Farnam Street Interview Transcript

Earlier this year — on 24 August — I had the privilege of sitting down for a chat with Shane Parrish who publishes the Farnam Street blog. That chat took place in the room of the wonderful Waldorf Astoria hotel in NYC — the one where Indian PM stayed recently and the one in which one of my favorite movies — Scent of a Woman — was shot in 1992. (Watch this scene).

Needless to say, meeting Shane and interacting with him was a memorable experience.

Shane, who has been a dear friend for many years, has now generously allowed me to make the transcript of our chat public. You can get it from here.

Thanks Shane.

8 thoughts on “Farnam Street Interview Transcript”

  1. Thanks Professor for taking efforts in publishing this transcript. Thanks to Shane as well…

  2. Thanks for the great weekend read.

    I have just one quibble. At one point you are talking about the admirable business model of Costco (selling something is good and cheap) against selling something at ridiculous prices because of the perception you have created in the consumer’s mind that it is worth much more than it really is. That’s something Charlie Munger is very proud of and extols Costco as being of great favor to civilization.

    At the same time he and Warren Buffett also love Borsheims, See’s and Coke, which are excellent examples of the second type of business model mentioned above – the one relying on setting a false perception in the customer’s mind and charging ridiculous prices, e.g., selling overpriced “precious stones”, chocolates, and sugar water.

    The bottomline is that morality and civilizational benefits are nice to have for an investor, but by far not a must have. It is more coincidental than anything else. Also, Berkshire does own such businesses – not necessarily providing something useful to society – while it doesn’t own Costco. Isn’t that strange?

    Any thoughts?

    1. I think the underlying principle at work is “don’t sell something you yourself would not buy.” While that’s not necessarily perfect, in my view it’s way better than selling something that you personally believe to be toxic, which is what happens in a lot of places.

Comments are closed.