Jim Simons died at the age of 86 (April 25, 1938 to May 10, 2024). He was described as the most successful hedge fund manager of all time. In an interview with Numberphile in 2015, he said,

“Be guided by beauty. I really mean that. Pretty much everything I’ve done has had an aesthetic component, at least to me. Now you might think ‘well, building a company that’s trading bonds, what’s so aesthetic about that?’ But, what’s aesthetic about it is doing it right. Getting the right kind of people, and approaching the problem, and doing it right […] it’s a beautiful thing to do something right.”

Simons founded Renaissance Technologies in 1977, when he was 39. He did so after leaving his academic career as a professor of mathematics. 

Five years earlier in late 2010, he gave a talk at MIT where he talked about his guiding principles. He was asked to talk about his values but felt that ‘values’ was not quite the right word, so he used ‘guiding principles’ instead.

No. 3 of his guiding principles is “Be guided by beauty.”
  1. DO SOMETHING NEW; DON’T RUN WITH THE PACK. I am not such a fast runner. If I am one of N people all working on the same problem, there is very little chance I will win. If I can think of a new problem in a new area, that will give me a chance.
  2. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE SMARTEST PEOPLE YOU CAN FIND. When you see such a person, do all you can to get them on board. That extends your reach, and terrific people are usually fun to work with.
  3. BE GUIDED BY BEAUTY. This is obviously true in doing mathematics or writing poetry, but it is also true in fashioning an organization that is running extremely well and accomplishing its mission with excellence.
  4. DON’T GIVE UP EASILY. Some things take much longer than one initially expects. If the goal is worth achieving, just stick with it.

The links to Simons Foundation and Renaissance Technologies can be found below.

Advancing Research in Basic Science and Mathematics | Simons Foundation
The Simons Foundation’s mission is to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. We sponsor a range of programs that aim to promote a deeper understanding of our world.
Renaissance Technologies
Renaissance Technologies is an investment management firm that employs mathematical and statistical methods in the design and execution of its investment programs.

About Lyman Manzanares, Esq.

Founder and CEO, Law.net.ph. Founding and managing partner, Manzanares & Partners Law Offices, est. 2011. A lawyer based in Makati City, Philippines, he is a Lifetime Member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Makati City Chapter, and the Philippine Bar Association. He graduated from the U.P. College of Law in 2004 and has been involved in various legal cases and discussions, particularly in the realm of commercial and cooperative law. He has provided insights into the world of jurisprudence and law through a platform called “A Case A Day,” where he discusses new cases and updates on different areas of interest such as criminal law, civil/family law, commercial law, and technology law.

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