Weekend Briefing No. 100

Weekend Briefing No. 100 | GM & Lyft, How To Kill Your Nonprofit, VR & Your Body, Silicon Valley Jargon in Nonprofits, Blockchain Beyond Bitcoin


Welcome to the weekend. This week global stocks are off to an unpleasant start. US futures aren’t looking good as investors ask when the Chinese stocks rout will end. A group of armed gunmen have taken over a federal building in Oregon, protesting for land designated for animal protection to be handed from the government to the public. Barack Obama moves forward on gun-control laws. Forbes released their 30 under 30 list this week and it was great to see two friends Sophia Sunwoo and Patrick Woodyard on the list.



General Motors is investing $500 million in Lyft, part of a wider-ranging strategic partnership that will include a rental program for drivers of the car-sharing service and the creation of an on-demand autonomous car network. Along with a seat on the board of the San Francisco car-sharing network, GM is closely allying itself to the shift away from its main business until now — the sale of cars — to a more service-oriented one. Learn more at re/code.

10 ways to kill your nonprofit. Nonprofit Quarterly assembled some of the best crash-and-burn thinking here to help you on your quest to take your nonprofit down. 1) Poison the revenue mix. The right balance of appropriate revenue streams will nourish a nonprofit, but both concentration on one revenue source and overreliance on too many can be damaging, if not fatal. 2) Stain your reputation. Frequent scandals and sector fraudsters have eroded much of the inherent trust that nonprofits have enjoyed for so long. Learn more at Nonprofit Quarterly.

What does virtual reality do to your body? As technology comes of age, headset makers, media companies grapple with potential side effects. The experience can cause nausea, eyestrain and headaches. Apart from the physical effects, Stanford University professor Jeremy Bailenson says his 15 years of research consistently have shown virtual reality can change how a user thinks and behaves, in part because it is so realistic. Learn more at the Wall Street Journal.

Silicon valley has infiltrated the nonprofit lexicon, and it’s not pretty. Here’s the jargon you need to know to keep your organization afloat. Cluster meeting – definitive proof that hell is other people. Growth hacking – a willingness to do anything to increase the number of beneficiaries, including counting them twice. Ideate – hiring expensive outside consultants to facilitate a company brainstorm. Pivoting –rebranding failure as an exciting iterative learning process that will, inevitably, lead to greater impact. Learn more at The Guardian.

Blockchain beyond bitcoin. The blockchain is defined as “a system that’s secure without a higher authority, distributed across many strangers’ computers, yet tamper-proof, and promises a mechanism for trust mediated directly between individuals”. Essentially, by providing a distributed means to guarantee and verify transactions, the blockchain offers the ultimate opportunity to cut out the middleman. For example, Kim Jackson and Zach LeBeau were married on the blockchain in November. Is a blockchain marriage legally binding? Well, some parts of it would fall within contract law, but it’s a first symbolic step. Learn more at The Conversation.



What do you want out of life? You’ll probably answer something like, “I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like,” it’s so ubiquitous that it doesn’t even mean anything. A more interesting question, a question that perhaps you’ve never considered before, is What pain do you want in your life?

My Tinder date with Pharma bro Martin Shkreli. Details of dates made on social apps shared in the mainstream media. Welcome to the new definition of indecent exposure.



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 Law. I consider it a privilege to be a part of your weekend routine. Thanks.