How To Write Better Harvard Business Review Articles: Have Cormac McCarthy Do Your Editing - "I really enjoyed this anecdote about the writing of W. Brian Arthur's classic article on increasing returns from 1996." (via) [more inside]
How Pittsburgh became Uber's Kitty Hawk: Gov't emails reveal the promise, pitfalls of alliance — PennLive reports on the often chummy, sometimes adversarial relationship between Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Uber senior executives, including co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick. [more inside]
The World's Largest Hedge Fund Is Building an Algorithmic Model of Its Founder's Brain - "Mr. Dalio has the highest stratum score at Bridgewater, and the firm has told employees he has one of the highest in the world. Likewise, Bridgewater's software judges Mr. Dalio the firm's most 'believable' employee in matters such as investing and leadership, which means his opinions carry more weight. Mr. Dalio is always in search of new data with which to measure his staff. He once raised the idea of using head bands to track people's brain waves, according to one former employee. The idea wasn't adopted." [more inside]
This Is Your Life, Brought to You by Private Equity [The New York Times] Since the financial crisis, the private equity industry has become hugely influential. As part of our series on what that means, here’s how the industry’s influence plays out in your daily life. [more inside]
Business of Fashion: "Is Your T-shirt Clean of Slavery? Science May Soon Be Able to Tell. Shoppers lured by a bargain-priced t-shirt but concerned about whether the item is free of slave labor could soon have the answer — from DNA forensic technology." [more inside]
The interval between the 2016 US election and inauguration of POTUS #45 continues. Donald likes an avid reader, but claims many bogus votes were cast and others believe it. Romney (previous, post title, transcript) emerges full of chocolate cake and glowing praise. The "swamp" continues to be filled, and despite 'leaving business' there are conflicts (multiple, many) of interest. There's recount news in Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin. Amongst voter suppression news (more, more, again), recent tactics arguably worked (more), Michigan is trying to pass tougher ID laws, legal issues continue in North Carolina, and the fight will be a hard and an unavoidable one. [more inside]
Still economically devastated by the closure of its steelworks in 1980, "The residents of Consett are key cogs in a booming online industry. A Reuters investigation has found they have served as directors of more than 1,000 businesses: poker games, pop-up get-rich-quick schemes, vendors of colon cleansers and healthfoods, and much more."
AT&T Agrees to Buy Time Warner for More Than $80 Billion [The Washington Post] “AT&T’s ambitious move to acquire Time Warner for more than $80 billion, which the Wall Street Journal first reported could be announced as soon as Saturday, would singlehandedly turn America’s second-largest wireless carrier into a content powerhouse and one of the most prominent TV, film and video-game producers in the world. AT&T and Time Warner did not immediately respond to requests for comment.” [more inside]
An in-depth piece on Chipotle and the company's attempts to recover from a major crisis caused by several food safety incidents in its supply chain and restaurants.
Liquid Assets: How the Business of Bottled Water Went Mad by Sophie Elmhirst [The Guardian] “Water is no longer simply water – it has become a commercial blank slate, a word on to which any possible ingredient or fantastical, life-enhancing promise can be attached. And it’s working. Over the past two decades, bottled water has become the fastest-growing drinks market in the world. The global market was valued at $157bn in 2013, and is expected to reach $280bn by 2020. Last year, in the UK alone, consumption of water drinks grew by 8.2%, equating to a retail value of more than £2.5bn. Sales of water are 100 times higher than in 1980. Of water: a substance that, in developed countries, can be drunk for free from a tap without fear of contracting cholera. What is going on?”
This self service store in Jersey really trusts you.
"The reason your neighborhood increasingly resembles a hometown mall is because somebody’s banker prefers it that way," writes Patrick Clark at Bloomberg.com. [more inside]
The State of PC Piracy in 2016 [PC Gamer] “Piracy seems like it should be so simple, right? Stealing games is wrong. The end. But piracy is one of the most charged, complex, and divisive debates in gaming. Follow a piracy discussion long enough and it will spiral through issues as complicated as international economic policy, the concept of 'ownership' for digital property, game preservation, and the principle of the PC as an unrestricted technology platform. Piracy in 2016, the age of digital distribution, indie gaming, and Steam’s dominance, is a different animal from the PC piracy of 1990 or 2000 or 2010. Unlicensed software distribution is just as illegal as it was when Don’t Copy That Floppy was a meaningful anti-piracy strategy, but our own understanding of the crime and its motivations haven’t kept pace with technology.” [more inside]
How big data increases inequality and threatens democracy - "A former academic mathematician and ex-hedge fund quant exposes flaws in how information is used to assess everything from creditworthiness to policing tactics, with results that cause damage both financially and to the fabric of society. Programmed biases and a lack of feedback are among the concerns behind the clever and apt title of Cathy O'Neil's book: Weapons of Math Destruction." [more inside]
International investors have a private court of appeal even in criminal matters - "A parallel legal universe, open only to corporations and largely invisible to everyone else, helps executives convicted of crimes escape punishment. [ISDS] operates unconstrained by precedent or any significant public oversight, often keeping its proceedings and sometimes even its decisions secret." (via) [more inside]
A widespread lack of understanding of the market — and its role in education, in social unrest, in campaign finance, in economic stability, in protest votes of the disenfranchised against entrenched elites — is one of the greatest threats to modern democracy.
What It Takes for an Independent Record Store to Survive Now [Pitchfork Media] Even as legacy music shops continue to shutter across the country, Midwestern institution Used Kids has managed to stay afloat for the last 30 years and counting. How do they do it?
9 Non-Threatening Leadership Strategies for Women — Should men accept powerful women and not feel threatened by them? Yes. Is that asking too much? IS IT? Sorry I didn’t mean to get aggressive there. (SLCooperReview)
Verizon to Pay $4.8 Billion for Yahoo’s Core Business [The New York Times] Yahoo was the front door to the web for an early generation of internet users, and its services still attract a billion visitors a month. But the internet is an unforgiving place for yesterday’s great idea, and on Sunday, Yahoo reached the end of the line as an independent company. The board of the Silicon Valley company agreed to sell Yahoo’s core internet operations and land holdings to Verizon for $4.8 billion, according to people briefed on the matter, who were not authorized to speak about the deal before the planned announcement on Monday morning. [more inside]
ARM Holdings, the British microprocessor design company whose designs are in almost all mobile devices, is being acquired by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank for £24.3bn. [more inside]
The Strange Perils of Running a Novelty Item Empire: Seattle’s Archie McPhee is one of the largest and oldest novelty designers and manufacturers in America, providing the average Joe with items that seem like they were designed in some other dimension where the laws of practicality and common sense no longer apply. They have a long, colorful history of bringing weird and unfathomable items to an unsuspecting world. But it’s not all screaming pickles and wind-up teeth. Running one of the most successful novelty operations in the world can lead to some pretty bizarre disasters.
Buzzfeed is currently coming under fire from various creators: Akilah Hughes claims that Buzzfeed plagiarised her videos, Gaby Dunn speaks up against the no-compete clause that led to 2 colleagues being fired for appearing in another websseries (response by Buzzfeed Motion Pictures head Ze Frank), and Kat Blaque talks about the exploitation of intellectual labour from marginalized people for Buzzfeed content.
"I think now is the perfect time to start (or restart) a local digital news operation. There are few greater gifts in journalism than a blank sheet of paper." In CJR, editor and entrepreneur Jim Brady (@jimbrady) on why and how now might finally be the time for local journalism in the USA to find a business model that works. [more inside]
All Tomorrow's Parties, the independent festival organisation, is shutting down with immediate effect. [more inside]
"America's Richest Self-Made Women": article by Luisa Kroll / dynamic view with grouping by theme / list [Forbes]
Don’t Know What To Read? Let Goldman Sachs Tell You. [Melville House] "Goldman Sachs: financial giant, hotbed of enthusiasm for subprime mortgages, and hapless recipient of your hard-earned money. Who better to tell you what to read? Well, now they are telling you what to read, in the form of a recently-published recommended book list [PDF]. We’re talking about people who incurred $550 million in fines for schemes to turn a profit on the civilization-threatening financial crisis they themselves had helped create, and the line between genius and chutzpah is notoriously hard to draw, so, yeah, I’d like to know what’s on these folks’ bedside tables."
In case you were wondering about [a conspicuous lack of] the Koch Brothers' involvement in the 2016 US political elections, here is the inside scoop. [more inside]
In a sea of imperfect options, this is the one I feel best about! We made something great for three years, and now we’re going to go do something else. The only regret I have is that Bustle will outlive us and I will never be able to icily reject a million-dollar check from Bryan Goldberg, but that’s pretty much it. - The Toast will be closing on July 1st. [more inside]
How Marsala Wine Became an Italian Typical Product: "It is not by chance that, when in the 1960s a “Protected Denomination of Origin” system was established, Marsala was the first Italian product to obtain such recognition. The history of this wine and the role that it plays in the international commerce since the end of the 19th c., is however strongly reliant on merchants and entrepreneurs that were not Italian, but English."
When Scientology Sponsored Race Cars [Road and Track] John Travolta. Mario Andretti. The Pope. Aliens. Germans. The Indy 500. Milwaukee. The Church of Scientology. Welcome to 1988's bizarre intersection between motorsports, religion, and sponsorship. [more inside]
World After Capital by Albert Wenger [Work in Progress; GitHub; GitBook; PDF; FAQ] - "Technological progress has shifted scarcity for humanity. When we were foragers, food was scarce. During the agrarian age, it was land. Following the industrial revolution, capital became scarce. With digital technologies scarcity is shifting from capital to attention. World After Capital suggests ways to expand economic, informational and psychological freedom to go from an industrial to a knowledge society." (previously)
Elizabeth Warren has a great idea for making Tax Day less painful - "She's taking on TurboTax and other predatory companies." [more inside]
Why Diversity And Inclusion Will Be A Top Priority For 2016 Research shows that gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to outperform their peers and ethnically-diverse companies are 35% more likely to do the same.
Who owns who? Corporate ownership of global makeup brands (Avery Mae Beauty blog) [more inside]
Nine years ago, when she was 27 and unhappily selling real estate, Gina Locklear went to her parents with a proposition.
Now 36, she's leading the latest million selling trend. Meet the Sock Queen of Alabama.
Now 36, she's leading the latest million selling trend. Meet the Sock Queen of Alabama.
My Year in Startup Hell. Dogs roam HubSpot’s hallways, because like the kindergarten decor, dogs have become de rigueur for tech startups. At noon, Zack tells me, a group of bros meets in the lobby on the second floor to do push-ups together... On the second floor there are shower rooms, which are intended for bike commuters and people who jog at lunchtime, but also have been used as sex cabins when the Friday happy hour gets out of hand. Later I will learn (from Penny, the receptionist, who is a fantastic source of gossip) that at one point things got so out of hand that management had to send out a memo. “It’s the people from sales,” Penny tells me. “They’re disgusting.” [more inside]
Pot businesses are, above all, businesses, and they’re responding as businesses do: with marketing aimed at convincing longtime pot users that their brand is better than the others—and, just as important, at increasing demand by encouraging curious nonusers to try their product first. --The Art of Marketing Marijuana [SLTheAtlantic]
He built Marvel Comics and laid the foundation for today’s blockbuster superhero movies. So why, at 93, is his legacy in question?
Studio Heads Of The Classic Era Ranked In Terms Of Personal Awfulness -by resident Hollywood expert The Whelk [via mefi projects]
A Fine Mess: How Not to Assert Your Copyright in the Youtube Age by Vlad Savov [The Verge] [more inside]
Stealing White: How a corporate spy swiped plans for DuPont’s billion-dollar color formula By Del Quentin Wilber [Bloomberg Business]
“At first, you’re like: Why are they stealing the color white? I had to Google it to figure out what titanium dioxide even was,” says Dean Chappell, acting section chief of counterespionage for the FBI. “Then you realize there is a strategy to it.” You can’t even call it spying, adds John Carlin, the assistant attorney general in charge of the U.S. Department of Justice’s national security division. “This is theft. And this—stealing the color white—is a very good example of the problem. It’s not a national security secret. It’s about stealing something you can make a buck off of. It’s part of a strategy to profit off what American ingenuity creates.”
A painting commissioned for the firm’s hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary, “Transport Through the Ages,” hung above the reception desk. Bouvier insists that he never used confidential information from his logistics business to buy and sell paintings. None of the thirty-five works that he sold Rybolovlev were in storage with Natural Le Coultre. “I have the information not because I am a shipper,” he said. “It is because I am clever.”The high-end of the art market is full of mystery, built on trust, reputation, and secrecy. What happens when someone starts turning all of that on its head? An art shipper, Russian oligarch, and a Rothko in The Bouvier Affair. (Sam Knight, for The New Yorker)
Netflix and Thrill - does the streaming TV company face a rocky future, or are its traditional competitors, desperatly trying to pin down its ratings, just suffering from jealously?
Old music is outselling new music for the first time in history - 2015 marks the first year that catalog albums, albums over 18 months old, outsold newer ones in the US.
The Last Days of Target: The untold tale of Target Canada’s difficult birth, tough life and brutal death. [more inside]
Quakers pioneered social enterprise. They were also the first to fail: How hard was it to opt out of the slave economy in the U.S. before the Civil War? Pretty hard, as the "free produce" movement discovered: In 1829... the members of [the Female Association for Promoting the Manufacture and Use of Free Cotton] reported their contractors had spun 2,515 pounds of cotton. Compared to the approximately 78 million pounds of cotton produced across the country in the year 1800 alone, it was a drop in the bucket. The economics of slavery previously.
For the Wealthiest, a Private Tax System That Saves Them Billions -"The very richest are able to quietly shape tax policy that will allow them to shield billions in income." (via) [more inside]