Friday, January 07, 2022

Ryan Petersen (Flexport); the best Generalist talent is in tech startups...

Dominic Cummings has a great substack, which I highly recommend. 

I just read his recent post 

which led me to the podcast interview below with Ryan Peterson, CEO and Founder of Flexport. It's one of the best startup founder interviews I've heard in a long time.


See also this YC blogpost about the interview.

Is there any doubt that the best "generalist" talent among people aged 20-35 is in tech startups? Petersen understands more about the world (or, at least, how to get stuff done in the world) than any typical business school or social science prof, or any typical big company exec or government official.

Dan Wang of Gavekal is a great China tech and economics analyst -- well calibrated, in my opinion.
... China has strong entrepreneurs as well as a strong state, and these two sometimes reinforce each other. An interesting fact I noticed recently is that the party secretary of Zhejiang province, one of the country’s most important, used to be a director of China’s manned space program. A skim through the Wikipedia pages of provincial party secretaries would reveal a diverse range of technocratic experiences. 
An important factor in China’s reform program includes not only a willingness to reshape the strategic landscape—like promoting manufacturing over the internet—but also a discernment of which foreign trends to resist. These include excessive globalization and financialization. Beijing diagnosed the problems with financialization earlier than the US, where the problem is now endemic. The leadership is targeting a high level of manufacturing output, rejecting the notion of comparative advantage. That static model constructed by economists with the aim of seducing undergrads has leaked out of the lecture hall and morphed into a political justification for only watching as American communities of engineering practice dissolved. And Beijing today looks prescient for having kept out the US social media companies that continuously infuriate their home government. ...

Only a retard (autistic economist) can overlook the pitfalls of blind acceptance of Comparative Advantage (Ricardo, etc.): "Gee, those guys are great at making hypersonic missiles and targeting radar. We'll let them do it and just buy the stuff from them. Everybody wins!" See Charlie Munger, Ricardo and finance.

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