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I Read It So You Don’t Have To

A recent book explains how humans think about wealth, economics, and success

The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness published in September 2020.

Morgan Housel is a former financial columnist for the Wall Street Journal. He is now a partner at Collaborative Fund, an early-stage venture capital firm.

Unlike in the fields of medicine or engineering, expertise in finance requires an understanding of human psychology. Investors and consumers behave with flawed attitudes such as overconfidence, impatience, and anchoring bias. These irrational patterns have tangible effects on global markets and, likely, on your own personal finances.

Housel explores these topics with a thoughtful mix of anecdotes, research, and advice…


Our desire for quick justice can make us pounce on the most visible actors

Photo by Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The criminal trial of Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the blood-testing startup Theranos, began last week. As the trial drew near, I had a foreboding feeling that games would be played with the ideas of victim and victimizer — games that would leave many people, possibly even including the jury, confused about how to apply the law.

Understanding the sociological mechanisms that influence our perception of guilt has been my key work over the past several years. …


I Read It So You Don’t Have To

How Tesla rose from a scrappy EV startup to the most valuable car company in the world

I Read It So You Don’t Have To is a series that gives you the TL;DR on a business book you want to read — but don’t have time to.

Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century by Tim Higgins.

Tim Higgins is a tech and auto reporter for the Wall Street Journal and an on-air contributor to CNBC. Higgins has won two awards from the Society for Advancing Businesses Editing and Writing (SABEW) for his past reporting on Elon Musk and driverless cars.

While Tesla Motors is today nearly synonymous with its CEO and “Technoking”…


I Read It So You Don’t Have To

Two reporters tell the inside story of WeWork’s dramatic rise and implosion

I Read It So You Don’t Have To is a series that gives you the TL;DR on a business book you want to read — but don’t have time to.

What did I read?

The Cult of We: WeWork and the Great Start-Up Delusion by Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell.

So who are Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell?

Eliot Brown is a journalist who has covered start-ups and venture capital for The Wall Street Journal since 2010. Maureen Farrell is also a reporter for the Journal, whose work has received the Newswomen’s Club of New York’s Nellie Bly Award.

Give me the 30-second sell.

The Cult of We opens the lid on the rapid rise and even…


I Read It So You Don’t Have To

A pair of New York Times reporters offer an inside look at Facebook’s (mis)handling of its litany of scandals

Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium

I Read It So You Don’t Have To is a series that gives you the TL;DR on a business book you want to read — but don’t have time to.

What did I read?

An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination by Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang.

So who are Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang?

They’re a pair of investigative technology reporters at The New York Times, based out of San Francisco and D.C., respectively, whose distinctions include being finalists for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting and winners of the George Polk Award in recognition of their reporting on the social media giants.

Give me the 30-second sell.

An Ugly Truth is the latest…


Ten years after its publication, the late anthropologist’s deconstruction of economics is more valuable than ever

In the beginning was debt. In David Graeber’s sprawling epic on the history of money, he charts its shape-shifting from credit to coinage, to credit again, then bullion and finally to virtual currencies. Throughout, debt is the constant and Graeber makes a ferocious case that it is the lens through which economics might be better defined.

Debt has recently been re-issued, ten years after its original publication in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. That event prompted much soul searching about money and a raft of books purporting to explain how we got into such a mess. Most were…


A fascinating new book paints a cautionary tale of Adam Neumann’s incredible rise and the dangers of the messianic leader

Jackal Pan/Visual China Group via Getty Images

I only visited one WeWork office, a co-working space at 33 Irving Pl, in New York City, in 2018. I was there to help judge a technology competition and wondered why this company was meeting in a WeWork office.

I’d heard of WeWork but knew little about it. The buzz around it and the company’s founder Adam Neumann didn’t synch up with what appeared to be a sub-leasing firm. …


I READ IT SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO

We’ve been thinking about the government’s finances all wrong

Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium

I Read It So You Don’t Have To is a series that gives you the TL;DR on a business book you want to read — but don’t have time to.

The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy by Stephanie Kelton

Stephanie Kelton is a professor of economics and public policy at Stony Brook University. She is a former chief economist on the U.S. Senate Budget Committee (Democratic Staff), and is a leading expert on Modern monetary theory (MMT), a macroeconomic framework about federal government spending.

There’s a longstanding myth that’s holding back the U.S…


I READ IT SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO

How Big Tech made it harder for working artists to make a living

Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium

I Read It So You Don’t Have To is a series that gives you the TL;DR on a business book you want to read — but don’t have time to.

The Death of the Artist: How Creators Are Struggling to Survive in the Age of Billionaires and Big Tech by William Deresiewicz.

Deresiewicz is an essayist and critic and a former professor of English at Yale. He’s also the author of Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life and A Jane Austen Education.

Working artists are in trouble. Now, that’s not what…


Founders with a small exit in their first company were much more likely to build a unicorn in their next, a new study of startups shows

Screenshot of “The Million Dollar Homepage”

Alex Tew isn’t your stereotypical Ivy League college dropout or software engineer at Google who founded a billion-dollar startup. Tew was a student at Nottingham University when he started his first project. His itch for building something and making some money had led him to create “The Million Dollar Homepage” in 2005. The website consisted of a million pixels arranged in a 1000 × 1000 pixel grid. The pixels were sold for $1 per pixel and the purchasers of these pixel blocks were advertisers. This is before “Display Ads” were a big thing. In four months’ time, word of the…

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