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Best Reads of The Week – 12/21/18 Edition

This week’s highlights:  Navigating Middle School, 2018 as an Investor, and Predicting Well-Being

Fifteen on Friday – Issue 313

Happy Friday and Holidays,

This marks our final Fifteen on Friday for 2018.  We will be taking next Friday off, and will see you back after the New Year.

In case the weather turns snowy and you are looking for something to read – every week of Fifteen on Friday is always archived at  As well, I published a list of my favorite books of 2018 today on LinkedIn.  Happy reading.

All the best,


Food for Thought:

  1. WashPo – Being a boy: Ages 11 and 12.  Three friends navigate a middle school ecosystem that prizes alpha males over quirky kids.
  2. NYT – Ellen DeGeneres Is Not as Nice as You Think  Feeling boxed in by her reputation for kindness, the comic is weighing whether to leave daytime TV, as her wife wants, or to stay, as her brother urges.
  3. USA Today – I deleted my Twitter account. It’s a breeding ground for thoughtlessness and contempt. – Credit WES – One view of when/where social media turns toxic.
  4. TheAtlantic – A Guarantee of Tuition-Free College Can Have Life-Changing Effects  A mailer sent to low-income students with that promise led to a major jump in enrollment at the University of Michigan, according to a new study.
  5. NYT – Nashville’s Star Rises as Midsize Cities Break Into Winners and Losers.  Nashville and others are thriving thanks to a mix of luck, astute political choices and well-timed investments, while cities like Birmingham, Ala., fall behind. (Birmingham responds here “Hey, NY Times, don’t Nash my Birmingham“)


  1. II – 18 Signs You Were an Institutional Investor in 2018.  Twitter fights, hedge fund failures, volatility’s comeback: it’s been one heck of a year.
  2. NYP – Chick-fil-A on track to become No. 3 fast-food chain in US
  3. VC – Visualizing 40 Years of Music Industry Sales
  4. GMO – The Late Cycle Lament: The Dual Economy, Minsky Moments, and Other Concerns
  5. McKinsey – Africa’s Overlooked Business Revolution


  1. QZ – The strongest predictor of men’s well-being isn’t family or health
  2. NPR – Sleepless No More In Seattle — Later School Start Time Pays Off For Teens
  3. NYT – Yes, I Look Young. Stop Reminding Me.  Having a baby face might pay off when I’m older, but in your twenties it’s hard.
  4. Hodinkee – Talking Watches with Fred Savage.  The actor, director, and producer – who doubled as an entire generation’s TV best friend – is a bit of watch collector too.
  5. ESPN – Welcome to Bron Bron Land Whether it was through his offseason home, pickup games or his many off-court ventures, King James has been turning La La Land into Bron Bron Land for years, laying the groundwork to have the entertainment capital of the world serve as the capital for his personal global empire.

Best Reads of The Week – 12/14/18 Edition

This week’s highlights:  Make Your iPhone Work For You, Google’s Best Developers, and Sustainable Growth

Fifteen on Friday – Issue 312

Food for Thought:

  1. BetterHumans – How to Configure Your iPhone to Work for You, Not Against You  The Very, Very Complete Guide to Productivity, Focus, and Your Own Longevity
  2. NYT – What Straight-A Students Get Wrong  If you always succeed in school, you’re not setting yourself up for success in life.
  3. TheAtlantic – Does It Matter Where You Go to College?  Research suggests that elite colleges don’t really help rich white guys. But they can have a big effect if you’re not rich, not white, or not a guy.
  4. RH – How To Digest Books Above Your “Level” And Increase Your Intelligence – To do great things, you have to read to lead.
  5. NYMag – 23andMe Informed Me My Husband and I Are Related


  1. NewYorker – The Friendship That Made Google Huge   Coding together at the same computer, Jeff Dean and Sanjay Ghemawat changed the course of the company—and the Internet.
  2. NYT – Why the Ivy League Clings to a Strategy of Diminishing Returns
  3. TBP – Supply of New U.S. Housing  Consider this: from 1968 to 2008, a span of 40 years, there was only one year in which fewer new housing units were built than in 2017
  4. Bloomberg – Madoff’s Victims Are Close to Getting Their $19 Billion Back
  5. Bloomberg – Yep, Bitcoin Was a Bubble. And It Popped.  Millennials, like generations before them, just got a painful lesson about speculation.


  1. JC – Do Things You Can Sustain Southwest turned down over 95% of the offers and began serving just 4 new locations in 1996. They left significant growth on the table. Why would a business turn down so much opportunity?
  2. Fluxx – 52 things I learned in 2018 – Credit RK
  3. Engadget – Intel unveils a groundbreaking way to make 3D chips  “Foveros” will let Intel stack logic chips on top of each other.
  4. Economist – Gut bacteria may offer a treatment for autism.  A common probiotic holds the key
  5. NYT – Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret
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