Top articles of the week | May 9

May 9, 2020

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

The 90% economy that lockdowns will leave behind The Economist (reading time: 13 minutes)

“Allowing pubs—and other places of social pleasure—to open counts for little if people do not want to visit them.”

This is a grim outlook by The Economist. Consumers will most likely reduce their discretionary spending when the confinement ends. The article provides some interesting perspectives on what will happen to productivity, creativity and innovation as well.

In Conversation: Thomas Piketty Intelligencer (reading time: 27 minutes)

Thomas Piketty is one the most well known economists in modern times. Capital in the 21st Century was a global bestseller despite being 700 pages long (and too dense to my liking). This long interview provides some insights on his thinking about the current pandemic and how it will exacerbate economic inequality. There are many thought provoking issues that come up like the free flow goods between nations and climate change.

How freight master Flex-Port’s Ryan Petersen learned to CEO TechCrunch (reading time: 16 minutes)

Tackling traditional industries is hard, the challenge is even greater when applied to a complex global system. This profile of Flexport CEO Ryan Petersen is chock full of great insights. The piece details how his software company is a next generation freight forwarder (not sexy but a huge market). There are also details on his management approach and how he transformed into a wartime CEO during the crisis.

The force is still with Jack Dorsey VanityFair (reading time: 29 minutes)

I’ve always been fascinated by Jack Dorsey and his philosophy. He is the only CEO of the S&P 500 that leads two public companies at the same time. His thoughts on cryptocurrency and Bitcoin have led me down a path of learning. He is seen as the second coming as Steve Jobs and over idolized. On the surface, this article appears to be a puff piece but provides some great business insights as well. It dives into Elliott management’s recent ouster attempt, failed product launches and his shaky future.

Looking Back on Four Years at The Times Nick Rockwell, ex-CTO NY Times (reading time: 9 minutes)

While much has been said about the NY Times digital subscriber growth, it’s rare to get an inside look at their technology. Their CTO Nick Rockwell recently left the news organization and wrote a blog post about what was built during his tenure there. OKRs, alignment, data infrastructure and culture were all key lessons.


A leader’s guide: Communicating with teams, stakeholders, and communities during COVID-19 McKinsey (reading time: 16 minutes)

With all consulting firms working from home (including ours), there is a rise in high quality content. McKinsey has done a good job in that regard and in this piece they provide some good tips on communication during the crisis.