On Process

Austin Campbell
6 min readJan 1, 2023
Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

I was recently quoted in the WSJ and posted some thoughts about that on LinkedIn. One of the comments that appeared through the random word generator that is the internet was the following:

“They were using Monopoly money and trading with algorithms and people needed more red flags?”

I read this comment on a gray, drizzling afternoon in Brooklyn, and had such a viscerally negative reaction to it that I immediately ducked under an awning, bent over my phone, to jot down several notes about why.

For those of you who like a window into the process, that is where this piece started: with a drab gray sky floating above the post-industrial buildings of Gowanus, and the author tucked against a brick wall furiously scribbling down notes. Here they are, with each sub-heading being the notes I jotted down.

Good Process is About Finding Signal

One way to think about quality in evaluation of investments or evaluation of financial products or offerings is to look for people who have a good track record of separating signal from noise.

To that end, categorically negative responses that throw out the baby with the bathwater are a surprisingly good indicator of a poor risk process. Keep in mind with any sort of risk evaluation, there are four essential outcomes:



Austin Campbell

Austin is a Columbia Business School professor, has run one of the top 3 stablecoins, and has decades of experience trading profoundly weird financial stuff