Sometimes I stop and think to myself, “my god, I’ve been writing my daily blog for over 9 years. That’s a huge commitment. Should I stop? Is it really worth it?”
But of course I do think it is worth it, mostly because I enjoy writing, I enjoy thinking about things, and I enjoy connecting with people through this blog. I don’t want to stop. It’s perhaps also important for me to keep in mind that 9 years maybe isn’t all that long.
I read this FT article today about investor Howard Marks. Marks is co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management, a person with billions of dollars, and the author of a popular investing memo (200,000+ subscribers) that I generally never miss. And after reading about his backstory, I now feel very much like a blogging baby:
He began writing the memos in 1990, initially sending them by post to Oaktree’s 50 or so clients. For the first 10 years, “I never had one response,” he says. And then, on January 2 2000, Marks distributed a memo called “bubble.com”, in which he made the “overwhelming” case for “an overheated, speculative market in technology, internet and telecommunications stocks”, similar to past manias such as the 18th-century South Sea Bubble. The memo “had two virtues”, says Marks. “It was right and it was right quickly.” The technology-heavy Nasdaq index slumped four-fifths from peak to trough between March 2000 and October 2002. “After 10 years, I became an overnight success.”
I have no particular end goal in mind for this blog. I have no need to become an overnight success. My plan is to just continue writing as an adjunct to all of the other things I do. However, I am attracted to the value of discipline, compounding consistency, and long-term thinking.
It’s not easy doing something for a decade and having nobody respond. At least with this blog, I get the occasional heckler telling me that I’m a greedy developer out to destroy our cities.
P.S.: If you’re into longish memos about investing, I would encourage you to check out Marks’ latest memo about what really matters. In it, he talks about why short-term events — such as, interest rates might do this — are by far the least important thing to focus on.