The Profile: The doctor addicted to opioids & the company mining the secrets in your voice

Good morning, friends.

I ordered a small number of T-shirts with The Profile logo and want to share them with you guys as a thank you for reading this newsletter every week.

In an effort to keep The Profile growing, here’s my idea: If you tweet the sign-up link ( and ask your followers to subscribe, I’ll choose some of the best ones & send you a shirt. The funnier the tweet, the more likely you are to be selected. (PS: Because there are a limited number of shirts, I’ll choose only a handful of readers, but I’m hoping to do this again in the near future.) As always, thank you for reading.  

In other news, this week’s profiles are excellent:

The man ‘born to run’ [**HIGHLY RECOMMEND**]
The king of Hollywood
The doctor addicted to opioids
The comedian with unshakeable confidence
The politician re-writing the playbook
The tech giant losing its identity
The workout brand redefining fitness
The social media network you can’t avoid
The companies mining the secrets in your voice

If you enjoy reading profiles of the most successful people and companies, click here to tweet so others can enjoy it too.


The man ‘born to run:’ Beto O’Rourke can appear almost too innocent to be a politician — too wholesome, too normal. In other words, the very reason he became popular is also the same reason he could be crucified on the national stage. The presidential candidate opens up about his complicated relationship with his father, his political aspirations, and how he’s preparing for the winding road to 2020.

“Man, I’m just born to be in it, and want to do everything I humanly can for this country at this moment.”

The king of Hollywood: Samuel L. Jackson boasts one of the most prolific film careers of any actor alive despite the fact that his big break came later in life. He averages five releases a year, and he has no plans to stop. In this profile, you learn just how rich & full of a life 70-year-old Samuel L. Jackson has lived. You won’t be able to stop reading this one as he holds nothing back.

“I know how many motherfuckers hate me. ‘I’m never going to see a Sam Jackson movie again.’ Fuck I care? I already cashed that check. Fuck you.”

The doctor addicted to opioids: Opioids have become a full-blown national crisis of epic proportions, killing 130 people each day. One doctor at the top of her game—who knew the risks better than anyone—almost became another statistic. Here’s the story of how a well-respected anesthesiologist found herself shooting up in her daughter's closet, her son's bathroom, and the hospital parking lot. "Addiction is an equal-opportunity offender," she says.

“Addiction is a nondiscriminating disease. It doesn’t care what color you are, what age, what sex, what religion, your socioeconomic status.”

The comedian with unshakeable confidence: Comedian Amy Schumer really doesn’t care what any of us think. It stems from her core sense of confidence that’s made her fearless in business and in life. In this profile, she stands by her belief that looks don’t matter if you’re confident in yourself. “As someone who has been told a million times they are fat and ugly, it does not matter!” she says.

“I’m ecstatic and furious. And pleased and peaceful and manic and hopeless and so hopeful it’s crazy.”

The politician re-writing the playbook: Freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hasn’t yet mastered the techniques of deflection. She still lets people into her personal space for hugs, asks personal questions, and takes many pictures with bystanders. Make no mistake: She understands she’s under a microscope and that people obsess over her every action — Why didn’t she compost sweet potato peels? Why did she get in a minivan instead of riding the subway? “Every day for me feels like I’m walking on a high wire. Every single day,” she says.

“I’m not a superhero. I’m not a villain. I’m just a person that’s trying.”


The tech giant losing its identity: Facebook is facing an impossible dilemma — advertisers love the existing business model, but the public hates it. Now, Zuck is on a mission to do whatever it takes to save his company, even if it means fiddling with the model that has made him a billionaire. This feature previews where Facebook and its new privacy-focused products are heading.

“Facebook’s management team has created too many adversaries to not experience long-term negative ramifications on its business.”

The workout brand redefining fitness: Clothing brand Outdoor Voices makes crop tops, shorts, leggings and fleeces that are soft and come in colors like lagoon and rose quartz. Backed by $64 million in funding, the startup’s slogan is “Doing Things Is Better Than Not Doing Things.” It’s kind of like Nike’s “Just Do It,” but flipped for an era of inclusivity and wellness. Unlike Nike, the idea is that if you shun performance and results, physical activity will feel like play.

“Is there something about performance and quantified excellence that’s fundamentally at odds with ease and joy?”

The social media network you can’t avoid: TikTok videos are everywhere. Even if you don’t know you’ve seen one, you’ve seen one. The app is hard to explain if you’re not a teenager, but in essence, it’s used for making & sharing short videos. Users can engage with other users through “response” videos or “duets” — by duplicating videos and adding themselves alongside. The videos can be cringe-worthy, entertaining, and very, very funny. Oh, and TikTok’s parent company is valued at a not-so-funny $75 billion.

“You’re not actually sure why you’re seeing what you’re seeing.”

The companies mining the secrets in your voice: Voicesense makes an intriguing promise to its clients: give us someone’s voice, and we’ll tell you what they will do. The Israeli company uses real-time voice analysis during calls to evaluate whether someone is likely to default on a bank loan, buy a more expensive product, or be the best candidate for a job. Your voice gives away more secrets than you’d like.

“We can provide predictions about health behavior, working behavior, entertainment, so on and so forth.”