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 – 01/12/18

This week’s highlights:  The Future of Work, Runners Who Hate to Run, and A.I. Picture Creation.

Fifteen on Friday – 01/11/18 – Issue 268

A quick word of welcome to a number of new readers this week (pushing us through the thousand subscriber mark for the first time!).  As a quick refresher – Fifteen on Friday is a weekly newsletter delivered every Friday afternoon, curating a thoughtful list of the most interesting articles of the week, across a wide range of subjects from arts, culture, economics, to science, and technology.  Feel free to come and go at any time – there is an easy unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email.

  • Original Content this week.  8 Things Every High School Senior Should Know About College.   A younger cousin of mine was just accepted to my Alma Mater, Wake Forest. I wrote her an email recently reflecting on what I wish I had known about college given what I know now.  With a gentle push from my aunt, I am sharing it more broadly.

All the best,

Food for Thought:

  1. Politico – The Real Future of WorkOutsourcing to independent contractors is already changing the face of the American workforce.  Artificial intelligence will only add to this transformation.
  2. Wired – Inside China’s Vast New Experiment in Social Ranking – Credit MB.  America invented the three-digit credit score. Now companies in China are taking the idea to the extreme, using big data to track and rank what you do—your purchases, your pastimes, your mistakes.
  3. Medium – Why Calendars are More Effective Than To Do Lists
  4. WashPo – Run, don’t walk, to replace your iPhone battery for $29
  5. NYT – Why Nick Saban Is the Ultimate Masochist


  1. Fortune – BlackRock’s Edge: Why Technology Is Creating The Amazon Of Wall Street
  2. Glossy – ‘Retail is the only growth channel left’: Digitally native brands are investing in, and changing, the store
  3. BusinessWeek – Brooks Needs Runners Who Hate to Run.  The $500 million company has conquered runners. Now it has to figure out everyone else.
  4. LinkedIn – Bootstrapping vs. Raising and Why You Should Do Both A counter intuitive approach to startup fund raising.
  5. BI – Luxury brands are cleaning up their image — and it could be bad news for TJ Maxx


  1. QZ – The secret lives of students who mine cryptocurrency in their dorm rooms
  2. NYT – Why Self-Compassion Beats Self-Confidence
  3. BBC – The Real Reason Spaniards Eat Late. – Credit to Farnam Street –  Many travellers believe Spain’s late mealtimes are a reflection of the country’s laidback attitude, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
  4. NYT – How an A.I. ‘Cat-and-Mouse Game’ Generates Believable Fake Photos
  5. NYP – Why Daniel Day-Lewis had to go to fashion boot camp.  DDL’s reputation as a method actor is well established.  Yet even this piece was eye opening as to the depths he goes in developing a character.

The Week’s Best Reads – 01/05/18

This week’s highlights:  Marital Happiness, The Demise of Subway, and 6 billion nights of sleep.


Fifteen on Friday – 01/05/18 – Issue 267

Happy 2018 everyone and welcome back to the first issue of Fifteen on Friday in the New Year.  I hope this finds you well and warm – no small feat in the crazy weather going around.

Woodmont published our Fourth Quarter Market Commentary this week entitled “2017: 12 for 12 for the First Time Ever!” Click here for a thoughtful yet concise look at the goings on in the stock and bond markets currently.

All the best,

Food for Thought:

  1. RH – Seriously, You—Ok, We—Need To Stop Watching The News This Year  The amount of information we consume on a daily basis is embarrassing.
  2. NYT – The Most Expensive Mile of Subway Track on Earth  How excessive staffing, little competition, generous contracts and archaic rules dramatically inflate capital costs for transit in New York.
  3. Medium – How I’m Training My Wife to Be Happy.  A thoughtful look at the power of one person to meaningfully engage the life of another.
  4. NYT – The More the Merrier, and the Messier Coming off the holidays, this was a wonderful reflection on the joys and challenges of family, especially under one roof.
  5. Tennessean – Nashville Classical shines in city’s early literacy efforts.  As a Classical parent and board member, it is incredibly encouraging to see the phenomenal work that the team and scholars are putting in, and the corresponding success.


  1. Vanguard – What’s behind the falling number of public companies? – Credit SF
  2. HBR – How to Excel at Both Strategy and Execution
  3. BI – Subway’s ‘mystery meat’ and ‘mushy and rotten vegetables’ destroyed the ‘Eat Fresh’ advantage it spent years building.  “America will pay for quality…But Subway never gave us the chance to buy a great sandwich”
  4. Bloomberg – Inside the Eccentric, Relentless Deal-Making of Masayoshi Son.  The Japanese billionaire has changed the startup game with his aggressive investing and enormous checkbook. Does he know what he’s doing?
  5. BI – The cost of bitcoin payments is skyrocketing because the network is totally overloaded


  1. YF – What Fitbit’s 6 billion nights of sleep data reveals about us – Credit SF
  2. DIGG – A Watch Expert Describes The Differences Between A $5,000 Watch And An $85,000 Watch.  A Patek Philippe 5170P costs a boatload more than a (still very expensive!) Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch. Does it justify the difference?
  3. WashPo – The bodies of his work: Michelangelo’s muscular mastery is on display at the Met
  4. Fortune – Has Apple Lost Its Design Mojo?
  5. WashPo – Two dying memoirists wrote bestsellers about their final days. Then their spouses fell in love.  My favorite read of 2017 was Paul Kalantithi’s When Break Becomes Air.  This story is a heartwarming look at life afterwards for his widow and another author’s widower.
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