This week’s highlights:  The Positive Death Movement, McKinsey and South Africa, and The Difficulty of Being Average in Formula 1 Racing.

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Fifteen on Friday – 06/29/18 – Issue 291

Food for Thought:

  1. NYT – The Positive Death Movement Comes to Life Death cafes, death doulas, “Ask a Mortician,” DeathLab — once the province of goth subculture, death is having a moment in the sun.
  2. RH – 3.1 Lessons Learned on the Way to 31
  3. HBR – If Strategy Is So Important, Why Don’t We Make Time for It?
  4. TheAtlantic – The Changing Sound of Male Rage in Rock Music.  Linkin Park introduced new ways of expressing male angst into the mainstream—an evolution that continues today.
  5. TLS – Carpool Karaoke with Paul McCartney.  Maybe the 25 finest minutes of TV produced in the past decade.

Business/Economics:

  1. NYT – How McKinsey Lost Its Way in South Africa.  When the godfather of management consulting landed its biggest contract ever in Africa, it made the worst mistake in its storied nine-decade history.
  2. TBP – Opioid Crisis Versus Labor Force Participation Rate
  3. NYT – How Amazon Steers Shoppers to Its Own Products
  4. Stratechery – Intel and the Danger of Integration
  5. Bloomberg – Sky-High Deductibles Broke the U.S. Health Insurance System.  Employers are questioning a system they say costs patients too much.

Culture/Tech/Science:

  1. TV – In Formula 1, You Have to Be Amazing Just to Be Average The thing that most surprised me about Renault Sport’s operations is the speed and expanse of its own manufacturing. Almost every car component, of which there are roughly 2,500, is custom-built by the company itself.
  2. HBR – The Most Productive Meetings Have Fewer Than 8 People
  3. TG – Why can’t the United States develop a male soccer star?  ESPN estimates nearly a third of young Americans play soccer, so why can’t a sports powerhouse of 320m people produce a Messi – or even a João Moutinho?
  4. WFM – The Man Behind the Voice  Benetti is the television play-by-play announcer for the Chicago White Sox. Even if you don’t live in Chicago, you’ve probably heard Benetti’s smooth baritone.   Benetti, 34, also has cerebral palsy.
  5. AoM – Introversion as an Excuse