Have published this one on Medium. Link here: Life lessons from Private Equity.
Feedback and comments welcome.
I found this essay in Atlantic’s 150 years celebration of the American Idea a few years ago. This is one of the first examples of what I think is a very high RoI read. It is always a pleasure to come across a mainstream, work-related thing written about in such literary form.
The way the essay explains and simplifies, and further explains, no amount of research reports, annual reports or data mining can do (in a short amount of time). It does something very unique. It engages you, holds your attention and sets the context – and sets the context in not just the formal, available to the market way, but with all the grapevine, gesture cues, body language and the soft information and the related context which is difficult to be gained by just reading reports on the screen.
After reading the above, if you get more interested in diamonds, here is a link to the Atlantic’s collection on diamonds over the years.
Just the possibility that there is a well written piece out there which is so spot-on in terms of imparting the soft knowledge of the industry leads me into this search mode again and again. And though sometimes, I come out disappointed after mining the internet, at other times what I get is equivalent to diamonds. And that is good enough.
Since we are still talking about diamonds, here is a report by Bain – and though this is more mainstream, it is a valuable one given the way it starts with the ABCs before getting into complex words.
One gets to constantly read something or the other, and carries a long reading/research list. And one has only so much time. What I refer to high RoI reads are those, where, in respect to the time you invest reading that piece, you get a lot of value out of them.
RoI (Return on Investment, here the investment being time) is a subjective matter. It is a function of where you currently are and how much familiarity you might have with the topic. If you know a lot about diamonds, you might not draw much from an essay on one. But if you know little, and get a chance to read an insightful article, you learn a lot in limited time. Someone has already spent weeks and months of research putting together that well thought-through essay, making it relevant for the reader.
Not just long form articles, or essays, relevant books on certain topics, certain infographics offer that value as well. And the way these pieces are written – they illuminate as well as floor you and entertain you. What better way to use your time! I am always on a lookout for such reads, which allow one to scale up quickly from a position of not-understanding to understanding, way beyond the first level.
Under this header of High RoI on this blog, I’ll list what I feel are high RoI pieces from my point of view, as I come across them. This is part of the reason of this notebook as well, as I feel I’ll lose track if I do not collect them somewhere. Happy to receive feedback and suggestions.