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This Week’s Best Reads – 01/18/19

This week’s highlights:  The Kondo Effect on Thrift Shops, Algorithmic Curation, Health Infrastructure

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Fifteen on Friday – Issue 316

Happy Friday,

David


Food for Thought:

Top Read of the Week:  NewYorker – The Marie Kondo Effect Reaches Beacon’s Closet

Why It Matters:  Common New Year’s resolutions include “getting my life in order” or cleaning out stuffed closets.  2019 has begun with a bang on that front with Netflix’s release of a mini-series featuring Marie Kondo, best selling author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  The net result?  Thrift stores and consignment shops are straining to handle the increase in donations.  This trend of tidying or minimalism sparks a number of interesting questions about long-term changes in how US consumers behave, and how that affects a multitude of associated industries.  See also – BBC – Why It Pays to Declutter Your Digital Life

Consider as well:

  1. NewYorker – The French Burglar Who Pulled Off His Generation’s Biggest Art Heist  The skilled climber and thief Vjeran Tomic, whom the French press referred to as Spider-Man, has described robbery as an act of imagination.
  2. JS – Promote yourself but don’t brag  Braggarts are boring. On the flipside, some people never toot their own horn. That’s not the best solution either. There’s a careful balance that will help determine your success as a leader.
  3. FastCo – How to go on a low-information diet  Disconnecting completely isn’t a realistic option, so here’s how to trim back on the daily deluge.
  4. Outside – Is Sunscreen the New Margarine?  Current guidelines for sun exposure are unhealthy and unscientific, controversial new research suggests—and quite possibly even racist. How did we get it so wrong?

Business/Economics:

Top Read of the Week:  HBR – How Retail Changes When Algorithms Curate Everything We Buy

Why It Matters:  Continuing the dialogue about consumers, Harvard Business Review explores the changing nature of product discovery when algorithms and not browsing in a store are used to present products to consumers.

Consider as well:

  1. NYT – Hospitals Must Now Post Prices. But It May Take a Brain Surgeon to Decipher Them.
  2. FastCo – WeWork rebrands to The We Company; CEO Neumann talks about revised SoftBank round CEO Adam Neumann reveals the name change, goes into detail on his recent conversations with SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son.
  3. II – Hacked Printers. Fake Emails. Questionable Friends. Fahmi Quadir Was Up 24% Last Year, But It Came at a Price.  The femme fatale of short selling’s interesting first year.
  4. Bloomberg – The 20%-a-Year Stock Picker Who Wishes His Edge Would Disappear

Culture/Tech/Science:

Top Read of the Week: a16z – The Infrastructure of Total Health

Why It Matters:  An excellent podcast interview between Venture Capitalist Ben Horowitz and Bernard Tyson, CEO of Kaiser Permanente a $73 billion non-profit health organization that provides healthcare and coverage with more than 22,000 physicians caring for more than 12.2 million members across 9 states.

Consider as well:

  1. THR – 120 Movies, $13 Billion in Box Office: How Samuel L. Jackson Became Hollywood’s Most Bankable Star
  2. Takeout – A pizzaiolo explains his 4 rules of pizza toppings
  3. TheAtlantic – The Instagram-Husband Revolution  The men behind the camera are ready to step into the spotlight.
  4. Vox – I work with kids. Here’s why they’re consumed with anxiety.

Best Reads of the Week – 1/11/19

This week’s highlights:  The Mental Health of Entrepreneurs, Freelance superstars, and quantum computers

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Fifteen on Friday – Issue 315

Happy Friday,

David


Food for Thought:

Top Read of the Week:  TechCrunch – Investors and entrepreneurs need to address the mental health crisis in startups

Why It Matters:  Arguably as a society we know how to talk about diseases of the body, but when it comes to the brain, we don’t know where to start.  Just one piece of this broader issue, what this article highlights is the significant mental strain that entrepreneurs face building businesses.  This article is highly consistent with my own experience as a former founder myself.

Consider as well:

 

  1. NYT – The Unbearable Heaviness of Clutter  A cluttered home can be a stressful home, researchers are learning.
  2. HowMuch – Think You’re Middle Class? Check This Chart to Find Out
  3. DHP – How to Take the Perfect Nap – Meet the Napaccino
  4. NYT – No More Brace Face? Teens Increasingly Use Clear Aligners.  As treatment with aligners moves from the adult to the younger market, orthodontists are treating more children without traditional wire braces

Business/Economics:

Top Read of the Week: HBR – Why Some High Performers Are Quitting Big Companies to Work for Themselves

Why It Matters:  The most significant challenge facing companies today in my view is talent management.  Consider just a sample of some of these issues – a workplace that has 4 different generational cohorts working together, lack of skilled labor to fill specialized positions, and the never ending challenge of talent development and retention.

In the face of this, some are saying enough.  While the gig economy brings to mind work around transportation/delivery, high skilled / high performers are finding the fungibility of their talents can translate in a similar fashion.  These micro-enterprises bypass the rat race of office politics, offer potentially higher pay, and greater flexibility.

Consider as well:

  1. Flying – Southwest Airlines and the Industry Mourn Loss of Herb Kelleher – Credit DR – A wonderful tribute – The company’s founder started an airline revolution that continues today.
  2. GeekWire – VC funding in U.S. startups nears $100 billion in 2018, highest since dot-com era
  3. Bloomberg – Canada Says, ‘Give Me Your MBAs, Your Entrepreneurs’  Foreign talent helps power the nation’s economic boom.
  4. FastCo – Canada Goose’s Cold Room was the best retail experience of the year  If you want to do experiential retail right, it has to be more than just sensational–it also needs to be useful and relevant.

Culture/Tech/Science:

Top Read of the Week: TechCrunch – IBM unveils its first commercial quantum computer

Why It Matters:  Quantum computers are arguably the future of computing.   Using QBits and quantum theory, they have the potential to solve computing problems that today would take thousands of years for conventional computers to solve.  To this point, they have largely been confined to the laboratory.

Consider as well:

  1. Motherboard – I Gave a Bounty Hunter $300. Then He Located Our Phone T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T are selling access to their customers’ location data, and that data is ending up in the hands of bounty hunters and others not authorized to possess it, letting them track most phones in the country.
  2. TBP – Disrupting the Disruptors – What happened with Uber/Lyft pulled out of Austin?
  3. Economist – A rocker’s guide to management  Bands are known for drink, drugs and dust-ups. But beyond the debauchery lie four models for how to run a business. Ian Leslie explains
  4. Jalopnik – The 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Feels Like a Rocket Assembled by the Lowest Bidder
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