payment. Just open a crypto wallet – that’s it.

Therefore it will be really interesting to see what happens during the next period of hyperinflation (eg. Venezuela), and if people will really switch to crypto. If that is the case, countries could, 1 by 1, switch to cryptocurrencies. Interesting idea.

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Reading 200 books a year?

I found it fascinating to think about reading 200 books a year. 

Here is some math how to do it: The average book has 50k words, times 200 books is 10 Million words. 10 Million words divided by 400 words a minute 25k minutes or 417 hours. 417 divided by 356 makes around 1.2 hours of reading a day.

That is actually not that much. It‘s a lot about discipline: I waste too much time on social networks. If I would use this time more efficiently reading, I could probably read a lot more.

Probably sounds easier than it is. Still worth a try.

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Cool thing of the week

Visualized flight traffic looks like firebirds!

24 hours of global air traffic in 4 seconds

Benedict

VP @Mindbreeze, Ex-Product @Runtastic, addicted to #sports, #music, #tech and #economics (and #coffee)

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