Weekend Link Roundup

May 26, 2017

▪ Louis Vuitton is (belatedly) coming online: "LVMH and the Next Big Digital Shopping Experience."

▪ I don't understand why the value of having a "diverse" (or representative) board is still being questioned/debated in 2017 (yeah yeah I know studies have yielded mixed results, but I take issue with how those studies are designed and with their scope). Struggling retailers Urban Outfitters and J.Crew might benefit from having more female directors.  
 
▪ This article in the Atlantic tries to explain "Why American Workers Now Dress So Casually."

▪ One sign that I am becoming an old is that I find most of what's trending unpalatable. I dislike more than your brunch staple avocado toast, I also look askance at Unicorn Frappuccino® and the new crop of sushi omakase. The latest thing to draw my ire is spicy Starburst and Skittles. I am normally willing to buy a bag of whatever Big Candy has dreamt up, suffer through it, and then complain incessantly to anyone will listen for weeks. I will not be doing that for "Sweet Heat" Skittles and Starburst.

▪ Elon Musk is undoubtedly a visionary, but he is also kind of nutty. I can appreciate his electric cars, reusable rockets, and solar panels, but his new tunneling project is concerning. I'll let his recent "chat" at TED (video link) speak for itself. I mean, the man and his marketing team are good at visualizing (and marketing) the product, but I wish his teams of scientists and accountants would discuss the actual cost and science of it for rigor.

▪ Indoor farming is an intriguing (and perhaps necessary) concept, but most recent attempts to scale up indoor farms have fallen flat. Though maybe "...This Silicon Valley Startup Finally Nailed The Indoor Farming Model."

▪ I have very little sympathy for casinos. When I read about those who've figured out a way to "hack" the game in their favor, I tend to cheer for their escape from casino security guards and law enforcement. A recent episode of Planet Money investigated how a group of Russians managed to exploit outdated algorithms in certain slot machines to make money off casinos.


The metarule for insider trading: "if your interactions with the insider look corrupt, that's bad."

▪ As a self-professed neophile, when I read the headline "Nine Days With an Absurd $9,000 Gaming Laptop," my first thought was: why don't I have a $9000 gaming laptop? And my second thought was: should I get a $9000 gaming laptop? Thankfully this computer is actually more of a hassle than a prize, and by the end of the article I was glad I didn't have that $9000 gaming laptop.


▪ Opendoor, which became a unicorn late last year, is the focus of this New York Times piece titled "The Rise of the Fat Start-Up." I have long been amused by the fact that companies with fairly "traditional" business models, by virtue of having an app or being "internet connected," are instantly transformed into a tech startup.

▪ I am subscribed to some 20+ podcasts at any time, and have an unplayed list that's depressingly long. The only podcast that I make an effort to get through every day is the New York Times's "The Daily," which highlights and explains the most compelling headlines of the day. If you don't feel like reading the paper cover-to-cover every day, subscribing to The Daily ensures that you don't miss anything "big." It's a weirdly intimate podcast for the genre: listeners are exposed to some of what gets edited out of many podcasts, like calls (in their entirety) that host Michael Barbaro would place to field reporters or sources.

▪ I have no doubt that "Your Camera Wants to Kill the Keyboard," but I am doubtful that it will be successful. Speech recognition and vision technology will surely change the face of search engines, but I am skeptical that the keyboard will become obsolete (at least in the foreseeable future).

▪ It's psychologically expedient to distill Florida down to a meme about Florida Man, but this article reminds us that, "Florida isn't a monolith."

▪ I don't really understand how Etsy managed to sell $2.8 billion of merchandise last year, but it brings me no joy to imagine "Barbarians ... at Etsy’s Hand-Hewn, Responsibly Sourced Gates."

▪ I will try to keep the weekly shopping update current through next Monday.

Have a great long weekend, everyone!

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