The economics of bank robbery. 

“Bank robberies are great case studies for the economics of crime. They’re premeditated affairs in which a perpetrator has evaluated (consciously or not) the rationality of proceeding. The gains are quantifiable. They also come with…

Brainstorming without group-think. 

We’ve all seen times where brainstorming leads to narrowing of ideas rather than the opposite. University of Texas professor Art Markman offers advice for how to get better results from brainstorming sessions. | learn more

Online shopping makes suckers of us all. 

The Atlantic definitely grabbed my attention with this headline. The article is all about how websites (and even vending machines) are using dynamic pricing to capture as much of the price/demand curve as possible. | learn more

Race isn’t a thing. 

Professors from Princeton University and UW-Madison use the latest genetic evidence to clarify that racial divides as we know them are completely BS. “The genetic distance between East Asians and Europeans is shorter than the…

The biggest codebases in history. 

This interesting infographic gives you a glimpse into how much code is used in various technologies, including the F-35 Fighter jet, the Large Hadron Collider, and a modern car. | learn more

A year of Maps changes. 

Cartography expert Justin O’Beirne created a fascinating post diving into the nuanced changes in Google and Apple maps over the past year. This is way more interesting than it sounds! Thanks to Alex S for…

Intel puts chips on the table. 

“The development of a microprocessor is one of the riskiest, costliest, and most technically complex feats in business.” One of Intel’s chip factories can cost “at least $8.5 billion”. In May, the team from Bloomberg…

Work less to be more productive. 

Mark Manson, the author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck, talks about his experience writing the book, including the diminishing returns and negative returns of spending extra hours per day on the endeavor. | learn…

Just don’t call it rice. 

The rice industry is mad at cauliflower. The recent market success of cauliflower rice has them freaking out, even asking the FDA to evaluate whether manufacturers should be allowed to use the word rice to describe the…

Indoor farming is hard. 

The promise of indoor farming is an attractive one: super-efficient land and water usage + hyper-local food. Sadly, most companies that have tried it have failed, including Chicago’s FarmedHere. Fast Company profiles Plenty, which is…

Placebos can work as medicine. 

Everyone knows that there’s a placebo effect in blind studies, where pills without active drugs still cause patients to feel better. Studies now find that this is true even if the patient knows the pill is…

The unbundling of Excel. 

Some years back, someone made a graphic showing how each Craigslist category spawned today’s successful vertical marketplaces. In that sense, Excel might be the next Craigslist. “Need to calculate? Excel. How about a task list?…

The next evolution of SEO. 

First came search engines. Then, came the profession of optimizing content for ranking in search engines. Then came the endless cat and mouse game of search engines updating algorithms, and optimizers updating content. This post…

Anatomy of a managed marketplace. 

Chicago’s very own Ezra Galston writes in TechCrunch analyzing managed marketplaces, with deep dives into OpenDoor, TheRealReal, Beepi and others. Ezra’s articles are always worth the read. | learn more

Einstein: His Life and Universe

There have been many biographies written of Albert Einstein. This one by Walter Isaacson is notably great for the incorporation of science, emotion, storytelling, and details. It describes Einstein’s theories, his thought experiments, and his…

Speed as a habit. 

“All things being equal, speed will determine whether your company succeeds or not. Here’s how to make it core to your culture.” | learn more