Michael Eisenberg is a venture, capitalist, businessman, and author of the book The Tree of Life and Prosperity.
On this episode of EconTalk, Russ Roberts hosts Michael Eisenberg for a conversation on venture capitalism, technology’s influence on the economy, and the unique lessons that can be taken from a book that has stood the test of time, the Hebrew Bible. Eisenberg expresses his optimism for people’s empowerment in a constantly evolving world: he is ‘long on humanity.’
How long on the future are you? Share your thoughts with us; as you know, we love to hear from you.
Eisenberg presents his investing philosophy with a desired profile of entrepreneurs and companies that have the potential to empower humans and businesses to be economically successful. Roberts and Eisenberg share a similar passion for the power of storytelling in business, but investors must be aware of the full story, not just the “bedtime story.” Eisenberg appeals to ‘back casting’ in finding his own vision for an investment’s viability, while Russ presents the classical economist question for valuation: ‘and then what?’
How do you approach stock investments, business plans, or life goals? What is challenging about making concrete deductions in evaluating plans?
Roberts and Eisenberg talk about the importance of teamwork in entrepreneurship and great business success, citing the collaboration of Israeli military members in revolutionizing Israeli innovations and the importance of executors behind the veil of the power of geniuses like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Russ presents the example of running a restaurant beyond food quality.
What other examples can do you think of where failures occur because of a lack of balance or collaboration? What might have prevented such failures?
Roberts and Eisenberg present portability in technology and specifically in social networks as being a good check on competition and upholding consumer value. Recently, Instagram and Mark Zuckerberg developed “Threads” which will attempt to compete with Elon Musk’s Twitter. Instagram users can transfer their follower/following statuses easily onto the platform, but Instagram, of course, owns the new platform.
If Threads gains huge popularity, do you think Elon Musk will allow users to transport their network preferences and tweets over? Why or why not? How should other tech giants like Amazon allow for more competition and consumer value?
Eisenberg highlights the importance of entrepreneurship and corporations in providing for humanity’s needs, partly because the government is still running on the ‘pony express’ and are way behind on keeping up with technology. Eisenberg lists the people behind the COVID vaccine production process as not being a ‘panel of experts’ for further support of his belief and trust in entrepreneurs to adapt and take advantage of opportunities.
What should our level of dependence be on the market versus the government for creating a bigger pie of gainful opportunities for more people?