What We’re Reading

A few good articles the Collab team came across this week …


Low-hanging safety fruit:

What portion of Americans killed in vehicle crashes are not wearing seatbelts?

I was stunned by the answer when I saw it yesterday. It has hovered between 48 percent and 51 percent in each of the past five years.

For many people, a seatbelt has become second nature. They can’t imagine traveling without one — or even allowing someone riding in their car to do so. But lack of seatbelt use remains a major public-health problem in this country. About 15 percent of American drivers don’t wear one, compared with less than 5 percent in several European countries.

In praise of bubbles

They boost R&D:

Estimated stock overvaluation is very strongly associated with R&D spending, innovative output, and measures of innovative novelty, originality, and scope. R&D is much more sensitive than capital investment to overvaluation.



For the first time, the number of women enrolling in U.S. medical schools has exceeded the number of men, according to new data released today by the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges).

Females represented 50.7% of the 21,338 matriculants (new enrollees) in 2017, compared with 49.8% in 2016. Female matriculants increased by 3.2% this year, while male matriculants declined by 0.3%. Since 2015, the number of female matriculants has grown by 9.6%, while the number of male matriculants has declined by 2.3%.



An immigration bill proposed by conservative House Republicans and supported by President Trump includes a provision that would criminalize non-student DACA recipients if their annual income falls below 125% of the federal poverty rate … Someone earning $7.25 per hour who works 40 hours per week for 52 weeks would earn $15,080 in a year. This assumes that the person works all federal and state holidays. 125% of the federal poverty rate would be $15,075 per year. Bottom line: The bill establishes just a five dollar buffer between what such an individual would earn and being found in criminal violation of immigration law.


Jack Ma’s first Alibaba pitch in 1999:

Time horizons

From Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky:

I know that a lot of companies are thinking about being long-term oriented, but an alternative way of thinking about it is being infinite. Being an infinite company is an idea that my friend, author Simon Sinek, has been discussing with me. Simon explained that a company’s purpose is to advance its vision, and since a vision is a mountaintop you never quite get to, you should have an infinite time horizon. But many companies are designed to be finite. Finite companies are focused on beating their competitors and appeasing short-term interests. But business is not finite. Unlike sports, there is no time clock, so there can be no winning or losing – there is merely surviving and innovating to endure. This doesn’t mean that meeting clear goals isn’t important or that you should lose your sense of urgency and avoid tough decisions. Short term success is still important so long as it advances your vision. As Simon put it, it means that your focus should be on getting to the mountaintop, not the rest stop on the way up the mountain.

Have a nice weekend.