Week of January 13, 2020

A few things of note from around the Internet this week:

Rehabilitation

Who would have thought that treating inmates like actual humans and teaching them valuable life skills might help fight the incarceration problems we have in this country? A profile of the Rikers Coffee Academy.

The barista program (it’s unpaid at Rikers) and a handful of others like it nationwide give inmates a new set of professional skills and a way to pass the time, but they also reflect a growing theory in the criminal justice system that the $88 billion coffee industry can soften the blow of incarceration and provide a critical link to employment. A job — even one that pays $10 to $15 an hour, roughly the wage range at Starbucks — can help end the cycle of crime and recidivism, experts say.


Simple

Great, in-depth analysis of Leslie H. Goldberg’s (CEO of Bowl America, Inc.) annual investor letters by Brandon Beyloe of Macro Ops.

Bowl America is the Chick-Fil-A of bowling centers. Excellent customer service is a large competitive advantage. It’s also one of the hardest to achieve. Top-notch customer service requires employees to buy-in to the company’s long-term vision.

Not only that, employees must enjoy working for the company. Reward your employees and they’ll reward the business.


iPhone

Read this product designers account of life before the iPhone. After that, check out his personal website 🐐


Cancelled

Eugene Wei writes an incredible essay once every couple of months. This essay comparing John Wick 3 to cancel culture is a must read if you’ve seen the movie.

John Wick 3 begins directly after the events of the previous film, and at first, all seemed familiar. But after having spent two films worth of time in this universe already, sometime midway through the third film, it dawned on me. The rules of this film franchise mapped with uncanny precision to something that everyone had been complaining about to me for years now: cancel culture.


Fire

There are a tremendous number of fires (still) burning in Australia. However, like the US, Australia is a very big continent so the impact might not be felt quite as heavily on the West coast as it is on the East coast (a la fires in California having little impact on New York).


Simple pt. 2

Like Bowl America, there is something about businesses that do one simple thing exceedingly well that resonates deeply with me. Josh Brown talks about getting his wife’s engagement ring repaired.

All of this is happening without a single dollar changing hands right now. It’s a store taking care of a customer who bought something in the past and will now likely buy more in the future. They’ve actually transformed my wife from a customer to a client. A client for life.


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