Weekend Briefing No. 108

Weekend Briefing No. 108 | The Power of No, Profit & Purpose, The Anti-Unicorn, Connected Devices & Liability, Refugee Potential

Welcome to the weekend.

This week Apple faces the US Congress. The company’s general counsel Bruce Sewell will warn the House Judiciary Committee that allowing the FBI’s request for access to a terrorist’s iPhone would jeopardize cybersecurity.

After a record-breaking 340 days on the International Space Station, US astronaut Kelly touched down in Kazakhstan.

Weekend Briefing

The power of ‘no’. The quality of our yes’s is related to the quantity of our no’s. Saying no is a tool to do a few things well. When we were in high school we were rewarded for doing a bunch of activities, but the most successful (and interesting) adults limit themselves to doing a few things well – generally your day job and 2 other things. If you apply the 80% Rule – only letting yourself work at 80% capacity at any time. Then you leave yourself margin to create and to jump on the special projects that pop up. Learn more in First Round Review.

Profit & purpose. Our parents’ generation generally spent the first half of their life accumulating wealth and the last part giving it away for worthwhile causes. Profit then purpose. Our generation is not only trying to address community and global problems earlier in our lives; we are also questioning the traditional divide between commerce and philanthropy. We are simultaneously seeking profit and purpose. Here are three tips on how to do that well. 1. Invest for impact in both non- and for-profits. 2. Measure results (but not at the expense of taking risk). 3. Shape your existing business around social good. Dive deeper at Harvard Business Review.

The anti-unicorn. After surviving a the collapse of a much-hyped web 2.0 company valued at $756 MM, this time around Gina Bianchini is doing things differently. She’s keeping her head down and building a real business that has real paying customers with a small team and very little outside capital. Learn how she’s building the anti-unicorn – a profitable, lean company – in WIRED.

Connected devices & liability. Over 50 billion consumer devices and products will connect to the Internet by 2020, according to some estimates. This week Google’s self-driving car had its first fender-bender, which raises the question of legal liability for autonomous vehicles and connected devices. Can the maker of the whole product, such as a refrigerator, be held liable for the failure of software as a component part? The answer to this question is legally unclear. Learn more about how the Internet of Things will shape the notion of liability at Bloomberg. Thanks to Gregg Schoenberg for sharing this with me.

Transforming refugees from burdens into assets. Rather than see refugees as inevitably dependent on humanitarian assistance, we need to provide them with opportunities for human flourishing. How could we do that? 1. Economic zones. This summer, Jordan is about to start a pilot project allowing refugees to work in an existing economic zone to allow refugees to work alongside Jordan nationals in a manufacturing hub that lacks is labor. 2. Matching market. Think of it as an eharmony for refugees and jobs, where their skills and expertise are put to best use. Learn more in Fast Company.


Podcast of the Week

K-poparazzi. K-pop is a global juggernaut – with billions in sales and millions of fans hanging on every note. The first-ever paparazzi photos turned the world of K-pop upside down and introduced sort of a puzzle … how much do you want to know about the people you idolize, and when is enough enough? Listen at Radiolab.


Things I Like

What women find in friends that they may not get from love. As women are marrying later, their friends play an increasingly important positive affect. For many women, friends are their primary partners through life; they are the ones who move them into new homes, out of bad relationships, through births and illnesses. Even for women who do marry, this is true at the beginning of our adult lives, and at the end — after divorce or the death of a spouse.

Apparently our brains are ready for teleportation. Teleportation may stay in the realm of science fiction for the foreseeable future, but scientists say that our brains already react favorably to instantaneously being transported across space.


About the Weekend Briefing

The Weekend Briefing is a selection of this week’s top stories on innovation and society, curated by Kyle Westaway – author of Profit & Purpose and Managing Partner of Westaway.

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