This week’s highlights: Surviving Your 40s, Value Investing in Venture Capital, and the Issue with Hermes.
Fifteen on Friday – 05/11/18 – Issue 284
Happy Friday and Happy Steeplechase Weekend to those in Nashville,
May the odds be in your favor tomorrow, if you are playing the ponies. In case it is helpful as you start pulling together your beach reading for the summer, I posted a list and quick highlights of the Books I Read in April. There are a few gems in there that would be well worth your time.
All the best,
Food for Thought:
- NYT – Meet the Renegades of the Intellectual Dark Web – Credit GR – An alliance of heretics is making an end run around the mainstream conversation. Should we be listening?
- NYT – How to Survive Your 40s
- GQ – The Great High School Impostor. What Artur Samarin pulled off at a school in small-town Pennsylvania is one of the boldest hoaxes of our time.
- NYT – At Rockefeller Auction, They Came. They Bid. They Mostly Lost.
- NYP – Despite the glamour, the Met Gala is ‘not an enjoyable evening’. The first Monday in May has come and gone…despite the pomp and circumstance, maybe this is one hard to get ticket you wouldn’t want?
- IFG – A Value Investor Lost in the Valley, with Chris Douvos. Patrick O’Shaughnessy’s podcast has become required material for any investor. This interview is one of the best – an inside look at the VC world.
- Medium – The Hyperfragmentation of Retail and Why the Biggest Winners are Digital Ad Platforms, not Microbrands.
- HBR – Why Talented People Don’t Use Their Strengths
- Adventure.Es – How to Acquire Your First Small(er) Company
- TeamCoCo – Learn How Rich You Could Have Been With Hindsight Financial – Credit PK – Find out how many years earlier you could have retired if you were better at investing your money.
- BI – 17 insider facts about shopping at Costco only employees know
- NYP – How Robin Williams was being torn apart and couldn’t fight back.
- Bloomberg – Nashville’s Wall Street Crowd to Score 87% Savings on Home Taxes – Credit JC – More money, less to spend it on. A shorter trip to work, less to do with the free time. These are some of the trade-offs facing employees of AllianceBernstein Holding LP.
- Medium – Hermès is not a luxury brand. “The entire customer experience is contrary to the brand. Hermès wants to stand for craftsmanship and for beauty. And what they end up standing for is the subordination of the human to money.”
- Guardian – Avicii: the poster boy for EDM who struggled with the spotlight. The death of the 28-year-old Swedish DJ and producer marks a tragic end to an illustrious career underpinned by pressure.
This week’s highlights: Meta-Narratives and Escapism, Chaos Theory and Warehouse Design, Autonomous and Mapping
Fifteen on Friday – 03/02/18 – Issue 275
Welcome to March and to Fifteen on Friday – our weekly curation of the most interesting articles of the week.
Whatever your political leanings and background, it seems universally agreeable that we are having a cultural moment in which an old system is showing strain, and what comes in its place remains to be determined. In that spirit, the first three articles this week, look at what happens when the dominant meta-narrative (or cultural operating system) comes under pressure. Some may make the case for escapism (ala Peter Thiel), while the young look to re-architect the environment to their suiting. Much to consider.
All the best,
Food for Thought:
- NYMag – Has the Operating System for the Western World Crashed?
- TheGuardian – Why Silicon Valley billionaires are prepping for the apocalypse in New Zealand How an extreme libertarian tract predicting the collapse of liberal democracies – written by Jacob Rees-Mogg’s father – inspired the likes of Peter Thiel to buy up property across the Pacific
- NYT – A Generation Emerging From the Wreckage “I’ve been going around to campuses asking undergraduate and graduate students how they see the world. Most of the students I’ve met with so far are at super-competitive schools — Harvard, Yale, the University of Chicago and Davidson — so this is a tiny slice of the rising generation. Still, their comments are striking.”
- NashvillePost – Still building. After almost 20 years as the President of Belmont University, Bob Fisher has left quite an impression Enrollment has grown from 3,000 to 8,000, 10 new buildings, and new degree programs. This is a thoughtful look back at all the changes at a relatively small, maybe somewhat sleepy, Baptist university that is climbing into the limelight.
- Tennessean – A slave taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey. She’s made telling his story her life’s work.
- QZ – Amazon – This company built one of the world’s most efficient warehouses by embracing chaos. This was mind-blowing to read. Amazon’s warehouses have goods distributed at random rather than everything stored together in an orderly fashion.
- Racked – Why Is It So Hard for Clothing Manufacturers to Pay a Living Wage? H&M promised to make sure the people who make the company’s clothes can live on their pay, but the benchmarks have shifted.
- WashPo – REI, Mountain Equipment Co-Op stop selling major outdoor brand with NRA ties. Gun control is certainly a hot button issue. This piece is a fascinating look at how one public company with a firearms division is seeing clients of another division withhold business. Policy making through the free market perhaps.
- HBR – When CEOs’ Equity Is About to Vest, They Cut Investment to Boost the Stock Price. Yet another facet of the principal/agent problem of public company leadership.
- BusinessWeek – Harvard Blew $1 Billion in Bet on Tomatoes, Sugar, and Eucalyptus – Credit PK – The university’s highly paid money managers thought they could manage risks other schools avoided
- NYMag – Worst Roommate Ever “You’ve got your whole life in front of you. You’re pretty, you’ve got this house — well, you don’t have this house anymore. This house is my house.”
- AoM – How to Read More Books This Year I’m going to whisper the secret to reading a lot of books. Are you ready? You need to spend more time reading.
- Bloomberg – Nobody Wants to Let Google Win the War for Maps All Over Again Self-driving cars need painfully detailed data on every inch of street. Can automakers solve the problem without the reigning superpower of maps?
- Jalopnik – The New F1 Halo Doesn’t Look That Bad For Drivers, After All That. Looking to improve the safety of open-wheeled racing, Formula 1 debuts a new addition to the car that better protects the driver’s head from crashes and debris.
- CM – How a Can of Guinness Works Whether you’re a fan or not, there’s something magical about a freshly—and properly—poured pint of Guinness. The way that creamy head forms at the top, and the tiny bubbles cascade down into the deep dark abyss. It’s a work of art. But that art—those cascading bubbles and creamy velvet-smooth head—isn’t magic. It’s science. More specifically, it’s nitrogen.