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Welcome to the Oct 10th edition of the Old School Curated Links and News.
I provide the latest round of valuable content that I’ve been reading/following as well as short updates to Old School Value you may be interested in.
VIP List Growing
A few months ago, I started to separate people getting our emails into two groups.
- VIP list for those who wanted more.
- Regular list for those who wanted infrequent emails.
We started out with around 1400 people on the VIP list, and it’s grown to 2000 as more people are eager to receive what I’m sending.
Thank you in advance for all the replies. It’s good to see that I’m providing you with value.
Now, a question that comes up is from people who haven’t received VIP emails for a while.
I’ve a got a system in place that automatically gives and subtracts points to people based on whether they open emails or not.
If you haven’t received a VIP email for a while, it means that our system wasn’t able to recognize any emails being opened and your score dropped below 45 points (our threshold).
Lots of super reads this week.
Old School Value Articles You May Have Missed
- Henry Singleton, Teledyne, and Free Cash Flow
- 7 Cash Flow Ratios Every Value Investor Should Know
- How to Beat the Market with the Sloan Ratio
What We’re Reading in the Media
- Peter Lynch: Five Lessons from One of the Most Successful Mutual Fund Managers of All Time
- Liberty Media: Better than Berkshire
- Damodaran – On Venture Capital
Recent Books I’ve Read
- Phil Knight’s story of how it all started before Nike became a household name. You would think Nike “just did it”, but there’s rich detail in the struggles, the growing pains and the challenges they came up against as the company continued to grow.
- The constant wire balancing act of running a company with a debt to equity ratio of 90% for nearly two decades and teetering on the edge of bankruptcy every single month.
- As Nike was preparing for the IPO, Knight realizes how ridiculous the IPO process is. It’s just a guessing and marketing game.
- All-in-all, to get a better understand of the culture behind Nike and get some glimpses into the apparel and sportswear industry, Shoe Dog is a fantastic read.
- Tony Hseish’s story of Zappos.com. How he got started, sold everything he owned to go all in on Zappos.com while teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Ultimately survived, thrived and the culture that fueled its exponential growth.
- While Tony was running a VC firm, he realized that investing in businesses or industries you don’t understand and people you don’t trust or like is always non-beneficial.
- As the company was ramping up sales, they outsourced their inventory to a 3rd party logistics company so that they could be free of storing, packing and shipping to the customer. It was a disaster. The company couldn’t handle the volume. Huge lesson Tony took away: never outsource your core competency.
- Book has creative ideas to help your personal growth as well.
- Most businesses don’t have a competitive advantage. They say they do, but they don’t. However, customer service is truly a competitive advantage. A while back, I briefly wrote why customer service is an underrated intangible moat.
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