Sunday Best – March 25, 2018

“When we reject the single story,

we regain a kind of paradise.”

–  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


This week was a wonderful jumble of tactical questions, scientific exploration, and philosophical reflection… pretty much a perfect week.

It was a week of Big Questions. Is this portfolio reflecting the great variety of investment opportunity we see? Can studying algorithms and food webs help us to create better human teams? What does it mean to be an independent-minded investor?

The challenge of any big question is that we want to answer it so badly. And yet diving in too fast brings the risk of false precision. We are so determined to find THE answer that we assemble teams of experts to dissect the problem. I want to understand THE way to look at portfolio diversification, or optimal team design, or investment research – and if I ask a small enough question, sure enough, there is an answer.

Trouble is, to ask that small question, I have taken the glory of a forest and reduced it down to counting pinecones. Sometimes this is helpful, and sometimes it’s needed. But it’s not THE answer to “what is a forest?” The answers are as narrow as the question.

Small questions, small answers.

Dear Honeybees, where have we settled into the faux-certainty of small answers?

Let’s take those useful small answers and return, better informed, to the bigger questions.


*  You can see Adichie’s wonderful TED talk on this topic here.


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