The Making and Meaning of Money

Alumni Ventures
3 min readAug 30, 2022

By Mike Collins

As summer winds down, I wanted to share some of my reads and listens over the quarter. There’s a business economic bent to my list, but there’s also “meaning of life” stuff in there that puts money into perspective. Valuable insights for all entrepreneurs who are navigating their own path between making a bundle and making a difference — with most striving to do both.

Podcast: I Will Teach You to Be Rich
Remit Sethi

Folks have a very strange relationship with money. What is its purpose? How should I talk about it? How can I maximize its impact?

Sethi sits down with couples from all wealth strata to have frank and fascinating conversations on the topic. Addictive listening, but if you want to start with a “best of,” sample this one: My top 5 lessons from one year of interviewing couples about money.

Listen to the Podcast

The Value of Longtermism, AI, and How to Save the World
Will MacAskill of Effective Altruism Fame

Will MacAskill is an iconoclast. The youngest-ever Associate Professor of Philosophy in the world at the time of his appointment (at the University of Oxford), and author of What We Owe the Future, gives away most of his money. In this interview with Tim Ferriss, he argues that people should invest in and focus on the “things that really shape the long-term future of the human project.” He recommends devoting your attention, money, support, and time to key change-makers.

Watch the Video
Read the Transcript

Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty
Anderson Cooper

A mix of soap opera, Greek tragedy, and parable, this is a highly readable and personal history of the Vanderbilts. The Vanderbilts first came to renown in the Gilded Age when American’s most legendary tycoons reigned. Their outsized winning, spending, and dissipating of wealth illustrates both the gamesmanship of entrepreneurs and the hubris that seems to come with the territory. The book is fantastic — the author writes from the perspective of a Vanderbilt family member and experienced reporter — but I recommend the audio version just to hear Anderson’s voice.

Listen to the audiobook

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Alumni Ventures (AV) provides smart, simple venture portfolios to accredited individuals. PitchBook listed AV as the third most active VC firm in the world in 2021.

Mike Collins is the Founder and CEO of Alumni Ventures. He has been involved in almost every facet of venturing, from angel investing to venture capital, new business and product launches, and innovation consulting. He began his career at VC firm TA Associates. He holds a BE from Dartmouth and an MBA from Harvard Business School.



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