As Shakespeare once told us, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” And some, he might have added, rise to greatness because of the presence—and the provocations—of a worthy rival. In a series of articles over the next few weeks, Slate will explore how competition makes the best even better, driving creativity, innovation, and sheer bloody-mindedness in a race to the top.
Our Moneybox columnist Matthew Yglesias leads off, looking at why the most successful entrepreneurs don’t always amass the biggest fortunes. (Exhibit A: Steve Jobs.) Slate’s chief Explainer, Brian Palmer, will unpack how rivalries between sports franchises enhance their brand value. Slate science writer Daniel Engber will unearth the bizarre and fascinating “bone wars” between two 19th-century dinosaur hunters, and technology columnist Farhad Manjoo will assess the four-way battle of the top tech giants. We’ll also tackle some of the most iconic head-to-head contests of the last century: from comics to soft drinks, from skyscrapers to feuding literary sisters. There’s even more to come, but for now, grab a ringside seat and enjoy the fray.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Democrats’ War at Home
How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?
Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best
Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke
A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking
Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10
Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.
How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.
You Deserve a Pre-cation
The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.