Archive for the ‘Kansas’ Category

Carl & George W – because they can!

Day 10, Friday 1st February:
We had no seminars today so Stuart Varrall and I organised some meetings to make full use of the spare time. This included one meeting with a local SME working in the mobile space interested in Stuart and my projects.

Later in the day we met with Harold Bradley the chief investment officer for the Foundation who is responsible for directing the Foundation’s $2.4 billion portfolio. Stuart and I had originally planned to discuss finance and stocks with Harold. We had not anticipated the insightful and interesting conversation and exchange of idea that prevailed! As it happens we didn’t really talk about financing at all, just about starting ventures and his personal approach to business. Harold made a few points which I think are worth sharing:
– Focus on the idea and not the money and the latter will follow promptly
– Use the media effectively – make journalists your friend
– Adapt rapidly, not incrementally to major market barriers
– Adapting incrementally means awaiting confirmation & reassurance at each tier or barrier
– Think going global from the start, not later
– Howard also recommended the following books:
      – Benoit B. Mandelbrot, The Misbehavior of Markets
      – Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
      – Felda Hardyman & Joshua Lerner, Harvard course text

Another meeting happened on Friday which perhaps was more important than those I was involved in. Some guy called George W. Bush joined ‘il Presidente Reale’, Carl Schramm, for a breakfast meeting with area business leaders on Friday morning in Kansas City. Ohhhh that Carl and his crazieee friends!!!


Truman Presidential Museum & Library

Saturday 26th January: We headed for the Truman Library (museum) on Saturday. group_pic_reduced.jpgI was expecting to have a semi-bland time but harryi_reduced.jpgwas very impressed by the multimedia presentations throughout the library. I’m no historian, so I was only really familiar with the fact that President Truman was the head-honcho when things weren’t going so well with Japan, and that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were ultimately his decision during the catastrophic times that were August 1945. One thing I think we unanimously agreed upon was that there was huge amount of spin put on alot of the content in the library, obviously, and why not I suppose. I’m sure if we went to a similar museum in Japan it’d be the same. Regardless of this, Truman appears to have been a truly great man. An intro to Harry S. Truman, as written in the Library:

“When Franklin Roosevelt died of a sudden, massive stroke on April 12, 1945, a relatively unknown and untested man (from Missouri) named Harry truman became president of the United States. Few knew what to expect of the man who now occupied the most powerful office in the world. During Truman’s first days in office he faced some of the most difficult decision encountered by any president in our history”

His first press conference after being sworn in on April 13 1945:
“Boys, if you ever pray, pray for me now. I don’t know whether you fellows ever had a load of hay fall on you, but when they told me yesterday what had happened, I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me”