Weekend Briefing No. 133

Welcome To The Weekend

This week Colombia reached a peace deal with FARC rebels. The historic agreement, which ends the country’s 52-year war, was signed after four years of negotiations. Turkish army tanks are now rolling into Syria, where they have launched a ground offensive in Jarablus called Euphrates Shield. Scientists discovered a potentially habitable planet. Proxima B is only 4.2 light years away—start packing!

The Job To Be Done

When we buy a product, we essentially “hire” it to help us do a job. If it does the job well, the next time we’re confronted with the same job, we tend to hire that product again. And if it does a crummy job, we “fire” it and look for an alternative. This is what Clayton Christensen calls the job to be done.  We should ask: 1) What experiences will help customers make the progress they’re seeking in a given circumstance? 2) What obstacles must be removed? 3) What are the social, emotional, and functional dimensions of the job? Learn more at Harvard Business Review (13 minutes).

Offshore Comes Online

By global standards, the Block Island Wind Farm is a tiny project, just five turbines capable of powering about 17,000 homes. Yet, many people are hoping its completion will kick off the long-awaited offshore wind industry in the US. Using a law passed by a Republican-led Congress in 2005 and signed by President George W. Bush, the Obama administration has been clarifying the ground rules and leasing out large patches of the ocean floor for wind-power development. Nearly two dozen projects are on the drawing board, with some potentially including scores of turbines. Learn more in the New York Times (6 minutes).


With budget dollars from Fortune 1000 companies continuing to shift towards startups, a recent report on enterprise startups highlights key findings: 1) Funding activity has increased 76% over the last 6 quarters. 2) The sectors that have raised the most money have been Software / Applications, Data / Analytics, and Enterprise Infrastructure. 3) As usual, NYC is solidly second in command (after California) for enterprise startup financings. 4) We’ve seen nearly $40 billion in M&A in the first half of 2016. Check out the beautiful charts and dive deeper at Workbench (8 minutes).

Venture Capital Jargon

If you’re currently shaking the money tree or plan to in the near future, but feel like investors are speaking a different language, I can help. Avoid appearing like a newbie by checking out this primer on the language of venture capital. Learn the difference between IRR and MOIC, a Venture Partner and a Partner and see a J-Curve at Westaway Review (6 minutes).

Foreign Founders

It could soon get a lot easier for foreigners to come to the U.S. to grow their startup. After failing to get Congress to pass a “startup visa” as part of broad immigration reform, the Obama administration is moving ahead with an alternative that would allow overseas entrepreneurs to live in the U.S. for up to five years to help build a company. To be eligible to work in the U.S. under the new rule, the foreigner would have to own at least 15 percent of a U.S.-based startup, have a central role in its operations and have at least $100,000 in government grants or at least $345,000 in investment from U.S. investors. Learn more at recode (4 minutes).

The Book In 3 Sentences

James Clear compiled a list of popular books summarized in 3 sentences. For instance: Manual for Living by Epictetus – Some things are in your power and some are not—do not confuse the two and do not desire the things that are not in your power. It is our opinion of things that determines how we feel about a particular event, not the event itself. Think carefully about how you spend your life because people often spend their lives chasing things that are neither as desirable nor as important as they seem. See the full list at JamesClear.com (10 minutes).

Good Luck Getting A Res

Damon Baehrel, runs the most exclusive restaurant in the world out of his basement in Earlton, NY. He derives his ingredients, from his twelve acres of yard, garden, forest, and swamp. He has christened his approach Native Harvest. He’s booked solid until 2025. The restaurant ranks above Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Eleven Madison Park. It’s been a clue on Jeopardy. But is this foodie’s wet dream actually all fiction? Go down the rabbit hole in the New Yorker (22 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. Basically… I help you sound smart at brunch.

Thanks for making the Weekend Briefing a part of your Saturday morning routine. Have a restful and thoughtful weekend.