Management, the Largest Leg

A lot of my close friends, Twitter followers, and paid subscribers understand the emphasis I put on management at a business. This comes from both my personal experience as an analyst, as well as reading books on management such as The Ride of a Lifetime by Bob Iger (highly recommend if you have not read this book), another book I have read that I can think of off the top of my head is "The Advantage" by Patrick Lencioni.


I now run my own business, I am the Principal, CEO, Manager, whatever you want to call me I do not care for titles personally, I run my own business and need to learn from the best, learn from others mistakes, and adapt in a dynamic environment. Innovation starts at the top, leaders must push the business in the right direction for numerous reasons. They want to take/gain market share, have the best quality products, be responsive to customers and hear their complaints, and essentially create a better way to run the business. When I was working my first, and essentially only analyst job at a boutique firm, I ran into complications with how management handled things. I felt like my voice was not heard, my pitches were shut down, there was essentially no room for growth even though I was learning on the daily (from the successes and the failures). There are mistakes we can learn from and take advantage of, or we can sit there and watch life pass us up. I took the higher road, I adapted and created this sort of dynamic mindset of listening and being more open to people, it has helped me become a better analyst and person and hopefully manager/leader down the road.


The simple reason I put so much emphasis on management is my personal experience. If it were a public entity, I certainly would not have allocated capital there. Cloudflare is my largest position for numerous reasons other than the end markets, innovation, and growth. Matthew Prince is one hell of a CEO and leader, along with Michelle Zatlyn. I have spent numerous hours, more than I would like to admit, watching YouTube videos on Prince talk about his business, what he has planned, where he sees the industry going, and how he handles it all. He is extremely active on Twitter (could be good and bad) and he listens to his customers, he responds to the main street people too. It is quite impressive and he checks off all the boxes on my list, he also writes blog posts on the Cloudflare website.


Founder-led companies always seem to have the edge to me, they have a very nice top down view and know their company inside and out because well, they built it. Great management knows how to retain employees rather than having high turnover, something I experienced myself. I am always interested in how management separates work and life, this is something I somewhat struggle with especially building something from the ground up.


I use Cloudflare and Prince as examples a lot, mostly because I am starting to really understand and know more about the business day to day. What I find the most interesting, is Prince recognizes Cloudflares mistakes and consistently blogs about them. Trust is important to him, as noted in this article here. As a shareholder, trust is important to me as well.


How often have you heard the term "paradigm shift"? Not very often, and as I read more and more blog posts from Cloudflare, this one stood out to me pretty heavily. (https://blog.cloudflare.com/founders-letter/) Prince and the team knew there was a shift coming, smart management is able to adapt in dynamic markets right? The world was moving from on-premise hardware and software, to services in the cloud. These shifts in technology seem to come every so often, and Fiducia is taking full advantage of this mix of strong management coupled with strong consistent growth in a new paradigm. Strong management is also able to understand what is important, Prince understands that efficiency is critical.


I may be 25, but I have learned a lot over the years. I have read and been mentored by brilliant people, I speak to people with differing views, and if I had to give one line of advice for anyone it would be "Think different with an open mind". This has led to my personal creativity, new stock picks, and new friends.


I hope this brief write up finds you well, I will hopefully have a Lemonade recap by Sunday. I am stuck writing my 20 page Capstone project for MBA class!



References:


Horowitz, B. (2021). Why We Prefer Founding CEOs - Andreessen Horowitz. Retrieved 2 March 2021, from https://a16z.com/2010/04/28/why-we-prefer-founding-ceos/


Zook, C. (2016). Founder-Led Companies Outperform the Rest — Here’s Why. Retrieved 2 March 2021, from https://hbr.org/2016/03/founder-led-companies-outperform-the-rest-heres-why

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