10 Weekend Reads

The weekend is here! Pour yourself a mug of El Borbollón coffee, grab a seat by the fire and get ready for our longer form weekend reads:

How Science Beat the Virus in fall of 2019, exactly zero scientists were studying COVID‑19, because no one knew the disease existed. By the end of March 2020, it had spread to more than 170 countries, sickened more than 750,000 people, and triggered the biggest pivot in the history of modern science. Thousands of researchers dropped whatever they were doing and began working on the pandemic instead. In mere months, science became thoroughly COVID-ized. (The Atlantic)
Reinventing Goldman Sachs Throughout its history Goldman has moved forward on a culture of innovation. Yet in an environment where innovation is rife, can they compete? (Net Interest)
OnlyFans Is a Billion-Dollar Media Giant Hiding in Plain Sight OnlyFans has grown into one of the biggest media businesses hiding in plain sight. The company has 85 million users, upward of 1 million creators, and will generate more than $2 billion in sales this year, of which it keeps about 20%. That puts the site on track for $400 million in annual net sales — dwarfing Patreon, a platform devoted to helping creative types monetize their work, which is valued at more than $1.2 billion (Bloomberg)
Everybody Hates Facebook: Understanding the Ambitions of the Company We All Love to Hate Look, I don’t want to be writing this. You hate Facebook. I hate Facebook. Regulators hate Facebook. The only person who likes Facebook is that guy you went to high school with who posts Q Anon content and still wishes you happy birthday every year. Just look at the product. It’s a Frankenstein built from years of multivariate testing instead of product vision. (Not Boring)
How suspected Russian hackers outed their massive cyberattack Foreign hackers who pulled off a stealthy breach of at least a dozen federal agencies got caught after successfully logging in to a top cybersecurity firm’s network, tipping the company off to a broader hacking campaign targeting the U.S. government. The suspicious log-in prompted FireEye to begin investigating what it ultimately determined to be a highly damaging vulnerability in software used across the government and by many Fortune 500 companies. (Politico)
The Most American Religion: Perpetual outsiders, Mormons spent 200 years assimilating to a certain national ideal—only to find their country in an identity crisis. What will the third century of the faith look like? (The Atlantic)
Playing with reality: A Game Designer’s Analysis of QAnon I am a game designer: I create and research games designed to be played in reality. I’ve worked in Alternate Reality Games (ARGs), LARPs, experience fiction, interactive theater, and “serious games.” Stories and games that can start on a computer, and finish in the real world. Fictions designed to feel as real as possible. Games with rabbit holes that invite you into wonderland and entice you through the looking glass. When I saw QAnon, I knew exactly what it was and what it was doing. I had seen it before: It was gaming’s evil twin. (Medium)
Empire of fantasy By conquering young minds, the writing of J R R Tolkien and C S Lewis worked to recapture a world that was swiftly ebbing away  (Aeon)
The: How Russia Could Dominate a Warming World Climate change is propelling enormous human migrations as it transforms global agriculture and remakes the world order — and no country stands to gain more than Russia. (ProPublica)
How a real-life monopoly made Monopoly the world’s biggest board game Monopoly now accounts for nearly one-third of all global board game sales, largely thanks to Hasbro’s own expansion strategy.  (The Hustle) see also How PEZ Evolved From an Anti-Smoking Tool to a Beloved Collector’s Item Early in its history, the candy company made a strategic move to find its most successful market (Smithsonian)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Tom Slater, head of the US equities team at Baillie Gifford, which has over $370 billion in assets under management. He serves as a decision-maker on Long Term Global Growth portfolios, and the U.S. Equity Growth Fund which is up +113% year to date. He also co-manages the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, which Baillie Gifford has been managing since 1908.


Marijuana Merger Is Bet on ‘Cannabis Lifestyle’ Future

Source: Bloomberg



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