David Siegel — Jack of None

David Siegel
17 min readJan 10, 2016


I built my first home page in early 1994. This is my new home online. It contains links to everything I have ever written, created, or been part of.

I founded the Pillar Project
My LinkedIn page (I’m currently barred from LinkedIn for posting scientific facts and arguments)
My climate blog
My Personal YouTube channel
My Pro YouTube channel
My photos
My art collection
Follow me on Twitter
Email me

I don’t think the world is what you think it is. Read In Reality to learn more.

My new company

I’m starting The Infinite Game of Life.

Major themes

I made a new climate video:

Cutting Through the Noise — my attempt to destroy the ESGs

The Future of Education — why we should leave the university system behind and support lifelong learning

I started a climate (and other assorted misundertandings) blog: Shortfall.blog

The Giordano Bruno Institute

My overall nonprofit is now at The Giordano Bruno Institute website. Here is my latest video on the digital future:


Harvard Business School Continuing Education course, December 2000: Making Corporate Boards more Effective
Stanford Computer Science, MS in digital typography, December, 1985
My graduate work was with Donald Knuth and Charles Bigelow.
University of Colorado at Boulder School of Engineering, Applied Math, August 1982.
I was also a computer science teaching assistant.
Rowland Hall St. Marks: I attended every year from kindergarten to high-school graduation but one, when I was in Denver at Graland.

Family Office Insights Series

  1. Giving

Coronavirus Series (reverse-chron order)

Your Covid Dividend — how a worldwide pandemic brought suffering to billions and made wealthy people much more wealthy
There is No Peak — a Critical Assessment of Our Collective Situation
Your Socioviral Load is My Socioviral Load — what young people should do now
How Governments Should Respond to the Coming Recession — video conversation with Scott Sumner
Should You Get Tested for the Coronavirus?
Coronavirus Update, March 9th 2020
Coronavirus Update, March 5th 2020
The Coronavirus May be More Serious Than We Think (40,000 views)

Product Porn Series

David Siegel’s Knife Porn — a carefully curated list of Japanese knives.
David Siegel’s Chocolate Porn — a free class in dark chocolate.
Winter clothing and gear
Backpacks — coming
Spring and Summer Outdoor Gear — coming
Mail-order food — coming
Sorry, I’m not updating this series — not enough interest!

The IQ-Points Series

These are lists of amazing articles and videos I come across and publish every month or so. I stopped because not enough people were checking them out.






December (ii)

Cryptocurrencies, Money, Investing, and Macroeconomics

21st Century Monetary Policy — a quick course in monetary policy
Should I Buy Bitcoion? — Video
Wealthy Families Could do so much Good for the World, if only they Understood it — some advice for managing and using wealth
Convexity and Barbell Portfolios — video
Ventureball — a look at current trends reshaping venture capital
The Digital Money Book
(2019)— I’m writing a book on money in chapters on Medium.com
Anti-Money-Laundering Laws: A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing (2019)
An Open Letter to the Federal Reserve (2019)
Understanding the Great Financial Crisis (2019)— it wasn’t what you think.
My Libra Coin Overview video (2019)
Four Big Questions the Libra Team Need to Answer (2019)
A Short Primer on Money (2018)— it’s not what you think it is.
Cryptocurrencies are Not Money (2018)— why the Austrian view is not viable
The Bitcoin Bubble Explained (2018) — Maybe there are no bubbles.
The Lykke Platform (2016)— with Richard Olsen
Six Myths of Portfolio Construction (2016): How to avoid common mistakes when investing.
The Godzilla Economy (2005)
Godzilla’s tail (2008)


Ski Better Faster — learn to ski the entire mountain in four days.
The Modern Tennis Forehand
Cure Your Tennis Elbow

Climate Change

All my work on climate has now been consolidated at ClimateCurious.com.
My blog is shortfall.blog
The Great Famine of the 21st century — a must-read on the future devastation of climate extremes
Climate Change and the Backson — a look at the history of the climate scare industry
What Drives Economic Growth?
Ninety Nine Percent of all Conversations about Climate are Wrong (2021)
An Open Letter to Tristan Harris on Saving the World
Jim Steele Interview
ClimateCurious (2016): 9,000 carefully written words on global warming that 250,000 people have read.
A Tribute to Hans Rosling (2018) — Why I think Hans got global warming wrong.
Global Warming for Dummies (2019)— An updated look at the climate problem.
An Open Letter to the Heartland Institute (2019)
Recent Scientific Work on Climate Change (2019)
Climate Change: Is it Real and Important? — A response defending me from a misguided rebuttal to the first essay, written by some global-warming enthusiasts.
How Climate Change Changes Your Brain — LinkedIn short piece describing my experience after publishing the essay.

My Newsletters

December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
Cutting Through the Noise — a former newsletter on thinking and understanding the world through data.
Permissionless Finance — a weekly newsletter on digital money
Failure is the System (2016 before the election)
Macroeconomics, Future Drivers, Blockchain (2016)

Recorded Podcasts

My BrightTalk Podcast Channel — everything from investing to Tokenomics
My conversation with Carlos Espinal of Seedcamp (2018) — venture capital, entrepreneurship, and more.
David Siegel’s Biggest Investment Mistakes (2019) — a fun interview.

Society and the Future

The Shortfall Master List — a major essay on the big things wrong with the world. Companion to Inreality.show.
The Machine Economy is Coming — We are Not Prepared — a short essay on the future of work
Rise up, Africa! Lead the World! — a few ideas for catapulting Africa into the lead
Inreality.Show — my epistemology; a brain dump of evidence-based concepts.
The Future of Governance in Europe (2018)— My address at the EU Parliament building in November
The Eight Drivers of Change for the 21st Century (2018)— A major new speech
Why Jeff Bezos is Wrong and Why I Should Meet MacKenzie Bezos

Personal Data

My Project to Help Millennials (2019)— What I want to do when I retire (in case anyone wants to join me)
Let’s Crowdfix the Data Problem Permanently (2015) Describes the personal data locker, including the video animation.
My Response Video to Derek’s Amazing Video on the YouTube Ecosystem (2019)
Ad Agency of One (2018)Why you shouldn’t sell your personal data to anyone.
Cloud Computing, Defined (2016)— Short definition of a concept most people don’t understand.|
Personal Data Locker Vision Video:

The Semantic Web Acid Test — A quick primer on the semantic web,
My blog on ThePowerOfPull.com — How we can use data and the web in smarter ways; still very relevant.


Should I buy Bitcoin? — A CoinTalk video
Insurance on the Blockchain, 2nd Ed — in which I coin the term Insure-Bits
The Five Phases of Asset-Token Adoption
The Token Handbook — a guide to launching your own token sale, circa 2017
An Open Letter to the SEC — on regulating tokens
DASA — the Digital Asset Standards Association
What is this Blockchain Thing? — explains blockchain technology.
2030.io — a new company building the blockchain future
The Pillar Project — it’s finally time to build the personal data locker
The Pillar Project Gray Paper on Medium.com
It’s Time for Smart Law — an essay on legal simplification
The Future of Tickets
— an essay published by Consensys Media
— The new site for our financial products.
The Pillar Branding Journey — for designers and entrepreneurs
Decentral Station: A vision of a new world based on blockchain
Insurance on the Blockchain , 2016— How it could be very different
Thoughts on disintermediating venture capital
Smart Data for Smart Contracts
E-voting How we can vote smarter and get better outcomes.
The Story of the Lykke Coin
Understanding the DAO Hack for Journalists
The Next Twenty Years will be VERY Different — short essay on Moore’s law.

Health Care

Cure Your Tennis Elbow
My Favorite Narcotics and Why I Love Them — many of us are underrepresented in the conversation on the opioid epidemic.
The Placebo Effect, an Update — Shows the power of placebos and the uncertainty around “proven” drugs.
Prostate Cancer for Marketers — Health is an occasional byproduct of hospitals’ ultimate goal of making money for shareholders.

Entrepreneurship, Management, and Venture Capital

I’m a chapter in Scale for Success: Expert Insights into Growing your Business, by Jan Cavelle
Applying for a Job at Crossover for Work
C2 Angels in Australia interviewed me.
Ventureball — How venture capital is broken and how to fix it
Business Agility Workshop — my consulting company, started in 2014
Business Agility Workshop video series — short videos on several topics
An Evening with David Siegel —a start-up talk at Skills Matter in London
The Marketing-Driven Approach to Starting Up — 2011
Venture Capital Disintermediation is Coming— 2015 essay on the future of venture capital
The Culture Deck — 24 aspects of a responsive corporate culture.
See & Share, 2013 — I conceived of and co-created a browser plug-in for easily clipping and sharing photos.
Advice to Entrepreneurs, 2013 — How to build your pitch deck.
A Response to Bill Gross on What Causes Startups to Succeed — 2015
Studio Verso, the company I started in my living room and sold to KPMG.
I started a site called HighFive.com, a magazine of web design. I can’t find the old content, but here are the covers, which were designed by volunteers each week.

My track record as an entrepreneur:


Where 0 is a loss, 1 is a win, - is a wash, and ? is undetermined.


I’ll put a * next to the pieces I recommend most, but I hope there’s something here for everyone:

Open Stanford *— Why business schools need a radical new approach
The Newcomb Machine: test your decision-making skills.
The Culture Deck — 24 aspects of a responsive corporate culture.
Book Recommendations for 2016*
Stop Innovating!
Break the Innovation Barrier — Start Pretotyping!
Kanban for Everyone!*
What We Know about Leadership *— It’s what we don’t know that should inform our actions.
You WILL be Quantified — How quantification could affect all of us.
Turbulence, and Other Business Myths*— Of ecosystems and complex adaptive systems.
LinkedIn is a Trap, and We are All Stuck in It — What’s wrong with LinkedIn and how to game the system to your advantage.
How to Hire Real People and Get the Culture You Want*Resumes? Where we’re going, we don’t need resumes.
Fixing the Resume by Fixing Linkedin — the third installment of the LinkedIn disaster series; what resumes really should be.
The QuickStart Guide to the 21st Century*— How we will eventually run companies.
The Culture Deck* The 24 aspects of culture you need for this century
How to Improve Employee Engagement — a three-part essay on avoiding the problems ahead of time.
The Leadership Scam — How gurus promote themselves and fool people into thinking they are addressing leadership issues.
Letter to Korn Ferry — Standing up for rationalists at work.
Learning Agility: Myths and Realities — Buzzword-based hiring and pseudoscience doesn’t lead to good outcomes.
The Business Agility mind map — 2014 brain
Peter Drucker vs Business Agility — See how the great master scores (warning: I’m cherrypicking, but it’s fun).
Let’s Crowdfix the Data Problem Permanently* Describes the personal data locker, including the video animation.
People Don’t Click* How storytelling hijacked science.
Letter to Adobe: Kill the Apps — Why desktop software products should all be services.
Letter to J.C. Penney — Case study showing how experiments beat expert planning.
The Business Agility White Paper — Lays out the basic principles.
The Business Agility Manifesto — Asks what management consultants should do.
The Business Agility curriculum — some of it, anyway.
The Business Agility workshop overview
On Being Wrong, Very Wrong — Experts are more wrong than they think.
The Succession Plan — a short piece on how to replace a Great Man with a team.
Apple and the Cloud: A Cautionary Tale— Piece for xConomy.com on why Apple doesn’t get the cloud (and they still don’t), 2012.
An Open Letter to the Board at Apple — A piece I wrote for Forbes.com listing what Apple could do better (they still can).
Why I Should be Apple’s Next CEO — Blog post, 2009.
Severe Tire Damage — My original web-changing essay from 1995; influenced the design of the Netscape and Internet Explorer browsers.

Critical Thinking

It’s not how many times they knock you down that counts, it’s how many times you get back up — A short summary of my philosophy.
Cutting Through the Noise — new web site, blog, and community.
InReality.Show — a new essay on constructing an evidence-based worldview
Extremistan — Explaining Taleb
Understanding Bayes Theorem — a short slide deck
My YouTube channel on Bayesian reasoning in business.
My Interview with Barack Obama: In which we discuss a variety of topics.


David Siegel’s Knife Porn — a carefully curated list of Japanese knives.

Reading List

My full business-agility reading list


Pillar Project on YouTube
The Eight Drivers of Change for the 21st Century
The Future of Money — short version
Digital Scarcity — nonfungible tokens, August 2018
All about Stablecoins — a live webcast in October 2018
A list of all my talks to 2010
The Personal Data Locker video (2011?)
My talk at Thinking Digital 10 (2012?)
Semantic Web Conference Keynote (2010?)
A short video on cloud computing, Cyberport Hong Kong, 2010

My Books

I always design the covers for all my books. I always dedicate my books to the reader, who spends his time reading my words. (Medium.com isn’t very good at handling images — it used to be better, but then they “improved” it.)

The Euler Project at Stanford, Self-published, 1985.
This booklet was my master’s thesis under Don Knuth and Charles Bigelow.

What is Worth Doing?, Self-published, 1993
This book was about 1) becoming vegetarian for health reasons, 2) limiting population to prevent disaster, and 3) limiting CO2 emissions to prevent global warming. I can report, 22 years later, that I was wrong about all three. The only thing I got right was that being vegan is better for the environment.

Creating Killer Web Sites, Hayden Books, 1996
This book was the #1 bestselling book at Amazon.com for 1996. It was translated into 16 languages. It remains Amazon.com’s longest-running number-one bestseller.

Creating Killer Web Sites, 2nd Edition, Hayden Books, 1997
Written with the incomparable Doug Millison, this update also sold very well.

Secrets of Successful Web Sites, Hayden Books, 1997
1997 was a busy year! This book interviewed groups of people building web sites and told their stories. I also wrote several technical chapters on the craft and business of web design.

Futurize Your Enterprise, Wiley Business, 1999
Perhaps the first business/marketing book on the power of social media and how companies can harness the power of their customers online.

Pull, Portfolio, 2009
The best book I have ever written. Far ahead of its time. Even though it was full of practical examples, we are just now starting to create this world at scale. Very relevant today. I didn’t want the “semantic web” in the subtitle, but my editors insisted — bad call. Easter egg: the barcodes for the letters are those of my previous books.


Postmodern Portfolio Theory — a webinar
Agile Investing — a short auto-pilot slide show on postmodern portfolio concepts.
Convexity and Barbell Portfolios — how to build a smart portfolio using infinite-time options.
The History of Information — A short fun video on the data explosion, revealing for the first time the father of the modern operating system.
The Diet of Worms — You know what’s good for you.
How to modify your shoes if you have flat feet
Restoration of a Marble Sculpture

Interior Design

I have designed two full apartments and remodeled another. I’ve designed tables, desks, shelves, bookcases, a climbing wall, and more. Here’s a glass-tile backsplash I made that I’m particularly proud of in a small kitchen I designed:

Here is my San Francisco Loft, which I designed and painted. I designed the birds-eye maple dining table and the climbing wall.

Here is my Upper West Side Apartment in New York City, where I designed almost everything.

I need to put up images of my Palo Alto penthouse, which I also designed.

Media About Me

Web Sight: Let Your Customers Lead — Fast Company profile (2000?).

Woodworking Videos

Ping pong table tour
Make an ergonomic push stick
Super-easy crosscut sled #3: Setting the fence
Super-easy crosscut sled #2: Making the fence
Super-easy crosscut sled #1: Set the runner
Make a perfect carpenter’s square for one dollar!
Don’t Try to Make this Crosscut Sled — It’s too Difficult!
Build a High Quality Minimalist Crosscut Sled
Delta 36–5100T2 Tablesaw Setup, Modifications, and Review
Make a Zero-Clearance Insert for your Tablesaw
Install MicroJig Splitters in Your Zero-Clearance Insert
World’s First Competition-Sized Foosball Coffee Table


I started a consulting/speaking company called WowCacao!, but the market economics don’t support an independent speaker. Site is gone.
An invitation from a chocolate tasting event at the 92nd street Y — about 100 people attended.


The California Tradition in Type Design, 2015 — Apparently, I’m a California type designer. There’s a chapter on Tekton in this keepsake from the Book Club of California.

The original “Tekton Pro” booklet (PDF).
The Graphite sampler page at Fontshop
The Eaglefeather Home Page (archived)
Zapfino page at Linotype
The WikiPedia page on the AMS Euler typeface is actually correct

My Adobe type designer’s page

The Story of Tekton — My version.
The Story of Graphite — My version.
Note: The WikiPedia page on Zapfino is completely messed up.


The Nine Act Structure — A resource for screenwriters and producers

I have written several screenplays. I’m very happy with one of them, Run Sid Run, a story of two young kids trying to get a small elephant from one side of Houston to the other, and in the process they save all the animals. I hope you enjoy reading it.


The Woody Allen Paintings, 2003?
Son of Spam, 2003?


I’m one of the first five people to start blogging. My personal blog ran from August 30, 1995 to April 30, 1998. All the original posts are still there.

My award-winning first home page, started in 1994.

My original bio — Jack of None
Dine with Dave — Everyone I ate with in 1996.
David Siegel on Diet — This is my writing from 1990–1994. Some of it is still true, most of it isn’t.
Tips on writing, 1997
My original Women’s Resources Page — Several browser versions later.
The Big Enchillada — A short and wacky essay on sex from 1994.

Stargazer, 2008 — The story of my son Shai’s birth.
Tips from Parents, 2008 — What people sent me before Shai was born.

I collect paper money. I do not recommend this hobby to anyone.


I don’t do many logos, because I don’t need to design for a living, but I still enjoy doing them. Here are a few:

Graphic Design

Here’s a New Yorker cover image I created for the issue at the 40th anniversary of John Lennon’s death. Rejected.


Almost all of my photography is at DSiegelPhoto.com. The most interesting section is the travel section.


My goal has always been to see 100 countries, and I accomplished that goal on October 19, 2019! I’ve been to Timbuktu, Tonga, and Tahiti, but I’ve never been to some common places like Korea, Peru, or Argentina. I have been to every Western European country except one (San Marino). The first 50 are easy. The last 20 take about as long as the first 80, mostly because you have more commitments as you get older.

It turns out to be very difficult to define what a country is for this purpose. I generally use the alphabetical country list at the Traveler’s Century Club, but that list is very inclusive (Hawaii and Alaska are countries). I don’t include Alaska and Hawaii because I wasn’t there when they were independent. I do include Monaco, Corsica, Canary Islands, Galapagos, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, because I feel they still have their own identities. I don’t include Crete, I think it’s Greece. I would count Easter Island but haven’t been there. I don’t count the Sinai, it doesn’t have a distinct culture. I don’t split Turkey. I count Taiwan and Hong Kong as separate from China. I’m torn on Palestine because I believe its people should be a sovereign nation (somehow), but still you can’t just make up countries. I count it because the UN recognizes Palestine. I will count Tibet when I get there. I wouldn’t count Sicily (possibly a mistake?). Trinidad and Tobago, though very different and I have been to each, have been together for too long to separate. Same with Turks and Caicos. I have been to one country that no longer exists (Transkei). I don’t include countries where I was just passing through the airport, train, or bus station.

See? It’s arbitrary. I have a passport stamp for most, but not all of these. So I don’t use the loosest list nor the tightest method for counting.

A better site and app is Most Traveled People, where I am in the top 3,000 worldwide.

World travel isn’t for everyone. But you get a lot of interesting stories to tell. I often challenge people to name any city in the world and I will tell a story from what happened to me in that city. When I’m traveling, I say to myself “This is why I work to make the money.” I feel alive. I want to learn about other cultures, hear other accents, try strange food, and take pictures like these:

Okavongo delta, Botswana
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Here is my list of countries visited so far:

  1. Albania
  2. Andorra
  3. Australia
  4. Austria
  5. Azerbaijan
  6. Bahamas
  7. Barbados
  8. Belgium
  9. Belize
  10. Bermuda
  11. Bosnia
  12. Botswana
  13. Brazil
  14. Bulgaria
  15. Burkina Faso
  16. Cambodia
  17. Canada
  18. Canary Islands
  19. China
  20. Congo, Dem Rep of
  21. Corsica
  22. Costa Rica
  23. Cote D’Ivoire
  24. Croatia
  25. Czech Republic
  26. Denmark
  27. Dominican Republic
  28. Ecuador
  29. Egypt
  30. England
  31. Fiji
  32. Finland
  33. France
  34. Galapagos
  35. Georgia
  36. Germany
  37. Ghana
  38. Gibraltar
  39. Greece
  40. Guatamala
  41. Hong Kong
  42. Hungary
  43. Iceland
  44. India
  45. Ireland
  46. Israel
  47. Italy
  48. Japan
  49. Kenya
  50. Laos
  51. Liechtenstein
  52. Lithuania
  53. Luxembourg
  54. Madagascar
  55. Mali
  56. Mauritius
  57. Mexico
  58. Monaco
  59. Montenegro
  60. Namibia
  61. Nepal
  62. Netherlands
  63. New Zealand
  64. Northern Ireland
  65. Norway
  66. Palestine
  67. Panama
  68. Philippines
  69. Poland
  70. Portugal
  71. Romania
  72. Russia
  73. Rwanda
  74. St Lucia
  75. Scotland
  76. Senegal
  77. Singapore
  78. Slovakia
  79. Slovenia
  80. South Africa
  81. Spain
  82. Sri Lanka
  83. Sweden
  84. Switzerland
  85. Tahiti
  86. Taiwan
  87. Tanzania
  88. Thailand
  89. Tonga
  90. Transkei (gone)
  91. Trinidad and Tobago
  92. Turkey
  93. Turks and Caicos
  94. Uganda
  95. United States
  96. Vatican City
  97. Venezuela
  98. Vietnam
  99. Wales

Here are some of my old travel blogs:

France, 2000
Fiji, 2001
France, 2002
Italy, 2003
Panama, 2004
Romania, 2005
Mali, Kenya, Rwanda, 2007
Vietnam, Cambodia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, France, Portugal, Iceland, 2008
Helping Africa, 2009?
Driving in Africa, 2010?



David Siegel

Provocateur, professional heretic, slayer of myths, speaker of truthiness to powerfulness, and defender of the Oxford comma.