The weekend is here! Pour yourself a mug of Danish blend coffee coffee, grab a seat in the sun, and get ready for our longer form weekend reads:
• How Humanity Gave Itself an Extra Life During the century since the end of the Great Influenza outbreak, the average human life span has doubled. There are few measures of human progress more astonishing than this. If you were to publish a newspaper that came out just once a century, the banner headline surely would — or should — be the declaration of this incredible feat. But of course, the story of our extra life span almost never appears on the front page of our actual daily newspapers, because the drama and heroism that have given us those additional years are far more evident in hindsight than they are in the moment. That is, the story of our extra life is a story of progress in its usual form: brilliant ideas and collaborations unfolding far from the spotlight of public attention, setting in motion incremental improvements that take decades to display their true magnitude. (New York Times)
• How the US won the economic recovery No country handled the economic shock of Covid-19 perfectly. Every country, the US included, made mistakes, sometimes grave mistakes. But a detailed comparison suggests that the US had the strongest economic response to the pandemic, in terms of providing income to its citizens during lockdown and ensuring a strong, rapid recovery as the economy began to reopen. The US will come out of this economically better than any country that was similarly affected by the virus. (Vox)
• Remember the Office? A look back at 150 years of cubicles, corner offices, all-nighters, and the holiday party. Once, the office would have seemed an unlikely object of nostalgia. Whether you were working in an office that was depressing because it tried too hard to be fun or an office that was depressing because it was depressing, going there meant submitting to various forms of low-level irritation (at the very least). Air-conditioning cold enough to make your fingers ache. Elevator small talk. Mediocre salads from the place downstairs. Yet somehow, a year’s absence from that HVAC terrarium has felt like a loss. The confines and routines of the office turned out to be its charm. (Curbed) see also Is working from home bad for productivity? Deutsche Bank economists think it’ll take a while for our grand experiment with the home office to pay off. (Financial Times Alphaville)
• The Best Managers Aren’t in It Just for the Money The key to motivating investors comes from something deeper than performance fees. (Institutional Investor)
• Bill Janeway on Who Should Be in Control Today: A veteran venture capitalist’s insights on why a founder’s control shouldn’t be entrenched. (European Straits)
• U.S. Pot Producers Are Growing Like Weeds. Here’s How to Buy In. While investors chased Canada’s pot stocks, they ignored the faster-growing U.S. cannabis industry. Already profitable, multistate operators like Curaleaf, Green Thumb, and Trulieve will flourish as state and federal obstacles fall away. (Barron’s)
• The Secrets of the World’s Greatest Jailbreak Artist Master criminal Rédoine Faïd loved the movies, and his greatest crimes were laced with tributes: to Point Break, Heat, and Reservoir Dogs. When he landed in a maximum-security prison, cinema provided inspiration once again. (GQ)
• Authenticity is a sham From monks to existentialists and hipsters, the search for a true self has been a centuries-long project. Should we give it up? (Aeon)
• State of the Union: Kellyanne Conway and her husband, George, have spent the past several years very publicly divided. Now that America is recovering from Trump, can they? (Vanity Fair)
• Jeff Goldblum’s a movie star, jazz pianist and an inescapable meme. What’s behind his enduring appeal? He’s a great interview, often displaying a mixture of intellect, wit and open-heartedness that the Internet tends to eat up. His unique fashion sense, fueled by a personal stylist, has helped him become a mainstay in men’s magazines like Esquire and GQ. These days that means not only does he grace covers and is endlessly profiled, but he (and his sartorial choices) are constantly circulating on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. (Washington Post)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Jonathan Miller, co-founder of Miller Samuel. Miller is the go-to expert on real-estate appraisals and transactions, running one of the most prominent real-estate data analytics firm, and their data engine powers numerous real estate brokerage research nationally. He is also sought after as the go-to appraiser for many of the most expensive penthouses in Manhattan.
New York’s Yellow Cabs Are In Trouble
To learn how these reads are assembled each day, please see this.