Our weekly thoughts and general ramblings about everything related to business – from industries and investments to management and operations.



Weekly Thoughts: Parent Leaders

Here is something that caught our eye this week: Parent Leaders Turns out, parenting and leadership have a lot in common     We often joke that parenting a toddler serves as best-in-class management training: If you can find common ground with a tiny, yet irrational and highly emotional human being, you can probably work with pretty much anybody. Our impressions were confirmed this week when our team went through a training seminar and “becoming good parents” was highlighted as a key component of a healthy leadership team. Our instructor cited Thomas Gordon’s iconic Parent Effectiveness Training program, and highlighted that a good leader must heed three

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Weekly Thoughts: Geographic Happiness

Here is something that caught our eye this week: Geographic Happiness How you define happiness depends on where you live    The Chenmark team has had the opportunity to live in multiple places across the globe, the most recent of which is our homebase in Portland, Maine.  Each stop along the way has presented an opportunity for growth, and molded our life perspectives accordingly.  Furthermore, these experiences have been increasingly liberating, as they allow us to observe social and cultural interactions at arms-length, backed by the knowledge that “things” are not necessarily done a certain way everywhere. For instance, on the

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Weekly Thoughts: 98 Degrees

Here is something that caught our eye this week: 98 Degrees Just when you think you know something   Anybody with children knows how quickly plans get thrown out the window when a kid wakes up with a fever (for those without, any childcare or school plan is destroyed...rapidly).  So, knowing where your kid is relative to the 98.6-degree cut-off can become quite a focal point. This week we learned that the age-old “normal” body temperature of 98.6 is not necessarily as iron-clad as we thought. The 98.6 threshold became the standard based on research conducted on 25,000 patients in 1869 by

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Weekly Thoughts: Stop Whining

Here is something that caught our eye this week: Stop Whining A little less conversation, a little more action  We recently listened to a podcast with Aline Brosh McKenna, a screenwriter, producer, and director best known for writing The Devil Wears Prada (which I think we can all agree was an instant classic). During the interview, McKenna reflects back on her personal hesitation to make the jump from writing to directing. From the interview: Alex: Aline had written two big box office hits, was in high demand, and she wanted to take the next step in her career. Not just be a writer on a project, but

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Weekly Thoughts: Three Things

Here are three things, first printed in 2015, that continue to shape our thinking: Dare to Be Great Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital is one of the great writers on the investment process.  We enjoy reading each of his very popular memos.  Early in 2014, he published Dare to Be Great II which, building on the original Dare to Be Great, discussed the necessary conditions for exceptional investment performance.  From the memo: "For years I’ve posed the following riddle: Suppose I hire you as a portfolio manager and we agree you will get no compensation next year if your return is in the bottom nine

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Weekly Thoughts: Q-Tips

Here is something that caught our eye this week: Q-Tips A post,  first written in 2016, about not following the crowd.   In 1923, Leo Gerstenzang saw his wife pierce a cotton ball with a toothpick and use the resulting tool to delicately clean their baby. It was the aha moment that gave birth to the then named Q-Tip Baby Gay. First marketed as a sterile baby care product (they were originally dipped in boric acid), Q-Tips have been, and remain, a dominant brand in personal care, with estimated US sales of $208 million in 2014, up from $190 million

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