Byrne Hobart

Byrne Hobart

Formal First Name

Byrne Hobart is the author of The Diff, a daily newsletter covering inflections points in finance and technology. He is an investor, consultant, and writer specializing in equity research, with a particular focus on using complex datasets to figure out company fundamentals. He utilizes various sources to identify and refine investment theses, including web traffic, web scraping, transaction data, Google Trends, and more. Hobart started writing online back in high school and has leveraged this skill to drive his career. He even landed a job at a top-hedge fund, without a college degree, due in part to his exceptional writing.

How Hobart Started Writing

  • He started various blogs in high school.
  • He stepped it up while between jobs as a way to establish his presence.
  • His writing on Medium was successful enough that he figured he could shift it into something more lasting, which is The Diff.

His Journey

  • He was very inquisitive in investing while in high school and significantly less interested in studying.
  • He had a poor high school transcript, but good standardized test scores.
  • He attended Arizona State University on a scholarship for a year and eventually decided to take a break.
  • He moved to New York and never went back to ASU.
  • He worked in online marketing, helping businesses get more traction, and began writing online.
  • He demonstrated an understanding of business models and of proprietary tools and methods of tracking companies.

Why do you write? (In Hobart's words)

  • Writing is a good way to rigorously explore ideas.
  • I hate to tell the same story twice. Instead of delivering the same lecture to the same person twice, I’d rather be able to say I wrote it up in more detail and point them to a link.
  • Writing is a good way to meet interesting people. Since I sometimes write about obscure stuff, anyone who searches for that topic and finds my writing is, almost by definition, someone I’d enjoy hanging out with.
  • I want to set a good example for my kids. My wife and I plan to homeschool, and that will work best if the kids are used to the idea that everybody has demanding academic side projects.
  • I hate the feeling of looking back on a month, a year, or a decade, and worrying that I haven’t accomplished anything. Writing is a tangible way to avoid this.

Hobart has appeared as a guest on Real Vision.