It’s Not Rocket Science

This is not a stretch, though it stretched my mind.  This is the best book on cycling I’ve read in a while.  Here’s why: winning is about often painful choices in the allocation of scarce resources which have alternative uses.

You can’t get caught up in the moment and just haul tail off the front of a chasing peloton.

You can’t attack and attack and attack.

Human capital is always available to help you make a successful move. But the knowledge and insights are rare and precious in any competitive venture.  This takes time, requires mistakes to be made and learned from.

(insert screeching sound here)

Rather than clumsily attempting a cycling metaphor with Basic Economics as the the foundation, I’d rather share how I picked this book.

First, I’ve read many of Thomas Sowell‘s essays and editorials.

Second, while the book claims basics in the title at 634 pages, I knew I’d be getting an education.

As to why I picked this book, frankly I’m exhausted by the political blowhards who prey on dividing us as citizens and humans and I wanted to better educate myself to better understand how the economy works.

In the process, I received much more than a refresher on Supply and Demand.  Any American my age can see the devastation centrally planned economies have left in their wake, but rarely can we articulate what is going on in our own country and time.  Too easily we are swayed by a sweet policy without digesting the incentives and ultimate nasty results that are created.  Don’t we owe it to ourselves to stop and think using established economic tools to evaluate policies and proposals in terms of their logical implications and empirical consequences?

It took me 6 weeks read, and I still have a lengthy study in the Questions section to review.

Just one idea can change your life, my friend Dan says.

Here are a few takeaways:

As for PEDALindustries, the chapter on Myths About Markets explained what brand names are.  Not just a reason to charge a higher price, brands are a way of economizing on scarce knowledge and forcing producers to compete on quality as well as price.  I had never considered the power of a brand to quickly and efficiently signal to consumers what they are buying.  In short, a business is selling not only a physical product, but also the reputation which surrounds that product.  We need to work more on our brand message in 2017.

For HUNKR, the chapter on The Roll of Profits and Losses helped me better understand the dynamic of making money on a passion I have.  Profit is a price paid for efficiency.  If we can efficiently produce a race, and deliver on our promise we’ll earn a profit.  That is a good thing, it’s that profit which will make our race series sustainable.  When the goal of the series is to grow cycling, you must have sustainable model.

At DHDwear we are constantly learning about distribution, economies of scale, and social media marketing.  This is called Human Capital, which ultimately attracts financial capital to make ideas become reality.  The difference between a rich country or culture or company and a poor one is much more about the human capital.  Like Western Europe after WW2, were we to lose it all today we could quickly rebuild if we wanted to.

For my own personal knowledge two statements stood out: Adam Smith said the wealth of a country is not to be counted in gold or resources but to be considered by the standard of living enjoyed by it’s people.  Thomas Sowell said What scientists share is not simply agreement on various conclusions but, more fundamentally, agreement about the ways of testing and verifying conclusions, beginning with a careful and strict definition of the terms being used.

Bike riding is great, because we can do it.  Were we to live in a third world country, our bike riding might be pleasurable still, but most likely it might be about surviving another day.

We are not tough, but it was a tough ride.
We are not tough, but it was a tough ride.
Not a tough read, more compelling.
Not a tough read, more compelling.