What is Fifteen on Friday?

Fifteen on Friday (Fof) is a weekly newsletter that is delivered every Friday afternoon directly to your inbox.  The goal is to curate a thoughtful list of the most interesting pieces of the week, across a wide range of subjects from arts, culture, economics, science, technology and occasionally fashion.

Best Reads of The Week – 12/07/18 Edition

This week’s highlights:  Beyond Wealth, Making Money off Sears, Traveling – Bourdain style.


Fifteen on Friday – Issue 311

Food for Thought:

  1. NYT – Jon Meacham: George H.W. Bush and the Price of Politics.  and Frank Bruni  – “George H.W. Bush’s Uncommon GraceNo doubt, we lost a great American this week.  While there are a multitude of tribute pieces that have been published – here were two that stood out to me.
  2. TheAtlantic – The Reason Many Ultrarich People Aren’t Satisfied With Their Wealth  At a certain point, another million dollars doesn’t make anything newly affordable. That’s when other motivations take over.
  3. Economist – What other countries can learn from Singapore’s schools.  Rigorous teaching methods and excellent teachers keep the island-state top of the class.
  4. TheAtlantic – The Real Roots of Midlife Crisis – Why you should understand the happiness U-curve
  5. IWTY – 4 gift-giving tips to give the perfect present this holiday – Loved tip #1 here – “If someone is really into something, DON’T BUY IT for them”


  1. II – Eddie Lampert Shattered Sears, Sullied His Reputation, and Lost Billions of Dollars. Or Did He?  The untold story of how a hedge fund titan profited as an American icon fell.
  2. Freakonomics – Should America Be Run by … Trader Joe’s?   The quirky little grocery chain with California roots and German ownership has a lot to teach all of us about choice architecture, efficiency, frugality, collaboration, and team spirit.
  3. CF – How This All Happened – Credit SF –  This is a short story about what happened to the U.S. economy since the end of World War II.
  4. Bloomberg – Inside the World’s Most Elite (and Secret) Traders’ Club  The nameless group confers “a hunting license” that lets an investor sit at the “big boy table and make high-level trades not available to stupid amateurs.”
  5. Airtable.com – Startup Pitch Decks  – See some of the original pitch decks of some of the biggest technology companies today.


  1. CM – How to Travel Like Anthony Bourdain Did
  2. Jalopnik – Fiat Chrysler’s Bet On Trucks And SUVs Is Paying Off Big
  3. TheAtlantic – How Restaurants Got So Loud  Fashionable minimalism replaced plush opulence. That’s a recipe for commotion.
  4. NYT – The Link Between August Birthdays and A.D.H.D.  A new study raises questions about age, maturity and overdiagnosis.
  5. CNET – Electric scooters are now disrupting wrists, elbows and heads  Injured scooter riders are flooding US emergency rooms. Accident rates could be as high as 1,000 per month.

Best Reads of The Week – 11/30/18 Edition

This week’s highlights:  Doctors and Computers, Amazon’s Third Party Problem, Dayton’s Fight with Heroin.

Fifteen on Friday – Issue 310

Food for Thought:

  1. NewYorker – Why Doctors Hate Their Computers – Digitization promises to make medical care easier and more efficient. But are screens coming between doctors and patients?
  2. BusinessWeek – “I Hereby Confess Judgment”  How an obscure legal document turned New York’s court system into a debt-collection machine that’s chewing up small businesses across America.
  3. Raptitude – The Simple Joy of “No Phones Allowed”  A few nights ago I saw Jack White in concert. It was a wonderful night, and a big part of that was due to a new rule he has imposed on all his tour dates: no phones.
  4. TheAtlantic – Why Most of America Is Terrible at Making Biscuits  There’s a scientific reason no one outside the South can nail them.
  5. NYT – How to Talk to People, According to Terry Gross The NPR host offers eight tips for having better conversations.


  1. NYT – A Business With No End  It seems to be a modern rule of technology, that whenever a new platform is opened, bad actors will find a way to use it.  Here’s a crazy deep dive down the rabbit hole of one 3rd party seller on Amazon.  “Where does this strange empire start or stop?”
  2. RV – The Kiril Sokoloff Interviews: Stanley F. Druckenmiller – Credit GD –  This 1.5 hour long interview with Druckenmiller further confirms why he is among the all time investing greats.  (pro-tip – watch at 1.5x speed)
  3. TBP – Bad Buybacks – You can destroy shareholder value by buying back shares.
  4. FastCo – Nike’s huge new flagship looks like the future of retail
  5. Economist – Airports have been hit by the rise of Uber and Lyft  They are looking at ways to make up falling revenues from car parking and car rentals


  1. NYT – This City’s Overdose Deaths Have Plunged. Can Others Learn From It?  Dayton, Ohio, had one of the highest overdose death rates in the nation in 2017. The city made many changes, and fatal overdoses are down more than 50 percent from last year.
  2. TheAtlantic – When Elon Musk Tunnels Under Your Home.  The billionaire is drilling for futuristic transit under Los Angeles. He didn’t have to ask the neighbors first.
  3. AA – 17 Lessons to Improve Your Money & Life
  4. NewYorker – Are Allbirds Shoes the End of Style?
  5. NYT – How Guy Raz Built ‘How I Built This’  The astonishment-prone host (Wow!) has turned a pure zeal for business (It’s amazing!) into a juggernaut podcast. (What is that like?!)
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