What is Fifteen on Friday?

Fifteen on Friday (Fof) is a weekly newsletter that is delivered every Friday afternoon directly to your inbox.  The goal is to curate a thoughtful list of the most interesting pieces of the week, across a wide range of subjects from arts, culture, economics, science, technology and occasionally fashion.

The Week’s Best Reads – 11/17/17

This week’s highlights: DaVinci, Amazon’s Last Mile and the Future of Alzheimer’s research.

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Fifteen on Friday – 11/17/17 – Issue 262

$450 Million 

The single highest number ever paid for a painting at auction occurred this week on a ‘newly’ discovered Leonardo – and likely the only Leonardo effectively in private hands.  Interestingly, the painting was in a contemporary art auction instead of an “Old Masters” one.  It remains a head scratcher in many ways as to the reason behind such an astronomical valuation.  But in an uncertain world, where one’s grasp on his wealth can remain tenuous at best (just ask the Saudi Royals currently locked in the Ritz) – maybe no store of value is too pricey?

Have a great weekend,

David

Food for Thought:

  1. T&C – Here’s Exactly How Much Money You Need To Be Happy.  I actually would disagree with this article’s title – this is perhaps more, how much money to live like the proverbial “Joneses”
  2. MNSS – Geeks, MOPs, and sociopaths in subculture evolution.  Subcultures and the birth of what we believe is cool.
  3. TheAtlantic – Why Can’t Addicts Just Quit? In some cities, heroin addicts have access to treatment, but many are still using. Now, Seattle is poised to open a safe-injection facility for those who just can’t stop. So why can’t they?
  4. VanityFair – How Don Hewitt Invented 60 Minutes and Changed Journalism Forever In his new book Fifty Years of 60 Minutes, Jeff Fager reports on the rise of CBS’s flagship newsmagazine and the role the producer played in making America’s must-watch TV news program a dynasty.
  5. Vulture – Christie’s Is Selling This Painting for $100 Million. They Say It’s by Leonardo. I Have Doubts. Big Doubts.  This piece was the day before the sale – it ultimately transacted for $450MM – details here.  As I mentioned in my favorite top of the market indicators, record art auctions are a classic sign.

Business/Economics:

  1. Gizmodo – Amazon’s Last Mile – Credit SF – Who actually is delivering your Prime Now orders?
  2. VanityFair – WeWork’s $20 Billion Journey of Self-Discovery Takes a Detour Into Wave Pools You can’t make this stuff up.
  3. WashPo – Bill Miller is staging one of Wall Street’s most closely watched comebacks
  4. ContraCorner – Mind the Junk—-This Ain’t Your Grandfather’s Capitalism – Credit JC – The financial system is loaded with anomalies, deformations and mispricings—-outcomes which would never occur on an honest free market. For example, the junk bond yield at just 2% in Europe is now below that of the “risk-free” US treasury bond owing solely to the depredations of the ECB.
  5. ZH – Sam Zell Is Stumped: “For Amazon’s Value To Be Justified, It Has To Be Worth 25% Of The US Economy In 5 Years”

Culture/Tech/Science:

  1. GatesNotes – Why I’m Digging Deep Into Alzheimer’s.  Bill Gates is personally donating $50MM+ to Alzheimer’s research, outside of the Gates Foundation.  See also this NYTimes piece from this week.  What if You Knew Alzheimer’s Was Coming for You?
  2. DL – The Most Important Skill of a Founder: Sales – Credit SD –
  3. Axois – How cancer survival rates have changed since the 70s
  4. Curbed – Where is all the good affordable furniture?  In the Ikea era, makers and buyers face a disconnect
  5. Hodinkee – Say Hello To The New HODINKEE Shop (And What That Means) We’re taking nine years, thousands of stories, and millions of miles of experience in the watch world and putting it all to good use

The Week’s Best Reads – 11/10/17

This week’s highlights: The Mighty Ducks, The End of The Personal Car, and Dave Chappelle’s D.C. Arts School.

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Fifteen on Friday – 11/10/17 – Issue 261

Happy Friday –

It has been a busy but relatively quiet week here in Nashville.  Wednesday was Nashville’s time to shine again with the annual CMA Awards – including a phenomenal opening performance by Darius Rucker playing his 23-year old Hootie and the Blowfish hit, Hold My Hand, accompanied by a Who’s Who of Country Artists – an uplifting way to begin after the tragedy at the country music festival in Las Vegas.

Have a great weekend,

David

Food for Thought:

  1. NYT – I’m Rich, and That Makes Me AnxiousThe New York Times has a series of interesting articles out this week about wealth of which this is one.
  2. WashPo – Worried about racism’s impact on her biracial son, a mother looks at home schooling.  A look at a growing cohort of home school parents.
  3. Medium – Forget The 10,000-Hour Rule; Edison, Bezos, & Zuckerberg Follow The 10,000-Experiment Rule
  4. JamesBridle – Something is wrong on the internet A creepy analysis of the dark corners of Youtube for Kids and some of the disturbing content being produced there unbeknownst to parents.
  5. WashPo – The education of Dave Chappelle: How a D.C. arts school prepared him for stardom

Business/Economics:

  1. HBR – Many Strategies Fail Because They’re Not Actually Strategies Strategies are about choices.  Too many strategic plans are lists of goals, not choices.
  2. AN – Bob Lutz: Kiss the good times goodbye – Credit CM – ‘Everyone will have 5 years to get their car off the road or sell it for scrap’
  3. KI – “One of the Investment Greats” Explains His Portfolio Strategy  A Q&A with renowned investor Lou Simpson.
  4. ZH – Real Motive Behind Saudi Purge Emerges: $800 Billion In Confiscated Assets
  5. Stratechery – Apple at Its Best.  The history of Apple being doomed doesn’t necessarily repeat, but it does rhyme.

Culture/Tech/Science:

  1. Wired – What Mongolian Nomads Teach Us About The Digital Future
  2. FS – Power Laws: How Nonlinear Relationships Amplify Results
  3. NYT – The Most Riveting Host in Late Night (and the Most Overlooked)
  4. AE – How to Beat Decision Fatigue: The Ultimate Guide – Credit BF – Lots of good stuff here.  A practical how-to from a lot of the concepts that Barry Schwatrz discussed in his Paradox of Choice.
  5. THN – Flying High At 25: An Oral History On The Making Of ‘The Mighty Ducks’The Mighty Ducks was the primary reason why I started playing ice hockey growing up.
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