austria, library, beautiful places

The Weekly Wrap Up – Feb 1

In case you missed it, some clippings I held back from this week’s articles courtesy of Harvard Business Review, FT Alphaville, Aeon Magazine, Medium, and Bloomberg View.

Don’t read too much, though, it is Super Bowl Sunday and we all have a game to watch. I’m from New York, so all I have to say is: Go Seahawks!

26 January 2015
HBR: When Do Regulators Become More Important than Customers 
Michael Schrage, Research Fellow @ MIT Center for Digital Business, MIT Sloan

My thoughts: Michael Schrage and I had the same exact thought about the Uber Driver Report and the fact that they had pulled someone from the White House: politically savvy move in face of all the regulatory scrutiny Uber had received. As a financial services professional, we’re used to this, but this is spreading. We should care more about our end users, but that is no longer the case in the current political environment everywhere.

FT Alphaville: Greek austerity after Syriza
Dan McCrum, Journalist @ FT Alphavaille

My thoughts: You all may already know my nearly rapacious foaming at the mouth about the real possibility of the exit (either voluntarily or by force) of Greece from the Eurozone. I think it a fascinating possibility, one which I will expand upon later this week. That said, I will give you this quote:

“Austerity programs can be likened to trying to help a
patient on life support by punching them.”

30 January 2015
MediumFacebook just taught us all how to build websites
Eric Florenzno, CTO @

My thoughts: Generally, I don’t recap very technical pieces here because they get to that extra-level of geek that I don’t think most of my audience enjoys. That said, this piece is a fantastic connector of a) technical advances and b) why they matter to the end user. The release of a tighter framework and/or API as open source benefits the development community as a whole and thereby benefits the larger Internet community as a whole. This one feels like a great leap forward.

Aeon Magazine: VIDEO – Three walls: Is the office cubicle actually designed to crush your soul?
Zaheed Mawani, Canadian filmmaker

My thoughts: This is intense and real. It’s a short documentary (26 minutes, settle in) that addresses thoughts that real people have about their cubicles. My favorite interview is Mike Lipkin, a corporate motivational speaker, who says:

“The challenge you have is to not see your life as being that box;
not to see your job as being that box; not to see your destiny being that box.
We drive to work in a box, we work in a box, we go home and watch a box,
and before we know it, they bury us in a box.”

31 January 2015
Bloomberg View: Citi Picked the Wrong Week to Quit Hedging Swiss Francs
Matt Levine, Columnist @ Bloomberg View

My thoughts: The crazed move by the Swiss National Bank will be the gift that keeps giving at least until the end of Q1 where everyone can tally up just how badly they were slapped by the near instantaneous appreciation of the Swiss franc by 20%. That said, on my list of ideas to consider is this: the emergence of a major currency and why I think that in the next 20 years, this happens again more than once, not less than twice, and with broader impact.


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