The weekend is here! Pour yourself a mug of Southdown coffee, grab a seat in the sun, and get ready for our longer-form weekend reads:
• Five Traders Tell Us How to Survive a World of Disrupted Markets Trading requires constant vigilance and the ability to adapt and profit from disruptions. But what happens when the act of trading itself is disrupted? To get a glimpse of the life of a trader in 2021, Bloomberg Markets interviewed traders, quizzed them about how they got into the business, what their typical day is like, how their market and investing strategy is changing, and what advice they’d give to budding traders. (Bloomberg)
• When Nike released this shoe last year, it sold out online within minutes. How did it get so hard to buy sneakers? Welcome to the bot wars. The sneaker craze began nearly four decades ago, with the debut of the first Air Jordan. Back then, sneakerheads who wanted to get their hands on the latest styles had to do so in person. Limited-edition shoes, many of them designed in collaboration with statusy street wear brands, would command long lines outside shops.As the value of these rare sneakers rose, high-profile releases became more chaotic at stores, and sales began to move online. (New York Times)
• Slackers of the World, Unite! Why employees love the software, and bosses don’t Thanks in large part to the coronavirus pandemic, Slack has now seeped out of start-up land and into all corners of corporate America, with more than 169,000 organizations—including 65 of the Fortune 100—paying for its services. It has spawned competitors from Facebook, Microsoft, and Google; all told, chat is now the second-most-common computer activity, after email, according to RescueTime, productivity software that tracks users’ screen time. (The Atlantic)
• The Mystery Man Who Made Amazon an Ad Giant Paul Kotas helped turn Amazon into the No. 3 player in the digital advertising market, creating one of its most profitable businesses, all while remaining largely under the radar. Next up for him: a push to snatch more dollars from TV ad budgets. (The Information) see also Amazon copied products and rigged search results to promote its own brands, documents show A trove of internal Amazon documents reveals how the e-commerce giant ran a systematic campaign of creating knockoff goods and manipulating search results to boost its own product lines in India – practices it has denied engaging in. And at least two top Amazon executives reviewed the strategy. (Reuters)
• An Empire of Dying Wells: Old oil and gas sites are a climate menace. Meet the company that owns more of America’s decaying wells than any other. We found methane leaks at most of the places we visited. Some sites showed signs of maintenance in recent months, but others looked more or less abandoned. We saw access roads choked by vegetation, machinery buried under vines and weeds, oil dripping onto the ground, and steel doors rusted off their hinges. That’s not to say the wells were unattended. Mud wasps, spiders, mice, snails, and bees made their homes in them, and a porcupine napped under a brine tank. (Bloomberg Green)
• Plug-in cars are the future. The grid isn’t ready. By 2035, the chief automakers will have turned away from the internal combustion engine. It’ll be up to the grid to fuel all those new cars, trucks and buses. (Washington Post)
• Ordering in: The rapid evolution of food delivery How the world eats is changing dramatically. A little under two decades ago, restaurant-quality meal delivery was still largely limited to foods such as pizza and Chinese. Nowadays, food delivery has become a global market worth more than $150 billion, having more than tripled since 2017. In the United States, the market has more than doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic, following healthy historical growth of 8 percent. (McKinsey)
• Is It Time for a New Economics Curriculum? “The Economy,” a new textbook, is designed for the post-neoliberal age. Economics is a social science, driven by data and equations. But it is also deeply informed by politics, and economists, who have diverse political views, wrangle over ethical values and also numerical ones. (New Yorker)
• Primate Memory: My life as a primatologist and researcher has been spent studying chimpanzees, both in the wild and in the laboratory. Our closest living relatives in the animal world are fascinating creatures. In this essay, I recount some of the most striking aspects of my work to illustrate the development of my views about primates, memory, and the evolution of the human mind. (Inference)
• Greg LeMond and the Amazing Candy-Colored Dream Bike: The Tour de France legend and anti-doping crusader is building an ultralight ebike that he hopes will be fun as hell to ride—and jumpstart a US carbon-fiber boom. CRAAAACK. The supercore snaps in two. I stare wide-eyed at him before he laughs, gamely. In fairness to the supercore, LeMond does have enormous hands. It occurs to me then that, of all the bike materials that LeMond has chosen to become obsessed with, it’s not surprising he has fixated on carbon fiber. It’s a high-performance material, strong and versatile, but it can be surprisingly vulnerable. A lot like LeMond himself, actually. (Wired)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Soraya Darabi, co-founder and general partner of TMV. The firm has funded a broad cross-section of startups, 65% of which are led by women or people of color. Less than 5 years old, TMV has already had 10 exits.
Tesla versus the rest of Auto Industry: Market Cap & Sales
To learn how these reads are assembled each day, please see this.