inspiration & news

In the News 04.10.15 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets


‘It’s not about fabric, it’s about dreams’: how Ralph Lauren created an empire


The story of how a second-generation immigrant tie salesman from the Bronx became a multibillionaire fashion designer is the embodiment of the American Dream.

This week, Ralph Lauren – who spent 48 years building his tie business into a global fashion brand – has announced he is stepping down as chief executive of a company that brought the world the idea that a designer who dressed Oscar winners would also craft bedlinen and bath towels, and a style of American sportswear that continues to influence fashion.

His brand, and everything associated with it – the advertising, the stores – emerged in the 1970s and 80s, but it feels as classic as a leather club chair. Lauren’s Americana sweeps from the wild west to the English-influenced country club, from cowboy boots to preppy shirts.

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian

Authenticity & Trust in Business

When I started to think about what I wanted to say at this talk, I began to sweat a little. Why was that? What was I worried about?

I realized it was this: I wanted to knock your socks off. I wanted to come off as smart, a great speaker, someone who brought you to tears, brought you to your knees, really handsome, who gave you value for your money tonight.

Then I realized: you’re not paying anything.

And I realized another thing: I was worried about failing at being something I don’t really believe I am. I’m not an amazing speaker: I’m a writer, dammit. I’m not incredibly handsome: I’m bald and aging.

So what if, instead, I let go of that fantasy of wanting to be something I’m not, and let go of the fear that goes with it? What if instead I just tried to be who I am, and let that be enough. I can’t fail at that, because it’s the truth. It’s reality, not a fantasy.

So here’s who I am, and you’ll see it tonight: I’m human. I stumble, and forget my place in a talk, and stutter a bit, and say umm and uhh. I have learned a few things, and I’ll share them. But I’m human.

Read the rest of this article at Zen Habits

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom: ‘We’re working on time travel’


Kevin Systrom is posing for a photograph when we meet at Instagram HQ, arms splayed across the back of a sleek black sofa, with a knowing grin. “More photos!” he sighs, as he is moved to another spot in the room, with all the unconvincing exasperation of someone who quite likes having his picture taken. And so he should, because as the co-founder of Instagram, he gets asked a lot.

Systrom is a rangy 6ft 5in and prides himself on dressing smartly, by Silicon Valley standards; today he wears a light grey jacket over his T-shirt, and dark trousers. He seems older than his 31 years and has a certain swagger, exuding the self-assurance that comes with having built a $35bn technology company and a personal fortune of around $400m.

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian

Visions of Future Physics

GET NIMA ARKANI-HAMED going on the subject of the universe—not difficult—and he’ll talk for as many minutes or hours as it takes to transport you to the edge of human understanding, and then he’ll talk you past the edge, beyond Einstein, beyond space-time and quantum mechanics and all those tired tropes of 20th-century physics, to a spectacular new vision of how everything works. It will seem so simple, so lucid. He’ll remind you that, in 2015, it’s still speculative. But he’s convinced that, someday, the vision will come true.


Read the rest of this article at Wired

 How to Have 106 Babies (and Counting)

Ed Houben is Europe’s most virile man. And after years of donating sperm the “normal” way (sterile room, cup, cash), he and some women looking to get pregnant for free began cutting out the middlemen and getting it done as nature prefers it (sex!). Today, Houben has over a hundred children—and Ed the Babymaker is in greater demand than ever. We imagine you have some questions


A little while back, a woman—an ovulating professor from Germany—arrived in Maastricht, the Netherlands, to a neighborhood just beyond the city center, on the other side of the Maas River. She parked her car at a distance from her destination so as not to be recognized (she knows quite a few professors in Maastricht), and was briskly moving down the sidewalk toward the apartment of Ed Houben, when she got caught behind a father walking his little boy at dusk. The father and son drifted past the square, but when they came upon Ed’s apartment, the father pointed a finger in the dark, and the boy looked up to the third floor, where a star-shaped lantern was lit in a window.

“That is where the Babymaker lives,” she heard the father say.

Later, when he heard the story from the ovulating professor, the Babymaker himself was delighted, for not everyone accepts what he does, and so he spends a lot of time explaining the wherefores and what-hows of his avocation, often with a startling dose of Dutch honesty.

But this boy and his father—what a small victory for Ed: a world in which the Babymaker lives just down the block and no one bats an eye or blushes, no one utters a condemning word, knowing he’s there, ever ready.

Read the rest of this article at GQ

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.