Thinks 507

The Economist on innovation hubs: “Younger innovation hubs, including Bengaluru, São Paulo and Singapore, look a bit more alike in that their focus is regional rather than global. Instead of breaking new ground they often adapt existing business models to local market conditions. As disposable incomes rise in new regions, consumers become willing to pay for similar “technification of services”, says Peng Ong of Monk’s Hill Ventures, a Singaporean VC firm. Anand Daniel of Accel, a Silicon Valley VC firm, calls this the “X of Y” playbook. And so Flipkart (e-commerce) is the Amazon of India; Nubank (fintech) is the Revolut of Brazil; Grab (ride-hailing) is the Uber of South-East Asia. This helps explain why 70% of South-East Asian unicorns and 80% of Latin American ones are either in fintech or consumer internet. Still, hyper-localisation means each hub is distinct.”

FT on Baillie Gifford’s James Anderson: “Anderson runs through some of the big academic influences on Baillie Gifford. There’s Hendrik Bessembinder, a professor at Arizona State University, who found that over many decades the vast majority of stock market returns come from a tiny percentage of business. Another is work by the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, which demonstrated that today’s knowledge-based companies tend to exhibit increasing returns to scale: that is, returns of the winners have become exponential rather than linear. He says that all of this emboldened Baillie Gifford to try to identify as many of the “outlier” companies as possible — very different to most fund managers who have a diversified portfolio of bets.”

Russ Roberts: ” I think most people think–when they hear the word ‘liberal’ education–most people don’t know what liberal arts education is. It’s usually misunderstood. But, what I mean by it is the study of philosophy, literature, and history. But, it’s more than that. It’s grappling with the great ideas that are embodied in those fields in a way that is different than you might learn, again, a preprofessional skill. And, I think it’s easy to misunderstand what those fields are about.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.