[MDB] Modern data systems: part 1

A relational database organizes data into tables of rows and columns and links those tables through shared identifiers (keys).  This architecture gained traction in the 80s and 90s, when applications were monoliths supported by single servers, and the data structure backing them – the tables, fields, and data type of each field (integer, string) – […]

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[IAC; ANGI] Yet another IAC write-up

I’ve heard it said that in its early days the consumer internet was treated as another place to replicate tried-and-true practices from the offline world.  Newspapers and magazines were thriving under a hybrid subscription and ad-based model, so it made sense that even as it collected ad revenue from service providers, Angie’s List charged consumers […]

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[FVRR, UPWK] Freelance marketplaces

In his seminal paper The Nature of the Firm, Ronald Coase posits that in cases where it is difficult to reliably procure labor or draft and enforce contracts that unambiguously cover the full scope of future activities, a firm will handle production itself rather than rely on arms-length market transactions.  For example, hiring freelancers to […]

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[MKTX, TW] Market infrastructure: part 3

During the mid/late-90s, electronic trading networks eSpeed (acquired by NASDAQ) and BrokerTec (acquired by NEX, which was then acquired by CME) rolled out central order limit booking (CLOB) for the inter-dealer trading of US Treasuries.  Today, more than 80% of dealer-to-dealer Treasury volumes are electronic, the overwhelming majority of which is executed via CLOB. The […]

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scuttleblurb business update (2020)

I recently did an interview with my friend @LibertyRPF. It will serve as a substitute for my 2020 year-end review since it contains everything I wanted to say (and more). With permission from @LibertyRPF, I have reproduced the interview below. You can access the original here. Interview with David Kim a.k.a. Scuttleblurb 𝕊𝕡𝕖𝕔𝕚𝕒𝕝 𝔼𝕕𝕚𝕥𝕚𝕠𝕟 #𝟙 Scuttleblurb is one of […]

[SPGI, MCO] Market infrastructure: part 2

Banks, regulators, and fixed income investors rely on Moody’s and S&P to provide a consistent and standardized metric of credit risk across names and over time.  As I explained in The Self-Reinforcing Standards Moat: …ratings underpin the risk weightings that banks attach to assets to determine capital requirements, dictate which securities a money market fund […]

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[FDS, LSE/Refinitiv] Market infrastructure: part 1

In the decade or so leading up to the mid-2000s, FactSet was in the business of aggregating third-party content from a variety of different vendors – financial information from Thomson Reuters; index data from MSCI, Russell, and S&P; trading data from exchanges – cleaning it up, hosting it on mainframes, and rendering it on workstations […]

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[Chr. Hansen, Novozymes] All the small things (plus some quick thoughts on The Trade Desk)

Industrial enzyme production beings with several thousand bacteria dunked into ever larger containers of liquid and nutrients.  These microorganisms feast on the nutrients and replicate like crazy before being transferred to a fermenter — a giant steel vat that regulates temperature, pressure, oxygen, and Ph levels — where they are suspended within another nutrient-infused medium.  […]

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