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Weekend Reads 5

top stories of the week

This Week’s Stories: media, tech, small biz, and culture

By Jeff Howland

A Broken Place: The Spectacular Failure of a Startup That Was Going to Change the World

by Max Chafkin, Fast Company
With almost $1 billion in funding and ambitions to replace petroleum-based cars with a network of cheap electrics, Shai Agassi’s Better Place was remarkable even by the standards of world-changing startups. So was its epic failure. A 21st century cautionary tale.

Our Cubicles, Ourselves: How the American Office Shapes American Life

by Rebecca J. Rosen, The Atlantic

Each year, the average American spends nearly 2,000 hours working. For many, that time passes inside the three little walls of a modern cubicle.Writer Nikil Saval explores these odd spaces—how they came to be, how they make us feel—in his new book Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace.

A Silicon Valley Disaster: A 21-Year-Old Stanford Kid Got $30 Million, Then Everything Blew Up

by Alyson Shontell, Business Insider

Clinkle has been the talk of Silicon Valley for the past year, although few of the consumers who will make up its hoped-for user base have even heard of it. That is in part by design. A payment app co-created by CEO, Lucas Duplan, it has been in “stealth” mode for more than three years, its unique selling proposition a closely-held secret.

The Future of Facebook May Not Say ‘Facebook

Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times
Despite every hipster prediction otherwise, Facebook’s user base keeps growing, and nearly a fifth of the time that Americans spend on their smartphones is spent on Facebook. That surpasses the amount of time we spend on any other single service by a wide margin — and beats just about anything else we do on our phones, or perhaps in our lives, period.

The Truth About Google X: An Exclusive Look Behind the Secretive Lab’s Closed Doors

by Jon Gertner, Fast Company
Space elevators, teleportation, hoverboards, and driverless cars: The top-secret Google X innovation lab opens up about what it does — and how it thinks.

Have a good weekend.

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