In today’s podcast I discuss:
- The best selling author Malcolm Gladwell’s latest comments about success
- AirBnb’s successful IPO
- The British Pound falling on hopes of a deal with the EU fading
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For your convenience, and to give credit to the original writers, I have included links to the articles I referred to and copied them below.
- Malcolm Gladwell Says 3 Unusual Words Separate People Who Achieve From Those Who Just Daydream – Inc.com
All of us try to predict the future. What customers will want. What competitors will do. Whether an investment will pay off. How something we consider doing — how just about everything we consider doing — will turn out.
So we analyze. We evaluate. We play out scenarios. We think and ponder and dwell.
And oftentimes don’t actually do anything.
Because no matter how hard you try, there’s no way to truly know what will happen. So how can you stop overthinking, and start doing?
According to Malcolm Gladwell, the key is to stop seeing uncertainty as the problem, and to start seeing uncertainty as the solution.
And to repeat these three words:
“Hamlet was wrong.”
When Cathy Heller, the host of the podcast Don’t Keep Your Day Job, asked Gladwell for tips on how to stop dwelling and start doing, Gladwell referred to the approach taken by renowned economist Albert Hirschmann.
According to Hirschmann, not knowing the future shouldn’t hold you back. Not knowing the future should free you. Since it’s impossible to know how things will work out, why worry? Why hesitate? Take a shot. Take a chance. Do what you think makes sense.
While you can’t know how things will turn out, what you can know is that doing something meaningful and fun will in itself be worth the effort.
What you can know is that the process of pursuing whatever it is you want to pursue — if it’s a goal you choose, desire, and believe in — is worth it, no matter what the result.
Hirschmann called it the “Hamlet was wrong approach.” Hamlet was a classic overthinker: He analyzed, he evaluated, he pondered and dwelled and agonized … and made his life miserable.
As Gladwell said, “This belief we have that the future is knowable is crazy. People need to have the freedom to take more chances.”
Even better, you need to feel free to take more chances.
Because you can’t know.
Ever heard someone say, “If I knew I would get promoted, then I would work harder”? Or “If I knew our customers would pay more, then we would do more”? Or “If I knew there would be a big payoff, I would sacrifice more”?
Successful people work harder first; that’s how they earn promotions. Successful businesses deliver greater value first; that’s how they earn higher revenue. Successful entrepreneurs work harder first, well before any potential return is in sight; that’s how they earn bigger payoffs.
Most people expect to know they will get a return before they will even consider working harder.
Successful people see compensation as the reward for exceptional effort, not the driver.
You can’t know the future.
So don’t try.
Bet on yourself. Do what you think makes sense today. Do what you feel is right today.
While you can never be certain your hard work will pay off, you can be certain that thinking instead of doing will never pay off.
Airbnb opened at $146 on the Nasdaq, far above the IPO price of $68 per share that raised $3.5 billion for the company. The stock hit a high of $165 and closed at $144.71
Shares of Airbnb Inc more than doubled in their stock market debut on Thursday, valuing the home rental firm at just over $100 billion in the biggest U.S. initial public offering (IPO) of 2020 and capping a bumper year in which investors flocked to tech stocks.
Airbnb opened at $146 on the Nasdaq, far above the IPO price of $68 per share that raised $3.5 billion for the company. The stock hit a high of $165 and closed at $144.71.
The IPO is the culmination of a stunning recovery in Airbnb’s fortunes after the firm’s business was heavily damaged by the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year.
But as lockdowns eased, more travelers opted to book homes instead of hotels, helping Airbnb post a surprise profit for the third quarter. The San Francisco-based firm also gained from increased interest in renting homes away from major cities.
“I don’t think this summer too many people expected to see an Airbnb IPO this year,” Airbnb Chief Executive Brian Chesky told Reuters in an interview.
“We were planning on going public, we put our IPO on hold and this has been the most unbelievable journey. It’s been quite a comeback for our hosts and for what I hope will be travel,” added Chesky, whose Airbnb stake is now worth around $11 billion.
Founded in 2008 as a website to take bookings for rooms during conferences, Airbnb’s listing was one of the most anticipated U.S. IPOs of 2020, which has already been a record year for stock market listings.
Record label Warner Music Group, data analytics firm Palantir Technologies and data warehouse company Snowflake Inc have all gone public in the past few months.
At the start of trading on the Nasdaq, Airbnb had a market capitalization of $86.5 billion, eclipsing that of online travel agency Booking Holdings Inc and hotel chain Marriott International Inc.
Including securities such as options and restricted stock units, Airbnb’s fully diluted valuation came to $100.7 billion, more than five times the $18 billion Airbnb was valued at in a private fundraising round in April at the outset of the pandemic. Airbnb’s worth was pegged at $31 billion in its last pre-COVID-19 private fundraising in 2017.
The eye-popping rise in Airbnb’s stock on its debut comes just a day after the share price of food delivery company DoorDash Inc doubled in their first day of trading.
Such large first-day trading gains are likely to fuel criticism from some venture capital investors, including Benchmark’s Bill Gurley, who argue investment banks underprice IPOs so their investor clients can score large gains when the stock starts trading. Such advocates have pushed for companies to consider listing shares through a direct listing, in which bankers have little influence on the price at which stock is sold.
Chesky said Airbnb would focus on the things that were within the company’s control.
“At this point the price of stock is not something we control. I’ve encouraged our employees to focus on things they can control,” Chesky said, speaking before the stock had started trading.
The pound fell against the dollar on Friday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a no-deal Brexit looked “very, very likely”.
Sterling fell nearly 1.2% before clawing back some ground when both the German and Irish foreign ministers said an agreement between the UK and the EU is still possible.
Both sides have until Sunday to reach a deal on trading from 1 January.
Talks are deadlocked on a handful of key issues, including fishing quotas.
The pound is trading 0.6% lower against the dollar at $1.3220, while it’s down 0.3% against the euro to €1.0915.
There had been speculation that the UK and the EU were close to a deal last weekend, however since then discussions have reached an impasse.
Mr Johnson said: “It’s looking very, very likely we’ll have to go for a solution that I think will be wonderful for the UK.
“If there’s a big offer, a big change in what they’re saying then I must say that I’m yet to see it.”
CMC Markets analyst, David Madden, said: “The UK-EU relationship has gone from bad to worse in the past 24 hours and that goes for sterling too.
“Traders are turning their back on the pound as the language being used now is more serious and a fears of a no-deal have increased considerably.
But later on Friday, Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas said: “We believe finding a solution in the talks is difficult but possible.”
His Irish counterpart Simon Coveney said he believed “it’s possible to get a deal on a future relationship and on a trade agreement.”
Boris Johnson says there is a “strong possibility” the UK will fail to strike a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU.
Speaking for the first time since a crunch meeting in Brussels, the PM said “now is the time” for firms and people to prepare for a no deal outcome.
Talks continue between the two sides but Mr Johnson said they were “not yet there at all” in securing a deal.
Time is running out to reach an agreement before the UK stops following EU trade rules on 31 December.
Weeks of intensive talks between officials have failed to overcome obstacles in key areas, including competition rules and fishing rights.
Mr Johnson met European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday, but the pair failed to make a breakthrough.
Mr Johnson pledged British negotiators, who earlier resumed talks with their EU counterparts in Brussels, would “go the extra mile” to reach a deal.
But he said the EU wanted to keep the UK “locked” into its legal system, or face punishments such as taxes on imports, which had “made things much more difficult”.
The PM added that the EU’s proposals would mean, despite leaving the bloc earlier this year, the UK would be forced to remain a “twin” of the 27-country organisation.
“At the moment, I have to tell you in all candour, the treaty is not there yet and that was the strong view of our cabinet,” he said.
Mr Johnson said that “looking at where we are,” it was vital the UK prepares for the “Australian-style option” of not having a free trade deal with the EU.
“There’s a strong possibility that we will have a solution much more like Australian relationship with the EU than a Canadian relationship with the EU,” he said.
Mr Johnson has insisted the country will “prosper” on these terms, but former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm said the UK should be “careful what you wish for”.
Mr Turnbull told BBC’s Question Time there were some “very large barriers to Australian trade with Europe”, adding: “Australians would not regard our trade relationship with Europe as being a satisfactory one.”
Will there be no deal? Right now it is just too hard to say.
But is Boris Johnson only trying to send messages to his opposite numbers? The answer is no.
On Wednesday we saw this whole saga move closer to what both sides would consider a failure – an inability to agree on a trade deal that had been in reach and is still in their mutual interest.
It may yet come to pass that the prime minster or the EU leadership will have a change of heart.
Of course the rhetoric does not tell us everything that’s going on.
But the PM’s warning tonight is far from just a message designed to be heard in EU capitals – whatever the merits of the decision he may take, Downing Street is preparing the ground for a choice to leave the status quo without firm arrangements in place.
Australia is negotiating a free trade deal with the EU but currently does not have one.
It largely does business with the EU on World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, but has a few arrangements in place, such as co-operation on science and trade on wine.
Moving to WTO rules on 31 December could result in tariffs being imposed leading to higher prices for the goods the UK buys and sells from and to the EU, among other changes.
Canada finalised a deal with the EU in 2017.
Mr Johnson said he “tried very hard to make progress” at his dinner with Mrs von der Leyen, but the EU was making things “unnecessarily difficult”.
Meanwhile, the EU has set out the contingency measures it would take in the event of no trade agreement being reached with the UK.
The plans aim to ensure that UK and EU air and road connections still run after the post-Brexit transition period ends on 31 December.
They also allow the possibility of fishing access to each other’s waters for up to a year, or until an agreement is reached.
Brexit – The basics
- Brexit happened but rules didn’t change at once: The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020, but leaders needed time to negotiate a deal for life afterwards – they got 11 months.
- Talks are happening: The UK and the EU have until 31 December 2020 to agree a trade deal as well as other things, such as fishing rights.
- If there is no deal: Border checks and taxes will be introduced for goods travelling between the UK and the EU. But deal or no deal, we will still see changes.
‘Balance of fairness’
EU leaders are meeting in the Belgian capital for a two day-summit of their own, although Brexit will not be the main focus.
A spokesman said they discussed the situation on Friday morning, but only for 10 minutes.
Arriving at the summit, Mrs von der Leyen said the conditions for a trade deal would have to be “fair for our workers and our companies.”
“This fine balance of fairness has not been achieved so far,” she said, adding that a decision would be taken on Sunday.
BBC Europe correspondent Kevin Connolly said the EU leaders had been preoccupied with disputes about their own budget, a maritime row with Turkey in the Mediterranean and coronavirus as they talked into the early hours of Friday morning.
“Brexit has not been the only priority here – perhaps not even the main one,” he said.
Before the PM’s remarks, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer urged Mr Johnson to “get on and deliver” a deal, adding the outstanding issues “are capable of resolution”.
Asked whether his party would back a deal in a vote in the Commons, he said: “We will look at it – and we will act in the national interest.”
“But on a straight choice between no deal and deal, then deal is clearly in the national interest,” he added.