This week’s highlights:  The $1,000 Bassinet, When Mobsters Play Hockey, and the Future of College

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Fifteen on Friday – 04/20/18 – Issue 281

Food for Thought:

  1. NYT – How Harvey Karp Turned Baby Sleep Into Big Business.  This generation’s Doctor Spock popularized the swaddle and simple techniques for soothing infants. Why is he now selling a $1,160 robotic bassinet?
  2. NewYorker – A Saudi Prince’s Quest to Remake the Middle EastIn his work with the White House, is Mohammed bin Salman driving out extremism, or merely seizing power for himself?
  3. TheAtlantic – The Mobster Who Bought His Son a Hockey Team.  A tale of goons, no-show jobs, and a legendary minor-league franchise that helped land its owner in prison.
  4. TheAtlantic – The Future of College Looks Like the Future of Retail.  Similar to e-commerce firms, online-degree programs are beginning to incorporate elements of an older-school, brick-and-mortar model.
  5. Worth – Back to the Garden To honor his father, philanthropist Michael Shmerling has created an Alzheimer’s care center in Nashville that is changing the way Americans handle a growing tragedy.

Business/Economics:

  1. 25iq – Business Lessons from Mark Leonard (Constellation Software).  Meet the Berkshire Hathaway of software.
  2. Glossy – Go young, go digital: Gucci and Louis Vuitton have similarly successful playbooks.  Gucci and Louis Vuitton have emerged as two modern luxury success stories, as sales continue to climb internationally at both brands. And even though they answer up to different chains of command at their respective parent companies, Kering and LVMH, similar success formulas can be traced in each of the brands’ strategies.
  3. FastCo – The Cult Brand Whisperer Behind Casper, Allbirds, And Birchbox In a competitive startup environment, Brooklyn-based creative agency Red Antler helps founders hone their brands at the earliest stages.
  4. II – John Casey, the Billionaires’ Consigliere  The man and firm — Casey Quirk — behind the titans of asset management.
  5. Forbes – How Vineyard Vines Built A Giant Brand Without Raising A Penny Of Equity

Culture/Tech/Science:

  1. Bloomberg – Palantir Knows Everything About You.  Think Facebook is creepy?
  2. Engadget – MoviePass’s finances show that it might be too good to be true.  I mean honestly, is anyone surprised by this?
  3. WashPo – What would Prince want? Two years later, his estate is a mess and his legacy unclear.
  4. Wired – It’s Time for An RSS Revival.  Does an old school web technology provide the protection from tracking and invasive advertising that people are looking for
  5. RollingStone – Dwayne Johnson: The Pain and the Passion That Fuel the Rock Hollywood’s most dependable good guy on saving the day in ‘Rampage,’ his beef with Vin Diesel, presidential rumors and more.