Weekend Reading

27 July 2019 | by Ensemble Capital

A summary of this week’s best articles. Follow us on Twitter (@INTRINSICINV) for similar ongoing posts and shares.

Soon Your Phone Will Be Your Driver’s License, MetroCard and More (Joanna Stern, @JoannaStern, The Wall Street Journal)

These days it seems like we have a card for everything including our driver’s license, gym membership, credit cards, and many more.  Because of our expanding wallets, several companies have been seeing big success in selling slimmer and more compact versions of the wallet.  To take this concept a step further, the evolution of the digital wallet continues to progress and Delaware in particular is piloting a program for digital driver’s licenses.  Digital payments known as “contactless” are the normal method of payment in many metropolitan areas throughout Europe and this is expanding in the US.  This article discusses the progression of the digital wallet and what’s to come in the future.

Rare Nike Trainers Sell for More than £350,000 (BBC News)

A Canadian shoe collector is the proud new owner of a pair of Nike trainers for the bargain price of $437,500!  The shoes are an incredibly rare pair that were handed out to Olympic runners in 1972 and this particular pair is the only one that is thought to have never been worn.  The auction predicted that the shoes would sell for $160,000 and to give context, the second highest price achieved for a pair of shoes at a public auction was for a pair of 1984 Converse trainers signed by Michael Jordan for $190,373.

American Suburbs Swell Again as a New Generation Escapes the City (Valerie Bauerlein, @vbauerlein, The Wall Street Journal)

Many US metropolitan city centers have been seeing increases in job growth which has led to more people moving into already crowded cities.  With the influx of new people, also comes more traffic, impacted schools, and higher prices.  For many, this is enough to move their home search to the suburbs where you can get more space for your money.  As this trend continues, we can now see that some suburbs account for the fastest growing US cities.  This article examines the trends of millennials as well as where major employers are looking to base their main offices.

Mutually Assured Disruption in Silicon Valley (Justin Lahart, @jdlahart, The Wall Street Journal)

Silicon Valley is known for its innovation and for some of the world’s most iconic disruptors.  Because of this, the valley is rich with venture capitalists looking for the next big thing.  But what happens when venture capital frees so freely that the beneficiary company’s focus shifts away from innovation and more towards beating your competition.  This article explores some of the major disruptors as well as several companies that have had significant cash injections but fail to survive.

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