The Profile: The future Mrs. Bezos & why Peter Thiel lost faith in democracy
This edition of The Profile features Kim Kardashian, Peter Thiel, Jeff Bezos & Lauren Sanchez, and more.
Good morning, friends!
As you know, we recently moved back to New York City, and I’m really looking forward to attending this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.
This is because 1) I love parades; and 2) I was once in The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade as a malt shop clown. You read that right.
The year was 2015, I was 24, and I had lived in New York for only a year when my friend asked me if I’d want to join her as a volunteer at the parade. I imagined the “volunteer” role as sitting on the sidelines and handing out water to the thousands of participants.
I was wrong.
I ended up being one of more than a thousand volunteer clowns whose Thanksgiving Day began at 5:45 a.m. at the New Yorker Hotel where we scrambled to put on costumes and make-up. Prior to the event, I had to do an online clown training and sign a Clown Oath, which outlined good clown behavior on the day of the parade.
It was an unforgettable experience. The 2.5-mile parade route was electric. There’s no better way to describe it. I got to walk around with my friends throwing confetti and taking selfies with spectators.
Now, eight years later, I’ll be one of those spectators sharing the experience with my husband and two-year-old daughter. Completely surreal feeling, and so much to be thankful for. If only that 24-year-old knew how much life could change in less than a decade.
On to this week’s profiles:
— The Kardashian building a business empire [**HIGHLY RECOMMEND**]
— The billionaire who lost faith in democracy
— The YouTube star who built a tech review empire
— The future Mrs. Bezos
— The streaming platform that conquered Hollywood
PEOPLE TO KNOW.
The Kardashian building a business empire: In launching her latest mega-enterprise, Skims Mens, Kim Kardashian has been spending a lot of time revisiting the memory of her father. In this profile, Kardashian joins her mother and sisters to talk about his influence, her plans to practice law, and her never-ending ambitions for the future. It’s a really great one. (GQ)
“No puffery, no hyperbole: that is one badass woman. She is smart, sharp. Dude, nothing but admiration for her. She works her ass off.”
The billionaire who lost faith in democracy: Peter Thiel, the billionaire who is notoriously media-avoidant, agreed to do a longform interview with The Atlantic because he wanted the reporter to publish something important: He wouldn’t be giving money to any politician, including Donald Trump, in the next presidential campaign. Why does he want to cut off politicians? He believes thast the days when great men could achieve great things in government are gone. He disdains what the federal apparatus has become: rule-bound, stifling of innovation, a “senile, central-left regime.” His libertarian critique of American government has curdled into an almost nihilistic impulse to demolish it. (The Atlantic; reply to this email if you can’t access the article)
“Peter tends to be not ‘glass is half empty’ but ‘glass is fully empty.’”
The YouTube star who built a tech review empire: Marques Brownlee is YouTube’s preeminent maker of videos about newly released technology. Brownlee, who turns 30 in December, has come a long way since he began shooting videos about tech hardware and software in his family’s suburban New Jersey home at age 15. By the time he was in college, he was a phenomenon: In 2013, Google’s then senior VP of engineering, Vic Gundotra, declared Brownlee “the best technology reviewer on the planet.” Here’s how he became one of the most influential players in today’s tech ecosystem. (Fast Company)
“My taste for how good I wanted the videos to be was always above my skill level.”
The future Mrs. Bezos: OK, my personal take is that this profile on Lauren Sanchez (and Jeff Bezos) is a little unhinged, but definitely worth a read. The most incredulous quote is Sanchez saying, “Our lives are pretty normal.” Needless to say, there is nothing normal about their lives. Planes, three-masted sailing yachts, an at-sea engagement party with Leonardo DiCaprio, Bill Gates, and Queen Rania of Jordan as guests, and Bezos being called “a swole monarch” — none of that is normal. But it’s a fascinating look at how the duo interacts with one another and how they’ve changed and become more visible since getting together in 2019. (Vogue)
“I am looking forward to being Mrs. Bezos.”
COMPANIES TO WATCH.
The streaming platform that conquered Hollywood: This is the inside story of how Netflix muscled its way to the top by defying the industry’s conventions — and eventually paid the price. Here’s how the streamer found itself in an unenviable position, paying a heavy price for its success. (The Hollywood Reporter)
“Netflix and the streamers destroyed the relationship side of the business. There’s no trust and no relationship anymore.”
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