What is Fifteen on Friday?

From business to culture, technology to design, finance to entertainment, each week Fifteen on Friday sources the most thought-provoking articles to help us all live life well and well-informed.  Enjoy.

Issue 350 – 10/18/19

This week’s highlights: Why the Rich Work, Beanie Babies, and Sleep Deprivation

aeroplane aerospace air air force

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Issue 350

by David Wells – Nashville TN

Happy Friday Everyone,

I hope you have been out enjoying fall break wherever you may be.  Fall has officially arrived here in Nashville with the 90 plus temperatures finally leaving.

Original Content:

  • But What Is a Family Office?  At their core, family offices are about delivering service to families.  Implicit in this understanding is that the family of wealth is willing to invest in the development of a new firm to deliver these services because they are unable to readily procure those services from the open market or do so at a reasonable cost.



Food for Thought:

Top Read of the Week:  NYT – Why Don’t Rich People Just Stop Working?

Why It Matters:  “Are the wealthy addicted to money, competition, or just feeling important? Yes.”

Consider as well:

  1. BusinessWeek – Irish Butter Kerrygold Has Conquered America’s Kitchens
  2. NewYorker – Is Amazon Unstoppable?  Politicians want to rein in the retail giant. But Jeff Bezos, the master of cutthroat capitalism, is ready to fight back.
  3. TheAtlantic – The Millennial Urban Lifestyle Is About to Get More Expensive  As WeWork crashes and Uber bleeds cash, the consumer-tech gold rush may be coming to an end.
  4. Freakonomics – America’s Math Curriculum Doesn’t Add UpKids today need more than the ‘geometry sandwich.’


Top Read of the Week:  FT – Looking back at the Beanie Baby bubble

Why It Matters:  The insanity of Beanie Babies was not that long ago.

Consider as well:

  1. Forbes – Who Needs Moonshots? How Former Hollywood Mogul Barry Diller Built A $4.2 Billion Tech Fortune Out Of Underdog Assets
  2. Fortune – How Starbucks Got Its Buzz Back  The world’s largest coffee chain super-charged sales, survived a PR nightmare, and navigated the loss of its iconic founder. The secret weapon powering Starbucks’ renaissance? Retail hotshot Roz Brewer.
  3. CFAI – The Active Manager Paradox: High-Conviction Overweight Positions
  4. MN – Microsoft Puzzling Announcements  Microsoft has been on a roll and is back at the top of the tech industry by doing exactly what Satya Nadella said he’d do when he took the reins from Steve Ballmer. But now, Microsoft is engaging in a number of risky processor (ARM) and partner (Android) transitions. Why?


Top Read of the Week:  ESPN – NBA exec: ‘It’s the dirty little secret that everybody knows about’

Why It Matters:  A majority of NBA players are chronically sleep deprived with serious repercussions.

Consider as well:

  1. Jalopnik – How A 409,000-Mile BMW M5 Compares To A Garage Queen M5 On The Dyno
  2. NYT – Fly Fishing Is the New Bird-Watching  It’s the latest “old timey” hobby to gain a dedicated new following.
  3. NYMag – How the Dutch Invented Elite Flyer Status Competition
  4. NYT – Tinker, Tailor, Writer, Spy  John le Carré takes aim at Brexit and Boris Johnson in his new novel, “Agent Running in the Field.”

Issue 349 – 10/04/19

This week’s highlights: Dual-Career Couples, Steve Jobs and Pixar, and Cyberwarfare

white and blue cables

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

Issue 349

by David Wells – Nashville TN
Happy Friday Everyone,

Original Content:

  • Books Read – Third Quarter 2019  As I regularly get requests for book recommendations, I wanted to provide an updated list of what I spent my time reading during the third quarter.


Food for Thought:

Top Read of the Week:  WSJ – The Key to Bliss for a Dual-Career Couple? A Contract – Note Paywall

Why It Matters:  I think there is a broader message here about how couples communicate and set expectations as life moves along.  “A professor specializing in management and leadership wanted to know how couples around the world maintained two careers without shortchanging their relationships. It is the same dilemma she has faced in her own marriage.”

Consider as well:

  1. LATimes – A Texas Ranger got a prolific serial killer to talk.
  2. RH – The Case for Being a Multi-Hyphenate  Throughout history, and today, the most successful people are good at more than just one thing
  3. NYT – What Does VSCO Think About the ‘VSCO Girls’?(Thanks DY!) Some how I managed to miss out on this Gen Z trend…
  4. Marker – What Really Happens When You Become an Overnight Millionaire? Peter Rahal started RxBar out of his mom’s kitchen — then sold it for $600 million. Here’s life on the other side of the entrepreneurial fantasy.


Top Read of the Week:  VF – “We Could Say Anything to Each Other”: Bob Iger Remembers Steve Jobs, the Pixar Drama, and the Apple Merger That Wasn’t

Why It Matters:  As he exits Apple’s board, the Disney chief reminisces about his unlikely friendship with its mercurial founder—and how their radical visions aligned to save two companies.

Consider as well:

  1. SG – Yogababble –  The MDMA of capitalism is the corporate communications exec.
  2. II – Stephen Schwarzman Hung Out a Shingle. Then He Waited.  Stephen Schwarzman describes launching the firm that would propel him to the pinnacle of financial success. This success, however, was far from immediate.
  3. Economist – From rags to Richer  Mr Richer writes that “organisations that create a culture based on fairness, honesty and respect reap the rewards.”
  4. BR – Softbank’s Vision Fund is Just Too Big


Top Read of the Week:  NPR – How The U.S. Hacked ISIS

Why It Matters:  A fascinating look at offensive (vs. defensive) cyber-ops in the military.

Consider as well:

  1. NYMag – The Shaw Family Admission Plan  One Wall Street billionaire and the ultimate college hedge.
  2. WashPo – Playing ‘Untitled Goose Game’ is the new punching a wall
  3. NYT – How to Set Your Google Data to Self-Destruct  Google has now given us an option to set search and location data to automatically disappear after a certain time. We should all use it.
  4. Economist – Competition between sports for fans’ money and attention is increasingly fierce.  Basketball can now plausibly claim to be the world’s second-favourite sport.
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