Weekend Briefing No. 306

Welcome to the weekend. Ahoy! I’m writing you from the sea. I’m currently aboard Spirit of Enderby, a Heritage Expedition Cruise ship. We’re spending a few days sailing around Stewart Island and among the remote ice-carved mountains, verdant forests and winding fiords of Fiordland in solitude, away from the crowds. This region represents a priceless ecosystem that showcases the work the New Zealand Government’s Department of Conversation has done and is undertaking to protect, preserve and reintroduce New Zealand’s amazing wildlife. We’ve never done an expedition sail like this before, but we jumped at this once in a lifetime opportunity to explore remote parts of New Zealand’s Southern region, an area known for its range of bird life and jaw-dropping scenery on a grand scale, with the chance to spot a large number of New Zealand’s threatened species. 

This week, I’m sending you a list of a few of my favorite books, talks, podcasts, etc. from 2019. Enjoy!

Prime Numbers

27:25 – The Cannonball Run record is an unofficial and deeply illegal racing challenge that’s nearly 50 years old, a drive from the Red Ball garage in Manhattan to the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach, Los Angeles. Three men in a deliberately nondescript gray sedan managed to pull it off in just 27 hours, 25 minutes

49 – In December 2018, Tumblr banned all nudity and pornography from its site. A year out and the results are in: this went fairly badly for Tumblr. From 2018 to 2019, U.S. visitors to the login page fell 49 percent.

26.4 – Netflix and YouTube will start feeling the streaming war heat next year, according to new projections. In 2020, Netflix will see its share of daily video streaming — 27 percent in 2019 — slip to 26.4 percent, with a further dip to 25.7 percent by 2021. YouTube will see its share of the streaming video pie slip from 23.4 percent in 2019 to 21.7 percent by 2021.

Best Books on Race

When you know better, you do better. This year, one of my goals was to learn more about race in America, in the hopes that I can do better in the future. As a white male, the more I read the more I’m aware of how much I have to learn. Here are my top 3 books: (3) Just Mercy (2) Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race (1) White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Click the link to see my top 18 books on the topic. kylewestaway.com (22 minutes)

Best Books on Personal Finance

This year has also been a year of learning more about personal finances – better late than never I suppose. Here are my top 3 books: (3) The Richest Man in Babylon (2) The Simple Path to Wealth (1) The Soul of Money. Click the link to see my top 18 books on the topic. kylewestaway.com (22 minutes)

Best Podcast

Dolly Parton’s America. This nine-part series goes big on Dolly Parton’s life with an emphasis on her unique status as a universally (conservative, liberal, gay, straight, American or Kenyan) beloved icon. The further you get into the series the more you are more multi-faceted and human she becomes. The series moves beyond Dolly as a walking boob joke to a symbol of empowerment. Her songwriting abilities have never been taken as seriously as her male counterparts, but she’s prolific. I will always love you was a number 1 in 3 different decades! Dolly doesn’t take herself too seriously, but has portrays depth and wisdom. WNYC (46 minutes)

Best TED Talk

Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding. TED (18 minutes)

Best Short Film

In a Nutshell is a mesmerizing stop motion animation directed by Fabio Friedli that attempts to sum up the entire world in just five minutes, “from a seed to war, from meat to love, from indifference to apocalypse”. Vimeo (5 minutes)

Best Song

Marlon Craft, an NYC rapper, just had his album launch party the Halal Guys food cart… how can you not love that. His food cart game is strong, his flow is fire.  Contrary to what the phrase could allude to in hip-hop, Craft takes his new track Gang Sh*t to present listeners with three different perspectives, opening up with the gang mentality associated with the fraternity of police officers and lawbreaking of organizations such as the KKK, while presenting the dilemma as to why such a mentality doesn’t hold the same consequences faced by those who fall within the stereotypical scope of a gangbanger–black men. Appropriately, this track is paired with simple but powerful visuals. It’s my favorite music video thus far in 2019. YouTube (4 minutes)

Best Music Video

Say Something by Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton is a phenomenal track that somehow blends pop, blues and old-school country. But this music video, done in one shot, is so compelling. The setting is gorgeous and the concept is simple but incredibly well executed. YouTube (6 minutes)


Endeavour: The Ship That Changed the World by Peter Moore. An unprecedented history of the storied ship that Darwin said helped add a hemisphere to the civilized world. The Enlightenment was an age of endeavors, with Britain consumed by the impulse for grand projects undertaken at speed. Endeavour was also the name given to a collier bought by the Royal Navy in 1768. It was a commonplace coal-carrying vessel that no one could have guessed would go on to become the most significant ship in the chronicle of British exploration. The first history of its kind, Peter Moore’s Endeavour: The Ship That Changed the World is a revealing and comprehensive account of the storied ship’s role in shaping the Western world. Endeavour famously carried James Cook on his first major voyage, charting for the first time New Zealand and the eastern coast of Australia. Yet it was a ship with many lives: During the battles for control of New York in 1776, she witnessed the bloody birth of the republic. As well as carrying botanists, a Polynesian priest, and the remains of the first kangaroo to arrive in Britain, she transported Newcastle coal and Hessian soldiers. NASA ultimately named a space shuttle in her honor. But to others she would be a toxic symbol of imperialism. Through careful research, Moore tells the story of one of history’s most important sailing ships, and in turn shines new light on the ambition and consequences of the Age of Enlightenment. Amazon

About the Weekend Briefing

A Saturday morning briefing on innovation & society by Kyle Westaway – Managing Partner of Westaway and author of Profit & Purpose. Photo by Adam Edgerton.

Should We Work Together?

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Weekend Wisdom

We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie