Data is the new Oil and Cross-Disciplinary the Elixir

Andre Castelo Branco
3 min readNov 30, 2019

Have you ever heard about Renaissence Technologies? How the legendary mathematician Simon could outsmart the investment behemoths? Quantitative analysis is taking their space not only in tech environment, but also in traditional business models such as retail, consumer goods and food services.

J. Paulo Lemann, founder of 3G Capital, said he was surprised by the pace of change leveraged by innovation:

I’m a terrified dinosaur — JP Lemann

He said that the craft brand-driven changes in preferences and in Amazon-driven consumer spending habits that are reshaping the world’s largest consumer companies, including 3G holdings (Kraft-Heinz, AB Inbev, …).

Connecting the dots, in the investment area, even Warren Buffet confessed to had paid a much high price for the Kraft acquisition. One of the reasons of the bellow-expected returns of this 3G Capital & Berkshire Hathaway move is due to complexity of markets.

The life-time of an management strategy is diminishing nowadays, as other players can imitate it or react faster. One example was the Zero Base Budgeting, that was largely adopted by SP500 companies financial reports, following the 3G practices.

AI and Deep Learning, are among the tools that help companies to follow the changes in consumer behaviors. But the major difference is that this is becoming cheaper and accessible for medium enterprises. The innovation capitalism provides Power to the Edge

The career pivot

In the middle of my college I joined the team of a startup that won a dispute to participate in a TechCrunch in SiliconValley. At a glance it seems uncommon for an Applied Science student to work with B2B sales, product management, UX or data analysis. Later, I digged into my studies in finance, a subject not much popular among traditional engineers.

In the investment area, you have unlimited amount of information in an unpredictable environment. Using a systematic framework, combining quantitative data, and a close watch to market scenario is one of the ways to chase higher returns. But this is not the strategy of Quant Funds, such as Renaissence. The founder James Simons, hires PhDs from diversified science fields, and probably it’s the non-finance approach that led their algorithms to thrive in the red ocean of active funds.

According to career change statistics, the average person will change careers 5–7 times during their working life. So why should you care about having experiences from unrelated fields?

That is why I’m enrolled in the 2 of the most renown Python online courses


Both of them uses Project Based Learning, applying the tool to solve an ordinary problem, which is the most efficient way to acquire and remember a skill.

The cross-disciplinary empowers you to adapt solutions from unrelated areas and solve a problem with an unconventional approach. That is when outsiders surpass the specialists.

Finally, you shouldn’t be afraid of career pivots, neither an HR of building teams with diverse backgrounds. What could be seen as a disadvantage is indeed an innovation catalyst.



Andre Castelo Branco

Venture Capital @ TM3, building best practices of ESG & GRI. Engineer, entrepreneur & minimalist. Worked with SaaS Startups, Wealth Management and Agribusiness.