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David has been writing and publishing since 2006.  

Issue 352 – 11/01/19

Nov 1, 2019 | Fifteen on Friday

This week’s highlights: Airbnb Scams, Premortems, and Graphene

black and white carbon close up close up

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Issue 352

by David Wells – Nashville TN

Real ID Update

First, thanks for the feedback, thoughts and ideas shared after last week’s discussion of Tennessee’s Real ID roll out disaster.  Here’s the general consensus:

  • First option – A good number of people are saying forget it, I’ll just carry my passport until my license expires in a few years and avoid the problem.  Not a bad option – just remember that you will have to carry your passport every time you fly and every time you enter certain government buildings.
  • Second option – and a hat tip to Andrew M for this – is to get a Passport Card – info here. A passport card is a wallet sized passport designed for folks who commute back and forth to Canada and Mexico.  It is Real ID compliant and if you have an existing passport only costs $30 to receive. Drawback is that it can’t be used for international travel.  You’ll still get a state Real ID when your license expires, but at least your odds of leaving your passport at home are probably lower.
  • Third option –  Run the gauntlet at the DMV.  If you decide to go that route – here are the documents you are required to bring.
  • Finally – Move – I got separate messages from folks in Georgia, Texas and Alabama saying that those states had already figured this out – in some cases 3-4 years ago. This seems like a dramatic choice – but with the Nashville Business Journal noting today that Downtown Nashville will see an additional 200,000 daily commuters in the next five years – maybe it’s not so far fetched.
Ok, back to our regular scheduled programming.

Original Content –

  • What a Family Office Does – In my last post, we discussed what a family office is and typical reasons why it may be formed.  This week, we look at the 2 strategies family offices can pursue as they build out and the four modules of services that one may typically offer.



Food for Thought:

Top Read of the Week:  Vice – I Accidentally Uncovered a Nationwide Scam on Airbnb

Why It Matters:  “While searching for the person who grifted me in Chicago, I discovered just how easy it is for users of the short-term rental platform to get exploited.”

Consider as well:  

  1. WashPo – The ‘race whisperer’ – This is a totally crazy story – A black activist convinced a neo-Nazi he’d save him from legal ruin. Then the real plan began.
  2. NYMag – What’s Left of Conde Nast?  Two years after Si Newhouse died (and Graydon Carter left), Anna Wintour and a new CEO map out the future they can afford.
  3. WashPo – ‘He is right on all counts’: Obama finds rare bipartisan support by bashing ‘woke’ shaming
  4. NYT – ‘OK Boomer’ Marks the End of Friendly Generational Relations  Now it’s war: Gen Z has finally snapped


Top Read of the Week: PDS – The Misuse of Premortems on Wall Street

Why It Matters:  Premortems are a helpful tool to improve decision making.  Rather than conducting a postmortem after a decision that went poorly and reviewing why it went wrong, a premortem flips the time table.  Many investment firms have been quick to adopt the approach.  But as the authors of this paper highlight, inconsistency of implementation has limited its effectiveness.

Consider as well:

  1. Inc – The Wisdom of Peter Drucker from A to Z  Known widely as the father of management, Peter Drucker formulated many concepts about business that we now take for granted. On the 100th anniversary of his birth, we take a look at Drucker’s contributions, from A to Z.
  2. NYT – 1.5 Million Packages a Day: The Internet Brings Chaos to N.Y. Streets  The push for convenience is having a stark impact on gridlock, roadway safety and pollution in New York City and urban areas around the world.
  3. Economist – Dismembering Big Tech  It would please investors, but is unlikely to happen
  4. Wired – At an Outback Steakhouse Franchise, Surveillance Blooms  An interesting application of machine vision / learning in the corporate space – “Fried onion meets 1984.”


Top Read of the Week:  NYT – A Physics Magic Trick: Take 2 Sheets of Carbon and Twist

Why It Matters:  “The study of graphene was starting to go out of style, but new experiments with sheets of the ultrathin material revealed there was much left to learn.”

Consider as well:

  1. NYT – Rising Seas Will Erase More Cities by 2050, New Research Shows
  2. Edmunds – The worst financial mistake a car buyer can make  But while getting a good deal is important, it does not guarantee immunity from making the costliest financial mistake: purchasing the wrong vehicle and selling it soon afterward to buy another new vehicle.
  3. BBC – Formula 1 rule changes: The Secret AerodynamicistFormula 1 comes stateside this week with the US Grand Prix in Austin TX.  By sheer coincident, this also lined up with the debut of new rule changes in 2021 that potentially dramatically overhaul the motorsport.
  4. NYT – The Jean-Georges Recipe for Restaurants  In the era of the auteur chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten has figured out how to create high-end restaurants by the dozen. How — and why — does he do it?


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