What We’re Reading

A few good pieces the Collaborative team came across this week …


Let’s look at something like Prisma, a photo filter app which tried to pivot to become a social network. Prisma surged in popularity upon launch by making it trivial to turn one of your photos into a fine art painting with one of its many neural-network-powered filters.

It worked well. Too well.

Since almost any photo could, with one-click, be turned into a gorgeous painting, no single photo really stands out. The star is the filter, not the user, and so it didn’t really make sense to follow any one person over any other person. Without that element of skill, no framework for a status game or skill-based network existed. It was a utility that failed at becoming a Status as a Service business.


As fertility rates across the United States continue to decline — 2017 had the country’s lowest rate since the government started keeping records — some of the largest drops have been among Hispanics. The birthrate for Hispanic women fell by 31 percent from 2007 to 2017, a steep decline that demographers say has been driven in part by generational differences between Hispanic immigrants and their American-born daughters and granddaughters.


While this is pretty typical, it’s also somewhat astounding if you take a step back and actually think about what’s going on here. Of Kraft-Heinz’s approximately $100B in gross asset value, only 1% is in cash, and 3% in some form of inventory. Instead, nearly 85% of their assets are tied up broadly in Goodwill or Intangibles.


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More than half the people in the United States have listened to one, and nearly one out of three people listen to at least one podcast every month. Last year, it was more like one in four.

“That’s the biggest growth we’ve seen, and we’ve been covering podcasts since 2006,” said Tom Webster, a senior vice president at Edison Research, a company that tracks business trends.


Your brain works against you when you’re cold and when you’re hot, everyone knows this. But the difference between knowing and executing is why Market Wizard books sit on millions of bookshelves and why there are so few Market Wizards.

Have a good weekend.