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The Week’s Best Articles – 09/07/18

This week’s highlights:  Finding Family, Speed and Incentives, and Comcast tackles healthcare.


Fifteen on Friday – 09/05/18 – Issue 300

Well here it is – the 300th issue of Fifteen on Friday.  Maybe this is a classic warning to be careful what you begin.  Little did I know when I sent my first email on April 22nd in 2012, that 6 years later, I’d still be plugging away at it.

Yet through this process and thousands of articles read, I have become ever more convinced of two things.  We live in an era of such noise as never experienced before by the human race.  Conversely, we are in a golden age of content.  With costs falling to zero, new publications on the rise, and old publications on the hunt to prove their relevance, there are tremendous stories being told.

My goal as editor/curator has been and continues to be to distill down this seeming onslaught into something worthwhile.  Leave it to the sharp team at The Skimm to keep you informed.  My goal is hopefully something a little deeper – to share pieces that at worst provide great enjoyment in their reading, and at best perhaps change the way you see the world just a little bit.

Here’s to 300 more,


Food for Thought:

  1. ESPN – Runs in the Family – Credit SF –  Kansas City Chiefs running backs coach Deland McCullough went searching for his biological parents. He found them where he never would have expected.
  2. NYT – A Mother’s Fragmented Identity  My partial selves — writer, runner, mother — have become like islands I travel between and my life is the ocean around them, unknowable.
  3. NewYorker – How Bill Browder Became Russia’s Most Wanted Man  The hedge-fund manager has offered a fable for why the West should confront Putin.
  4. TheAtlantic – Why Kids Want Things A conversation with a researcher who has studied materialism for almost 30 years
  5. BuzzFeedNews – Teachers Are Moonlighting As Instagram Influencers To Make Ends Meet  One teacher in Texas told BuzzFeed News she makes a $50,000 a year, but made over $200,000 in a year through Instagram.


  1. Comstocks – The World’s Fastest Man – Credit BB – Things always seem to take too long. When the cable guy says he’ll arrive by noon, we know it’ll be closer to supper.  So it was something of a shock when Caltrans announced that its Fix 50 project, a restoration of the W/X Viaduct on Highway 50, actually finished early.
  2. NYT – Hard Lessons (Thanks, Amazon) Breathe New Life Into Retail Stores
  3. TC – Jim Grant: The 10 commandments for investing – Credit JC
  4. 25IQ – Lessons from Chance the Rapper (Value Chains and Profit Pools)
  5. OM – The Long Goodbye (To Facebook)  Yesterday, I permanently deleted my Facebook account. I let go of 300,000 followers, 1200 friends and the blue seal of authenticity. It took me a full year to cut the cord, so to speak.


  1. NYT – The Last Company You Would Expect Is Reinventing Health Benefits  Frustrated with insurers, some large companies — including a certain cable behemoth — are shedding long-held practices and adopting a do-it-yourself approach.
  2. NewYorker – Gospels of Giving for the New Gilded Age Are today’s donor classes solving problems—or creating new ones?
  3. Bloomberg – Ten Things I Never Knew About Las Vegas Until I Ran a High-Roller Suite A stint managing premier client relations at the Cosmopolitan revealed secrets that probably should stay in Vegas. Oh well.
  4. Kitces – Why (Prudent) Spending Rates Matter More Than Savings Rates. This excellent piece highlights that while most financial advice is focused on how much should be saved, it focuses very little on what is the right amount to be spending.  People focus on the 10%, and ignore the much larger 90%.
  5. Vulture – What Do You Expect From Jonah Hill?   The actor and unlikely icon on finding his true calling.

The Best Articles This Week – 08/31/18

This week’s highlights:  The Problems with Skim Reading, Avoiding Venture Capital, and Bat Material


Fifteen on Friday – 08/31/18 – Issue 299

Food for Thought:

  1. TheGuardian – Skim reading is the new normal. The effect on society is profound – Credit SC – When the reading brain skims texts, we don’t have time to grasp complexity, to understand another’s feelings or to perceive beauty. We need a new literacy for the digital age.
  2. Forbes – Financial Planning For The Person Who Has Everything
  3. NYT – A Construction Boom to Lure Visitors to Morocco’s ‘Red City’  As more wealthy tourists flock to Morocco, Marrakesh is reinventing itself with luxury hotels and resorts to attract its share.
  4. Inc – Why You Should Surround Yourself With More Books Than You’ll Ever Have Time to Read An overstuffed bookcase (or e-reader) says good things about your mind.
  5. JLF – How To Dress Like a Man — 2018 Edition – Credit EW


  1. Buffer – We Spent $3.3M Buying Out Investors: Why and How We Did It
  2. Economist – Hayek, Popper and Schumpeter formulated a response to tyranny  Their lives and reputations diverged, but their ideas were rooted in the traumas of their shared birthplace
  3. TAG – Microtrends Squared: The New Small Forces Driving the Big Disruptions Today   Mark Penn has boldly argued that the future is not shaped by society’s broad forces but by quiet changes within narrow slices of the population.
  4. II – Luck and Reputation Matter in Venture Capital. Skill Doesn’t.  Harvard and Yale researchers find that VCs’ abilities to pick investments and nurture start-ups “play little role if any” in long-term outperformance.
  5. StateStreet – Summer Swoon?  There’s Emerging Opportunity in August Waves


  1. Deadspin – How Maple Bats Kicked Ash And Conquered Baseball
  2. NYT – Conan O’Brien’s Unrequited Fanboy Love for Robert Caro
  3. NYT – Did Juul Lure Teenagers and Get ‘Customers for Life’?  The e-cigarette company says it never sought teenage users, but the F.D.A. is investigating whether Juul intentionally marketed its devices to youth.
  4. Jalopnik – Stop Overpaying for Lightly Used Cars
  5. Politico – I Hacked a Mock Election Site. Here’s Why That Matters.  The fake hack carried real lessons for the security of our election system.
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