Ahoy matey

Jack Bogle was known as the “Father of Passive Investing”, but upon his death in 2019, he lamented his creation, as it later swung deeply into ETF territory. In fact, his disdain for ETFs was such that he even referred to the folks who traded them as “fruitcakes, nut cases and lunatic fringe.” Tell us how you really feel, Jack!

The road to hell is paved with good intentions

When Bogle created index funds in 1975, he aspired to offer retail investors a cheaper option to get off the sidelines to join the pros in the game. His pioneering model…


I know this may sound like an oxymoron, but hear me out. Collaborating with competitors is the way of the future because it can often be a boon for all parties involved. Think about it: if two companies are working towards the same goal, wouldn’t it logically make sense for them to pool their resources and get there faster? Yes, and let’s find out why.

Prioritize the problem

Uniting against a common enemy isn’t just for the military — companies do it too. Microsoft and Intel got their computing technologies into our homes by changing their competitive tactics to expand the pie and…


Being “other” can be pretty sweet

Being the default feels splendid because *gestures everywhere* life is tailored to your comfort, taste and priorities. Technology, cosmetics, professional industries, and even government structures are created with an ‘average’ consumer/user in mind. Now, don’t get me wrong. Being the norm while recovering from laser eye surgery, for example, is a gift; but not so much when it comes to radical innovation. Creativity and meaningful ingenuity stem from the outliers.

A royal rumble

Frank Sinatra and Prince were both cultural forces and came to be known as strong solo male singers, but Prince was a true artist. He played multiple…


As Gordon Ramsey has been known to say, “thank f*ck for that”

Sliding doors

It’s a fluke that one of the richest companies on the planet happens to be headquartered in Seattle. Microsoft was founded in New Mexico and moved to Washington because of Paul Allen. Allen wanted to live closer to his family in Seattle, where Bill Gates also hailed from, so the pair packed up shop and headed back home to the Pacific Northwest. This decision changed the course of history and technology forever.

Gates didn’t need to be in the valley to start Microsoft, and the same…


Everyday we navigate a sea of incentives in the form of sales commission, hourly wages, stock options, tax rebates, buy-one-get-one-free sales and so much more. When it comes to altering people’s behavior, logic can only get you so far. Incentives and punishment can promote social cooperation, protect the public and discourage ethically dubious actions within the marketplace. Good rules create a code of conduct that keeps systems running smoothly, but once humans are added into the mix, unintended consequences may arise.

The complexities of human nature

An example from Harvard Business Review, outlines a daycare with a persistent tardy parent…


compass finding crowdfunding opportunities
compass finding crowdfunding opportunities

The financial industry has been in flux since the pandemic shuttered small businesses and pushed millions of Americans into unemployment, during the spring of 2020. This instability has threatened venture capital’s dominance and shifted focus to broader and more benevolent sources of funding, such as equity crowdfunding.

Investors in this economy can’t necessarily afford to roll the dice on more expensive unicorns, which should dial down the so-called ‘disruption’, allowing creative entrepreneurs and truly radical innovations a place in the spotlight.

Crowdfunding offers an inclusive environment where entrepreneurs are judged by the merit of their ideas, as opposed to their…


The risk and rewards of investing should be balanced for all participants

Since humanity’s early days in Mesopotamia, managing risk has been a necessary part of life. As I wrote in this previous post, Hammurabi’s Code was the first set of comprehensive rules for finance, so the concept of skin-in-the-game is nothing new. Rather, this concept has been watered down, and the once-level equilibrium is off-kilter. Author of “The Black Swan,” Nassim Nicholas Taleb, has what may be the most egalitarian and pragmatic view on the often misunderstood concept. Taleb’s version of skin-in-the-game boils down to a simple equation: you own it if you break it. Achieving this means equal consequences whether…


And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984.’

The commercial which deposited Apple on the map in the 80s was a nod to a dystopian sci-fi novel, foreshadowing the perils of a totalitarian government that heavily relies on technology for widespread monitoring and manipulation of its citizens. That hits close to home for a company responsible for “empty grandstanding about privacy,” staggering tax avoidance, and human rights issues in their factories several decades later.

*mirthless chuckle*

Facebook has become a tool for government propaganda, terrorist recruitment, genocide and more. Now the Feds are gunning for Zuckerberg’s creation, but it might already be too late.

Monopoly is no longer…


Pick up the pieces

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Friction is an opportunity for development, and discomfort can produce a pearl. An outdated social lens may cast aspersion upon people outside “traditional” systems and institutions, but they are actually a source of pragmatic wisdom. Take Wall Street recruitment processes for example.

At first glance, most people would naturally conclude the person working on the floor at Goldman Sachs would be a rich source of hiring information. But in actuality, the diverse candidates lacking social capital who couldn’t get their foot in the door, possess the expertise necessary for system-wide improvements. Just ask the folks at Wall Street Bound. Those…


VC investors could probably convince each other these are ‘unicorns’

Check out our new platform 🚀 https://thecapital.io/

Avoiding negative information won’t make shit disappear. Likewise, railroading people — particularly subordinates — into going against their good sense and better judgement, will not make a shitty idea, any less of a shitty idea.

Take Enron, for example. Someone had to have known that ‘cooking the books’ was a terrible idea. But, oh… that’s right, if they voiced their objection, they wouldn’t be considered a “team player.” Can’t have that.

Or take JFK’s Bay of Pigs. You mean to tell me that no one in the room voiced concern over the fact that the mission was already compromised because…

AJENE WATSON LLC

Business Management & Financial Services Consultant Focused on Development Stage Companies & Microcap Markets

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