NY Times Profile: Frances Stroh

New speaker Frances Stroh, author of Beer Money, was the focus of a NY Times profile.

One of Frances Stroh’s earliest lessons about wealth involved a game she played as a 6-year-old with her father: how to not be kidnapped. Ms. Stroh would stand outside the family’s six-bedroom Spanish Mediterranean home in the manicured Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe in 1973 as her father, Eric Stroh, pretended to be a stranger as he drove by in his silver Chrysler, waving a chocolate bar as temptation and beckoning her to the car. As instructed, Frances would run away in tears.[NYTimes.com]

The Human Cost of a Life-Saving Vaccine

Meredith Wadman’s new book has been reviewed at the Wall Street Journal.

In the summer of 1968, the microbiologist Leonard Hayflick loaded a bomb-shaped canister into the back of his secondhand green Buick LeSabre, piled his kids in the car, and drove from the Philadelphia suburbs to his new home on the campus of Stanford University. The canister was filled with 375 tiny glass ampules of frozen human cells, suspended in supercooled liquid nitrogen. Dr. Hayflick’s decision to take them would wreck his academic career and bring him “under the damning cloud of a government investigation announced on page one of the New York Times,” Meredith Wadman writes, in her deeply researched book The Vaccine Race. [WSJ.com — paywall protected]

Meredith also published a piece at TIME, “Doctors Who Minimize Measles Should Lose Their Licenses.”

“Trump’s tax reform looks like just another of his many tweets”

Read Bob Pozen’s latest at Market Watch.

Before the election, Trump put forth a broad tax plan and then a narrower plan. But even the narrower plan created a budget deficit of roughly $3 trillion to $4 trillion over 10 years, according to the dynamic scoring of the independent researcher Tax Foundation. That steep increase in the national debt would present major challenges, given rising interest rates and much larger budget pressures from entitlement programs. [MarketWatch.com]

Gretchen Rubin, Ron Friedman, Carson Tate and Brigid Schulte offer productivity tips

At Business Insider, four of our speakers “share ways to make 2017 your most productive year yet.”

“Follow the ‘one-minute rule’ and do any task that can be finished in one minute. Hang up your coat, read a letter and toss it, fill in a form, answer an email, note down a citation, pick up your phone message, file a paper … and so on.” –Gretchen Rubin [BusinessInsider.com]

At Inc., Bob Sutton shares “9 Slightly Scary Rules for Scaling Up Your Company”

Best-selling author of Scaling Up Excellence, Bob Sutton, was interviewed for this Inc. piece on his “rules for scaling up with the fewest possible growing pains.”

There’s no point in the growth of a company where you can focus on grand strategy and let the tactical details take care of themselves. At each stage of growth, it’s attention to details and (especially) putting the right individuals into the right roles that will make the growth possible. Sutton: “The only cases of fast and easy scaling turned out to be the ones we didn’t understand very well.” [INC.com]

Shadi Hamid on Trump’s “Muslim Ban”

At the Washington Post, Shadi Hamid explores “The dangerous questions Muslims are facing.”

There is panic at the airport. Some of the stories, after President Trump issued his executive order targeting Muslim immigrants, remind me of what I saw in the Middle East. No one has been killed, of course. But when an Iraqi who risked his life an interpreter for the Army arrives in New York only to be denied entry, it has the hallmarks of a different world, one he probably thought he had left behind: the fear of not knowing; the manipulation of law; the capriciousness of strongmen in midflight; and families divided in the name of politics. [WashingtonPost.com]

Clyde Prestowitz at the Harvard Business Review: “Don’t Cry for the TPP”

Clyde Prestowitz has written about why the Trans-Pacific Partnership was a mistake.

President Trump’s formal withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations has precipitated a flood of tears about and warnings of the end of free trade and rising Chinese hegemony from orthodox economists and pundits. But there is no cause for tears or grounds for fear. The TPP was a mistake. There was never anything there. Although advertised as trans-Pacific, about 500 million of the 750 million people living in countries to be covered by the deal were in the Americas — Canada, the United States, Mexico, Peru, and Chile — and were already party to interlocking free trade agreements. [HBR.org]

Rafi Mohammed: “How Retailers Should Think About Online Versus In-Store Pricing”

Pricing expert Rafi Mohammed has published a new Harvard Business Review feature.

One of the biggest questions faced by brick-and-mortar retailers today is whether prices should be the same online and in stores. Gaining clarity on this issue is critical for traditional retailers to successfully compete in both environments. Brick-and-mortar retailers have been struggling with pricing since Amazon’s inception, 23 years ago, so why is it so important to resolve this issue now? Well, the news for retailers keeps getting worse. Macy’s and Kohl’s both reported 2.1% declines in comparable store sales in November and December, resulting in 10% and 15% stock price drops, respectively. The Limited shuttered its stores and is now focusing exclusively on e-commerce. It’s clear that an increasing number of customers don’t value the experience of shopping in physical stores. [HBR.org]