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 342 – 08/16/19

This week’s highlights: Email, Corporate Board Members, and Lyme Disease

black chairs and white table

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Issue 342

by David Wells – Nashville TN

Happy Friday Everyone,


Food for Thought:

Top Read of the Week:  NewYorker – Was E-Mail a Mistake? 

Why It Matters:   Cal Newport is one of the most interesting scholars in academia today.  While he is widely published in his field of computer science, he has also taken the time to write several books on careers and productivity.  Here is an interesting blending of the two worlds, as he applies the math and science of computer networks to the problem of E-Mail.   With the average knowledge worker receiving 120+ messages a day, the stakes are clearly high.

Consider as well:

  1. WashPo – How Mister Rogers became a timeless oracle of parenting wisdom
  2. NYT – The Rise of the Virtual Restaurant  Food delivery apps are reshaping the restaurant industry — and how we eat — by inspiring digital-only establishments that don’t need a dining room or waiters.
  3. VanityFair – The Coast of Utopia  From the looks of Instagram, Courtney Adamo and the surfing mamas of Byron Bay are living the dream. Can it be real?
  4. HBR – Great Mentors Focus on the Whole Person, Not Just Their Career – Credit WES


Top Read of the Week:  Kellogg – What Makes a Corporate Board Member Most Influential?

Why It Matters:  “[The author] had a hunch as to which kind of directors might have the most sway: namely, those who bring to the boardroom a combination of deep and broad expertise, spanning multiple industries, firms, and corporate strategies.”

Consider as well:

  1. Fastco – Atlanta’s black tech founders are changing entrepreneurship in America. Can they avoid Silicon Valley’s mistakes?
  2. TII – Superforecasting A Bear Market.   Reach your own conclusion about what may be going on in the market, but this was a helpful look at the best way to generate forecasts that are of passable value.
  3. Insider – The church of chicken: The inside story of how Chick-fil-A used Christian values and a ‘clone army’ to build a booming business that’s defying the retail apocalypse and taking over America
  4. II – Dysfunction Cost Cornell $700 Million. Can a New Investment Crew Turn It Around?


Top Read of the Week:  TheAtlantic – Lyme Disease Is Baffling, Even to Experts

Why It Matters:  This is a really long read, but an important look at where the science is surrounding Lyme Disease.

Consider as well:

  1. INC – Study: Adding 20 Minutes to Your Commute Makes You as Miserable as Getting a 19 Percent Pay Cut  Researchers have found a link between the time you spend commuting and how satisfied you feel at work.
  2. CNN – This college dropout was bedridden for 11 years. Then he invented a surgery and cured himself
  3. VisualCapitalist – Ranking the Top 100 Websites in the World
  4. WashPo – As overdoses soared, nearly 35 billion opioids — half of distributed pills — handled by 15 percent of pharmacies

Issue 341 – 08/09/19

This week’s highlights: Netflix, Family Businesses, and Heart Disease

routers with cables

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

Issue 341

by David Wells – Nashville TN
Happy Friday Everyone,

Hope everyone has a pleasant weekend.

What I’m Reading Now:



Food for Thought:

Top Read(s) of the Week:  BE – Netflix is not a tech company

Why It Matters:   Given the near-universal fascination with Netflix, this was a helpful way of clarifying what business Netflix is actually in.  “As I look at discussions of Netflix today, all of the questions that matter are TV industry questions. How many shows, in what genres, at what quality level? What budgets? What do the stars earn?”

Consider as well:

  1. NewYorker – The Last Robot-Proof Job in America?  Robert DiGregorio, known in the Fulton Fish Market as Bobby Tuna, possesses a blend of discernment and arcane fish knowledge that, so far, computers have yet to replicate.
  2. NYT – The ‘Preppy Handbook’ & Me  As a kid in the ’80s, I hated the preppy craze. But did I really understand the book that started it?
  3. TheAtlantic –  The Diet That Might Cure Depression
  4. WashPo – Caught between young kids and a parent with Alzheimer’s, I found a lifeline on the playground


Top Read of the Week:  NYT – What’s Left After a Family Business Is Sold?

Why It Matters:  “After so much attention to running things, little thought goes into what comes next. Relatives should focus on their values, not money, advisers say.”

Consider as well:

  1. II – David Swensen Is Great for Yale. Is He Horrible for Investing?  How the Yale Model ate endowments — and everything else.
  2. LatticeWork – Peter Kaufman on The Multidisciplinary Approach to Thinking: Transcript
  3. NYT – Can Britain’s Top Bookseller Save Barnes & Noble?  James Daunt fought Amazon and rescued the country’s biggest bookstore chain. Now comes Chapter 2.
  4. Fortune – Should Companies Bolster Their Cybersecurity by ‘Hacking Back?’


Top Read of the Week:  NYT – Evolution Gave Us Heart Disease. We’re Not Stuck With It.

Why It Matters:  Heart disease is still a new disease, and we can adapt accordingly.

Consider as well:

  1. Golf – ‘Tinder’ for tee times: How golf-club members are using digital networks to partner-up – Credit MA
  2. Variety – ‘The Sixth Sense’ Turns 20: M. Night Shyamalan and Haley Joel Osment Tell All
  3. FastCo – No more cardboard boxes? 3M invents an ingenious new way to ship products  The company is launching a new material that could reduce the time, materials, and space required to ship products by 50%.
  4. CNBC – Einstein showed Newton was wrong about gravity. Now scientists are coming for Einstein.  New research confirms Einstein’s theory of gravity but brings scientists a step closer to the day when it might be supplanted by something new.
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