Welcome to Forbes for August 25th, 2014 from Audible. This edition contains seven feature articles. In the cover story, "Inside Hermès: Luxury's Secret Empire" - Quietly and diligently, the family behind Hermès has become one of the world's richest, to the tune of more than $25 billion. They've done it not only by selling beautiful luxury items but also by selling aura as beautifully as any company on the planet.
We'll also tell you about, "Flatley's Law: How One Company Is Creating Medicine's Genetic Revolution" - The only thing more extraordinary than the growth rate of the DNA sequencing revolution is that the beneficiary is a single company, Illumina of San Diego, and most of the credit for the rate of change can be laid at the feet of one entrepreneur: Chief Executive Jay Flatley.
Next, "Hard Knocks: Xenith's Helmet Technology Stands Tall Amidst Football's Concussion Crisis" - Can a shock-absorbing helmet designed by a doctor and backed by a billionaire help solve the NFL’s concussion crisis? Xenith says more than 100 NFL players will be wearing its helmets this season, as will players at Notre Dame, Miami, Illinois, and Oregon, among other college teams. But the company has plans to expand far beyond football.
Then, "Returns Are Set to Plunge" - Interest rate hikes are the most discussed topic in financial markets, but the bigger problem, the elephant in the room no one wants to discuss, is the likelihood that returns on capital in coming decades will be substantially lower than past returns. Rate hikes would help.
Followed by, "America Doesn't Smoke Much Anymore. So How Is the Zippo Manufacturing Company Having Its Best Years Ever?" Despite the 50% downturn in the number of U-S smokers since the heyday of cigarettes in the 1950s, Zippo booked more than $200 million in sales last year–a record–and had the best May and June sales in its history in 2014. New products, and its first retail stores, are adding fuel to the fire.
Also, "Obamacare Or Not, Republicans Should Focus on Reducing the Cost of Health Care" - For all the endless talk about reforming the health care system these past five years, it’s remarkable how little we’ve done to solve its actual problems. Spending hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to subsidize insurance coverage for several million people? That’s the easy part. The hard part is addressing the fact that American health care is so expensive.
And in our final story, "Health Care: Sound of Innovation" - Moore’s Law changes everything it touches. Hearing aids are no exception.