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Issue 344 – 08/30/19

This week’s highlights: Amazon’s Wild West, LaCroix, and the Cleveland Browns

water bubbles

Photo by Sebastian Sørensen on

Issue 344

by David Wells – Nashville TN
Happy Friday Everyone,


Food for Thought:

Top Read of the Week:  WSJ – Amazon Has Ceded Control of Its Site. The Result: Thousands of Banned, Unsafe or Mislabeled Products

Why It Matters:   This may be behind the Wall Street Journal’s paywall.  I personally have seen this in Amazon orders for Gillette razor blades where clearly counterfeit product is sold by Amazon and fulfilled by Amazon.  “Just like tech companies that have struggled to tackle misinformation on their platforms, Amazon has proven unable or unwilling to effectively police third-party sellers on its site.”

Consider as well:

  1. TheAtlantic – White Claw Is What Happens When Being Cool Becomes Exhausting
  2. Esquire – Inside the Twisted, Worldwide Hunt for a $7 Million Stolen Car
  3. NYT – The Joys of Being a Late Tech Adopter  New-gadget season is almost here, but our columnist has concluded, after testing hundreds of gizmos over the years, that it pays to wait.
  4. IndyStar – Purdue’s Mitch Daniels: ‘The Henry Ford of higher ed’  Mitch Daniels has shaped Purdue into the national model for making college affordable, attainable and actually worth it.


Top Read of the Week:  BusinessWeek – Battle of the Bubbles

Why It Matters:  The House of LaCroix – “The early darling of fizzy water is losing ground to big soda, and shareholders are questioning its management.”

Consider as well:

  1. II – Can Steve Schwarzman Be Replicated?  Private equity “beta” can be replicated by quants for a fraction of the costs. But will investors sign on?
  2. CNN – Insiders are selling stock like it’s 2007
  3. Jalopnik – Uber And Lyft Take A Lot More From Drivers Than They Say
  4. NYT – Hotels Have Piled On the Brands. In a Downturn, That Could Be a Problem.


Top Read of the Week:  SI – Welcome to Cleveland, Where the Browns Are True Contenders

Why It Matters:   For the NFL’s centenary, a historically hexed franchise and an agonizingly vexed fan base are eagerly anticipating a resurrection of Biblical proportions. Thanks to some bold moves and brash personalities, the league’s biggest losers of the last two decades—yes, the Cleveland Browns—are Super Bowl contenders.

Consider as well:

  1. NatGeo – Inside the search for Amelia Earhart’s airplane  Many attempts have been made to discover the famed aviator’s fate,
  2. OCT – The Rise of Regular Beer Maybe some times people just want something cold and simple.
  3. Engadget – The safest messaging apps Not all encrypted messaging apps are the same.
  4. NYT – Did Venus Williams Ever Get Her Due?  How the first Williams sister changed the course of women’s tennis.

Issue 343 – 8/23/19

This week’s highlights: E-Bikes, We-Work, and the VMAs

photo of people riding bicycle on street

Photo by Cflgroup Media on

Issue 343

by David Wells – Nashville TN
Happy Friday Everyone,



Food for Thought:

Top Read of the Week:  NYT – How an E-Bike Changed My Life 

Why It Matters:   E-bikes are growing extremely rapidly, and are making cycling more accessible and feasible as a transportation option.  “Riding grew harder as I grew older. Then I got an electric bicycle.”

Consider as well:  

  1. QZ – The 15-Minute Weekly Habit That Eased My Work Anxiety and Made My Boss Trust Me MoreThe skill of managing up is easily as important as managing direct reports.
  2. NYT – It’s Not Always Excellent to Be Jamie Oliver  Twenty years after he vaulted to fame, the brash British chef, TV star and cookbook author has lost his restaurant empire — but not his taste for hard work.
  3. VP – Why are our children so bored at school, cannot wait, get easily frustrated and have no real friends? – Credit AC
  4. VF – Diamonds in the Rough.  The Thieves Who Stole $37 Million In Jewels From Harry Winston Paris Committed The Perfect Crime. Their Mistake Was Returning For Another, Even Bigger Score. But Did Police Really Solve The Crime, Or Are The Brains Of The Operation Still At Large?


Top Read of the Week:  Stratechery – The WeWork IPO  and ProfGalloway – WeWTF

Why It Matters:  The unicorn IPO parade continues with the launch of WeWork’s.  Here are two different reflections on the IPO – one that presents a bull case and one that highlights some of the ridiculous corporate governance issues in the filing.  Caveat Emptor on this one.

Consider as well:

  1. Fortune – Big-Box Rebound: How Target Packaged a Turnaround  In 2017, the struggling megachain spooked Wall Street and earned mockery in the retail world by committing billions to revamping its stores. Today, more-inviting shopping floors and smoother e-commerce have turned Target into a winner again.
  2. FastCo – This Is Why Your Startup Will Fail  Stop focusing on gaps in the market—they don’t matter. Look instead at your own strengths.
  3. CNBC – There are now 175 online mattress companies—and you can’t tell them apart
  4. NYT – A.I. Is Learning From Humans. Many Humans.  Artificial intelligence is being taught by thousands of office workers around the world. It is not exactly futuristic work.


Top Read of the Week:  WashPo- Taylor & Kanye: How two superstars, four words and 15 seconds of TV influenced a decade of pop culture

Why It Matters:   This piece reminded me of the opening sequence of Mission Impossible 2 – “Every search for a hero must begin with something every hero requires, a villain.”  Which ever you think falls with each title, you can’t argue how entwined their fates have become.

Consider as well:

    1. Endaget – Apple warns against storing its titanium credit card in leather I love Apple products, but this is classic Apple/Silicon Valley groupthink – designing a credit card that can’t be stored in a traditional wallet.
    2. NYT – How Medicine Became the Stealth Family-Friendly Profession
    3. Verge – Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg on what’s next for Tumblr
    4. Engadget – Researchers create electronic lens that works better than the human eye  The technology is likely to revolutionize the lenses used in cameras, VR/AR headsets and eyewear.




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