Jitihada haiondoi kudura.

The most interesting things to know today |
Furahiday, 13 April 2018.

Good evening <<Your first name>>, niaje?
Welcome to This Morning's Coffee, a summary of what I came across this week and found cool. I'm a financial analyst and business strategist. Read my articles and collect a billion dollars here. Tweet me @bgkaranja.

My articles
Last week the Ministry of Transport announced that there would be dedicated lanes on the Thika Superhighway and Mombasa Road for PSVs carrying more than 80 passengers. This is in preparation for the introduction of buses that can carry 100 passengers at a go, the state's idea of a bus rapid transit (BRT) system to fix our city's public transport problem.
I think that's a step in the right direction.

Some time ago I wrote down my proposal for a BRT as a solution to the public transport problem we have in the capital city (link), so it's great to see that someone at Transport wants to see change. Remember the good old days when the "Michuki rules" were enforced? Could this be the beginning of the Macharia Rules? Or are we just wasting good red paint? Time will tell.

Read my article Jam rescue: Fixing Nairobi's public transport problem

Last week’s newsletter was about Kenya's fragility to government debt. Somewhere in there was also a diamond nugget about financial freedom. There was another golden nugget about being calm. Kama uliihata, get ourra here; see it there.

* 3 for the weekend

1. Learning How to Think: The Skill No One Taught You
"Thinking means concentrating on one thing long enough to develop an idea about it. Not learning other people’s ideas, or memorizing a body of information, however much those may sometimes be useful. Developing your own ideas. In short, thinking for yourself. You simply cannot do that in bursts of 20 seconds at a time, constantly interrupted by Facebook messages or Twitter tweets, or fiddling with your iPod, or watching something on YouTube."

I have attended a total of 5 schools in my life so far, and it was only in one of them (b-school) that there was a deliberate effort by the institution to teach me how to think. The rest largely operate(d) on the standard model of read-memorise-repeat.
I wonder, what do kids actually learn in school, if they do not learn how to think?
Farnam Street

2. Getting the default settings right
Default settings tends to set the behaviour in many arenas of modern life. Have you changed the default font on Microsoft Word or Google Docs on the laptop you use? Have you ever changed the notification tone on your phone or the design layout on your desktop Gmail browser? Probably not. That's why, Seth argues, that we need to evaluate our very own default settings. A little thought-provoking article.
Seth Godin

3. Visualising the Extraordinary Power of Compound Interest
Compound interest will make you rich. With a fair rate of return (at least 7% per year) and some patience, a little will turn into a hell of a lot. This implies 2 things for the young person reading this:
(i) start investing now, and,
(ii) make it a habit.
Visual Capitalist

PS: Check out Abacus. It's a digital platform for trading stocks listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange and Treasury Bills issued by the Government of Kenya. The platform has portfolio management and analysis tools, and even has MPESA and other payment integrations  built-in to make investing easier. I have been using it for about a year now and it has been terrific.

** Books to read

I finished Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o's brilliant Weep Not, Child (as promised) and began Patrick Neate's Musungu Jim and the Great Chief Tuloko. I'm 68 pages in as of now (7:52am), and will hopefully have reached page 100 by the time you're reading this. As promised.

I got my copy of Musungu Jim and the Great Chief Tuloko at Between The Lines, Village Market. They have everything!

Weep Not, Child is a tale of hope and shattered dreams. Set in the times of Kenya's state of emergency, Njoroge gets a wonderful opportunity to attend school, a rarity then. He excels in school in the hope that his education will empower him to support his family and to make a significant contribution to his country once the white man left. He had dreams. A chain of events ensues that, in the end, leaves him laughing at himself hysterically, a rope hanging from a tree... 

- I listened to an incredible episode of How I Built This with Guy Raz, a podcast. The episode (link) featured Dave Gilboa and Neil Blumenthal, 2 of the founders of Warby Parker, an 8-year old on-demand eye glasses company (valued at more than US$ 1 billion!).

- I'm also listening to the episode of The Knowledge Project podcast featuring the master negotiator Chris Voss (the man was the lead international kidnapping negotiator for the FBI!) again. Listening to the man is really an education. Check that out here.


*** Something to ponder

Pour vivre heureux, vivons cachés(In order to live happily, live hidden)
~ French saying


**** On this day... In 1997, Tiger Woods became the youngest golfer to win the Masters Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club (USA), at 21-years old. His victory earned him US$ 486,000 in prize money, and he announced his arrival to a TV audience of more than 40 million people.
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- Brian

Enjoy the weekend.
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