David’s Articles

David has been writing and publishing since 2006.  

Issue 356 – 12/6/2019

Dec 6, 2019 | Fifteen on Friday

This week’s highlights: Tinkering, Aesthetic Intelligence, Global Warming

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Issue 355

by David Wells – Nashville TN

Happy Friday Everyone,

Thanksgiving has past and the rush to the end of the year is upon us.

Original Content I published this week:

  • FCS – The Why of a Family Office –  Embedded within the choice to establish a Family Office (FO) is the opinion, whether verbalized or not, that the family is better as a result of having a FO in place. This fact may come as close as possible to the equivalent of a Hippocratic Oath for those who work within family offices. Namely, that the actions of the FO must ultimately be about the perpetuation and prosperity of the family.
  • DCW – Books Read – Q4’19 – With almost 40 books read in 2019 (I don’t watch much tv), here’s the final list for this quarter.
All the best,

Food for Thought:

Top Read of the Week:  Freakonomics – Honey, I Grew the Economy

Why It Matters:  Tinkering matters – but is not accounted for in traditional measures of economic growth and innovation. It is estimated that “Americans invest about $41 billion a year in household innovation. “This,” they write, “is about half of what producers spend in R&D to develop new products for consumers — a sizable fraction.”

Consider as well:  

  1. VanityFair – Ponzi Schemes, Private Yachts, and a Missing $250 Million in Crypto: The Strange Tale of Quadriga  When Canadian blockchain whiz Gerald Cotten died unexpectedly last year, hundreds of millions of dollars in investor funds vanished into the crypto ether. But when the banks, the law, and the forces of Reddit tried to track down the cash, it turned out the young mogul may not have been who he purported to be.
  2. ESPN – Loss, love and a promise kept for the voice of Auburn football  When the choice to serve as legal guardian becomes real after a tragedy.
  3. Outside – Why Mike Posner Walked Across America  Years after he took that pill in Ibiza, Grammy nominee Mike Posner left behind his life in L.A. to go on a 2,851-mile journey in search of… something. Here’s what he learned about grief, motivation, struggle, and authenticity.
  4. QZ – A democratic experiment in Ireland could become the model for fighting climate change  Ireland’s struggle with climate change cuts to the heart of people’s daily lives and reflects the country’s revival after recession: more cars on the road and thriving cattle farms.  That makes it a political hot potato that Irish governments have tended to kick down the road—until it came to an assembly of 99 randomly selected citizens, tasked with weighing in on some of the country’s most contentious social issues.

Business / Economics:

Top Read of the Week: HBR – To Truly Delight Customers, You Need Aesthetic Intelligence

Why It Matters:  This means knowing what good taste is and thinking about how your services and products stimulate all five senses to create delight.

Consider as well:

  1. NYT – How Google’s Founders Slowly Stepped Away From Their Company   Larry Page and Sergey Brin became billionaires thanks to the success of Google. But toward the end, they appeared happy to let someone else run it.
  2. Fortune – Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz Is Rewriting a Toy Story  Strategic missteps and bad luck have added up to years of decline at the toymaker. Kreiz, the company’s fourth CEO since 2012, is trying to flip the script—and counting on Hollywood to play a starring role in its comeback.
  3. BusinessWeek – Stealing White  How a corporate spy swiped plans for DuPont’s billion-dollar color formula
  4. Om.Co – Interview with Brunello Cucinelli  Brunello is part businessman, part philosopher and part monk. He is not Jeff Bezos or Larry Page


Top Read of the Week:  NYT – Florida Keys Deliver a Hard Message: As Seas Rise, Some Places Can’t Be Saved

Why It Matters:  Climate change is reaching a point where hard decisions are being forced.  All that to say, I think I’d consider renting over buying a beach house in some coastal areas given this.

Consider as well:

  1. Quanta – The Architect of Modern Algorithms  Barbara Liskov pioneered the modern approach to writing code. She warns that the challenges facing computer science today can’t be overcome with good design alone.
  2. VentureBeat – Why ‘The Mandalorian’ cites Fortnite dev Epic Games in its credits  What you often see in The Mandalorian is the result of pointing the camera at a display running an environment from Epic’s video game tools.
  3. Vox – How to have a true hobby, not a side hustle
  4. Jalopnik – Extremely Illegal Record For Cross-Country Cannonball Run Shattered – Obviously don’t try this at home – Arne Toman, Doug Tabutt, and Berkeley Chadwick left the Red Ball garage in their customized 2015 E63 AMG at 12:57 a.m. and arrived in Redondo Beach, California 27 hours and 25 minutes later, shattering the Cannonball record.


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