The Inertial Arms Race in Car Design

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Engineering vs Design

Issigonis’ original design for the Mini was a masterpiece of clever use of space and defined a new type of car that was impressive and sexy precisely because it was small and therefore urban.


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Photo by Tim Foster on Unsplash

There is an instinctive mental model of the earth as a finite planet, a closed system with limited resources.

This fits with the view of our destruction of the environment and is true to the extent that we are confined to one planet and there isn’t another, but it isn’t strictly correct in terms of how our environment works. The environment itself is much more like a living thing with inputs and outputs.

In order to fix things we should view it as an open system, where preserving the environment necessarily involves energy consumption and waste, so that we can…


A new way to invest in modern businesses

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Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

Debt Investment

Before the advent of Venture Capital a new business would likely take a loan in order to be able to bootstrap and grow to profitability. Since 20% of new businesses in the US fail during the first two years of being open, 45% during the first five years, 65% during the first 10 years, and 75% during the first 15, a loan can only be made to relatively non risky businesses, which are either predictable and not particularly innovative or given at a later stage once a business is somewhat established and…


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The above diagram outlines how the various systems on Earth interact to harness energy to create complex systems and deliberate output (living things, civilization, culture and knowledge) and waste.

It is designed to highlight that the Earth is a self regulating open system far from equilibrium, to show where our actions are destabilizing it, what needs to change at the most fundamental level and how existing views of it as a closed system with finite resources are misleading our attempts to fix it.

How Our System Works

An increase in the amount of life, civilization and knowledge necessarily results in an increase the overall…


This is reverse pitch, an idea for a go-to-market opportunity that we think is timely and could grow into a bigger company. We are putting it out there to stimulate discussion, see if anyone is building something related or thinks they can figure out what longer term business this becomes. If you are starting a company that builds on some of these business design ideas, please feel free to contact us at Anthemis: dave@anthemis.com or yann@anthemis.com

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Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

The story of the internet has largely been about democratizing content creation (e.g. …


This is an idea for a go-to-market opportunity that we think is timely and could grow into a bigger proptech company. We are putting it out there to stimulate discussion, see if anyone is building something related or thinks they can figure out what longer term recurring revenue business this becomes. If you are starting a company that builds on some of these business design ideas, please feel free to contact me at Anthemis: dave@anthemis.com

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Bureaucracy exacerbates the asymmetry between the more and less powerful. It creates a form of inequality where there is often a threshold where more disadvantaged…


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Many people use Powerpoint for two scenarios:

  1. For a deck that is designed to be taken away and read.
  2. As part of a talk, video or in person pitch.

The format of these should be completely different, but rarely is. You should prepare a different deck for each.

This lecture by Patrick Winston’s at MIT on ‘how to speak’ explains the difference, perfectly. It is about talks that convey ideas and a vision and steps of execution. I have summarized the key points he makes in how to do a talk because it has helped me better differentiate between a…


How the world is divided by internet platform usage as we potentially enter a new Cold War.

In order to produce this map I used data for the dominant platforms used in each country for: search; social networking; e-commerce and ride share & delivery. I also looked at mobile hardware and payments/fintech and will look at telecoms infrastructure later.

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Notes:

Both Russia and China pursued active responses to challenge US Internet platforms, but while there is Russian influence in former Soviet Republics and it chips away at the fringes of Eastern Europe, land area tells a different story than population…


[Images decoded into words, for design recipes that can be easily understood and replicated.]

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[Images decoded into words, for design recipes that can be easily understood and replicated.]

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David Galbraith

Architect: I used to design buildings, now I design companies. http://davidgalbraith.org

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