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TiB 95: The best links and tweets of 2019 - the TiB year in review

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December 17 · Issue #95 · View online
Matt's Thoughts In Between
This week: The Thoughts in Between review of 2019…

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2019 through the lens of Thoughts in Between
Thoughts in Between takes a two week break after today and will return in the New Year. For the last issue of 2019, I break with the usual format and look at the highlights of the TiB year. I’ve trawled through all 49 issues and 40,000 words to find the most clicked-on articles and tweets, as well as the topics we discussed most frequently…
Top articles of 2019
These were the articles you, TiB readers, clicked on most in 2019, normalised for the number of subscribers at the time:
1 - Emanuel Macron’s vision for Europe (link, Issue 90) - The French president lays out a remarkably comprehensive vision, of technological and rapprochement with Russia
2 - How do we actually use our time? (link, Issue 78) - Review of a new book that looks at why we all feel so busy and what we really do with our time
3 - The State of AI (link, Issue 71) - Ian Hogarth and Nathan Benaich’s annual review of the year’s progress and issues in artificial intelligence
4 - The Internet and the Third Estate (link, Issue 88) - Ben Thompson looks at the internet - and Mark Zuckerberg’s arguments about free speech - in historical context
5 - What ambassadors eat (link, Issue 65) - Amusing and revealing survey of ambassadors to the United States and where they eat when they’re homesick
6 - Matt Clifford vs Alan Sugar (link, Issue 87) - What happened when I wrote an OpEd criticising The Apprentice
7 - An essay on notebooks and note-taking (link, Issue 62) - A beautiful piece describing one author’s note-taking process as he embarked on a new novel
8 - Non-famous last words (link, Issue 48) - What do people actually say before they die?
9 - What is Amazon? (link, Issue 56) - Superb essay deconstructing Amazon and its extraordinarily successful strategy
10 - Who is Dominic Cummings? (link, Issue 75) - FT profile of Boris Johnson’s top advisers and the architect of both Brexit and the Conservatives’ general election victory last week
Top tweets of 2019
I link to a lot of tweets in TiB. Here are the ten you clicked on most:
1 - How to be a great CEO (link, Issue 59)
2 - How the rich spend their time (link, Issue 71)
3 - Charlie Munger’s unusual hobby… (link, Issue 63)
4 - The global cities with the highest salaries (link, Issue 65)
5 - The average asset allocation of family offices (link, Issue 60)
6 - Michael Nielsen on note taking (link, Issue 53)
7 - The impact of seating plans on VC meeting outcomes (link, Issue 60)
8 - A fantastic thread of interesting syllabuses (link, Issue 50)
9 - When in life do people become (and stop being) boring? (link, Issue 51)
10 - When Warren Buffett called Bank of America customer service (link, Issue 86)
Top topics of 2019
I went through and tagged each section in TiB (excluding Quick Links) with its major topics and then ranked the topics by frequency:
1 - Post-2016 politics / “culture war”: in issues 48, 51, 52, 53, 57, 60, 62, 65, 66, 67, 68, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 91, 94
2 - Artificial intelligence: in issues 49, 52, 54, 56, 59, 60, 61, 63, 68, 70, 71, 72, 73, 75, 82, 84, 86, 89, 90, 93
3 - “Big tech”: in issues 46, 50, 51, 52, 53, 55, 56, 58, 62, 65, 68, 70, 74, 75, 80, 83, 86, 87, 88
4 - Economics / economic growth: in issues 48, 50, 51, 52, 54, 55, 59, 65, 69, 71, 72, 76, 77, 81, 87, 91, 92, 94
5 - China: in issues 48, 49, 51, 55, 57, 58, 62, 72, 74, 76, 80, 82, 85, 86, 88, 92
6 - Geopolitics: in issues 47, 48, 50, 58, 62, 63, 66, 72, 76, 79, 82, 86, 88, 90, 92, 93
7 - The power of institutions: in issues 49, 59, 61, 64, 66, 67, 69, 71, 74, 80, 88, 89, 93
=8 - Talent / education: in issues 57, 63, 64, 66, 67, 69, 75, 79, 80, 84, 89, 92
=8 - History: in issues 51, 62, 65, 70, 73, 77, 83, 85, 87, 88, 89, 90
=8 - Venture capital and startups: in issues 53, 57, 58, 60, 61, 63, 68, 78, 82, 84, 85, 93
Your feedback
Writing Thoughts in Between is usually a lot of fun, though it’s occasionally gruelling when work is particularly busy or when I’m travelling… but I can genuinely say that the engagement and feedback from readers makes it extremely rewarding.
So thank you for reading, share, tweeting and replying - I hugely appreciate it.
Until 2020!
Matt
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