The weekend is here! Pour yourself a mug of Bean Box coffee, settle into the couch, and get ready for our long-form weekend read:
• Delusions of knowledge: I have been expressing my disdain for forecasting since I was writing my memo, starting with The Value of Prediction, or Where All This Rain Came From in February 1993. In the years since then, I’ve explained at length why I’m not interested in forecasting – some of my favorite quotes echo my dislike in the section below – but I’ve never devoted a memo to explaining why supportive macro forecasting is so difficult. So here it is. (Oaktree Capital)
• Most professionals cannot beat the market: The stock market has become incredibly difficult to generate returns that beat (or outperform) a passively managed fund tracking the S&P 500. S&P 500 in the first half of 2022 – despite the S&P itself being in a bear market during that time. (TKer)
• Market share: Understanding competitive advantage through market power “There is no more important proposition in economic theory than that, under competition, the rate of return on investment tends to equality in all industries. (Morgan Stanley)
• We talk to the last man standing in the floppy disk business Turns out the demand for obsolete floppies is much higher than you might expect. (AIGA Eye on Design)
• A GMO purple tomato is coming to grocery stores. Will the United States bite? Most genetically engineered foods were developed to help farmers. It will try to influence consumers of health-conscious products. (of wire)
• Coming into focus: Once primarily thought to affect hyperactive boys, ADHD diagnoses have increased among adult women. For one writer, coming to terms with his diagnosis later in life shed new light on his past and family history. (Harper’s Bazaar)
• How many people can the world handle? By the end of 2022, the world’s human population is expected to reach eight billion. To mark the occasion, BBC Future looks at one of the most controversial issues of our time. Are there many of us? Or is this the wrong question? (BBC)
• Can’t we come up with something better than liberal democracy? The Western preferred form of self-government looks bizarre. A jurist and a philosopher offer some alternatives. (The New Yorker)
• Mysterious, stubborn appeal of mass-produced fried chicken: Why do so many accomplished chefs call Popeyes their favorite fried chicken? (vice)
• Roger Federer is retiring from tennis – but his mark on the sport is indelible: To understand Roger Federer is to grasp the harmony of the sport. He talks about his strategy of fire and ice: a combination of burning desire to succeed and coolness to keep his composure. It was a story of mind and body working together like clockwork to create an aesthetically pleasing state of tennis – and it’s an approach that has led to incredible success. (ESPN) see more Roger Federer as a religious experience: (published 2006) (New York Times)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview with Albert Wenger, Managing Partner of Union Square Ventures this weekend. He co-founded 5 companies; was president of del.icio.us through the company’s sale to Yahoo; Angel investors Etsy + Tumblr. Wenger is the author of World After Capital, Narrating the transition to a knowledge age + its implications for business and society.
The last ‘in sight’ of covid-19?
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