May 20, 2021 • 1HR 0M

Inflection Points in Finance & Technology

A conversation with Byrne Hobart about entrepreneurship, hedge funds, the US financial system, economic development, and many other things

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Today’s episode of Building Bridges is my conversation with Byrne Hobart, an investor based in Austin, Texas, and a writer at the popular newsletter The Diff.

I have Eugene Wei to thank for recommending Byrne Hobart’s newsletter The Diff early during the lockdown in 2020. Byrne was already on my radar somewhat, so I jumped on the occasion and immediately subscribed to the extraordinary, dense, 5-email a week product that is The Diff.

I’m still enjoying it almost one year later because it spans the many different topics I’m interested in, from finance to economic development to industry deep dives to country focuses—with a few powerful recurring ideas and all the depth & breadth we should be looking for in our everyday reading. Should I mention that Byrne’s has become one of the most popular paying newsletters on Substack?

Before you go and explore The Diff, however, listen to the podcast 🎧 My contribution is just a few short questions, with Byrne sharing his thoughts at length on the following topics:

  • Why he moved from New York to Austin, Texas during the pandemic, and what it’s like to homeschool your kids like he and his wife have been doing for months.

  • His professional journey, what led him to write a newsletter, and whether writing on a regular basis makes him a better investor.

  • Why he thinks The Social Network by David Fincher is the most important movie of all time—regardless of accuracy.

  • The difference between hedge fund managers and venture capitalists, and what the latter could learn from the former.

  • Why America’s financial system makes the country so strong and resilient, including from a global perspective.

  • Why there are many things in common between a country that’s developing and a company that’s growing—and what happens at the end of that process.

This podcast and the related article were originally published at Technology & Finance w/ Byrne Hobart. Universities. Yahoo. Tangible Stuff. The Media. as part of my newsletter European Straits (about the Entrepreneurial Age, viewed from Europe).


Follow Building Bridges on Twitter! You can listen to all our podcasts on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

  • Also Building Bridges is part of a network of Substack newsletters, which you may want to discover: there’s Laetitia’s Laetitia@Work (about the future of work, with a feminist perspective), and my own European Straits (about the Entrepreneurial Age, viewed from Europe).

(Credit: Franz Liszt, Angelus ! Prière Aux Anges Gardiens—extrait du disque Miroirs de Jonas Vitaud, NoMadMusic.)