Posts from July 2021

The Walk Away Move

The Gotham Gal and I are watching Succession after being told by so many friends and family members that we had to see it. We are in season two and last night we watched an episode where Logan Roy tries to acquire a family-owned media business. The selling family, led by the mother, tells him they will do the deal if he names his daughter Shiv as his successor. Logan explains that is not how he does things and that he will name his successor on his time and terms. The mother explains it is a requirement of the deal. And so Logan leaves the meeting without closing the deal.

On his arrival back in NYC Logan hears that the selling family has “caved” and will do the deal without a named successor.

The walk-away move is a bold one and does not always lead to winning on your terms. It can cause you to lose the deal.

But I am a fan of the walk-away move because it shows the other party that you are not going to move on your offer anymore and forces a hard decision instead of endless negotiating, which I personally don’t like.

I am often counseled to keep talking and relax. But I find walking away to be very effective if done at the right time and after being very reasonable until then. It is a very powerful way to send a message.

#life lessons

Funding Friday: L'Appartement 4F

There are many stories of chefs, bakers, etc cooking from their homes and apartments during the pandemic and now turning that activity into permanent businesses with storefront leases. I’ve backed quite a few projects like this on Kickstarter and found a great one today.

L’Appartement 4F is a couple who baked in their tiny Brooklyn apartment during the pandemic, found a clientele for their products, and now are opening a bakery in Brooklyn Heights.

Email readers can watch the video here.


Betting On The Price Of Carbon

My partner Albert shared this article yesterday which suggests that the price of carbon will have to reach $150/ton by 2030 in order to create the conditions for the world to get to zero carbon by 2050. The current price of a ton of carbon on the EU’s Emission Trading System is about $60/ton and you can buy carbon offsets for much less than that although you may be purchasing junk credits if you are not careful.

If you bought carbon today at $60/ton and held it until 2030 and sold it at $150/ton, you would get 2.5x on your money and a roughly 11.4% annual rate of return. If you can figure out how to buy carbon for a lot less than $60/ton, then your returns could be a lot higher.

It is increasingly obvious that the world will need to get off its addiction to carbon in order to stave off very serious climate impacts. The path to doing so is fairly clear but will be expensive. This chart from our portfolio company Wren’s website shows how we might get there:

The bet on the price of carbon is a belief that the world will choose to eliminate its addiction to carbon over the next thirty years and that one way or another carbon emissions will become very costly and carbon capture will become very profitable.

If you believe that will happen, you can profit from it by investing in the price of carbon. There are many ways to do that and some will be more profitable than others. But a “macro bet” on the price of carbon feels like one of the strongest ones out there right now.

#climate crisis

First Friends

My friend Gary Ginsberg’s book, First Friends, is out today.

Gary gave me an advance copy a few weeks ago and I have been reading it.

First Friends is a book about US Presidents and their best friends who influenced them in the office.

The book starts with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and ends with Bill Clinton and Vernon Jordan. In between, there are chapters about Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, and six other Presidents and their best friends.

My favorite chapter was Richard Nixon and Bebe Rebozo. That is a particularly interesting story and friendship.

If you enjoy history books and/or are a student of the US Presidency, you should grab this book and give it a read.

You can do that here.


Funding Friday: Biscuit

I am a fan of wireless charging for my various devices and I am glad that there is a standard, called Qi, for wireless charging that many manufacturers support. This means you don’t need to buy your wireless charging device from Apple or Google, you can buy it from any manufacturer you prefer.

This nice looking small charging device, called Biscuit, is a great example of that:

I backed it this morning on Kickstarter and so can you.

The video is here for email readers.