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"Securities" by Lux Capital

Ideas on science, technology, finance and the human condition

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""Securities"" June 26, 2022

The need for vaporware skepticism

Photo by Leohoho on Unsplash

Tech has been bubbly, filled with the sultry air of unrealizable marketing. In Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson originated the concept of the “metaverse” and explained the experience of existing within that ethereal plane: Just ask the businessmen in the Nipponese Quadrant. They come here to talk turkey with suits from around the world, and they […]

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""Securities"" June 25, 2022

“Securities” Podcast: Vaporware skepticism

“Where marginal stupidity is about  “how there is a turning point where further information or complexity can befuddle us and simply raise costs without any concomitant value,”  what I am seeing in hard science investing is an outsourcing of thought,  a reliance on the splashy marketing one-pager instead of the agonizingly long technical research with the diligence […]

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""Securities"" June 19, 2022

National security and the decline of the VC exit

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Exits are the keystone of a robust venture economy. Ambitious entrepreneurs, helpful accelerators and fast-funding venture capitalists are all necessary inputs of course, but what attracts all this talent and capital in the first place is the opportunity to build something incredible and actually make money (and preferably a lot of it) while doing so. […]

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""Securities"" June 18, 2022

“Securities” Podcast: Lazy tech analogies

“The world is incredibly complicated, and humans necessarily use heuristics and analogies to process that complexity into simpler forms. These mental shortcuts are never perfect, but they should broadly summarize the complexity they represent while affording their user a sense of their limitations. In that vein, I want to call attention to two lazy tech […]

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""Securities"" June 14, 2022

“Securities” Podcast: Marginal Stupidity

“One of the most important cognitive tradeoffs we make is how to process information, and perhaps more specifically, the deluge of information that bombards us every day. A study out of UCSD in 2009 estimated that Americans read or hear more than 100,000 words a day —  an increase of nearly 350% over the prior three decades […]

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""Securities"" June 12, 2022

The marginal returns of information

Mandelbrot set fractal / Wikimedia / Creative Commons

One of the most important cognitive tradeoffs we make is how to process information, and perhaps more specifically, the deluge of information that bombards us every day. A study out of UCSD in 2009 estimated that Americans read or hear more than 100,000 words a day — an increase of nearly 350% over the prior […]

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""Securities"" June 11, 2022

“Securities” Podcast: The ESG Mirage

“The activities of an extremely complicated phenomenon like a  multi-national corporation cannot be reduced to five-star ratings,  particularly on a definition as squishy as “Environmental, Social, and  Governance.” Rather than trying to strengthen definitions or improve quantification, the industry needs to come to terms with a more basic reality: the mission is impossible, and its […]

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""Securities"" June 5, 2022

The ESG Mirage

Cloudtail the Snow Leopard / Flickr / Creative Commons

Capitalism has taken its fair share of hits over the past few decades, castigated for all that’s wrong in the world from wealth inequality to climate change. Those criticisms have provoked a range of responses, from revolutionary demands to the more mundane incrementalist approaches of “stakeholder capitalism” and what has transfused into the strange alchemy […]

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""Securities"" June 4, 2022

“Securities” Podcast: Jonathan Haidt on American structural stupidity and the post-Babel world (Parts 1 & 2)

We have a great new two-part “Securities” podcast that launched this morning with notable NYU social psychologist Jonathan Haidt. Haidt, who co-wrote the book “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure” and also co-founded the Heterodox Academy, recently wrote an extended essay in […]

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""Securities"" May 28, 2022

In Memoriam

Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr / Creative Commons

This weekend, all of us here at Lux are taking a moment to reflect. In the spirit of Memorial Day, we first and foremost acknowledge the incredible sacrifices the members of our armed services have made around the world, including in Afghanistan, where 13 service members were killed in a bomb attack in Kabul during […]

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""Securities"" May 22, 2022

The rise of Multiple Valuations Syndrome

Ankita Uppal / Flickr / Creative Commons

Anyone who has followed the markets the past few months has had to come to terms with a simple notion: the markets have no idea what anything is worth right now. Just this past week, Walmart and Target had their worst one-day stock performances in more than three decades as weaker than expected consumer purchasing […]

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""Securities"" May 21, 2022

“Securities” Podcast: Will Malthus or human ingenuity win out in these chaotic times?

It’s been another crazy week of financial news, but how do all these trends add up? This week, Danny Crichton and Josh Wolfe talk about South Korea’s burgeoning desire for nuclear weapons, some themes from the latest Lux quarterly letter and how a 1980s experimental film inspired its theme of “entropic apex,” how Gen Z and others will respond to actions […]

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