November reading is here!

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I’m staring down December – and turning the big 4-0.

So I’m finding it really hard to believe we’re almost finished with 2019. I’m not sure what 2020 will hold — aside from an election (maybe?) — but I’m confident that we’ll all get through it together.

I find myself traveling a lot for work the first half of November. First, a trip to Orlando, Florida. Then, a trip to Athens, Greece. I’ll be leading a co-creation workshop in both cities, and conducting lots of customer and user research along the way.

So, if things are looking a bit light this month, it’s because I’m either on an airplane, conducting research, or eating my weight in pumpkin pie.

View Monthly Reading Archive

Above: Traveling with my iPhone 11 Pro and the three-camera system has been delightful. Here’s a wide-angle shot I took of The Odeon of Herodes Atticus in the Acropolis on my work trip to ⁨Athens⁩, ⁨Greece⁩.

Business

  • 9to5 Mac: Apple Pay transaction volume growing 4x as fast as PayPal, Tim Cook says. Hey, this is great news for me as a Mastercard employee. I’m using my Apple Card a lot for quick transactions where I’m not getting award category bonuses on my other credit cards and love the whole experience.
  • The Verge: Google buys Fitbit for $2.1 Billion. Google has entered the chat. So, this should be interesting, as we see Google, once again, chasing Apple with hardware. This time, it’s wearables with a fitness focus. Hopefully this pushes Apple to keep aggressively moving forward with fitness/health tracking on the Apple Watch: I’d love to update my Series 4 to a Series 6 with advanced tracking capabilities and a strong battery.
  • Fast Company: Ford is betting its future on an electric Mustang SUV. Ford is taking a design thinking approach to re-imagine what a BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) can be, and placing a big bet on the Crossover/SUV design and the Mustang name. I will be in the market for a BEV at some point in the next few years, and the Mustang Mach E is now in my consideration set.
  • American Institute for Economic Research: It’s a Disservice to Urge Young People To Become Entrepreneurs. This article gets me, someone who’s trying to raise capital at almost 40, with co-founders in their late-30’s. Too often, we’ve heard that in order to get money, we have to take tremendous risks. Well, we don’t have the same risk tolerance/profiles as founders in their 20’s who aren’t married, with kids, and mortgages. The data in this report is tremendous:
    • Across the 2.7 million founders in the U.S. between 2007-2014 who started companies that go on to hire at least one employee, the mean age for the entrepreneurs at founding is 41.9.
    • The mean founder age for the 1 in 1,000 highest growth new ventures is 45.0.

Design & User Experience

Science & Technology

  • Science Beta: Brain Takes Just 100 To 300 Milliseconds To Recognize Familiar Music. I’m shuffling through my bajillion songs on Apple Music and can confirm a positive ID of any The Magnetic Fields songs instantly.
  • Quanta Magazine: Neutrinos Lead to Unexpected Discovery in Basic Math. Love these kind of stories: After breakfast one morning in August, the mathematician Terence Tao opened an email from three physicists he didn’t know. The trio explained that they’d stumbled across a simple formula that, if true, established an unexpected relationship between some of the most basic and important objects in linear algebra.

Environment

Media & Culture

  • The Ringer: How Boba Fett Became a ‘Star Wars’ Icon. We’re watching the Disney+ Series The Mandalorian and absolutely loving it. I’ve always loved Boba Fett, and for a lot of reasons the article states. (As an aside: have y’all seen Baby Yoda?!)

Politics

Yes, I know there’s major impeachment investigations happening, but this is the only thing I’m going to post because it’s delicious: