This week’s highlights: Technology meets flow, Amazon’s shareholder letter, and an art theft
Today marks 10 years to the day of when I started sending out a Friday email, today known as Fifteen on Friday. As the saying goes, ‘good artists copy; great artists steal’ there was nothing unique to the idea of starting a link round-up. My former business partner and friend, Dave H. had been doing so for years. An early co-worker and mentor in how to sell, John F (and big supporter of FoF) had similarly raved about a casual Friday afternoon research product from a former capital markets firm of his.
For me, the task was how to create something that was enjoyable to produce and hopefully pleasant enough for you to read. I’ve always loved general interest publications, be it Vanity Fair or the great weekend newspapers from the FT, WSJ, UK Times, and NYTimes. What I try to do is curate a list of content that is both thought provoking and entertaining, while uncovering something about how the world works or ways to live life a little better. A broad task, no doubt, that periodically I feel like I’m able to ‘stick the landing on.’ And yes, I know, some weeks are fewer than 15 – quality over quantity…
And here we are 10 years later. A recent data analysis suggested that only about 1/3rd of podcasts make it past ten episodes. Same is true for bloggers. Bottom line, persistence in creation is tough. That’s not to self laud, rather, I’m grateful for the formative work in my own life that has occurred from the weekly discipline of showing up and sending this out.
More than that, I’m grateful to you, the reader. About 60% of you open and read the email each week – fantastic. You share articles, push me to find new ideas/sources, and tell your friends. In a distracted world, you give me the great gift of your time and attention
Food for Thought
- WSJ – Our Tech Superpowers Are No Match for ‘Flow’. From jet planes to social media, modern technology gives us the alluring but empty sensation of power without effort
- WashPo – The remarkable brain of a carpet cleaner who speaks 24 languages
- Guardian – ‘The lunacy is getting more intense’: how Birds Aren’t Real took on the conspiracy theorists. The line between meta views and real views is so blurry…
- Ryan Holiday – Here’s Your Secret to Success: Go to Sleep
- Politico – The Promise of the 15-Minute City. Politicians and urban planners are betting on hyper-local living — a future ideal that borrows much from the past. But is it a path to urban utopia or just a fad?
Business and Markets
- Amazon – 2021 Letter to Shareholders. – This is the new CEO of Amazon, Andy Jassy, first letter.
- Medium – Success and Failure at Pebble
- Forbes – How Chris Dixon’s Dive Down The Crypto Rabbit Hole Made Him The World’s Top Venture Capitalist
- InsecurityAnalysis – Does Wall Street Need New Storytelling? If all you offer is money, all you get are mercenaries.
Science, Technology, and Culture
- WSJ – Why BeReal, a Social-Media App With No Photo Filters, Is Attracting Gen Z. Forget Instagram or TikTok. The latest social app favored by younger users is about being spontaneous without filters.
- BBC – The sports data pioneer who spotted baseball’s big fix of 1919
- City-Journal – Struggling Communities and Their Prospects. A new academic collection focuses much-needed attention on the challenges facing America’s small cities and towns.
- NYPost – How an ordinary New Mexico couple pulled off $150 million art heist
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