AspiringRationalist

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How often do series C startups fail to exit?

It's also worth looking into what possibilities exist for cashing out your stock. Markets exist for private company stock, though they're much less liquid than that of public companies, and your stock may come with restrictions on your ability to sell it.

Reading Discussion Group

Vote on which article to discuss by September 13.

Rationalist Reading Group (Online)

Thanks for the article suggestions. If you plan on coming, please vote here for which article to read.

Six economics misconceptions of mine which I've resolved over the last few years

Given a monopsony employer, setting a minimum wage equal to the competitive equilibrium wage is efficient because it removes the monopsony dead weight loss.

Six economics misconceptions of mine which I've resolved over the last few years

US taxes treat corporate debt financing more favorably than corporate equity financing, which may be distorting companies towards higher leverage.

Discontinuous progress in history: an update

IMO Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Elon Musk seem pretty similar. For example, they both have weird names. I'd predict a heightened chance of discontinuities on metrics his companies are working on. Maybe also a heightened chance of something really big being built. :)

Are there any major recent discontinuities in the cost, range, or number of electric cars, cost or energy density of batteries, or cost of putting stuff into orbit?

Cambridge Prediction Game

We don't have well-defined stats on how well people's prediction skills have improved over time. From my anecdotal observations, pretty much everyone (myself included) starts out vastly overconfident, and then after losing a lot of points in their first few predictions, reaches an appropriate level of confidence. I'm not sure if anyone goes from ok to great though.

Cambridge Prediction Game

There have been few times that we've been able to take actions based on the predictions, because that requires the following combination of factors that tends not to occur together:

  • The answers are sufficiently clear-cut to make the prediction scorable
  • There are specific actions that depend on those well-defined answers
  • Enough people in our local community have enough insight to get some sort of wisdom of crowds.

The examples where the predictions led to decisions are:

  • Scott Alexander visited Boston and we hosted a meetup that he came to, and we wanted to run a survey at the meetup. We took predictions on how many people would attend, along with a conditional prediction market on the survey response rate for paper vs for tablet. Based on this, we went with paper. Attendance was much higher than anticipated, and we ended up running out of forms (but were able to make copies, so it worked out ok).
  • When our apartment had some maintenance issues and the landlord was giving us mixed signals about whether we'd be able to renew the lease, we took predictions on when/whether the issues would be resolved and whether the landlord would offer a renewal. Based on these, we decided not to look for a new place. The issue was in fact resolved and we were able to renew the lease.
  • One of our housemates has moved away, with some ambiguity around whether it's temporary permanent, and we have predictions on whether they will return. TBD how this one will go.
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