[VIC 86] Waiting for your pitch. Digital health. Free will. Trouble sleeping.

Business & Money

A few weeks ago I went to a baseball game in Chicago for a friend’s bachelor party. It was a ton of fun.

For whatever reason, I was looking at this picture the other night and started to think about investing in terms of baseball.
In baseball when you step up to bat, there’s this concept of the strike zone. If the pitcher throws the ball within that zone, it’s called a strike. If he throws it outside of the zone it’s called a ball. What makes baseball tough is that you can’t stand around waiting all day for a perfect pitch. If the pitcher throws three strikes (regardless of whether or not you swing), you’re out and you lose your turn at bat.
In some respects, investing is like baseball. Every time you analyze a stock, that’s a pitch barreling down toward home plate. If you decide to make a purchase, that’s analogous to a swing. You might get a single and make a little bit of money, or, you might hit a home run and make a ton of money. You also might whiff and lose money.
The difference with investing, however, is that you’re never forced to swing. There’s no 3 strike rule. You can stand at the plate all day long waiting for that perfect pitch. You can wait day after day, week after week, month after month, even year after year. Only when you see the perfect pitch, and you have a ton of conviction, do you swing.
I’d say that’s one of the hardest things about investing, being patient and waiting for your pitch.

Human Progress

I’m excited to see how digital health will transform our lives.
I already wrote about my Teladoc (TDOC) investment here and why I’m excited about what they’re up to.
I also invested in Care.com (CRCM), which is an online platform that helps people find various types of care (senior care, child care, etc). Seems like another perfect problem to solve with an online marketplace (platform + network effects).
I’m considering an investment in a company that makes surgical robots for spinal procedures. Spinal surgery seems much better suited for the machines. Plus, consumers don’t pay for surgeries, insurers do. Even when out of pocket expenses are huge, you will take out a loan or do what’s necessary if you need serious spine surgery.
Apple is working hard to turn the iPhone into digital health tracking powerhouse.
If you’re at all interested in this space, here’s an awesome newsletter I subscribe to to stay abreast of what’s happening.


I’ve been doing some thinking about free will of late. The question I’m mulling over is “does it really exist?”
On the surface, we all have free will. You can decide where to go for dinner, what clothes to wear to work, and whether or not you treat people with kindness.
But if you think about the concept of free will on a deeper level, even with respect to those simple examples I just provided, things start to fall apart.
Let’s take the “where to eat dinner” example. First, you get hungry, which is simply a physiological and biological reaction to a lack of energy and nutrients. Chemical signals in your brain drive you to eat. The types of food that you like are a product of cultural and social pressures from the environment in which you inhabit. The time at which you eat is based on a schedule that has been arbitrarily defined to meet the needs of humans where ever you live.
You can see how this plays out when you start to peel back the layers for any “decision” you make.
While this line of thinking may seem like a glass-half-empty type of exercise or philosophical circle jerk, there’s also a bright side. When people treat you poorly or things don’t work out, I think it may be easier to deal with if you understand that no one really had a choice to do anything differently. That guy that was rude to you this morning probably had coffee spilled in his lap on the subway. The homeless woman blocking the entrance to your building didn’t choose to be homeless. She’s probably a war veteran who’s seen some really fucked up shit and this country doesn’t do nearly enough to help vets successfully integrate back into civilian life.
No one is out to get you. Life is just one huge chain of cause and effect that doesn’t start or end with you. You’re just one random link in the chain. No reason to be upset about it.

My Latest Discovery

Sometimes I have a little trouble sleeping. Lucky for me, my fiance is super creative with natural solutions to this problem. Two of her ideas that have been a god send have been:
1) Apple cider vinegar tea. It’s simple, delicious, and effective. Just hot water, a tiny bit of raw unfiltered honey (this helps with seasonal allergies as well), and a couple table spoons of apple cider vinegar. It works wonders!
2) Avalon Organics Nourishing Lavender Shampoo. People often use lavender shampoos for babies, but it seems to work well for big people too.