business news in context, analysis with attitude

Yesterday, in our Monday Eye-Opener, the focus was on two commencement addresses.

The first one I pointed to was at Biola University, described as a private evangelical Christian institution, where Lynsi Snyder-Ellingson, the owner and president of In-N-Out Burger, gave the commencement address, focusing on her “struggles with alcohol and cannabis and the abuse she endured in a past relationship. She urged Biola’s students to not let pride prevent them from being open and honest about their struggles.” She also gave all the graduates gift cards to In-N-Out with their diplomas.

The second one was by Robert F. Smith, a billionaire investor who founded Vista Equity Partners and is the richest black man in America - who told the students graduating from Morehouse College, a historically black institution, that he and his family would be paying off all their college loans.

To which MNB reader BJ Young responded:

What happened at Morehouse College this weekend was unprecedented and phenomenal. I am sorry that you buried in after the In-N-Out heiress. While it was great that you mentioned it, in light of the story’s historical nature, the growing debt facing college graduates and the unequivocal generosity of a billionaire, it really should have been your lead.

I think you missed this one.

I also got an email from an MNB reader critiquing another editorial judgement:

I have noticed in your OffBeat section that you regularly review movies that you've seen recently both good and bad, as well as any wines and beers you've had recently and the occasional lunch or dinner. However I cannot recall ever seeing a negative review of any food or drink. Is it possible that you never had a bad meal or alcoholic beverage?

A fair point.

My general policy in “OffBeat” is to celebrate the positive, though in the case of movies, TV shows and books, I sometimes think there are business lessons to be garnered from missteps or misjudgments … and MNB readers know that I’m a sucker for a business lesson.

I’m not sure that business lessons can be learned from a bad meal or drink. Though, to be clear, in other MNB stories, I’ve been known to be tough on specific meals and venues.

Besides, I tend to side philosophically with the great Robert B. Parker, who once said that “the worst beer I ever had was wonderful.”
KC's View: