The Profile: The man inventing the perfect college applicant & the L.A. Clippers owner building a $2B arena
This edition of The Profile features Steve Ballmer, Emily Weiss, and others.
Good morning, friends!
This year marks exactly 10 years since I moved to New York City. An entire decade.
I walked past my first apartment the other day on my way to a ballet fitting for my 2-year-old daughter (what!). That’s when it hit me that so much has changed in 10 years, but the streets, as writer Colson Whitehead says, “are calendars containing who we were and who we will be next.”
Someone else lives in that apartment now. Someone with plants and a leaky air conditioning unit. Someone who’s not me. It felt like the Ghost of Christmas Past had catapulted me back to 2014.
But here’s the thing: I didn’t feel any sort of regret or sadness. I actually felt something very strange … pride. I’m really proud of all that has happened in the last 10 years, and how I’ve navigated it. It hasn’t all been pretty, but it’s forced me to grow in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
One of the biggest things I’ve gained in the last 10 years is confidence. At 22, I thought confidence would come from the validation of others. It never did. At 32, I know why.
In his essay Lost And Found, Whitehead asks the reader to consider what all your old apartments would say if they got together to swap stories.
They could piece together the starts and finishes of your relationships, complain about your wardrobe and musical tastes, gossip about who you are after midnight. 7J says, ''So that's what happened to Lucy; I knew it would never work out.''
You picked up yoga, you put down yoga, you tried various cures. You tried on selves and got rid of them, and this makes your old rooms wistful: why must things change? 3R says: ''Saxophone, you say? I knew him when he played guitar.''
Cherish your old apartments and pause for a moment when you pass them. Pay tribute, for they are the caretakers of your reinventions.
And that’s exactly it. When I passed “1D,” my first apartment in this city, I thought to myself that it wouldn’t recognize the person I have become. I hope “1D” would look at me in my new apartment today and say, “I like what you’ve done with the place.” And also, “Thank God you don’t think turquoise pants are the height of fashion anymore.”
Have a wonderful week!
— The man inventing the perfect college applicant [**HIGHLY RECOMMEND**]
— The L.A. Clippers owner building a $2B arena
— The beauty startup founder reinventing her business
— Georgia’s stolen children
— The game company that brings you the news
PEOPLE TO KNOW.
The man inventing the perfect college applicant: For $120,000 a year, 28-year-old Christopher Rim promises to turn any student into Ivy bait. For the past nine years, Rim has been working as an “independent education consultant,” helping the one percent navigate the increasingly competitive college-admissions process. He started by editing college essays from his Yale dorm room for $50 an hour but now charges the parents of his company’s 190 clients — mostly private-school kids, many of them in New York — $120,000 a year to help them create a narrative he believes will appeal to college-admissions officers. (New York Magazine; if you can’t access the article, try this link)
“I’m helping my client ‘Jenny’ from Horace Mann have an advantage over not-my-client ‘Johnny.’ They’re both billionaires.”
The L.A. Clippers owner building a $2B arena: Next season, the Los Angeles Clippers will move into the Intuit Dome, a 17,500-seat arena under construction. For the past nine years, Steve Ballmer has poured thousands of hours into building a home for the Clippers. He’s finessed state and local politicians, paid hundreds of millions of dollars to brush aside a legal challenge from a rival NBA owner and labored over every detail, from legroom and acoustics to locker rooms and toilets. The result is a venue, set to open in August, that Ballmer calls an “homage to basketball.” (Bloomberg; if you can’t access the article, try this link)
“I’ll just say it’s well north of $2 billion.”
The beauty startup founder reinventing her business: Glossier CEO Emily Weiss was the darling of girl-boss beauty startups — then her brand lost its shine. Together with a new CEO, Kyle Leahy, she’s steering the business in a new direction. “It was very clear that our superpower is that we are a beauty brand, not a tech company,” Leahy says. If it works, this is a powerful reinvention story. (Financial Times; if you can’t access the article, try this link.)
Georgia’s stolen children: Amy and Ano are identical twins, but just after they were born, they were taken from their mother and sold to separate families. Years later, they discovered each other by chance thanks to a TV talent show and a TikTok video. As they delved into their past, they realised they were among thousands of babies in Georgia stolen from hospitals and sold, some as recently as 2005. Now they want answers.
COMPANIES TO WATCH.
The game company that brings you the news: Wordle. Connections. Spelling Bee. Ye olde crossword. The New York Times is home to beloved brainteasers that are helping boost the paper’s bottom line. On a day in mid-October, the average daily active users in the Times Games app was 2,615,333. One year earlier, it was 886,000. As one staffer jokes, the “Times is now a gaming company that also happens to offer news.” Here’s a look inside the NYT’s big bet on games. (Vanity Fair; if you can’t access this article, try this link.)
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