Links: September 3, 2014

Once in a while, I will link to long form articles and stories which I’ve found to be interesting.  The links will focus mostly on business news, but I will also link to worthy pieces of investigative journalism.  I think most of what we read on the internet is poorly researched, poorly written, and mostly noise, but as with any field, there are a number of outstanding publications which put out insightful pieces.  In the near future, I will share some thoughts on how not to get drowned in the world’s sea of information.

  • Costco: CEO Craig Jelinek Leads the Cheapest and Happiest Company in the World (Businessweek) – an outstanding profile of one of Charlie Munger’s favorite companies; it’s interesting that a bricks and mortar retailer can sell goods for lower prices than Amazon while paying its employees $20 per hour; Costco earns nearly 0% margin on retail goods
  • The Four Delusions That Cost VCs Money (PandoDaily) – very interesting take on errors of omission in investing by an esteemed early stage investor; some key models to gaining insights into potentially valuable investments that most others would overlook; the GoPro snippet was particularly revealing
  • Kobe Bryant’s Twilight Saga (SI) – inside the mind of Kobe Bryant, an obsessive compulsive who has spent his entire life practicing the art of continuous self-improvement; my favorite part: “determined to eclipse the Bee Gees, [Michael] Jackson began listening to Saturday Night Fever over and over; such was his obsession that for two years straight, Jackson told friends, he listened to the album 10 times a day, until he knew every note, every beat; until he’d internalized it, deciphered its magic and taken it for his own”
  • GMO Factory: Monsanto’s High Tech Plans to Feed the World (Businessweek) and Seeds of Doubt (The New Yorker) – two very detailed pieces on GMOs and Monsanto’s role in the food production industry; both sides of the argument are presented well; the Businessweek piece highlights how sophisticated a technology company Monsanto really is and how misunderstood the important role it has played in society has been
  • Google Goes DARPA (Fortune) – inside one of Google’s special projects divisions
  • Winnebago Rolls Again (Fortune) – the incredible comeback story of an iconic American company which many left for dead 5 years ago

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