David’s Articles

David has been writing and publishing since 2006.  

Issue 345 – 09/06/19

Sep 6, 2019 | Fifteen on Friday

This week’s highlights: Next Day Delivery, Thinking Backwards, and Commutes

Issue 345

by David Wells – Nashville TN
Happy Friday Everyone,


Food for Thought:

Top Read of the Week:  BuzzFeedNews – The Cost of Next-Day Delivery.

Why It Matters:   Last week, we picked on Amazon’s problem with counterfeit and dangerous goods.  This week is another deep-dive on the company’s growing pains, specifically around last-mile delivery.  To lower prices further and increase convenience, Amazon has pushed last mile distribution to micro-enterprises with ill effect.

Consider as well:

  1. NYT – A Nobel-Winning Economist Goes to Burning Man  Is this bacchanal a model of urban planning?
  2. Vulture – Renée Zellweger’s Lost Decade.  After Bridget Jones, after the Harvey-at-Miramax years, after a break from acting, now she’s ready to play Judy Garland.
  3. TheAtlantic – 17 Questions Every College Should Be Asking  Ben Sasse on higher ed.  “We need a serious conversation about the future of America’s universities.”
  4. QZ – Kids Need Structure More Than Warmth From Their Parents, According to a Top Child Psychologist


Top Read of the Week:  Morningstar – Want to Test Your Managers’ Mettle? Ask Them to Work Backward

Why It Matters:  Charlie Munger has repeatedly outlined the importance of inverting ones thinking as a way of testing its robustness.  “Don’t settle for reassurances. Ask active fund managers to explain how they’ll deliver the value they purport to add after fees.”

Consider as well:

  1. Stratechery – What is a Tech Company?
  2. ZH – Michael Burry on Index Funds  “The dirty secret of passive index funds – whether open- end, closed-end, or ETF – is the distribution of daily dollar value traded among the securities within the indexes they mimic. In the Russell 2000 Index, for instance, the vast majority of stocks are lower volume, lower value-traded stocks.
  3. NYT – Founders of Successful Tech Companies Are Mostly Middle-Aged
  4. AdWeek – Generic Brands Are Getting Some Serious Upgrades


Top Read of the Week:  CityLab – The Commuting Principle That Shaped Urban History.

Why It Matters:   “From ancient Rome to modern Atlanta, the shape of cities has been defined by the technologies that allow commuters to get to work in about 30 minutes.”

Consider as well:

  1. TheAtlantic – The Meaning of Silence in Conversations About Death.  Could AI teach doctors when to stop talking?
  2. Jalopnik – Car Talk’s Long Goodbye
  3. NYT – Welcome to San Diego. Don’t Mind the Scooters. A year ago, electric rental scooters were hailed as the next big thing in transportation. But their troubles in San Diego show how the services have now hit growing pains.
  4. JS – 29 LinkedIn Photo Mistakes to Avoid


Subscribe Today

Join 5,000 other followers of David's thinking and insights


Nashville, TN