Weekend Briefing No. 138

This Week By The Numbers


1890 – the year The Arizona Republic began publication. Since then, the newspaper has never once endorsed a Democrat for president — until Tuesday.

55% – the number of Americans who start their online searches at Amazon. This is up a whopping 25% from last year. Buy Amazon stock now.

10% – the amount the US murder rate rose in 2015. This increase follows a two-decade downward trend, but the national murder rate is still about half what it was in 1991, at the peak of the violent crime wave of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

3 – the number of weeks until Facebook launches Facebook at Work – a separate version of the social network that is accessible only within the confines of a company’s internal IT systems. Great… now I have to be subjected to baby pictures from Linda in accounting :-/

To Infinity & Beyond 


Elon Musk thinks that if humans are a multi-planetary species, we have a better chance of long-term survival. In order to colonize Mars, a ticket should cost less than $200,000. This will require: 1) Full reusability of rockets. 2) Refueling in orbit. The only way to move enough supplies to Mars is, going in stages and refueling the spacecraft in Earth orbit before it sets off to the Red Planet. 3) Making propellant on Mars. The only way to reuse the spacecraft is by sending it back to Earth. 4) Using the right propellant. Musk says that only a methane-based fuel could be produced on Mars and used efficiently. Get the full story along with fun cartoons and a cool video at Wait But Why (22 minutes).

How To Build The Future


Sam Altman, head of Y Combinator, answers some interesting questions in this video interview like: How should you choose what to work on? (the intersection of your skill, excitement and the needs in the world). How to build a team. How things get done (focus, personal connections and self belief). How think about work-life balance in your 20’s (think about it as compound interest, so work harder than most people think you should). Watch the full interview at YC (21 minutes).

Gender Gap In AI


Artificial Intelligence is shaping our present and future. But is there a gender bias in the algorithms? Carnegie Mellon researchers ran an experiment and stumbled on the finding that Google’s Ad Settings program delivered ads for jobs paying above $200,000 to male online profiles six times more often than to female profiles.  The companies developing AI, like most of Silicon Valley, have a predominantly male workforce of engineers and developers. Bottom line… we need more female devs. Learn more at the Wall Street Journal (2 minutes).

Design Your Life


What do I do with the rest of my one wild and wonderful life? Dave Evans and Bill Burnett, two professors of Stanford’s most popular class entitled Designing Your Life, claim that you can design an amazing life in the same way that Jonathan Ive designed the iPhone. They say the practices taught in the class can help you “reframe” dysfunctional beliefs that surround life and career decisions and help you “wayfind” in a chaotic world through the adoption of such design tenets as bias-for-action, prototyping and team-building. Now they’ve packaged the class into a book. I’ve been waiting for this book since I met my friend Dave Evans a couple of years ago. I can’t wait to read it. Buy your copy Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life now (a number of hours).

On Intimacy & Independence


There seems to be a tension between intimacy and independence. When lovers are expected to fuse together so closely and completely, mutuality mutates into a paralyzing codependence which stunts growth. In the most nourishing kind of love, the communion of togetherness coexists with an integrity of individuality, the two aspects always in dynamic and fluid dialogue. Philosopher and Poet Kahlil Gibran gives his secret to a loving and lasting relationship, “Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.” Explore more at brainpickings (4 minutes).

Alone Time


The results of the world’s largest survey on rest indicate that to feel truly rested, we crave some solitude. Interestingly, this applies both in the case of extroverts – sometimes defined as people who gain energy from being around others – and introverts, who find other people draining. This might be because, when we are on our own we tend to be more focused and aware of our bodies and emotions. Learn more at the BBC (6 minutes).

Ultimate Reading List


One of my favorite sites Farnam Street, just put out a list of the best books to improve general knowledge of the world. This list is expansive, ranging from The Grapes of Wrath to A History of The World in 100 Objects to The Power Broker. The one I’m most interested in checking out is Letters From A Stoic, a book about Seneca, who guided the Roman Empire for a number of years. He promotes the ethical ideals of Stoicism—the wisdom of the self-possessed person immune to overmastering emotions and life’s setbacks—while valuing friendship and the courage of ordinary men, and criticizing the harsh treatment of slaves and the cruelties in the gladiatorial arena. See the full list at Farnam Street (13 minutes).

About The Weekend Briefing


The best articles on innovation, impact and growth distilled into one email every Saturday morning by Kyle Westaway – author of Profit & Purpose and Managing Partner of Westaway.

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