Word of the Day: Awesome Farm

Awesome Farm (n): a company or organization or place where excellence is practiced and taught. The best way of identifying these places is years and years after the fact when you notice that the people who were there are currently all being awesome. This is a favorite topic of mine:

My favorite test for whether a company is excellent company or not is whether the people who were a part of it go on to do extraordinary things. Think of the Paypal mafia.  It’s not clear to me that GO passes this test.

In the (re)insurance business, there are two Paypal mafias that come to mind: AIG’s actuarial department in the 80s and F&G Re. The top ranks of my business have over the last 20 years been massively over-represented by people with one of these two lines on their resume.

It’s possible to be awesome without being an awesome farm, of course. There’s something else in the water at these places, though. Maybe everyone else is just lucky.

Word of the Day: Wormhole Finance

Wormhole Finance (n): a collection of trading strategies most useful when basic assumptions about reality are violated.

Be ready in case you find yourself in a bizarre alternate universe where fire and brimstone rain down from the skies. Forty years of darkness, earthquakes, volcanoes, the dead rising from the grave, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

Be ready… to assume geometric brownian motion.

Word of the day – Paul Graham Network

Paul Graham Network (n): One or more overlapping groups of people on earth. They’re the Skull & Bones of Silicon Valley, the Freemasons of Geekdom, the apex predators of innovation. They are the most accomplished engineers/entrepreneurs on earth: high energy, deeply social and deeply technical. They do the extraordinary.

Their junior members cut their teeth founding startups and the silverbacks stock the VC funds and angel lists, forever on the hunt for their own kind.

Also see here.