Note: This is an excerpt of my interview with Shane Parrish that was originally published in the December 2017 issue of Value Investing Almanack (VIA). To read the entire interview and more such interviews and other deep thoughts on value investing, business analysis and behavioral finance, click here to subscribe to VIA.
Shane Parrish is the curator behind Farnam Street, a website aimed at mastering the best of what other people have already figured out. Shane is the founding partner of Syrus Partners, a holding company that acquires and operates businesses in North America. Before Syrus, Shane worked as an executive in the Canadian government, where he led the creation and execution of key cyber-defense initiatives.
This isn’t your typical value investing interview, but one around topics of reading, learning, and multidisciplinary thinking.
Over to Shane!
Safal Niveshak (SN): Please share about your background. What led you to the wonderful work you are doing at Farnam Street today?
Shane Parrish (SP): I started working for an intelligence agency on Aug 27, 2001. Two weeks later the world changed forever, and I was thrust into a leadership role — not because of any competence on my part but rather because of necessity. As the promotions kept coming, I realized that I was increasingly making decisions that impacted not only my team and their families but also the organization and people around the world. The problem was, I had no idea “how to make decisions.”
My first response to this was to look around the organization and study how most successful people made decisions. This was a great inside view. To complement that I wanted to get an outside view, so I decided to get an MBA.