The weekend is here! Pour yourself a mug of Danish Blend coffee, grab a seat on the massage chair. and get ready for our longer-form weekend reads:
• How The Chick-Fil-A Billionaire CEO Plays A Part In Your Favorite Marvel Movies On a 730-acre sprawl 25 miles south of Atlanta, at the end of a lonely stretch of rural Georgian highway, nestled between a Baptist church and a strawberry farm, is where Captain America and Iron Man fought Thor’s evil brother in Avengers: End Game. Wanda Maximoff was there putting the fictional New Jersey town of Westview under her retro sitcom spell in WandaVision. Behind it all: Chick-fil-A CEO and controversial fast-food billionaire Dan Cathy, who has spent millions transforming the farmland into the biggest movie studio in North America outside of Burbank. (Forbes)
• The Inside Story of the Sideways Ship That Broke Global Trade How the Ever Given and its billion-dollar cargo got stuck, got free, got impounded, and got taken to court. (Businessweek)
• Creating the Future of Work What comes next for work? Thanks to technology, we are returning to a new normal faster than most anyone would have predicted. Will things ever return to what was normal just 18 months ago? We have learned a whole new and improved way many things can work, and it isn’t likely we will go back to our prior ways as they were.(Learning By Shipping)
• Dumb Money No More: How David Ellison Became a Hollywood High Flier When the young Oracle heir entered the entertainment industry, no one expected much. Instead, he’s built the rarest of businesses — a thriving, all-audiences, independent studio (New York Times)
• The Global Chessboard History Moves to the Cloud, Part 2.0 Look at a map of the continuous US and realize how unbelievably lucky it is. That luck can be summarized with two maps: The US is fortunate to have mountains and oceans everywhere for defense. And where it doesn’t have those features, it’s way too cold for a powerful neighbor to emerge. The US’ Mississippi basin: Has mountain ranges on both sides, which concentrate water inwards. Has over one million square miles (2.5M km) of extremely well-irrigated land Is nearly flat, which is also great for agriculture, but also for building anything for cheap, really. (Uncharted Territories)
• The Zero Knowledge Proof. Privacy is a basic expectation and human right, but it’s something that should never create any friction or slow down the speed of technological advancement. In other words, we no longer need to accept the privacy trade-offs we historically have. Zero-knowledge proofs also aim to eliminate the trade-off, but take a different approach. They ask, “What if that data is never exchanged in the first place?” The answer has a wide range of implications and applications. (Not Boring)
• He Thought He Could Outfox the Gig Economy. He Was Wrong Jeffrey Fang was a ride-hailing legend, a top earner with relentless hustle. Then his minivan was carjacked—with his kids in the back seat. (Wired)
• We Don’t Know, But Let’s Try It: For economist Albert O. Hirschman, social planning meant creative experimentation rather than theoretical certainty. We could use more of his improvisatory optimism today. (Boston Review)
• David Byrne: We Know How to Fix the Police The data proves that regulating police behavior results in fewer killings of civilians. (Reasons to Be Cheerful)
• The Rise of the $10 Million Disc Golf Celebrity: How much can athletes really make in niche sports? A whole lot more than you might think. Disc golfer Paul McBeth set a new standard by signing an eight-figure endorsement contract—and his deal might only be the beginning. (The Ringer)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Joe Moglia, who is the former chairman and CEO of TD Ameritrade (now part of Schwab) and former Head Coach of the football team at Coastal Carolina University.
The $2 Trillion Club
NOTE: Apologies if you did not receive the reads any day this week. An erroneous “automated Terms of Service violation on the account” prevented some email accounts from receiving reads Thursday or Friday. If you are reading this by email, it means its been fixed!