Blog

Blue Ocean Strategy: A Review

I am reading Blue Ocean Strategy (Expanded Edition) by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne.  It is solid gold and I wish I’d read it 10 years ago.  The thing that surprises me most here is that nothing in here is “new”.  Apart from the case studies (which are excellent), I could not put my …

How to conduct a performance review

This is a tricky topic.  To conduct a performance review you need to know a) what is the performance you are measuring and b) what will you change as a result of that measurement, and c) how will that affect your employee.  Is your review process about coaching?  Or is it about salary?  Is it …

Airtasker IPO Raises Valuation Questions

The Airtasker IPO is shaping up to be interesting.  It’s one of my favourite niche topics – private market valuation meets public market investors.  My perception of Airtasker is that there has been a mismatch between perceived growth potential of the business (as measured by valuation) and its actual performance.  That disconnect was arrested painfully …

Intangible assets need maintenance too

“Soft” assets like brand and software are typically (but not always) created by investing through the income statement where the investment in the assets is expensed rather than capitalised as an intangible asset. This concept is widespread in investing and well understood. What I find really interesting is how this plays out in the explicit …

A header image showing positive and negative effects of change.

Team Alignment: Good transitions make it easier, and less stressful

A challenging task in management is achieving team alignment during a transition. In both fast- and slow-moving businesses, change can be punishing and it is hard to redirect energy to new problems and keep teams engaged in the process. Fast-moving businesses change too fast for comfort with the pace, and slow-moving organisations make people too …

Portfolio Review: CY2020

One of the best things I ever did (in 2016) was invest in a fund that focuses on fast-growing businesses.  Even asides from the actual performance of that style, this decision has made it much easier to stay emotionally grounded when the market is ripping higher. The benefits of that were extremely obvious this year. …

Xinja’s Pivot

I’m coining a new phrase, Xinja’s Pivot, to describe “bad-to-worse” changes in business direction.  Mark my words, three years from now it’ll be a hall-of-famer alongside Occam’s Razor and Maslow’s Hammer. Neobanking The thing about neobanks is that if you take the fees out of banking, you take most of the profits out too. What’s …

Sezzle’s (ASX:SZL) Meteoric Rise Raises More Questions Than Answers

Sezzle Inc (ASX:SZL) is an Australian Buy-Now Pay-Later (BNPL) company.  It is domiciled in the US and the majority of its operations are in that country. Underlying merchant sales are approaching a $1bn per year run-rate, which is not large – but not trivial, either.  Sezzle has a $1.1bn market cap on $32m in revenue …

A simple framework to reduce workplace stress

Workplace stress is about clarity. It is about priorities, capacity, and expectations. When you get those three right, the work environment is much less stressful. If you get it wrong, you’re gonna have a bad time. It is not rocket science, but it’s hard. For the purposes of this post, I plucked an academic publication …

Henry Morgan – 3 Years On

A bit over three years ago I began researching a company called Henry Morgan (ASX:HML), its sister company Benjamin Hornigold (ASX:BHD) and their investment manager, John Bridgeman (NSX:JBL).  During my research I posted on this blog, writing that “something doesn’t add up and I remain gravely concerned about the way that Henry Morgan and co …