Thoroughly Thursday - the "Pumpkin Spice Latte" Edition


Welcome back to Thoroughly Thursday, the Pumpkin Spice Latte Edition. There seems to be a point when a cultural phenomenon morphs into parody. My feeling is that the pumpkin spice latte is something that is now so ubiquitous that it doesn’t really mean anything anymore. Like pet rocks, fidget spinners, or Elon Musk, all things have their times and then must fade away. Granted, I may be a smidge grumpy about this since I gave up sugar last month, and black coffee gets boring

What I'm Reading - The Myth of Wild Risk-Taker
This last week I started reading Adam Grant's book Originals, which discusses the surprising qualities of the best innovators and entrepreneurs in any field. Much like his previous book, Give and Take, the answers are often contrary to our cultural wisdom. Grant’s main points are focused on personal qualities like idea generation and lateral thinking, but also on external issues like how to promote new initiatives in organizations and to potential promoters. Most importantly, he posits that most successful entrepreneurs are usually not huge risk-takers or mavericks, but often rational problem-solvers with a canny sense of timing.  

What I'm Reading (Article) - The Costs of a Market-Driven Economy
Last week, it was announced that my town’s Orchard Supply Hardware store was closing. As you might be aware, the entire OSH chain, all 99 stores, is being liquidated by parent company Lowe's at the cost of 5,400 jobs. Writer and journalist Sam Quinones has written a convincing piece that the action is coming at the behest of activist investor Bill Ackman, who is trying to get a short-term boost for his hedge fund. You can read the article here

What I'm Listening To - When would you pull the goalie?
Malcolm Gladwell has a podcast called Revisionist History, which is like an audio version of, well, a Malcolm Gladwell book. Each episode starts with some obscure item that after what feels like a shaggy dog diversion, to be highly relevant and entertaining in a way that you don’t expect. His recent episode, "Malcolm Gladwell’s 12 Rules for Life", is initially about a finance guy who is really good at poker. But it is actually about the human trait of “agreeableness”. This isn’t as much to do with if you are nice or grumpy, but rather, how willing are you to stand against popular opinion, even when it is the right thing to do? Like nearly everything involving Malcolm Gladwell, I always feel a tiny bit smarter than when I started. 

All the best, and remember, tomorrow is Friday. :)

Scott Moe

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P.P.S. I'm always on the lookout for new items to write about. If you notice something that you think would be worth sharing, send it my way.