Planning & Strategy.
- A fascinating exploration of Trader Joe's white labeled products. By scraping recall notices and ingredient lists published by the FDA and USDA, Eater's Vince Dixon was able to identify the name brands behind Trader Joe's house product line. I'll also recommend a few supplemental readings: First, the third bullet point in 2018.02.05 on what a "brand" really is; Second, the excellent investigative piece on POM Wonderful (from 2018.02.12), whose pistachios Trader Joe's apparently sells.
- Carlos Ghosn, who until this morning was perhaps the world's most well-respected auto executive, was arrested on charges of misrepresenting his income to Japanese authorities. He had led Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi for decades.
- Fred Wilson on pivoting.
- VW will invest $50B in electric cars, AVs, and "new mobility services" by 2023.
Making & Manufacturing.
- A very good tour of LOOK's high end carbon fiber bicycle manufacturing operation.
- Making optically clear (ish) glass from scratch, using all raw materials. I would gladly listen to the borax guy talk for hours :)
- Casting the heaviest free-swinging bell in the world.
- Apple "has asked its Asian manufacturers not to expand production lines" for the iPhone XR.
Maintenance, Repair & Operations.
Distribution & Logistics.
- A pretty good video explanation of how overnight shipping works.
- Manbang Group, the "Chinese Uber of Trucks," has raised almost $2B - but generated only $20M of revenue in 2017.
- California State Senator Scott Wiener on the Talking Headways podcast, talking about transit & housing policy.
Inspection, Testing & Analysis.
- A good explanation of how the International Prototype Kilogram worked, and why the kilogram was redefined.
- "A nice, very inexpensive, voltage reference."
- Drew on HQ2: "Everyone agreed even a year ago that HQ2 would destabilize whatever city it came to in many ways, but to my Twitter echo chamber, at least, most US cities aren't worth preserving in any recognizable form and might as well have the Amazon bomb dropped on them. If we admit that HQ2 had to end up somewhere, then, for the greater good of humanity, why not NYC, which has a robust transit system (insert joke here), is already overstuffed with money, and can best absorb a major new employer? Ultimately, our attitude toward Amazon adding a headquarters should be consistent with our attitude toward Amazon itself, but I don't know many people who want Amazon to disappear, or would even forgo their Prime subscriptions. New York City used to dump all of its garbage within city limits, but now ships its trash out to places like Pennsylvania and Virginia. HQ2 is a similar kind of externality; by having it in our backyard maybe we'll take its negative side effects more seriously."
- A nice animated Porsche engine teardown.
Thanks as always to our recurring donors for supporting The Prepared.Credit also to Jacob, Brendan, Charlie, Jordan, Chad, Reilly, Jonas, and Matt for sending links.
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