Fifteen on Friday – 06/08/18 – Issue 288

It is with a certain heaviness of heart that Fifteen on Friday comes out today.  On Tuesday, much beloved designer, Kate Spade, committed suicide at the young age of 55.  Her eponymous bags are now so universal now that they almost fade into the background, but they were a tour de force when they first debuted.  Guy Raz, host of NPR’s How I Built This, did a wonderful interview with Kate (here), that tells the story of how she built her company.

And yet, this sad news risks being relegated to the back burner already, with the announcement this morning of Anthony Bourdain’s suicide.  The outpouring of love for Bourdain is dramatic, a testimony to his gifted story telling and ability to use food to connect across cultures.  No doubt many tribute pieces will be written, but Frank Bruni at the NYT’s, is a great beginning.

As Bruni so aptly notes, that “his [Bourdain’s] death, coming just days after the suicide of the beloved designer Kate Spade, is at least as noteworthy for another reason: how powerfully it speaks to the discrepancy between what we see of people on the outside and what they’re experiencing on the inside; between their public faces and their private realities; between their visible swagger and invisible pain.”

In a year when much that has been hidden has been brought to the light through the #MeToo movement and others, we can only hope that events such as these, alongside tragedies such as Parkland, give us the space and push as a society to have a broader conversation about mental health, as the Esquire article below highlights.

Food for Thought:

  1. NPR – Why Your Health Insurer Doesn’t Care About Your Big Bills
  2. NYT – The Problem With WokenessThe greatest danger of extreme wokeness is that it makes it harder to practice the necessary skill of public life, the ability to see two contradictory truths at the same time.
  3. Esquire – ‘This Place is Crazy’.  Our mental-health-care system is broken. Ten of every eleven psychiatric patients housed by the government are incarcerated. Here’s what this crisis looks like from the inside—a series of lost lives and a few rare victories—as reported by a prisoner-journalist.
  4. GR – “Small Things, Done Consistently, Add Up to Big Things in the Long Run.”
  5. FastCo – How Reese Witherspoon is flipping the script on Hollywood  The Hello Sunshine founder is channeling women’s voices into top-tier entertainment–and altering the dynamics of the entire industry along the way.

Business/Economics:

  1. NYT – The Jobs Recovery: A Longer View With the monthly job-creation streak continuing to set records, the data shed light both on the rebound from the recession and on what’s left to be desired.
  2. Fortune – What Happened at GE?  Few corporate meltdowns have been as swift and dramatic as General Electric’s over the past 18 months—but the problems started long before that.
  3. HBR – How Ford Is Thinking About the Future
  4. BackLine – A Cold Dose of Reality, Part 1.  Nick Colas on what it takes to get and keep a job on Wall Street.
  5. Stratechery – The Cost of Developers.  Or why did Microsoft pay $7.5bn for GitHub.

Culture/Tech/Science:

  1. NYT – Top Colleges Are Cheaper Than You Think (Unless You’re Rich)
  2. WashPo – ‘I became an icon. Now I want to be an oracle’: Diane von Furstenberg is ready for her third act.
  3. Economist – Another’s wasted investment is as disturbing as one’s own
  4. Glamour – The Meghan Markle I Know
  5. NYP – Padres fan catches ball with beer, then becomes a legend