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Top Articles of the Week – 04/05/19 Edition

This week’s highlights:  Growing Up Wealthy, Why is Lyft Public?, The $35 Computer

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Issue 326

As we do each quarter, my firm published this week our quick take on the market in the first quarter of 2019 – Wet Ground, Sunny Markets! – April 2019 – Market Commentary – I think you will enjoy this thoughtful, accessible, and brief piece.

Happy Friday,

David


Food for Thought:

Top Read(s) of the Week:  TheCut – What It’s Like to Grow Up With More Money Than You’ll Ever Spend  

Why It Matters:  Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Roy Disney, talks in great length about the benefits and challenges in growing up in an iconic family.  Her comments are measured and thoughtful, full of great wisdom.  One great line – “This is the weird thing about my life: I am usually excited to meet someone in direct disproportion to how excited they are to meet me.”

Consider as well:

  1. NYT – Winning the War on Poverty  According to recently released data, between 2015 and 2017, Canada reduced its official poverty rate by at least 20 percent.
  2. The74 – New Numbers Show Low-Income Students at Most of America’s Largest Charter School Networks Graduating College at Two to Four Times the National Average
  3. NYT – Keeping Up With the Kardashian Cash Flow  Are Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, Kendall and Kylie America’s savviest C.E.O.s?
  4. VF – The Dirty Secret of El Chapo’s Downfall.  As the Mexican cartel leader’s trial draws to an end, one thing is clear: drug kingpins reign as long as they make their partners money. When they stop, they end up in jail.

Business/Economics:

Top Read of the Week:  NYMag – Why Should Lyft Be a Public Company?  

Why It Matters:  “The point of the public equity markets is supposed to be that they are an efficient source of capital for large, known companies. Why weren’t these companies eager to access that source? Had something gone wrong with the markets?”

Consider as well:

  1. Economist – Japan toys with shareholder capitalism just as the West balks  Activist investors are taking a ninja-like approach to stodgy companies
  2. Forbes – Andreessen Horowitz Is Blowing Up The Venture Capital Model (Again)
  3. CFAI – GARP Investing: Golden or Garbage?  If Value creates positive excess returns, as the research demonstrates, then Growth does largely the opposite, which would seem to cast doubt on GARP’s underlying logic. So how do GARP strategies perform in the US stock market?
  4. Bridgewater – Why and How Capitalism Needs to Be Reformed (Part 1)

Culture/Tech/Science:

Top Read of the Week:  Forbes – How Sony Sped Up A Factory With These Tiny, $35 Computers

Why It Matters:  This is disruptive innovation at its core.  Factories are using cheap and small Rasberry Pi computers to help with automation.  When the cost of innovation falls from a couple million dollars to implement a technology to a couple of thousand, interesting things can begin to happen.

Consider as well:

  1. Nautilus – A Magician Explains Why We See What’s Not There  Our brain is constantly picturing what the future should be.
  2. SwitchedOnPop – Comeback Kids: The Jonas Brothers are Back Nate and Charlie, the hosts of podcast Switched On Pop, do what they do best with this great episode deconstructing the Jonas Brother’s new track and perhaps uncovering the secrets to a chart topper in 2019.
  3. NYT – How A.S.M.R. Became a Sensation  The brain-tingling feeling was a hard-to-describe psychological oddity. Until, suddenly, it was a YouTube phenomenon.
  4. Economist – Scientists discover the chemicals behind the unique Parkinson’s smell

Top Articles of the Week – 03/29/19 Edition

This week’s highlights:  The Challenge of Free Speech, Discovery Shopping, Batteries and E-Waste

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Fifteen on Friday – Issue 325

Happy Friday,

David


Food for Thought:

Top Read(s) of the Week:  VanityFair – “Men Are Scum”: Inside Facebook’s War On Hate Speech 

Why It Matters:  This was eye opening in seeing the complexity behind managing speech on the world’s largest media platform.    “The company blew it on privacy and fake news. Can it do better against trolls and racists? An exclusive embed with Facebook’s shadow government.”

Consider as well:

  1. DA – Negative Space  “The tension between abundance and scarcity is probably the definitive issue of the uncomfortable zeitgeist we’re all currently living through.”
  2. BusinessWeek – What If Instead of Taking the SAT You Got to Play a Video Game?  L.A.-based startup Imbellus plans to upset the SAT and ACT’s monopoly with a test it says accurately gauges critical thinking.
  3. NYT – Our Chess Champion Has a Home  The 8-year-old refugee who last week was thrilled to have a trophy suddenly has so much more.  A heart-warming follow-up to This 8-Year-Old Chess Champion Will Make You Smile.
  4. TheAtlantic – How The Very Hungry Caterpillar Became a Classic   Eric Carle’s colorful story about metamorphosis remains a staple of baby showers and classroom bookshelves 50 years after its release.

Business/Economics:

Top Read of the Week:  Recode – Instagram just took advantage of Amazon’s biggest weakness

Why It Matters:    Amazon’s failure in “discovery shopping” is Instagram’s opportunity, as its users can now shop inside the app.

Consider as well:

  1. Economist – Why big tech should fear Europe  To understand the future of Silicon Valley, cross the Atlantic
  2. NYT – ‘We Know Them. We Trust Them.’ Uber and Airbnb Alumni Fuel Tech’s Next Wave.
  3. TheDrive – Inside Toyota’s Takaoka #2 Line: The Most Flexible Line In The World   Lessons from the last downturn lead the world’s foremost auto manufacturer to reinvent the production line.
  4. Redef – Nine Reasons Why Disney+ Will Succeed (And Why Four Criticisms are Overhyped)  Disney may be entering the SVOD market late and without much of its best content, but Disney+ is going to thrive. And while some of the reasons are evident, most remain overlooked or misunderstood.

Culture/Tech/Science:

Top Read of the Week:  The Atlantic – Your AirPods Will Die Soon

Why It Matters:  While technology continues to advance by leaps and bounds, battery tech continues to lag behind.  As designs become smaller and more integrated, replacement batteries are less of an option.  This raises a number of questions regarding cost, value, and the scourge of e-waste.

Consider as well:

  1. NYT – ‘10 Things I Hate About You’: When Heath Ledger Was Just Breaking Through – For the Millenial subscribers, 10 Things celebrates its 20th anniversary.
  2. Hodinkee – Talking Watches 2 With John Mayer  Five years after the video that launched this series, we revisit Mr. John Mayer. And this time he brought the good stuff.
  3. Guardian – How to move a masterpiece: the secret business of shipping priceless artworks
  4. NYP – The architecture snobs got Hudson Yards all wrong

 

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