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Making Decisions

Lose the Jerks

I recently got this e-mail from a good friend: “Hi Vik. I need a bit of advice. I have this co-worker who is a total jerk. He keeps bad-mouthing me and generally gets in the way of my productivity. I’ve made some efforts to fix the situation; after all we’re supposed to be helping each [...]

Similarities Between Poker and Business

I’ve been an avid poker player for nearly 10 years now, and it always amazes me how many similarities there are between poker and business. Many people dismiss poker as a game of luck. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, on a given night some people will get luckier than others, but I [...]

Are You A Pirate or An Architect?

There are two types of people in the business world: Pirates and Architects. Architects add value to the world. They design valuable stuff. They create great businesses and build great teams. And they make lots of money. The ultimate architect is Steve Jobs. He started Apple when he was just a kid, and took it [...]

The Great Fundraising Racket

Happy Halloween! This year, I'd like to scare you all with a terrifying tale about money and mayhem… Several years ago, a former government employee named Alfred Villalobos quietly left his job to start up a new company called Arvco Financial Ventures. This new business focused on helping large investment funds (such as private equity [...]

What Is Your “F%&* You” Number?

A few weeks ago, I was having dinner with a good buddy of mine who's also in the process of starting a business. Like most dedicated entrepreneurs, he's working night and day to make this a reality, investing lots of time and money in the process. Now, I know from personal experience that entrepreneurship isn't [...]

Why Reflection is Important

Several weeks ago I met up with a close friend for coffee. My friend is a hyper-competitive person; she works in the finance industry and puts in a lot of hours every week. We started talking about the concept of time for reflection and immediately got into an argument. My friend claimed that reflecting on [...]

Don’t Let Your Ego Get in the Way

The year was 1979. Phil Jackson was working as an assistant coach for the New Jersey Nets basketball franchise. In one game, the head coach was ejected and Jackson was asked to take over. The Nets were one point ahead going into the final seconds and had possession of the ball. Jackson called a time-out [...]

How the Mighty Have Fallen

Great businesses aren’t easy to build, but what’s often harder to sustain their greatness over time. The same is true for our incomes. Perhaps you’re lucky enough to have built some nice streams of cash flow. At this point, many people would sit back, relax, and let the money roll in, when in fact they [...]

A Tale of Two Billionaire Brothers

In 1948 a young man from India was working as a gas station attendant in Aden, a small town in the Middle-Eastern country of Yemen. In 1958, the same young man returned to India to start his first company. It grew, and grew, and grew some more. In 2002, the once young man had become [...]

How the “Thinking Distortions” Cost Us Money

I was having lunch with my old boss a few weeks ago. This guy is one of my heroes; a private investor who made more than $30 million for himself through a series of disciplined investments. The interesting thing is that he’s not even that smart, or uniquely skilled. He’s not even a brilliant leader. [...]