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The Week’s Best Reads – 12/08/17

This week’s highlights:  Why We Re-Read, Rockefeller’s Rolodex, and Barbie Jeep Racing.


Fifteen on Friday – 12/08/17 – Issue 264

Food for Thought:

  1. FRR – How Facebook’s VP of Product Finds Focus and Creates Conditions for Intentional Work.  This is a great example of the level of intentionality required to manage your calendar in the current workforce.
  2. Bacon – Why We Read (and Re-Read) Heraclitus said that no man steps into the same river twice.  A young(er) Peter Taylor guest posts with a thoughtful reflection on re-reading and the passage of time.
  3. NewYorker – Where the Small-Town American Dream Lives On As America’s rural communities stagnate, what can we learn from one that hasn’t?
  4. WashPo – His class is famously tough. ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Westworld’ wouldn’t exist without it.
  5. TheSun – Mom shares her six-year-old son’s VERY disgruntled letter to Santa


  1. WSJ – David Rockefeller’s Rolodex Was the Stuff of Legend. Here’s a First Peek. The Bank executive met with nearly every world leader for 50 years, filled out some 200,000 note cards.  The WSJ’s paywall has gotten much more difficult to access, so apologies if you can’t access this one – it is a real gem.
  2. NYT – The Great American Single-Family Home Problem Building more housing, more densely, could help address a widespread economic challenge. A fight over one lot in Berkeley, Calif., shows how tough that could be.
  3. NYT – The Hidden Player Spurring a Wave of Cheap Consumer Devices: Amazon
  4. TechCrunch – There’s an implosion of early-stage VC funding, and no one’s talking about it
  5. GOI – What Most Investors Are Trying to Do


  1. CN – On the Complicated Economics of Attention Capital
  2. Economist – Parents now spend twice as much time with their children as 50 years ago
  3. MNN – Spider drinks graphene, spins web that can hold the weight of a human – The webbing was on par with bulletproof Kevlar in strength.
  4. Jalopnik – Extreme Barbie Jeep Racing Is The Real Pinnacle Of Racing
  5. Vox – How cosmic rays revealed a new, mysterious void inside the Great Pyramid

The Week’s Best Reads – 12/01/17

This week’s highlights:  A Serial-Killer Algorithm, the Yale Endowment, and the Transformation of Healthcare.


Fifteen on Friday – 12/01/17 – Issue 263

And We’re Back…

I took an off week last week with the Thanksgiving holiday – but with 2 weeks of reading compiled into 1 email this week, there is a lot of good stuff to share.  I know many of you are loyal Pocket users – but if not, I’d encourage you to check it out.  Pocket is a free app you install – on your computer and phone that allows you to save articles to read later.  It is a major time saver – and allows you to keep a list of interesting things available to read, instead of endlessly scrolling Instagram when you have a free minute.

Have a great weekend,


Food for Thought:

  1. TheAtlantic – No Family Is Safe From This Epidemic  As an admiral I helped run the most powerful military on Earth, but I couldn’t save my son from the scourge of opioid addiction.
  2. Vox – Historically, men translated the Odyssey. Here’s what happened when a woman took the job.  “Tell me about a complicated man.” So begins Emily Wilson’s new translation, which reveals how the ancient story is relevant today.
  3. NewYorker – The Serial-Killer Detector.  How an algorithm is discovering new links between unsolved murders.
  4. Tennessean – Searching for Nashville real estate: Where are Nashville home shoppers from?
  5. TV – Hillary Clinton’s Letter to Her Teenage Self  Clinton reflects back on what she would have told her 19-year old self at the end of her first semester at college.


  1. CFG – A Conversation with David Swensen.  Bob Rubin (Former Treasury Secretary) interviews the head of Yale’s endowment, the legendary David Swensen.  Read this once and then read it again.  Arguably two of the sharpest financial minds of all time.
  2. TMT – The Source of the Next Crisis – Credit JC – A look at the evolution of volatility, the VXX and the potential systemic impacts.
  3. TRB – It just got real.  According to one source, there are now more open accounts on the Coinbase platform than there are brokerage accounts at Charles Schwab (although the Schwab accounts are undoubtedly bigger, for now).  Pair with – Why and how the Cryptobubble will burst
  4. NC – New Paper Debunks Desperate Rationalization for Private Equity: Lower Volatility Based on Bogus ValuationsA new study by academics at John Hopkins confirms one of our long-standing criticisms of private equity: that the general partners misrepresent fund values in ways that make them look more flattering to investor.
  5. AP – Tech’s Dirty Little Secret: It’s a Cyclical Sector


  1. ATC – VC Bill Gurley on Transforming Health CareThis is long, but well worth the effort.  Gurley, of Benchmark Ventures, is newer to the healthcare space and reflects thoughtfully about the contradictions and challenges that exist in the patchwork system we call US healthcare.
  2. WashPo – What Tech World Did You Grow Up In?
  3. GQ – How Die Another Day Almost Blew Up the James Bond Franchise
  4. WashPo – Meet the woman who’s spent 60 years making the skies a little friendlier May we all aspire for careers of such longevity and enjoyment.
  5. NYT – Six Years After Fukushima, Robots Finally Find Reactors’ Melted Uranium Fuel The Japanese government and companies used radiation-hardened machines to search for the fuel that escaped the plant’s ruined reactors.


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