David’s Articles

David has been writing and publishing since 2006.  

Issue 347 – 09/20/19

Sep 20, 2019 | Fifteen on Friday

This week’s highlights: Lifelong Readers, A 5G Competitor, and Performance Beer

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Issue 347

by David Wells – Nashville TN
Happy Friday Everyone,

Original Content:

What I’m Reading Now:
  • The Plaza: The Secret Life of America’s Most Famous Hotel   “From the moment in 1907 when New York millionaire Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt strode through the Plaza Hotel’s revolving doors to become its first guest, to the afternoon in 2007 when a mysterious Russian oligarch paid a record price for the hotel’s largest penthouse, the eighteen-story white marble edifice at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 59th Street has radiated wealth and luxury.”


Food for Thought:

Top Read of the Week:  TheAtlantic – Why Some People Become Lifelong Readers.

Why It Matters:  We think a lot about this in our household.  In a world where reading and the ability to self-educate rapidly is arguably a competitive advantage, the question remains of how to begin the process of helping kids develop a love of reading.

Consider as well:

  1. NYT – Young People Are Going to Save Us All From Office Life.  “Gen Z-ers and millennials have been called lazy and entitled. Could they, instead, be among the first to understand the proper role of work in life?”
  2. BitterSoutherner – Teaching the Contradictions of Stone Mountain  “Before taking a group of international college students on a field trip to a place like Stone Mountain Park, it’s important to give them the proper context.”
  3. Slate – My Pro Forma Life – “This is as enjoyable to read in 2019 as it was in 2002 when it was first published.  Re-discovered it in my archives this week.”
  4. SwitchedOnPOP – Baby Shark!  Charlie sits down with Andrea Silenzi, host of the amazing parenting podcast The Longest Shortest Time to break down one of the biggest love/hate hits of recent memory


Top Read of the Week:  Economist – Ren Zhengfei may sell Huawei’s 5G technology to a Western buyer

Why It Matters:  This is the first I have ever heard of a company attempting something like this.  “The Chinese telecoms giant’s boss considers creating a competitor for his company”

Consider as well:

  1. GW – How a stealthy insurance tech startup bootstrapped its way to a $2.35B acquisition in less than 4 years – A Unicorn you haven’t heard of
  2. II – Jim Grant Is a Wall Street Cult Hero. Does It Matter If He’s Often Wrong?  A hard-copy financial newsletter, an adoring readership, and a bow tie.
  3. BEvans – Apple, services and moats  Apple announced another phone, but pretty much all phones are great now, and most of the dramatic innovation is behind us as the market matures.
  4. Jalopnik – The Legal Argument That Could Destroy Uber Is About To Be Tested


Top Read of the Week:  FastCo – Why ‘performance beer’ is the newest trend in sports beverages

Why It Matters:  You would think that consumer products companies would be struggling in an ‘experience-driven’ economy.  While that may be true for some of the oldest, most staid brands (here’s looking at you Kraft), nimble startups are finding significant opportunity in selling into the passionate fan-bases of many experiential ecosystems.

Consider as well:

  1. Economist – Flying taxis are taking off to whisk people around cities
  2. Curbed – New Charlotte building graced with massive 4K LED display
  3. FS – The Big Impact of Small Interventions  Greg is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and has been researching what he calls “wise interventions” for years. These are small daily interactions that have the capacity to reshape how people make sense of themselves, the world around them, and society at large.
  4. JP – You Can’t Even See This Hypersonic Sled Hit 6,599 MPH


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Nashville, TN