Monthly archives of “August 2007

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Minneapolis/St. Paul – Drunken city?

Maybe I haven’t been home to Minnesota in a while, but I was rather surprised to read the Minneapolis/St. Paul has been ranked by Forbes magazine as the 2nd “Drunkest City” in the USA. (Milwaukee beating it out for first place.)

Seriously? I would have thought a city like New York, with all-night clubs and public transportation would have taken it from a Midwest city. Then again, there’s not much else to do on a string of cold, winter nights!

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Wealth and longevity

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting blog on wealthy people, and there’s an interesting post yesterday about “Where will all the mansions go?”

I’ve thought about this a bit because it’s something you see here in the UK all the time. Amazing houses were built by ridiculously rich people over the past several hundreds of years. They used to be virtual cities in and of themselves, because of the servants required. (Have you seen Gosford Park?)

It’s fascinating to me that wealth lasts so few generations, largely because the work ethic of a generation isn’t passed down or is just lost over the course of a couple of generations.

At the same time, I have a friend who does wealth management for these kinds of families. One of his clients made their money over a thousand years ago, and has kept it in the family. Amazing! The discipline to do this is incredible, and relies on only one child ever getting the inheritance. (The rest get a pittance.) Then for that one child not to spoil it over 30 generations is again amazing.

Makes me remember that the best thing you can do for your family is to raise your children with a healthy perspective on life, family, work and money.

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Learning and mastering

From John Maeda

While on vacation I found a book in the house I was renting with a little note enscribed in the margin:

When you’re green you grow.
When you’re ripe you rot.

Finding this quote was quite heartening as it validated my own philosophy of life. When I know something well, I stop doing it in search of something that I don’t know at all. My teachers always recommended that I just do one single thing well and be really really good at it. I now know I did not choose that route for a simple reason — to be green forever. But Kermit the frog was right: “It really isn’t easy to be green.”