update #41: hamburg & cologne 🇩🇪 and two books

kochland & the mastermind

this is just a regular update as i remain nomadic for the rest of the year for family and friends. it’s often unstructured and without a narrative.

where am i at the moment: copenhagen, denmark 🇩🇰

last week was a little different. departing from my usual explorations i checked out the biggest food fair in the world in cologne for a couple days. it was fascinating to walk through a trade fair striking up conversations with business people from around the world as the showcased their work and hoped to do business development. often times they were a part of their countries delegation and provided insight into the offline world of business growth and partnerships. enjoyed this opportunity and the plenty of food I got to taste. i’d recommend attending a food fair if you haven’t attended on before. I didn’t attend this from a business perspective but mainly as a tourist and it was such a different way to spend a couple days, ha! below is a photo with a chef from orkide selling their sunflower oil.

post cologne, I headed to hamburg which has many wonderful coffee shops and beautiful running routes. the joys of being by the water are beyond compare. it rained through my entire time there but i got to enjoy a lot of great vegan food too :) my time in germany was less than a week and mostly a gateway to make it to denmark which is where i’m at now. the eurocity journey from Hamburg to copenhagen contains a unique experience: the loading of a train onto the ferry from the border crossing which is a departure from the usual busses cars, and bikes which are loaded to transport people over water. glad i’ve got that one in the books.

talking about books: i finished two books that i’d recommend.

kochland: the rise and rise of the koch family and how they masterfully grew their businesses and cemented their stronghold over commodity businesses, politics, and employee unions in america.

the mastermind: rise of an obscure and misfit internet entrepreneur and eventual global cirminal drug lord, paul le roux, born in zimbabwe and based in the phillipines who built his success on the enablement & rise of america’s opiod epidemic (built the Shopify for painkillers is a cruse way of putting it) and penchant for building morally bankrupt businesses in unforgiving geographies. his empire has all but collapsed while he appears to be getting away with it all through his cooperation with the government.

what’s striking in both cases is the ability to entirely control their private organizations and distinctive management philosophies employed. they also make you think about the kind of goals & principles you want your organization and the path it takes to achieve and enforce them. my mind is still racing in so many directions but both books provide awareness about the limits of taming global corporations that tread the law and exert significant control over the politik (including presidents elected in both countries).

now, i’m excited for the next week in copenhagen.

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