Top articles of the week | August 1

August 1, 2020

Every week, we put together a list of our top 5 articles of the past week. Happy reading!

Lessons From Business Greats: Bernard Arnault Brandon Beylo, Macro Ops (reading time: 18 minutes)

Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, is the third richest person in the world but has a very low key profile. This bio explores how he made his wealth as well the timeless principles he’s applied to his businesses. I don’t know much about luxury brands yet they are so many great takeaways from this piece. There are also some pretty good cutthroat takeover stories.

How Harvard’s Star Computer-Science Professor Built a Distance-Learning Empire New Yorker (reading time: 31 minutes)

A lot has been said lately about the future of education. I don’t want to throw in my uneducated opinion in the mix but one thing is for sure, it won’t be the same. This article in the New Yorker shares the story of how Harvard computer science professor built an online learning empire. The story is particularly relevant during “these unprecedented time” as many people in the workforce will seek to learn new skills. It’s also interesting for employers to consider these options for their teams.

How Costco Convinces Brands to Cannibalize Themselves Napkin Math (reading time: 10 minutes)

I am a proud Costco member, there I said it. When I’m buying their private label brands, I don’t give much thought to the economics or where the product came from. This post explains how the retail giant makes money from their massive private label business. It’s an interesting analysis of how Costco helps the brands making their products make even more profits.

Strategy Vs. Tactics from a Venture Capitalist A Letter a Day (reading time: 22 minutes)

Arthur Rock is a legend in Silicon Valley. These notes from taken from a 1987 essay contain some of the best business advice I’ve read in a single place. Beyond simple platitudes, these insights are just as relevant today as when they were written.

Complexity Convection Nathan Baschez, Divinations (reading time: 9 minutes)

As businesses mature, they inevitably become more complex for their users. Nathan Baschez coins the concept of “complexity convection” to explain this phenomenon. He uses the DIY website industry to highlight the process in detail. It’s a good short post that serves as a reminder of keeping things simple.